Bathroom cabinets are an essential part of any bathroom’s storage and design. With so many options available, choosing the right bathroom cabinets for your space can be overwhelming. This complete guide for 2023 covers everything you need to know – from styles, sizes, and materials to organization, installation, and pricing. Read on for tips and ideas to help select the perfect bathroom cabinets for your home.
Bathroom Cabinet Styles
When selecting bathroom cabinets, one of the first decisions is the overall style. The most common types of cabinetry for bathrooms include:
Freestanding cabinets feature sides that are not connected to walls or other cabinets. They come in various shapes and sizes and work well for powder rooms or in combination with other cabinetry. Popular freestanding styles include:
- Floor cabinets – taller cabinets that sit directly on the floor. Great for extra storage.
- Wall cabinets – mounted on the wall for a floating look. Different widths available.
- Tower cabinets – tall and narrow, situated in a corner or next to sinks.
Base cabinets are designed to sit on the floor against the wall. They traditionally have a counter or sink on top. Standard base cabinet depths are 21-24 inches. Base cabinet types include:
- Single door – access via one door/drawer. Simple and affordable.
- Double door – two doors/drawers side-by-side. Offer more storage.
- Drawer stack – rows of wide drawers instead of doors. Customizable storage.
- Sink base – wider style meant for undermount sinks.
Wall cabinets mount directly onto the wall above counters or other cabinets. They come in set heights and widths. Most common options:
- Single door – one door/drawer. Available in various widths.
- Double door – side-by-side doors for more capacity.
- Open shelving – doorless for displaying items.
- Medicine cabinet – mirrors hide storage space behind.
Vanity cabinets are designed specifically for bathroom sinks. They are typically a sink base combined with a wall cabinet or mirror. Vanities come as:
- Single vanity – cabinet and sink for one user. Widths of 24-48 inches.
- Double vanity – longer cabinets for two sinks. Widths of 60 inches & up.
- Vanity combo – pre-packaged with sink and counter. Popular and affordable.
Linen cabinets provide enclosed storage for towels, toiletries, and other bathroom essentials. Key features include:
- Tower shape fits well in tight spaces.
- Made of moisture-resistant materials.
- Often has built-in hampers and pull-out shelves.
- Doors can be cabinets or louvered for ventilation.
Bathroom Cabinet Materials
Bathroom cabinets come in a range of materials, both natural and engineered. Consider the pros and cons of each when deciding on cabinet materials:
Wood cabinets add warmth and elegance to bathrooms. Different options include:
- Plywood – Made from wood veneers. Affordable and moisture-resistant.
- Particleboard – Engineered wood product. Prone to swelling from moisture.
- MDF – Medium density fiberboard. Smooth, consistent, and stable.
- Solid wood – Luxurious and durable but expensive. Requires sealing. Popular types are oak, maple, and cherry.
Thermofoil (or vinyl wrapped) cabinets consist of medium density fiberboard with a decorative vinyl film glued to the exterior. Key traits are:
- Extremely moisture and water resistant. Great for bathrooms.
- Vinyl film provides consistent, uniform finish. Available in many colors.
- Very affordable compared to wood.
- Won’t warp or peel like laminates.
- Can’t be refinished like real wood. New film needed when repairing damage.
Laminate bathroom cabinets have a resin and paper laminate glued over a particleboard or MDF core. Considerations include:
- Many color and finish options to match decor.
- More vulnerable to damage from moisture than thermofoil.
- Patterns go throughout so edges don’t show substrate underneath.
- Prone to chipping and peeling over time.
Metal cabinets include stainless steel, galvanized steel, and aluminum. Benefits are:
- Extremely durable and moisture resistant. Won’t rust, warp, or rot.
- Easy to clean and disinfect. Great for hygiene.
- Paintable for color customization.
- Provides an industrial, sleek look.
- Can dent and susceptible to scratches. Noisy when opening/closing.
Glass cabinet fronts make bathrooms feel more open and airy. Types include:
- Frosted or textured glass – obscures contents while allowing light.
- Etched glass – intricately carved for decoration.
- Leaded glass – small panes give vintage vibe.
- Mirrored cabinets – reflection makes room feel bigger.
Despite their elegance, all-glass cabinets are fragile and require vigilant cleaning. Many styles combine glass doors with sturdier cabinet box materials.
Bathroom Cabinet Sizes
Carefully considering cabinet sizes for your space ensures everything fits together harmoniously. Take measurements and sizes into account when planning:
- Height – standard bathroom base cabinets are 34-36 inches tall. Wall cabinets are commonly 30-36 inches high.
- Width – base cabinets come in widths ranging from 12-60+ inches wide, increasing in 3 inch increments. Standard widths are 18, 21, 24, 30 and 36 inches.
- Depth – depths run between 14 to 24 inches. Deeper cabinets offer more storage capacity.
- Door/drawer front size – measure existing openings to get the right replacement size.
- Toe kick height – standard is 3-4 inches for the recessed space under cabinets.
Take detailed measurements of your current bathroom space before selecting cabinet sizes to guarantee proper fit. Consider traffic flow, door and fixture clearances, and desired look. An experienced kitchen and bath designer can recommend ideal cabinet dimensions based on your bathroom’s footprint.
Bathroom Cabinet Organization
Outfitting your bathroom cabinets with helpful organizational systems makes finding and putting away items easy. Useful organizational tools include:
- Pull-out drawers – full extension drawers for visibility and access to contents in back. Optional compartments and dividers.
- Lazy susans – spinning trays to access items at back of corner cabinets.
- Tiered shelves – stacked shelves allowing you to see everything at a glance. For tall cabinets.
- Swing-out storage – vertical storage on hinges rotates for access to items behind it.
- Slide-out bins – containers on tracks pull out of cabinets for grabbing small items easily.
- Drawer organizers – cutlery-type dividers for sorting haircare, makeup, first aid, toiletries, and more.
- Bathroom hooks – hang towels, robes, necklaces on the inside of doors using over-cabinet hooks.
Glass organizers are great for additional storage on counter surfaces. Consider your most-used items and look for ways to organize them conveniently.
Bathroom Cabinet Installation
Once you’ve selected bathroom cabinets for your space, proper installation is key to getting them level, secure, and integrated into the room design. Here are important factors regarding cabinet installation:
- Hire a professional – especially for first time DIYers. Experienced pros get the job done efficiently and correctly.
- Reinforce walls – add wood blocking to provide solid attachment for wall cabinets.
- Proper ventilation – cabinets against exterior walls may need airflow space for moisture control.
- Level and plumb – use shims during installation to get cabinets perfectly straight and square.
- Anchor securely – attach to wall studs and use durable fasteners designed for the cabinet material.
- Seal surfaces – seal unfinished cabinet edges against moisture penetration. Apply silicone sealant around sinks and fixtures.
Trying to cut costs by installing cabinets yourself risks ending up with crooked units that don’t function properly and are unsafe. The small expense of an expert installation gives peace of mind your new bathroom cabinets will serve you well for years with proper maintenance.
Bathroom Cabinet Costs
The cost of new bathroom cabinets varies significantly based on the quality of materials and construction. On average, expect to budget:
- Economy – Particleboard or thermofoil. Under $75 per linear foot.
- Mid-range – Plywood and veneer laminates. $75-$200 per linear foot.
- Premium – Solid wood and high-end finishes. Over $200 per linear foot.
Other factors impacting total cabinet costs include:
- Number of bases/wall units needed
- Door styles – solid vs glass
- Added storage solutions and organizers
- Specialty custom sizes and finishes
- Required plumbing and electrical work
- Professional installation fees
Replacing just cabinet doors and hardware can refresh the look for much less cost than a full replacement. Shop sales and closeouts for significant savings on quality cabinets.
Bathroom Cabinet Trends 2023
Several bathroom cabinet trends are emerging for 2023. considerations for your new bathroom cabinetry:
Clean lines and a less is more philosophy define this trend toward minimalism. Key elements include:
- Shaker-style cabinets for a streamlined look
- Sleek hardware that blends into cabinets
- Glossy, flat fronts with integrated handles
- Custom configurations maximizing every inch
- Creative hidden storage solutions
Bringing the calming aspects of nature indoors is popular for wellness-oriented spaces like bathrooms. Ideas:
- Wood grain textures and finishes
- Natural stone and earth tone colors
- Organic shapes with rounded corners
- Faux greenery and living walls
- Hidden lighting for starry skies or dappled sunshine effects
Vintage charm and elements inspire many renovations. Mid-century modern, art deco, and other throwback styles are back with:
- Two-toned wood cabinet colors
- Distinctive hardware like geometric knobs
- Beveled edges, arched details, and chrome accents
- Glass door inserts or ornate metal grilles
- Subway tiles, terrazzo, and black and white checkerboard floors
For the ultimate pampering at home, look to high-end spas for luxe bathroom inspiration. Consider:
- Exotic materials like stone resin basins and quartz countertops
- Radiant heated floors
- Towel warmers and sauna-like steam showers
- Soft ambient mood lighting
- Space for covered jars of cotton balls, cotton swabs, soaps, bath salts and scrubs
Choosing the Perfect Bathroom Cabinets
With all of the options for styles, sizes, materials, and configurations, choosing the ideal bathroom cabinets may seem bewildering. Keep these tips in mind to select cabinetry that fulfills both form and function within your budget:
- Take detailed measurements of available space and plumbing locations.
- Minimize moisture damage risk by selecting water-resistant finishes like thermofoil.
- Opt for durable soft-closing hinges and drawers to reduce noise.
- Include plenty of flexible storage with drawers, pull-outs, and organizers.
- Check that medicine cabinets offer easy access to the lightbulbs.
- Ensure glass doors and drawers have ventilation to limit fogging.
- Combine complementary styles – wall cabinets can differ from base units.
- Hire an expert installer familiar with bathrooms.
The right bathroom cabinets help organize essentials for an uncluttered space, while providing stylish elements to your new design. Doing ample research helps you feel confident to make fitting choices. For a bathroom that neatly stores your toiletries and towels while matching your personal taste, follow the guidelines in this complete bathroom cabinet guide when planning your 2023 remodel.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bathroom Cabinets
Bathroom cabinets play an integral role in storage and functionality. Here are answers to some of the most common questions homeowners have when renovating:
How are bathroom cabinets different than kitchen cabinets?
Several key differences between kitchen and bathroom cabinets include:
- Materials – Bathroom cabinets need to withstand more moisture. Vinyl-wrapped, laminate, and thermofoil options are more common than all-wood.
- Sizes – Bathroom cabinetry is typically shallower and smaller than kitchen cabinets. Standard depth is 21-24 inches versus 25 inch base kitchen cabinets.
- Organization – Built-in storage for linens takes priority over kitchen goods. Pull-out trays and tilt-out hampers common.
- Style – More modern and transitional stylistic selections. Less ornate decorative choices.
- Hardware – Bathroom cabinets utilize more moisture resistant finishes in satin nickel, chrome, or brushed nickel rather than unlacquered brass.
What should be stored in bathroom cabinets?
Typical contents of bathroom cabinet storage include:
- Towels – folded washcloths, hand towels, bath towels, bath sheets
- Toilet paper – stash extra rolls out of sight
- Cleaning supplies – all purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, shower spray, etc.
- Toiletries – soap, shampoo, razors, cotton swabs, feminine products, etc.
- First aid items – bandages, ointments, medications, digital thermometer
- Hair care – brushes, blow dryers, styling products
- Décor – candles, trays, ceramics, baskets
Arrange items conveniently for daily use. Add drawer organizers to neatly sort and segregate different products.
How high should bathroom cabinets be above toilets?
Standard height from floor for bathroom cabinets over toilets is 56-60 inches. This allows clearance under cabinets for tall adults over 6 feet to stand comfortably. Place sconces on each side of mirrors at 60 inches high to provide sufficient light for grooming. Include electrical outlets above vanities or behind mirrors for convenient access.
How deep should bathroom cabinets be?
Popular depths for bathroom cabinets are:
- Vanity cabinets – 21-24 inches deep. 30 inches for double vanity.
- Linen cabinet – 12-15 inches deep. Good for narrow areas.
- Medicine cabinets – Recessed 5-7 inches into walls. Surface mount extended 3 inches.
- Base cabinets – 24 inches fits most bathrooms. Go deeper if space allows for more storage.
- Wall cabinets – 12-16 inches typical. Too deep looks cluttered.
Measure your bathroom’s dimensions and experiment with different depths when designing. Standard depths work for many situations but can be adjusted if needed. Deeper may increase capacity while more shallow can save space.
Should you caulk bathroom cabinets to the wall?
Proper caulking around bathroom cabinets is strongly recommended. Filling any gaps with flexible silicone caulk prevents moisture penetration behind cabinets. Caulk should be applied:
- Between base cabinets and floor
- Along the wall edge bordering countertops
- Around the perimeter of wall cabinets where they meet walls
- Behind sinks and faucets to seal edges
Match caulk colors to cabinet/wall colors. Clear caulk is useful for less visible areas. Proper caulking during installation protects cabinets from water damage.
The complete bathroom cabinet guide outlines everything required for choosing cabinetry that perfectly suits your space and lifestyle. Measure carefully, select durable low-maintenance materials, and incorporate smart storage systems. Look to 2023 design trends for inspiration to create a beautiful, relaxing oasis with vanities, medicine cabinets, and linen storage you’ll enjoy for years to come. Knowledge of available options, accurate planning, and proper installation will result in a stunning bathroom you love.