• icon-wishlist
  • icon-cart

Install a recessed medicine cabinet

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : 1 day

Available in a variety of styles, sizes, and finishes, a recessed medicine cabinet can make even the smallest washroom stylish and functional without taking up precious space. A pre-assembled cabinet comes ready to mount for a finished look without a lot of fuss.
This project will help you plan your space, cut an opening in the washroom wall, and build a frame that will support your cabinet. If you have the tools and skill to cut drywall and screw wood together, and the patience to measure carefully, you can install a recessed medicine cabinet in less than a day.


Tools and materials required


  • Crosscut saw
  • Drill
  • Flashlight
  • Keyhole saw
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife


  • Recessed medicine cabinet
  • Caulk
  • 2 ½" decking screws
  • 2" x 4" lumber (8'-10' for the cabinet framing)
  • Drywall piece, screws, tape, and spackling for wall repair

Before Assembly


This project uses a pre-assembled cabinet that’s specifically designed to nestle into a wall opening and frame. Before you shop for a recessed medicine cabinet, consider these points:

  • Talk to a qualified pro if you’ll need to remove or relocate electrical wires, plumbing, or load-bearing studs. It’s important to do the job properly, safely, and in compliance with local building codes.
  • Determine the cabinet size that best fits your space. Will you be able to see your face and some of your body in the mirror? What about the people you’ll share the room with?
  • Which way should the door swing? Some cabinets are reversible, others are not. Will the door hit the faucet, electrical outlet, or knock down items that you keep on the sink?
  • Most homes built after World War II have walls made of wood framing and drywall. Older homes may use plaster on wood lath strips or metal mesh. Cutting your wall opening may take more time (and tin snips if you run into metal lath).
  • Cabinets come in lots of different styles. If you’re renovating your washroom, look for a cabinet with trim and moulding to match the rest of the room.
  • When you bring home your cabinet, make sure it matches the measurements, hinge placement, and style you need before you start work.
  • Read the instructions. There’s probably an installation guide tucked in the box with your new cabinet. Check it out!


A recessed medicine cabinet should be one of the last items installed in new construction or a washroom renovation to avoid contact with paint, solvents, cleaners, and other potential hazards.
If at any point you’re unsure of what you’re doing, call a qualified contractor. An hour spent with a pro will save you plenty in time, materials, potential code violations, and future repairs.


Show All StepsClose All Steps
Recessed medicine cabinet, finished installation
Install a recessed medicine cabinet