Bathroom Bathroom - Medicine Cabinet Installation
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When updating bathrooms, new styles of medicine cabinets can match any d�cor, and give your room a fresh look. If you have separate lighting features not connected to your current medicine cabinet, you may want to leave them if they match your new cabinet. Otherwise, choose a medicine cabinet that has lights attached making sure the cabinet comes equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle.

To install your new medicine cabinet with lights, plan on two hours and for cabinets without lights, 45 minutes. If you know about electricity, you can install the lights yourself. Otherwise, you will need to have an electrician help you with this portion of the install. Regardless, make sure the electricity is turned off before you start! There are two ways to mount your medicine cabinet; the flush-mounted is where the cabinet will be installed flush against the wall, and the recessed, which is set within the wall. If your current medicine cabinet is a flush-mounted, more than likely there is plumbing behind it, making a recessed install impossible. If you want a recessed cabinet, the wall will have to be opened to determine what lies behind. You can do this by opening a small 4" x 4" space.

To get started, you need several items such as the new cabinet, trim molding, if needed, shims, cable connectors, electrical cable, junction box, twist-on wire connectors, electrical tape and wire strippers (when installing lights), stud finder, drill, leveler, screwdriver, saber or keyhole saw, chisel, tape measure, framing square, lineman's pliers, pencil, and a utility knife. Start by shutting off the power at the service panel, remove light bulbs and outlet covers, disconnect the wires, and loosen the cable clamps. Remove the items out of the cabinet and locate the nails or screws holding it in place. Remove those and carefully lift off the old cabinet, being careful not to damage the electrical cables. Measure the opening and purchase a new cabinet that will fit.

Using the stud finder, mark the area where the cabinet will be positioned in between the studs. If this is impossible, a small notch may have to be cut out to make room. Using your pencil, draw the opening of the cabinet on your wall, making sure it is level and centered over your sink. Also, make sure the height is right for everyone in the family. As you cut out any of the space, make sure you do not cut into the pipes or electrical cable. This is one part of the project that you need to take your time and not be rushed so cut slowly. If necessary, notch the studs and if electrical cable has to be moved, double check to ensure the power is off. Use the wire connectors, attaching the white wires to white, black to black, and green to green. Run the power to the switch and then to the opening. If hairdryers, curling irons, electric razors, or anything that will use amperage, since you will be installing a receptacle, you need to ensure the circuit does not service any other high amperage outlet or appliance. The wire connections need to be inside the junction box that you install in the wall or outside as part of the medicine cabinet. The cable sheath needs to be stripped as well as the wire ends. Now connect to the wires, again white-to-white, black-to-black, and green-to-green. Put the cover plate back on and make sure the cable is secure.

You will now slide the cabinet securely into place, making sure it is level. Check the doors to see if they open and close without problems and then attach the cabinet, studs, and framing pieces by securing the screws. If you have trouble getting the cabinet to slide into place due to an obstruction in the wall, slide it back as far as possible and then attach it to the studs with screws. Finally, the perimeter of the medicine cabinet will be wrapped with molding to cover up any gaps that there might be between the cabinet and the wall. Once everything is together, replace the light bulbs, turn the power back on, and try it.
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