Surface mounting medicine cabinet

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Old 07-23-16, 05:14 PM
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Surface mounting medicine cabinet

I just bought my first house, a rowhome in Baltimore built in 1920 and last rehabbed in 2006. I'm trying to replace the tiny medicine cabinet in the bathroom, so i bought a 24x30 Pegasus model 511278. This thing weighs about 40lbs unloaded. The house has cold formed steel framing, which i thought was entirely non-load bearing. I've come to learn that the framing on one side of the house is offset from the shared brick wall by 1-2'. I can shine a flashlight up from the basement to the second floor. There's a bunch of duct work, wiring, piping, etc in that area. The problem is that i don't see any of the original second floor timber joists framing into their pockets in the shared brick wall. I think they may now be bearing on the cold formed steel framing. I tried unsuccessfully to confirmthis through vents, but I'll try with my bore scope later. It's a pretty straight sight from the basement, so there clearly are no joists framing in at that location. So onto the bathroom, there is only 1 steel stud in the wall where the medicine cabinet goes. Its a small bathroom, and i think there are studs at the corners, but there's only 1 in the middle... pretty sure they exceeded 18" spacing lol. The wall is flexible to. I can push on it and it moves much easier than our should, even the stud moves a little. How on earth can i mount this cabinet? The stud is offset from the CL cabinet by a good 6-8". I don't see drywall anchors being sufficient here. How else can i mount this thing without it crashing down on me?
 
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Old 07-23-16, 09:26 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Not the pro here but trying to follow along.

If the house was re-habbed.... I'm assuming the bathroom was too. There must be something more that one steel stud in the wall.

What is the wall constructed of..... sheetrock ?

Just as an aside.... normally when a house is re-habbed it's brought up to the current codes. Here, in NJ, the basement would have to be fire stopped to not allow fire to travel up the wall.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 10:30 PM
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Sorry, it's hard to explain quickly. I posted a link below with a couple photos to help clarify. This was the original location of the bathroom. If i remove the access hatch for my tub's motor, i can see the old tile beneath. As you can see in the photos, the wall bumps out 1' at the tub. At the inside corner there's a stud, there's a stud to the right of the receptical, and a stud at the right corner of the room. I'm assuming the drywall on the studs is the thinnest available lol. What's that 1/2"? 3/8"? Whatever it i is, its thin. There's an engineer's scale on the shelf... for scale (12.5" out-to-out). That bump out at the tub wasnt originally there since i can see the old tile underneath through the motor hatch and the tile goes back to another wall behind the current one. There are a couple "bump-outs" like this, and they're usually for ductwork or an old unused/repurposed fireplace. However on this side of the house, the entire wall framing is offset from the brick, not just the bumped out sections . There's a large gap between the framing and brick, and I'm sure fire would love to go up in it (my gas furnace is right at the opening). I'll have to try to snap a pic of it tomorrow. Nobody follows code down here, man. I must have looked at 30-50 rehabs in my house hunting. I can count on one hand how many pulled permits, and most were full gut jobs. This house was rehabbed 10 years ago, but Baltimore city permitting records only go back 7 years. So who the ef knows what they did here.


House - Album on Imgur
 
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Old 07-25-16, 09:03 AM
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I've come up with a potential solution. I got a 24x12 sheet of galvanized steel. I'm going to screw one side of it to the stud and [try] to screw the other side to the corner stud. I'm also going to throw a could drywall anchors in as well. From there, I will mount the medicine cabinet support rail. I'm hoping that will provide adequate strength to support the fully loaded cabinet.
 
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Old 07-25-16, 11:10 AM
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The sheet metal will be on the wall and attach to stud near electrical receptacle and extend to the right and attach to the next receptacle? Why not do just cut out a section of drywall, slide in a piece of 2 X and screw each end to a stud....mount medicine cabinet to this board? Depending on the stud shape you may have to open the wall at each stud in order to secure the 2 X.
 
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Old 07-25-16, 11:14 AM
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I meant to say next stud.....not receptacle. I did an edit but it did not get saved.
 
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Old 07-25-16, 12:12 PM
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That is essentially the same concept. I just think the sheet steel would be easier and would certainly look better. I really don't want this thing sticking out any further than it has to. With a 2x, I'd either have to fasten it to the stud flange or somehow fasten it to the web. The former would have the 2x stick out an inch past the drywall, which would look terrible. The latter would be very difficult to connect considering I'd be fastening to the front (open) side of the C-shape stud. I'd have to trim the 2x for flush-mounting. This also means I'd have no additional support on the other side of the stud unless I added a second flush-mounted 2x in the adjacent bay. And if I don't have enough exposed flange at the corner stud, it would be hard or impossibly to fasten a 2x to it. With sheet steel, I don't need much flange to get a couple screws in there. If these were 2x4 studs, this would be a million times easier lol
 
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Old 07-25-16, 01:23 PM
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Your call. I was thinking of screwing a Simpson hanger to the stud that would support the 2 X. The 2 X would be installed with its wide side facing out. The hanger would be screwed to the side of the stud in whatever location would have the 2 X flush with the back of the drywall/medicine cabinet.
Just my 2 cents.
 
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Old 07-25-16, 02:45 PM
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I just can't see getting a drill/screwdriver in there easily. Maybe it wont be so bad. I'm also thinking about cutting a hole in the drywall 1-2' to the left and sticking a camera in there to snoop around and get an idea of exactly what I'm working with. May be the best option.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 11:27 AM
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Figured I'd post an update for anyone with a similar problem stumbling upon this thread.

About a month after my last post I finally got to installing this cabinet. I had purchased the sheet steel, but I quickly discovered that my wall is not straight. It curves about a horizontal axis. So the non-rigid sheet steel was out of question. I ultimately just decided to go with plywood. I also picked up a magnetic stud finder on Amazon (probably one of the best sub-$10 purchases I've even made). Turns out I DO have more studs back there! I know, I know, I'm a moron. The studs are just so flimsy that they hardly stiffen the wall. In my defense, I have very limited experience with steel framing.

I cut out a section of drywall and could see the old bathroom tile (linoleum) about 18" beyond the framing. I found a open can of Comet cleaner back there on a ledge of sorts, near a bunch of heavily deteriorated sheet rock. Between the two exposed studs, there was an insulated duct which I couldn't figure out what was for. The duct looks fairly new. I don't have vents/fans in any room in the house. The furnace exhaust goes through an old chimney, the dryer vent goes out back, the range exhaust fan is part of the microwave and it directs the exhaust directly into your face , and there are no heat/AC outlets in the 2nd floor ceiling (which wouldn't be insulated anyway I assume). So I'm not sure what that duct is for, but it doesn't matter anyway. I'm just glad I cut out the drywall to find it instead of puncturing it with a wall anchor or something. Also discovered my bathroom duplex receptacle is wired with 14-2

I cut two 4ft long sections of 2x4 and fastened them to the steel studs for additional support. I cut pieces of 2x4 and plywood and fastened them to the back side of the sheet rock around the perimeter of the hole, so I could pull the sheet rock flush(ish) with the plywood. I fastened the plywood to both steel and wood studs. Then I mounted the cabinet, adding an additional aluminum angle brackets since the one provided is wholly insufficient to support the load.

Now this medicine cabinet could hold an elephant The plywood is only exposed at the top and bottom of cabinet, but I think I should be able to cover it up pretty well when I patch and paint. I noticed recently that the door isn't quite aligned with the cabinet. I'm not sure if it just needs an adjustment or if I still have some curvature in the wall. I will eventually get to investigating that ha ha.
 
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