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Homeowner How-To: Install a surface-mount medicine cabinet

Congratulations on your new home! Whether you’re a first-time buyer or experienced, moving in to a new home is always exciting.

Unless, you’ve purchased a brand-new build, chances are there are going to be some changes and small fixes that you’ll need to take care of when you first move in. Maybe you can’t stand the existing dining room chandelier, or the main bathroom is missing some essential storage. It can even be something as simple as wanting to add décor.

There are several common tasks that new homeowners face within the first month or even weeks of moving in. So, we’re taking them all on, task by task, to help you settle in to your new home. This month, we’re looking at adding storage to your bathroom.

Hanging a Surface-Mounted Medicine Cabinet

Hanging a surface-mounted medicine cabinet isn’t quite the same as hanging up a picture. The cabinet itself is already quite heavy –usually around 30 pounds or more, depending on the size. Then, you’ll need to account for everything that you will eventually store inside. This means that for the safety of your household and the security of your belongings, you’ll need to fasten it to a stud in the wall, rather than to the drywall alone.

Required Tools:

  • Surface mounted medicine cabinet
  • Drill
  • Anchors
  • Level
  • Stud finder

Step 1. Positioning

Positioning your surface-mounted medicine cabinet is an important first step. As mentioned previously, you need to screw it into a stub. Take your stud finder and determine where the stud is located in your desired location.

Once you’ve located the stub, position the cabinet with the central screw point over the stud. Have an assistant use a level to ensure that the cabinet is straight. Then have them draw a line on the wall along the cabinet’s top edge. Then use your level again to check that the line is straight. This is a very important step, because you don’t want to end up with a crooked mount.

Step 2. Installation

Once you have a level positioning line, have an assistant hold the cabinet in place. Then drive a screw through the top and bottom of the medicine cabinet, into the stud.

For added security, you can set a couple of wall anchors in the wall on either side of the stud. To do this, dill two small holes through the cabinet, then remove the cabinet, and set the anchors according to the package direction. Then replace the cabinet and fasten screws into the anchor.

This should leave you with a secured and level medicine cabinet that’s ready to be filled.


Next Week: Installing a recessed medicine cabinet

Featured Image Source: Signature Hardware

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