How to Install a Surface Mount Medicine Cabinet

medicine cabinet
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15-75
What You'll Need
Safety goggles
A friend or helper
Wallboard anchors or screws

If you are redecorating or remodeling your bathroom, you may want to install a surface mount medicine cabinet. This type of medicine cabinet is easy to install. A surface mount medicine cabinet is good to install in your home if you are a beginner. It's a good choice for a larger family as they generally are deeper and can hold more than a recessed mount cabinet. Here is how to install a surface mount medicine cabinet.

Step 1 - Position the Cabinet

Determine if you have plaster walls or drywall construction, because this will determine if you need anchors or screws to hold the cabinet on the wall. Then hold the cabinet where you want it and have someone mark on the wall the entire top edge of the cabinet. Use your level to make sure this line is level and straight before you drill any holes. You can't take too much time making sure its level because a slight difference will be noticeable to you when finished. Double check the correct hanging height so it's just right for you and other adult members of the household. If the doors and shelves of the cabinet can be removed, you may find hanging it easier to accomplish.

Step 2 - Install the Cabinet

Once you have the lines level where you will hang the medicine cabinet, have someone hold the cabinet up to the wall again along those lines and mark where you want the holes to be drilled in the wall. Most medicine cabinets have predrilled holes through them, but if yours doesn't, you will need to mark the inside of the cabinet also. It is recommended that you put 2 screws or anchors toward the top of the cabinet and at least 1 toward the bottom center. Using the size drill bit you need, drill the hole through the cabinet and into the wall. If you are drilling into a hollow drywall you will hit dead space when you're through. Insert the anchor screws through the cabinet and into the wall as instructed on the screw packages. Tighten until the anchor on the screw flares out inside the wall and holds the cabinet tight. With regular screws, you will screw into the wall until the head of the screw is tight against the medicine cabinet.

If you are hanging on a drywall construction wall, you can also use a stud finder to find the studs in the wall so you can use wood screws to hang the cabinet instead of drywall anchors, if you prefer to use those.