A medicine cabinet can be as wide as your vanity cabinet or narrower, depending on the available space and your preferred design theme. Make sure both cabinets come together to create a sense of uniformity and poise in your bathroom.

Medicine cabinets are among the most under-utilized bathroom options. They were common at one point, but the popularity of lavatory vanity base cabinets rendered them nearly obsolete in modern homes because vanities are often more spacious and functional.

Nevertheless, medicine cabinets are making their way back, with many contemporary homeowners outfitting their bathrooms with different types of bathroom cabinets, including medicine cabinets and dressers. Some homeowners are even choosing medicine cabinets as alternatives to vanity cabinets, especially in small bathrooms. Combining medicine cabinets with vanities is a great way to utilize extra space. 

Making the Right Medicine Cabinet Decision

Understanding the dimensions and measurements of your bathroom is important when installing medicine and vanity cabinets as it will help you choose the right size for the cabinets and vanities. Measure the width of your vanity and ensure the medicine cabinet you install is narrower or the same size. The top and bottom spaces of your vanity should match those of the cabinet.

There should be sufficient clearance to allow the doors of your cabinet to open fully. Leave at least three inches of clearance between the cabinet’s bottom and the top of your sink faucet.

If it’s a small medicine cabinet, place it above a single vanity or two cabinets on both sides of a double vanity. A large medicine cabinet is suitable for a double vanity.

Installing Medicine Cabinets and Vanities

There are three common ways to install a medicine cabinet in your bathroom: recessed, surface-mount, and corner-mount installations.

Recessed Medicine Cabinet Installation

Recessed installation involves making a hole in your bathroom wall and fitting the medicine cabinet flush with the wall for an integrated look. This installation method is suitable for lavatories with limited space.

A professional should do this type of installation to avoid costly damage to your wall and the plumbing and electrical wiring that might be inside the wall. Make sure the cabinet is centered above the vanity to create a sense of balance.

Surface-Mount Cabinet Installation

This type of installation is the opposite of recessed because the medicine cabinet is fitted on the wall's surface directly above the vanity. Surface-mount cabinets are easy to install because they don’t interfere with plumbing and electrical lines.

Corner-Mount Medicine Cabinet Installation

As the name suggests, this medicine cabinet is installed in one of the corners of your bathroom. It’s normally installed above a corner vanity, especially if you have a small bathroom. it is a perfect way to utilize an idle corner space and free up space for moving about.

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Matching Your Medicine Cabinet With Your Vanity

Pairing a medicine cabinet with a vanity isn’t as easy as it sounds. For one, medicine cabinets can be installed above vanities or next to them as an independent unit.  

Matching the two fixtures requires you to choose the right sizes, materials, designs, and colors. Your vanity and medicine cabinet need to have the same finish to create a sense of consistency and completeness in your bathroom. Their colors also don’t have to be the exact same as long as they blend well.

Different finishes will clash and ruin your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal. If you want to install a medicine cabinet directly above the vanity, ensure the size creates a symmetrical and balanced appearance. If you’re installing the cabinet next to the vanity, make sure it fits in the space available.