Choosing the right bathroom cabinetry can completely transform the look and feel of your bathroom. With so many options to consider from style to storage, it’s important to think through your needs and preferences before starting your bathroom cabinet selection process. Follow these bathroom cabinet buying tips to end up with storage solutions that are functional, organized, and match your personal style.

Determine Your Bathroom Storage Needs

Before even beginning to shop for bathroom cabinets, take stock of how much and what kind of storage you need. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:

  • How much space is available for bathroom cabinetry? Measure the walls and corners that could accommodate cabinets.
  • What will you need to store? Toiletries, medications, towels, cleaning supplies etc. Make a list.
  • How much storage space do these items require? Shelves, drawers, cabinets etc.
  • What items need to be easily accessible? Daily use toiletries for example.
  • What should be concealed? Messy items or private medications.
  • How will the cabinetry be used by various household members? Kids vs adults for instance.
  • Are there any specialty storage needs? Hair dryer holster, built-in hamper etc.

Once you know what you need to store and the approximate amount of space those items will take up, you can zero in on the right bathroom cabinet solutions.

Choose a Style

Bathroom cabinets come in a wide variety of styles to match any decor. Consider what look you’re going for in the room overall before selecting cabinetry.

Traditional Styles

  • Shaker: Simple, clean lines and recessed panel doors give these cabinets a timeless look. Often made of wood with visible grain.
  • Cottage: Distressed paints and finishes along with details like crown molding have a casual, country charm. Often constructed of wood.
  • Coastal: Weathered finishes in light wood tones or painted colors reflect laid-back beach house style.

Contemporary Styles

  • Modern: Sleek, handle-free fronts and low-profile hardware lend a streamlined, sophisticated look. Often metal or thermofoil.
  • Transitional: Combines elements of traditional and contemporary, like clean lines with visible wood grain. Very versatile.
  • Euro Style: Ultra-sleek fronts with hidden hinges and pulls evoke European minimalism. Made of lacquered wood or thermofoil.

Color Palette

Neutral painted colors like white, gray and beige allow cabinets to blend in, while stained wood finishes add warmth. Bold paint colors like navy blue make the cabinets a dramatic focal point. The style you select will guide the finishes and colors that are appropriate.

Choose Quality Construction

Bathroom cabinets need to stand up to moisture and frequent use. Prioritize solid wood construction and water-resistant materials when making your selection.

  • Wood species: Oak, maple and cherry provide durability. Avoid particleboard.
  • Plywood: Look for plywood boxes and drawers, not weak particleboard.
  • Moisture resistance: Thermally fused melamine and polyurethane finishes repel moisture.
  • Dovetail joinery: Sign of quality in corner cabinet construction.
  • Soft-close: Hardware that prevents slamming doors and drawers.

Though quality cabinetry may cost more upfront, it will last much longer than lower-priced cabinets and save you money in the long run.

Types of Bathroom Cabinets

Once you know your general cabinetry style and desired features, it’s time to consider the specific types of bathroom cabinets needed.

Vanity Cabinets

Vanity cabinets provide ample storage while supporting the sink basin. Options include:

  • Single vanity – For smaller baths. Range from 24-36 inches wide.
  • Double vanity – Popular for shared baths. Range from 48-72 inches wide.
  • Vessel sink vanity – Supports modern above-counter sinks. Need height for faucets.
  • Transitional vanity – Combine enclosed cabinets with open shelving. Extra storage with visual lightness.
  • Wall mount vanity – Great for small spaces. Floating cabinet attaches directly to wall.

Medicine Cabinets

Medicine cabinets provide concealed storage behind the bathroom mirror. Choices include:

  • Surface mount – Installs directly on wall surface. Easy upgrade.
  • Recessed – Flush installation between wall studs. Seamless look.
  • Mirrored – Mirror inside and out for opened storage.
  • Lighted – Integrated lighting for task visibility.
  • Magnifying – One side has magnifying mirror. Great for makeup.

Linen Cabinets

Freestanding linen cabinets provide specialized storage for towels and toiletries. Consider:

  • Floor cabinets – Taller cabinets with shelves and drawers. Use space efficiently.
  • Wall cabinets – Shorter cabinets mount directly on wall. Low profile.
  • Open shelving – No doors for easy access. Better for tidy items.
  • Enclosed – Doors conceal contents. Better for messy items.
  • Pull-out trays – Full extension slides access items in back.

Other Specialty Cabinets

Unique bathroom cabinet options also include:

  • Apothecary cabinets – Drawers of various sizes to organize supplies. Often with shaker style doors.
  • Niche cabinets – Customized to fit around pipes or windows. Make use of awkward areas.
  • Laundry hamper cabinet – Hide laundry bins inside cabinet front. Some feature inner hampers on slide-out trays.
  • Ladder towel racks – Vertical towel storage mounted on cabinet exteriors or walls.

Placement Planning

Bathroom cabinet placement requires careful planning. Measure thoroughly and create a layout plan ensuring cabinets:

  • Are sized appropriately for the walls and corners they will inhabit.
  • Do not block windows, doors or each other when opened.
  • Allow minimum of 21 inches clearance in front of toilets and sinks.
  • Support sink basins directly with no overhang if using integrated top mount sink.
  • Are anchored securely to wall studs, not just drywall.

Paying attention to cabinet measurements and clearance issues during planning can prevent headaches during installation.

Cabinet Installation

Installing bathroom cabinets is best left to professionals in most cases. But for DIYers, here are some bathroom cabinet installation tips:

  • Start by removing existing cabinets safely. Protect flooring.
  • Thoroughly clean the installation area and repair any wall defects.
  • Measure and mark stud locations to mount cabinets directly into wall framing.
  • Use shims during mounting to level wall cabinets and fill any gaps behind base cabinets.
  • Anchor firmly using screws long enough to penetrate studs. Cabinets should not wobble or flex when installed.
  • Use silicone caulk to seal all edges and around sink basin and countertop.
  • Attach doors, adjust shelving/hardware and touch up any final details.

Taking the time to install bathroom cabinets correctly will ensure they last for many years of frequent use ahead.

Bathroom Cabinet Organization Ideas

Stocking your freshly installed bathroom cabinets in an organized fashion will set you up for success. Follow these tips:

  • Categorize: Group like items together – first aid, cosmetics, cleaning etc.
  • Contain: Use organizer bins, turntables and trays to partition items.
  • Conceal: Store private items or cleaning products behind closed cabinet doors.
  • Prioritize: Keep frequently used items readily accessible.
  • Maximize: Use shelf risers, stackable bins and hanging racks to optimize vertical storage.
  • Minimize: Limit rarely used items cluttering prime real estate.
  • Strategize: Place items near where they will be used – soap by sink, meds by mirror etc.

An organized bathroom cabinet system reduces morning rush time and makes cleaning day simpler. Take time to design a system that works for your family’s needs.

Bathroom Cabinet Upgrades

Even if you are happy with your current bathroom cabinetry style and storage, a few clever upgrades can refresh their look and function.

Lighting Updates

  • Add lighting inside medicine cabinets or above vanities for task visibility.
  • Under cabinet LED strip lighting illuminates countertops.
  • Swap out dated lighting fixtures for modern slim profile lights.

Hardware Updates

  • Sleek cup or bar pulls have a contemporary vibe.
  • Unlacquered brass finishes add warmth.
  • Change out clearance hinges for soft-close functionality.

Style Updates

  • New paint color quickly updates cabinets’ style. Deep hues are trending.
  • Replace dated laminate countertops with quartz or solid surface.
  • Add trim details like crown molding for a built-in custom look.

Even small upgrades can bring new life to existing bathroom cabinets.

Bathroom Cabinet Q&A

Still have questions about choosing the ideal bathroom cabinets? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How much do bathroom cabinets cost?

Bathroom cabinet pricing can range significantly based on size, materials, included fixtures and accessories. Typical ranges:

  • Vanities: $150 – $2000
  • Medicine cabinets: $100 – $700
  • Linen cabinets: $300 – $1000

What is the most popular bathroom cabinet style?

Transitional style combining elements of traditional and contemporary is currently most popular for blending with a variety of decor. White painted finishes give versatility.

How do you organize a small bathroom cabinet?

Maximize vertical space with shelf risers and hanging storage. Use stacking bins and turntables to optimize tight spaces. Limit contents to essentials and stow lesser used items elsewhere.

How deep should bathroom cabinets be?

Standard bathroom cabinet depths are 21 to 24 inches. Deeper cabinets around 30 inches can accommodate larger items but may obstruct doors and windows. Adjust depth based on available space and needs.

Should medicine cabinets be recessed?

Recessed medicine cabinets have a streamlined built-in look. But surface mount cabinets are simpler for DIY upgrades. Choose based on your cabinetry goals and installation skills.


Selecting stylish, functional bathroom cabinets can help optimize both storage and style in the room. By first identifying your needs and style preferences, then choosing quality construction tailored to the available space, you can end up with a custom-looking cabinetry layout sure to serve your household well for years ahead. Invest wisely in durable bathroom cabinets and enjoy much easier morning and cleaning routines thanks to a more organized and beautiful space.