Bathroom medicine cabinets are sometimes designed to fit into the wall, instead of against the wall. They fit between the wall studs to allow for a partially recessed installation, and the cabinet design allows for a simple installation that hides the drywall cutout. Mirrored cabinets serve dual duty as a place to store toiletries and other items and a wall-mounted mirror for grooming. Old-style cabinets included light fixtures, but modern cabinets usually do not.
Place the stud finder against the wall near the center location for the new medicine cabinet. Press the locate button and slide the stud finder left until the light or sound indicate a stud behind the drywall. Mark the edge of the stud on the wall. Slide the stud finder right to find the next stud and mark the edge.
Measure between the two stud marks to determine the space between the studs. Most cabinets require a space 14 1/2 inches wide. A wider space is easily filled in. Narrow spaces require considerably more work and you might want to reconsider installing a recessed cabinet.
Move the stud finder up and down along the center of the space and along both studs while watching the wiring indicator to check for wiring in the wall. Wires will require rerouting.
Measure the top and bottom of the cabinet back. Mark the top and bottom of the back on the wall along one stud, centered at the desired height. Use the level as a guide to draw a line across the wall to the other stud at the top and bottom marks.
Install the drywall bit in the multipurpose rotary tool. Set the bit depth to 3/4 inch. Turn the tool on and plunge the bit into the drywall on the bottom line near the left stud. Move the tool to the left until the bit contacts the stud, then follow the stud up to the top line. Cut across the top line to the right stud, down to the bottom line and back to the starting point.
Remove the drywall cutout from the wall. Fit the medicine cabinet into the opening and place the level on top or against one side. Level the cabinet and hold it in place.
Place the supplied screws through the mounting holes on the inside of the cabinet. Screw the cabinet to the studs while holding the cabinet level. Only tighten the screws snug. Don't overtighten the screws to avoid pulling the cabinet out of level.
Tips & Warnings
- Make a small hole near one of the studs before you cut out the entire opening. Shine a light from a flashlight inside the wall to look for pipes and wires.
- Center the cabinet about 60 inches off the floor to place it at a comfortable height for most users.
- Recessed medicine cabinets too wide to fit between studs set at 16 inches on center will require changes to the wall framing.
- Many sink drains have a vent pipe that runs straight up from where the drain enters the wall. Be sure there is no pipe in the wall before you cut out the opening.
- Wear safety glasses and a dust mask while cutting drywall.
Things You'll Need:
- Stud finder with wire detection
- Tape measure
- 2-foot level
- Multipurpose rotary tool
- Drywall bit
- Philips screwdriver
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images