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Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?

Posted by raehelen (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 11, 13 at 17:58

BR reno is clicking along...only been 9 months...LOL Anyhow, walls are drywalled...we have framing in place for a semi-recessed medicine cabinet. Size could be 27" wide X 31" tall or smaller. Counter will be kitchen height and depth, so I figured totally recessed would be too hard to access, and I'd like more shelf space than the average 4" depth. In my head I always envisioned a single door, until I realized that swinging a 25-27" wide door open to access the insides may be awkward. DH will probably build it (though if I could find the perfect one ready made I'm open to that), so we can make it exactly the size we want.

So, if I change it to 2 doors swinging from the middle out, I will have a line right down the middle of my mirror..OK...I guess... just wondering what others have for medicine cabinets. Do you find a center line distracting/annoying? I've never had a mirrored door that large, the ones we have in our last unrenovated BR are the typical surface mounted with two tiny mirrored sections on the sides of a centred unopenable mirror.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?

After reading your message, I realized I have the same situation but never thought about it. When I went in to open the cabinet, I found that I tend to shift my upper body over a couple of inches as I open it (I never noticed the movement before). Remember, the door will only extend all the way out when it is at 90 degrees, when the door is probably on one side or the other of the sink.

RE: Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?

Katy, thanks for the big is your door? I know it's funny what we don't notice... a previous poster was talking about how her old bathroom vanity door couldn't be opened all the way cuz it hit something, and then I realized I'd had the same problem in BR for 15 years....imagine...I could only open one of my vanity doors a few inches and had never really noticed! LOL

If I miss something this won't be for lack of spending way too much time thinking things through!

RE: Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?

What amazed me is how many things just didn't occur to me until the last minute even though I thought about the changes to the bathroom for years before I could do it.

My medicine cabinet door is 23 inches wide, but comes out another 5 when fully open as it is wall hung (darn the builder and his irregularly placed studs). The vanity is 22 inches deep. The cabinets are a bit oversize for the vanity, but the storage was worth more to us than the look.

RE: Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?

Do you have enough wall space next to it to use a lateral door hinge? Then it won't rotate out at you.

I do hope you aren't putting medicine in those cabinets. I have a professional obligation to mention that the bathroom is the single worst place in the home to store medication. Moisture, heat, and light are not friends with meds.

RE: Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?


Thanks for the pic. Your vanity looks very practical. I want my cabinet to be semi-recessed, so that I'll gain the ~ 31/2" between studs we left room for (biggest advantage of DIY is being able to plan for all these things), AND grab a few extra inches, maybe another 3 1/2? to hang outside of wall so that shelves will be a really 'useful' 6" or so leaving some room for the door itself. I just got what you meant by your body swing, I was thinking sideways, but you mean backwards away from the counter...ahh! Do you think you would prefer 2 narrower doors to prevent that having to bend back, or if you had a free redo, would you stick with the single larger door? Keep in mind, my door will be even wider than yours.

Williamsem, thanks for the reminder. I keep my meds in my night table beside the bed. Vitamins in pantry in kitchen. Amazing that we all managed to stay alive for the past half century with our meds in the wrong place! LOL
Not sure what you mean by a lateral door hinge, but we are restricted by pendant lights on either side of door, Will have to make sure door (or doors) only open 90 degrees.

RE: Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?

In making choices, I was all about storage as I was losing over two feet of vanity (to make access easier for a relative with mobility issues).
I would keep the single door if I did it again. I don't notice the movement as I open the cabinet and like the clean look of the single door. I think I would be more aware of having to move if the door came out much further and I think that awareness would feel awkward to me, although as you pointed out it's amazing what we adapt to. You might want to measure a big piece of cardboard and tack or tape it up over your current sink so that it swings out where and how far you expect the cabinet to and see how much it affects you. It may look funny for a few days, but you'll be living with your decision for a long time.

RE: Medicine cabinet dimensions? Single or double door?

I think Williamsem is talking about a hinge on the side (lateral) of the cabinet instead of one down the middle. I agree. I would not want a line down the center of my beautiful face. Does your mirror have to be so wide?

When I was planning my cabinet I had to consider the faucet on/off handle not striking the bottom of the mirror when the faucet handle was in the up position and opening the cabinet door. You probably have thought of that, but just wanted to mention it since there were several comments in posts about interferences with old vanities and doors.

BTW, your are as funny as can be. I love reading your posts, especially when you follow your comments with "LOL". I don't know, I just laugh :) And today I need a laugh.

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