My first apartment back in Switzerland had an itsy-bitsy bathroom. I almost couldn’t turn around, but it came with a medicine cabinet that was built into the wall. You know which one I’m talking about. You just see a mirror on the wall that you can open and voilà! You have some narrow shelves inside for all your toiletry items, well for most of them. These are the recessed medicine cabinets as opposed to wall-mounted ones.
The differences between the recessed medicine cabinets and the wall-mounted ones are substantial and might influence your decision which one is the better choice for your small bathroom.
Although recessed medicine cabinets look elegant, they require more work than the wall-mounted ones which on the other hand are more space demanding than the recessed ones. The size of your bathroom and the available wall space will help you decide between the two.
Here are some points to consider that might help you find out which medicine cabinet would be perfect for your bathroom.
The wall-mounted medicine cabinet is easier to install respectively to mount because you don’t need to open up the wall. Therefore this type is great for an existing or new bathroom.
The negative point of the wall-mounted medicine cabinets is its space demanding characteristic. You might not be able to find enough space for it if your bathroom is as tiny as mine was in my first apartment. Also some people consider it less aesthetically pleasing. There are though 3 different styles to choose from.
The traditional style is framed in wood or other decorative molding. The contemporary style is frameless creating a sleek modern look. And the transitional style is metal-framed fitting in between traditional and contemporary style. The look of your bathroom and your aesthetic need will decide.
The recessed medicine cabinet on the other hand is space saving and many consider it aesthetically pleasing. A big advantage is that this type of medicine cabinet fits well into all kinds of bathroom styles and spaces even in the tiniest bathrooms.
It requires more work though for the installation that preferably is done by professionals such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians which in turn leads to more costs of course. Nevertheless a recessed medicine cabinet is great as part of a bathroom renovation project.
I even found a list of what items you can keep in your medicine cabinet. You can keep perfume, tweezers, clippers and scissors, toothbrush and toothpaste, lotions and potions with tight lids and other small items. Well, you might miss something that seems to be logic for a medicine cabinet: medicine. Well, it’s actually recommended to not keep medicine in the bathroom’s cabinet because of its humid environment.
Among the following three models of medicine cabinets you’ll find one recessed type, one wall-mounted and one that can be installed recessed or wall-mounted. It’s recommended to take careful measurements of the available space in your bathroom and compare it to the cabinet’s dimensions in order to find the right size.
Kohler Aluminum Cabinet with Mirror Door
- Oil-rubbed bronze medicine cabinet
- Left or right hand hinge option for door
- Mirrors on back of door and interior back of cabinet
- Dimensions: 20“ W x 26“ H x 5,375“ D
- Surface and recess installation
Like expected from Kohler, this medicine cabinet does not disappoint. The construction of the unit is solid and gives you multiple options for installation. Having mirrors on the interior surfaces is also a nice touch. The bronze frame makes it look a lot more expensive than it really is.
These medicine cabinets (we bought 3) are a beautiful and elegant addition to our remodeled bathroom! They are perfect – plenty of inside room for ‘stuff’. Great quality. We have been using these cabinets for about 8 months and couldn’t be happier with them!
LOVE this medicine cabinet, we had to recess it and its very classy! Perfect for a small bathroom!
Robern Plain Mirror Medicine Cabinet
- 3-mirror construction: front of door, back of door, inside of cabinet
- Thin door and off-set hinge
- 2 adjustable cantilever glass shelves‘
- Rough opening: 14“ W x 18“ H x 4“D
- Recessed cabinets project 1“ from wall
This is an incredible medicine cabinet. I love that the door is a ‘slow close’.
Easy to install. And look so nice. Very modern looking. All mirror. No edging. Soft closing doors. Adjustable shelves.
It’s difficult to find a medicine cabinet that fits between 18 inch wall studs, but this one does – nicely. The door opens and closes smoothly and securely.
Design House Tri-View Medicine Cabinet
- Features traditional motif with bright finish and clean lines
- Size: 30“ W x 30“ H x 6“D
- Material: wood, Espresso finish
- Solid wood mirror frame
- Fully assembled
- California 93120 compliant
For the price you can’t beat the value. I love that the cabinets are so deep inside. Easy to store so much. We have a long narrow bathroom so we ordered two.
We have a small main bath with little storage – this medicine cabinet has loads of storage space and it beautiful on our wall – we love it. It is very sturdy and feels well made.
Love it. Its perfect! I have a small bathroom, so this was great to fit all my things.