Unlike traditional recessed medicine cabinets, flush-mount cabinets hang on top of the wall’s surface. This makes them much easier to install because they do not require any cutting into the wall. Flush-mount cabinets are often the only option for apartment renters who are not allowed to make major renovations to their unit. They also offer more flexibility than installing traditional cabinets and can easily be switched to a different style if you decide on a new decorating scheme for your home.
Installing a flush-mount cabinet: Finding the studs
When deciding where to install your flush-mount bathroom cabinet, you must first locate the studs inside the wall. Once you know where the studs are, you can measure the available width and select a cabinet that is the right size to cover the space when centered on a stud. Using a stud finder is the easiest way to locate the studs, but most bathroom walls are thin enough that the old-fashioned tapping method still works. Simply tap the wall until you hear the solid sound of a stud behind the drywall. The space between studs should give a noticeably more hollow sound.
Installing a flush-mount cabinet: Testing your stud locations
Drive in a series of test nails to be sure you have accurately located the stud. Begin with one test nail in your estimate of the stud’s center. If it goes in solidly, drive in two more nails, each of them about 3/4 inch to the side of the first nail. If either one of these nails misses the stud, adjust your estimate of the stud’s center and try again until you have a series of three solid points, all 3/4 of an inch apart. If you can, try to find a second stud and use both of those to hang your flush-mount bathroom cabinet. This gives you a much sturdier base and will prevent the cabinet from swinging or wobbling on the wall.
Installing a flush-mount cabinet: Use wall anchors when necessary
You can further reinforce your flush-mount bathroom cabinet by placing plastic wall anchors into each hole before the installation. This will greatly reduce the swinging and twisting that can occur if you are unable to find more than one stud to use as a base for the cabinet. After locating the studs, clearly mark off your hole locations, drill the holes, and install your wall anchors. If you are only using one stud, be sure to drill a series of holes near the top and bottom of your flush-mount cabinet, along with several in the middle if you have space.