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How to Build A Bathroom Storage Cabinet (DIY)

How to Build A Bathroom Storage Cabinet (DIY)

A built-in bathroom cabinet creates extra storage space without taking up floor space. It’s also moderately easy to build, especially if your bathroom already has a recessed nook that you can modify.

However, recessed nook or not, all you need to build an in-wall bathroom cabinet are some DIY know-how, a good guide and 6-8 hours of work. We have decided to create the best guide that the Internet has to offer on this subject. Keep reading to learn how to build a bathroom storage cabinet yourself.

This article will take you through the entire process in three stages. First, we will discuss the materials you need. Then, we will walk you through the steps before discussing some tips that will make the job much easier and more successful.

Materials and tools that you’ll need

Materials 

  • 1×4 wood 
  • 1/4 inch plywood
  • 2×4 wood 
  • 1×2 wood 
  • Door hinges 
  • Glass shelves 
  • Cabinet doors
  • Glass shelves 

Tools 

  • Circular saw
  • Masking tape 
  • Stud finder 
  • Pencil and paper
  • Flashlight 
  • Drywall saw
  • Square 
  • Pocket hole jig 
  • Tape measure 
  • Brad nailer 
Materials and tools

A step-by-step guide to building a bathroom storage cabinet

  1. Determine the dimensions of the built-in cabinet box

You can use any dimensions of your choice but this guide will use a height of 68 inches and a width of 26 inches. As for depth, our built-in bathroom cabinet will be as deep as the space inside the drywall.

After deciding on the dimensions, create a drawing of the cabinet box. This drawing doesn’t have to be to scale or perfect. It only exists to give you a visual reference.  

  1. Choose a location

This step is already settled if your bathroom has a recessed nook. The nook would be the perfect spot for an in-wall bathroom cabinet. If that’s not the case, here is what you should do. 

Choose a wall that is not load-bearing and external. A load-bearing wall plays a role in the structural integrity of your building, while an external wall might contain insulation. So, you don’t want to mess with either of these two.

After choosing a wall, use masking tape to mark the dimensions of the cutout. It should be 1/4 inch wider and taller than the cabinet box.

Finally, use a stud finder to check for the area studs. Then, make holes to check for wires, pipework and other hindrances. Ideally, you should position your built-in bathroom cabinet in a location with no hindrances. If studs are in the way, it’s better not to remove more than one. 

  1. Build the cabinet box

Mark the 1×4s according to the dimensions for the sides (left and right), top and bottom of your built-in bathroom cabinet. Then, make the cuts using a circular saw. 

Cut another piece of 1×4 that will serve as the centre divider. This centre divider will divide the cabinet into two sections and provide stability.

Now, it’s time to make clearance holes. Make two clearance holes each at both ends of the left, right, top and bottom pieces of the cabinet box. These holes should be 3/4 inches from the edges. Mark the spots, then use a drill to make clearance holes for 5/32-inch screws. 

The next step is to make clearance holes for the middle divider. You need two holes each at the centre of the right and left side pieces of the cabinet box. As always, mark the spot before drilling. 

Finally, make clearance holes for the glass shelves. Do this according to the number of shelves you want to add and the spacing between them. For each shelf, you need two pin holes on both the right and left sides of the cabinet box. 

It’s time to assemble the cabinet box. Use 5/32 inch screws to join the top, bottom, left, right and centre divider together. Then, use 1/4 inch plywood to build the back of the in-wall bathroom cabinet box. Use 1-inch screws to attach this. Use a screw every 4’’. 

Build the cabinet box
  1. Make the cutout

It’s time to cut out the drywall to fit your in-wall bathroom cabinet. Since you have already marked the dimensions and done your research in step 2, you can start cutting immediately. Remember that this cutout should be 1/4 inch wider and taller than the cabinet box. 

Use a drywall saw to make the cuts. Be careful to prevent cutting into the drywall at the other end. 

After removing the drywall, it’s time to cut the stud. Mark the cut for 3-3/4 inches above and 1-1/2 inches below the cutout. This clearance space (and the one you created by making the cutout opening larger than the cabinet box) will allow room for the frame we will build in the next step. 

  1. Build a support frame for the in-wall bathroom cabinet

This support frame will make your built-in bathroom cabinet stable. You are going to build it by adding 2×4s on all four sides. Measure the dimensions. Then, cut the wood into the required sizes. 

Start with the header. Nail it to the stud above (the one you cut) and the ones on both sides. Use 12D nails. Then, add metal angle brackets (on both ends) for reinforcement. Add the sill, and the left and right pieces to complete this support frame. The sill should also be reinforced with metal angle brackets on both ends.      

  1. Check the fit

Set the cabinet box into the cutout opening to confirm that it fits. Everything should be in order if you have followed the instructions up to this point. But make adjustments (if need be) to ensure a good fit. Then, move on to the next step. 

  1. Build the face frame

Mark the 1×2s according to the dimensions you need for the face frame. Then, make the cuts. The face frame also needs five pieces of wood. These include left, right, top, bottom and centre divider pieces.

After cutting, make the clearance holes. Use a pocket hole jig to make two pocket screw holes each on both ends of the five pieces that will make up the face frame. Remember to mark the spots before you start drilling.

Finally, use 1-1/4 inch pocket screws to join the pieces together to create the face frame. You will need to clamp the edges together before adding screws. 

  1. Mount the face frame to the cabinet box

You can nail the face frame to the cabinet box. Then, use putty to cover the nails. However, we are going to use pocket screws instead. 

Make pocket screw holes on the outside of the cabinet box. Then, drill pocket screws through those holes to attach the face frame to the cabinet box. Remember to clamp the edges together before you start adding the screws. 

The face frame should overlap the cabinet box by 1/8 inch on all sides. Use a screw every 4 inches or so. You can also use glue for extra support. 

  1. Finish

The face frame and the cabinet interior are the most visible parts of an in-wall bathroom cabinet. So they need to look as good as possible. Prime, sand, trim, stain, caulk and paint as you deem fit. You should also caulk the joints and use cover putty to hide screws and blemishes.

  1. Attach the mounting plates for the hinges

Mark the spot before you start drilling. Here is a tip for anyone who wants to know how to build a bathroom storage cabinet or any other facility in their homes – “Always make markings before doing anything. It will make the project easier.” 

So, mark the spots where you want to install the hinges. Ensure everything aligns between the cabinet and the doors. Do this for the upper and lower sections of your built-in bathroom cabinet. Then, make the clearance holes and screw the mounting plates into place.

  1.  Fit the cabinet into the wall

It’s time to fit your built-in bathroom cabinet into its rightful place in the wall. Ensure the cabinet sits level and flush into the cutout. Then, use nails to secure it to the support frame you installed earlier.

Fit the cabinet into the wall
  1. Attach the doors

We recommend solid doors for the lower section and glass doors for the upper section of your in-wall bathroom cabinet. You can even leave the upper section as an open shelf. However, we will continue this guide with the assumption that you will choose the first recommendation. 

Measure the dimensions for the doors. Then, go to your favourite home improvement store or website to shop. Another option is to build the doors yourself. If you decide to buy, you can get doors with clearance holes for the hinges. 

However, you can also make those holes yourself. Make sure they align with the positions you used for the mounting plates (on the face frame of the cabinet). Then, secure the hinges to the doors and attach the latter to your built-in bathroom cabinet. 

  1. Install the glass shelves

You have already made the clearance holes. So, all you have to do is screw them into place. After that’s done, you can finish the cabinet one more time. Use caulk to seal seams and putty to hide screws and nails.   

Tips for building a built-in bathroom cabinet

Now that you know how to build a bathroom storage cabinet, here are some tips that will make your work easier and more professional.

  • Let the built-in bathroom cabinet complement the aesthetics of the rest of the bathroom space or even the entire house.
  • Use scrap wood to practise difficult steps. 
  • Choose high-quality, visually appealing wood for the face frame and cabinet doors    
built-in bathroom cabinet

Summary

Building the built-in bathroom cabinet yourself is smart. You get to add a valuable and beautiful storage space to your bathroom without spending much money. However, this is only advisable if you have relevant DIY experience.