Mirror and/or medicine cabinet

LinelleMarch 30, 2014

Here's a photo of my hall bath now. Most everything is original, circa 1991. I will have to replace the mirror over the vanity, but I love its size and ability to expand and brighten the 5x10 bathroom. The medicine cabinet was added after we bought the house, mainly to give me a mirror on the side for doing my hair. The interior is useful. Being surface mounted in that spot has never looked good.

So, moving forward, I want a large mirror over the vanity, a single one, since there will just be one sink. The larger the better, ideally in the 48" wide range. If I keep a mirror over the vanity, I'll need a recessed medicine cabinet where the surface mounted one is. That's the easy part.

The hard part is the mirror. Everything ready-made is either too small, too expensive, or just wrong. I could get a custom mirror made at a glass shop, but if I don't have it framed ($$), won't it have to be attached with J-channel and/or clips?

I wonder if I'd be better off with a large medicine cabinet over the vanity, and not put anything on that little side wall.

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catbuilder

You can glue the mirror to the wall without using clips or channel.

Are you getting a new vanity that can have all drawers? I find that I don't need a medicine cabinet because everything fits so well in the drawers. I had a similar setup in my last house, and I put another full height mirror on the end wall. It was next to a window so it magnified the amount of light enormously.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:01PM
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enduring

Do you use the mirror still, to do your hair? I'd probably go with a more modest sized medicine cabinet and the large mounted mirror as you have in your picture. If you needed a lot of shallow storage, than the extra large medicine cabinet would be ok. But what would anyone put in such a shallow space, and lots of it?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:04PM
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Linelle

catbuilder, the new vanity will have 6 drawers on the sides and doors under the sink. I guess I'm old school, but I'd rather have medicine cabinet things stored vertically rather than in drawers. Open the medicine cabinet door, there it all is.

Also, I gotta have a side mirror for hair. Must. Have. It.

Someone at the glass shop yesterday said that I could glue a mirror to the wall but taking it down would likely pull off the sheetrock. Wow.

enduring, I think you're right. A more modest sized med. cabinet on the side is really all that kind of space I need, plus it gives me more mirror surface for reflection. A huge med. cabinet would be kind of silly for my storage needs.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

How about getting a ready made picture frame ala Michaels, (40%off coupon of course) then take it to the glass/mirror shop and say please cut a mirror to fit this frame . You can silicone glue it in the frame. Oh, and try to re-think that vertical storage. It took me a while to accept that we would do away with our medicine cabinet, but now I don't miss it at all. Can you try putting that stuff horizontally in a couple his and hers shoe boxes on your countertop to see what it would be like if you had those things in a drawer rather than in the med. cabinet?

Since your existing med cabinet is the right size mirror-wise, can you just remove the door and hang that on the wall?

-Babka

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:57PM
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may_flowers

I've seen the Mirror Mate on a few blogs, where you order the frame to fit your mirror, and then you attach it. Looks like your mirror might have some edge damage, so MM would cover the edges, saving you from buying a new mirror of the same size. Their frames look nice, and there are a lot of choices.

Could you mount a magnifying extendable-arm type mirror on the wall to see your hair? Some of them are very high quality, and they do look cool! Then you could just use a small recessed cabinet without a mirror in the side wall. I think you'll need to move your outlet for a standard recessed medicine cabinet. I know you'd hate to have an electrician come out just for that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mirror Mate

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:24PM
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DreamingoftheUP

A huge med. cabinet would be kind of silly for my storage needs.

Tut, tut, you have to use your imagination. For example, Robern has a wide variety of medicine cabinets, including some with a fridge. :-)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:43PM
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Linelle

Dreaming, oh, I thought I needed a bathroom fridge for my cold cream. :) And it probably doesn't cost much.

Babka, yesterday at the glass/mirror shop they told me that if I wanted a framed mirror to get the frame first and then they'd do the rest. I need to go back and get some idea of prices. You're right, I could get a decent frame. I could also get a frame that matches my vanity, although I'm not sure I need to match it, just coordinate with it which is more my speed.

I don't see what's so wrong with a little vertical storage at eye level. Do you put your hydrogen peroxide and Pepto Bismol in a drawer? Don't you just see bottle caps and have to lift it up to see what it is?

The medicine cabinet I have now in the photo is horrible faux wood crap. It might find a home in my garage, but not even the mirror is worthy.

may_flowers, Mirror Mate looks pretty cool and isn't too expensive. I'm not keeping my existing mirror. My vanity is just 30" high, so with a new one at 36" and making sure the lights don't overhang the mirror, I need to get something smaller, at least not as high. It might end up that a new mirror and frame will work out better.

I wouldn't have a recessed cabinet in the side wall if it didn't have a mirror. It may be that electrical in there would need to be moved in order to recess so that's something to consider. I'm not sure I love the look of a magnifying mirror on an extendable arm. I don't really need a magnifying mirror.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Everything can go sideways if you make sure the caps are screwed on tight enough. ;-) For the things you don't need to use every day, a pull out shelf under the sink, or in a metal basket mounted on the inside of the doors under the sink, like in a kitchen might work. I wouldn't want to have to id things looking down at their tops either. My husband was skeptical having his aerosol shaving cream can on its side in a drawer, but now he likes it because it is so close to His sink! But if you want eye level peroxide, then by golly go for it. The increased height on your vanity will make so much more storage space.

May Flowers- I'm bookmarking that frame site. Thanks!

-Babka

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:51PM
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Linelle

But if you want eye level peroxide, then by golly go for it.

I'm sure I could make other arrangements for the peroxide. :)

It all comes down to a side mirror for hair. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a modestly sized recessed medicine cabinet will fit in the side wall without significant wiring issues.

I think a framed mirror over the vanity is the way to go.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:29AM
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raehelen

Linelle,

I'm with you! I need/like to have lots of vertical storage! I had NONE in my old Master. There are two tiny 9 X 30" high ones in the Main BR, and they are jam-packed full!

Figuring out my MC is what is holding me up now. I am going to have to go custom-made, as I want semi-recessed, to get nice deep shelves. With deeper counter am thinking that will also make it easier to reach.

Having said that, if your drawers are deep enough, you can put your bottles upright, and there's no problem figuring out what's in there. I measured my bottles and had my carpenter make the drawers deep enough for them to fit. Maybe because there is more space, and they're not all squished together, I can see everything.

This post was edited by raehelen on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 14:02

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Linelle

raehelen, vertical storage! Not necessarily for everything, but great for certain things, e.g., nailpolish. Love that it's at eye-level.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:06PM
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