How To Install a Hanging Bathroom Cabinet The Easy Way

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    If you have a small bathroom then storage is a must. You may find that installing shelves is an option but many people prefer to go with a basic hanging cabinet that can be positioned over your toilet.

    The cost of these cabinets is pretty minimal. You can normally pick them up at a retail store or online for about $25 and they will help you maximize your space and let you store things like extra towels, toilet paper, aftershave and shavers that you want off your vanity top. They are also nice for placing a small plant or a bathroom freshener on top.

    By installing one with a door it lets you keep some extras safe from accidentally falling in the toilet on that day you wake up late for work. So the cost and the time to install one will be paid back really quickly.

    Models come in all different styles from modern to antique and in colors ranging from actual wood to painted and even basic white vinyl that is easy to care for. Normally the wood designs have a simulated wood side but if you look long enough you might find one that is made completely of natural wood.

    I personally like the ones with a door that has a magnetic lock or a magnet that holds the door shut. They are nice because they hold the door closed so it won’t swing open when you don’t want it to.

    Tools You will need to install a bathroom cabinet

    The tools you will need are pretty basic. Although you might benefit from a drill to drill the holes for the screws that will hold the cabinet to the wall I find it easier to use a awl punch to slowly drive a hole into the wall.You can normally drive these holes by hand but you may need a hammer.

    Other things you will need include drywall anchors for all of the screws that hold the cabinet to the wall. They are normally included but if not you can get a package of assorted sizes at the store for a dollar or two. You will need a screwdriver to install the screws.

    You will also need a level for making sure the cabinet is plum and level and a pencil just to make light guide marks. If you are concerned about leaving pencil marks on the wall you can apply masking tape and make your marks on that but you are just as likely to pull up some paint when you remove the tape so just make light lines on the wall that you know you can erase.

    Another important thing you will need that will make this job a million times easier and more secure is a small piece of wood that you will mount under the cabinet to support it while you install the cabinet and then after it is installed to reduce stress on the screws used to hold the cabinet to the wall.

    Often these boards are used to install kitchen cabinets but then removed but because the quality of smaller bathroom cabinets leave a lot to be desired I really suggest that you keep the support board in place after you mount the cabinet. It will reduce the likelihood of your cabinet pulling away from the wall or future problems.

    Because this board will be left in place it should be of like type and quality to match the cabinet. If you pick oak cabinets you can pickup a 1inch by 2 foot oak board for a couple dollars at your supply center and if you have painted cabinets you can paint the board to match the cabinet or the wall.

    Lets install the Bathroom Cabinet

    Ok so lets get started installing the cabinet. The first thing you want to do is assemble the cabinet if yours didn’t come preassembeled. This is normally really easy and requires only a few screws provided to get the sides and back on.

    When Installing the back which is normally very thin wood or even a heavy type cardboard product I suggest that you glue the edges to the sides of the cabinet. Wood Glue would probably work or a construction not craft quality hot glue would be better.

    Now that the cabinet is ready to be installed you need to find where on the wall you want to hang it.

    First use a tape measure to figure out the basic place it will be positioned and then once you have decided you can place the cabinet up against the wall to check its position.

    If you are hanging it over the toilet be careful that the cabinet won’t cause you headroom problems. I actually removed about 4 inches of depth on my cabinet while I was assembling it so it would not hang over the toilet as far but this means fewer things can be stored in it. It is a good tradeoff for my situation.

    While the cabinet is against the wall where you want to hang it mark with a pencil on the lower edge of the cabinet to set its height.

    Now you can remove the cabinet and begin installing your support board.

    Your support board should have 3 holes. One in the direct center and two at the edges about an inch in from the ends.

    Find the center stud behind the toilet or install the center drywall anchor for your support board.

    If you are installing an anchor use your awl to drill your hole and then insert the anchor on the end of a screw using the screw as a tool. You will need to remove the screw to attach the board so only insert the screw into the anchor a few threads.

    Now you can place the board over the center screw and insert the screw. Tighten the center screw until it is just tight enough that you can still move the board .. not all the way.

    Take your level and place it on the board and find the level point.

    Now you can mark the holes for the final two screws by placing the awl through the hole in the board and into the drywall.

    Twist the board enough that you can insert your anchors then attach the outside two screws on your support board and tighten everything down snug. Remember these are drywall anchors so you don’t want to use all of your might to tighten the screws just make sure they are really snug and the board is tight to the wall.

    Now you can place your cabinet on your support board and against the wall.

    There will be about 6 to 8 more screws at the top and inside the cabinet that need to be inserted to hold the cabinet to the wall.

    Do the same thing you did with the final two screws for the support board.

    Use the awl to mark the locations of the holes by pushing the awl through the holes in the cabinet and into the drywall.

    Now remove your cabinet from the wall and insert your drywall anchors after making holes with the awl or a drill.

    Now finalize the anchoring of the cabinet to the wall by placing the cabinet against the wall and inserting all the screws. When you insert the screws keep them loose until you have got all of the screws started. Once they are all started in the anchors you can begin tightening them all down.

    Once they are all tight you are done.

    Step back and check out your work.

    Test your cabinet by placing some pressure on it with your hand to make sure it is secure. These cabinets only take about 35 pounds of weight at most so don’t be too aggressive.

    Once you are happy with your work start filling your cabinet with stuff.

    Final Note

    Installing a cabinet in your bathroom isn’t really that difficult. You only need a few simple tools and hand tools should get you through the job but if you have a drill and a stud finder you can benefit by having them around.

    The use of the support board is something necessary but not required. You may not like the way it looks and that is fine if your cabinet is able to support the load on its own. However if you are only attaching the cabinet through the hard cardboard or light wood back then do not expect it to stay secure. They just don’t. Another option would be to add corner mounts inside the cabinet if you don’t like the way the support board looks.

    This project should take you about 2 hours the first time you try it if that includes assembling the cabinet. If you take a bit longer just take your time and do things right.

    Remember each screw needs to go into the wood studs of the wall or into a drywall anchor or the cabinet will definitely fail in the future.

    Good luck and I hope this helps with your storage needs.



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