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by Pei Wen Tan February 23, 2021 4 min read

How to install a recessed bathroom mirror cabinet  

Mirror cabinets are becoming a more popular addition to bathrooms. This storage solution comes in handy if you have trouble keeping the area around your vanity clean and clutter-free. With a mirrored bathroom cabinet, you can hide your personal products behind a reflective surface. Not only is it space saving, it’s practical! 

Why not hide the storage component of your mirrored cabinet further by recessing it into your wall? This will create a minimalistic, streamlined effect and minimises any obstruction around your vanity. A recessed round mirrored cabinet will fit into your wall easily, allowing you to enjoy more storage without compromising on space. 

While it might take more effort than simply installing a mirrored cabinet onto the surface of your wall, the result is worth it. You’ll be able to achieve a minimalist look without compromising on storage. The recessed look is becoming more popular as it gives you more storage while allowing a ‘flush’ finish into the wall.  

Recessing your bathroom mirror cabinet takes a bit more time and effort as compared to a surface-mounted cupboard, which is why we’ve created a step-by-step guide. Keep on reading to learn how to recess your bathroom mirror cabinet! 

Make sure you have all the right tools  

Before you start the whole process of recessing your bathroom mirror cabinet, you should ensure you have all the right tools at the ready. 

For this kind of installation, you’ll need a level, keyhole or reciprocating saw, a small hacksaw, a drill, a stud finder, wood screws, wood shims, and a tape measure. You should also have a pencil to mark on the wall where you want your mirror cabinet to sit, so that you can easily saw the hole for it. 

Once you’ve checked that you have all the right tools, you can move onto the next step. 

Position your mirror cabinet  

Where do you want your mirror cabinet to be positioned? If you’re simply replacing an old cabinet, this will be a simple decision – it is typically placed above your sink.  

If you’re doing a bathroom rehaul you may choose to change the positioning of your fixtures and fittings, in which case you should think carefully about where to place your appliances so that your bathroom is both functional and visually pleasing. 

Once you’ve determined where you want your bathroom mirror cabinet to sit, hold it in place where you want it to be located and use a pencil to trace an outline on the wall. You can also use a cardboard template of your cupboard to make this an easier task. 

Is your wall load bearing? 

Before you install your bathroom mirror cabinet, you’ll need to find out whether your wall is load bearing or not. A load bearing wall carries and distributes weight to keep your floors level and house upright. If the wall you are planning to recess your mirror cabinet into is load bearing, you should take extra care as if it’s not done properly, it could lead to a sagging floor or ceiling. 

To find out whether your wall is load bearing, check the floors above and below. If there is a wall or supporting beam directly above it, it’s load bearing. This also applies if there is a wall, girder, or concrete footer directly below it. All exterior walls are load bearing, as are interior walls which are perpendicular to rafters. 

If your wall is load bearing, you can still install a recessed bathroom mirror cabinet. If your cupboard can fit between two studs, there’s little to worry about. Otherwise, you may want to consider calling a professional to get the job done.  

Inspect your wall 

Now that you know where you want your bathroom mirror cabinet to be positioned, and you’ve discerned whether it is a load bearing wall or not and that it’s safe to install, you’ll need to inspect your wall to see if it’s suitable for a recessed bathroom mirror cabinet. To do this, you must ensure that there is no plumbing or electrical wiring where you want it to be recessed. 

To do this, locate any studs in the wall with a stud finder. Then, drive a screw into the wall inside the outline of where you want your mirror cabinet to sit. Cut out a small hole around the screw and remove the drywall. You can then use a flashlight to inspect if there is any plumbing or electrical in that section of the wall. 

If there is, you might want to call a professional to reroute them or opt for a surface-mounted cupboard. 

Install your cabinet   

Once you’ve determined that it is safe to recess your bathroom mirror cabinet on the wall you’ve chosen, simply use your saw to cut the outline you previously drew on the wall. 

If there are any studs in the area, you’ll need to cut them using a reciprocating saw. If your studs are attached to the wall on the other side with screws, you’ll need a mini hacksaw to cut these from the backside of the stud before you can remove it. 

Next, you’ll need to install blocking around the hole by creating a frame. Apply adhesive to your wood shims, set them in place, and drive screws to secure them in place. 

Now you can mount your cupboard. Remove the doors and shelves for an easier installation, then place it in the hole you’ve created in the wall. Use your drill to drive drywall screws through holes in the sides of your cupboard. If there are any irregularities around the cupboard, you can use caulk to conceal them. 

You can then reattach the doors and shelves to your cupboard. If you’ve followed the steps, your bathroom mirror cabinet should be recessed into the wall and ready to use! 

Simply clean the area around your cupboard to get rid of any dust that may have accumulated during the installation process. Remember to maintain your cupboard well by cleaning it occasionally and taking care to use it carefully to minimise damage the hinges.  

Pei Wen Tan
Pei Wen Tan


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