Is Robern Worth It?
I am planning ahead for a bathroom gut in a year or so. I have started to buy materials as I find great deals on them. In researching bathroom mirrored medicine cabinets, I came across the option of the defogging mirror with electrical plugs inside by Robern. After seeing cabinets with cheap plastic boxes in the big box stores, Robern boxes at the plumbing store seemed like "the real thing." Having the electric toothbrush inside a cabinet is great, too. A defogging mirror for DH when he shaves would be that little luxury that seems extra special.
We are not rich. If I was buying at full price, I would not buy Robern. I have searched this forum and read up on Robern cabs and people who have them love them. I also saw the post where someone simply had their contractor put an electrical outlet into the backside of their cabinet. That is a great solution! My contractor could easily do that if I don't get a cabinet with a glass mirror on the back wall.
Here is my dilemma: a guy on Craigslist has an arched top beveled edge Robern cab 20 x 30 x 4 with electric inside and defogging, new in box, for sale for $300. Medicine cab box dimensions are 18-1/2"W x 29-1/4"H. I need two mirrors for my vanity. The second Robern - non electric - but with 6" depth to hold all of my stuff would be $635 at the cheapest internet retailer I have found. So our total for Robern would be $935.
Meanwhile, I have finally managed to get DH interested in this project and together we have settled on the Kohler aluminum bodied Bancroft rounded-edge beveled-edge mirror cabinet that is 20 x 31 x 5 with a 19 x 25 box that can be recessed. This is our "not a Robern" high quality cabinet that would be $440 total for both cabinets, but without electrical inside and no defog. I am doubting that the electrical can be put in the back wall, since it has a mirrored back. I am hoping it is a metallic mirrored back and not a glass mirrored back, for that reason.
My question to GW bathroom folks is: Is Robern worth the extra money? I have seen here people refer to Kohler/Robern, and wonder if this cab I am considering as my alternative is one of those, since it fits the Robern style so well. Do any of you who looked at Robern but bought other medicine cabinets regret that decision, or do you feel that you are glad that you recovered from temporary madness just in time to keep yourself from committing consumer excess that was just not "you?" It is not like I am downgrading to particle board here. Will I really, really miss having the electrical plug in the cabinet? Has anyone ever tried to put the electrical plug in a cab with a "mirrored" back wall? Is it worth $500 to have an electrical plug in one cabinet?