The Most Frequently Asked Questions about First Aid Cabinets
How do I choose a medicine cabinet?
If you're replacing a cabinet, it's easiest to purchase one that's the same size and depth as the opening in your wall. This can be determined by removing the existing cabinet and measuring the space. If you're installing a completely new unit, you should determine the storage needs for medications and other items for your family.
How do I find the right size?
Look at the available wall space in your bathroom and decide where you need storage. Recessed medical cabinets are space-savers, but you'll need to do some minor construction in your bathroom if there is no pre-existing opening. Other things to consider include the following:
- The primary use of each bathroom and who will have access to your first aid cabinet
- Safety features like child-proof locks, if you're storing medications
- The location of wiring or pipes, if you have to cut into your wall
- Whether you need a lighted unit
- The height of shelving you need
- How you want the door to open
I just want a basic, surface-mounted cabinet; how do I know what size to get?
Start by measuring the size of your vanity or basin. The cabinet you choose should be slightly narrower than the counter space below it. If you have a pedestal sink with no counter space, the cabinet should be slightly wider. The width recommendations are mainly for aesthetic purposes when sizing an accessory to the room.
The height should be chosen so that there's adequate space between the top and bottom edges of your cabinet and your lighting fixtures and faucets. Measure the space from the lowest point of your lights and the highest point of your faucet and handles, including the drain stopper. Installing this type of cabinet is easy even if you're not particularly handy, but you'll need an extra pair of hands.
- Have someone hold the cabinet to determine the ideal position; use a level to make sure it's even.
- Mark the edges of the cabinet and placement of the drilling holes with a pencil when you've got it positioned correctly
- Drills holes in the marked spots. If the cabinet doesn't have pre-drilled holes, have someone hold the cabinet so you can drill through it and the wall at the same time.
- If you have drywall, and the holes are not lined up with wall studs, you'll need to insert anchors first for additional support.
- Insert the screws until the anchors are fully expanded inside the wall or the screws are tightened completely.
What kind of features are available for medical cabinets?
Medicine cabinets run the gamut from small, single-door units with or without a mirror to large, freestanding cabinets that have multiple doors, drawers, and deep shelving for hand towels and other bath accessories. Other features may include the following:
- Elegant mirrored interiors
- Adjustable shelving
- Interior organizers
- Small, adjustable magnified mirror insets for shaving or applying makeup
- Magnetic closures and locks
- Decorative exterior framing