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The Modern Medicine Cabinet

We don’t normally think of the words ‘medicine’ and ‘style’ as a good match, and normally they are not. Unfortunately, the former is an inescapable part of our lives and subsequently, a standard feature of bathroom design, modern or not. That need for health, well being, and bathroom storage has led modern medicine cabinet manufacturers on a mission to somehow meld function and style into a gleaming product that friends and neighbors will wish they had.

Every bathroom needs a mirror, and it is behind mirrors that medicine cabinets have long hidden and where they continue to do so. Some traditions need no fixing (although transparent glass doors are not unheard of). The appeal of the modern medicine cabinet is in its diversity. Choices now include:

  • Location - Surface mount, recessed, or corner cabinets.
  • Size - 12-24 in. wide, 16-36 in. high.
  • Shape - Square, rectangular, oval, arched, etc.
  • Doors - Single-, double-, triple-door models are all common choices.
  • Shelves - Adjustable or fixed, glass or steel, and so on.
  • Mirrors - Beveled or flat edges, exterior and interior of cabinet, framed in or not.
  • Frames - Anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and custom wood frames are a few.
  • Lights - Optional light bars detached above or attached at the sides, single lights atop the cabinet, interior lit and more.

The options are seemingly endless and go on to include such features as bathroom cabinet and vanity combos. Many companies allow you several choices for each product, most of which affect the end price. And in price, modern medicine cabinets are equally diverse. NuTone makes the most affordable products, ranging from about $100 - $400 on average. But the higher end appears quickly. You’ll soon find cabinets beginning at $500 and moving higher. Here are a few models from MedicineCabinetShop.com that illustrate the diversity in both function and price of the modern medicine cabinet.

  • NuTone Horizon Triple Door Surface Mount Medicine Cabinet offers a triple-door design, beveled-edge mirrors, two interior shelves, concealed hinges, your choice in width (from 24” to 48”), and an optional light bar. With all those options comes a wide price range; list price varies from $260 to $660, depending on size and the light bar.
  • Robern Modern Medicine Cabinet even purports to represent all-things-modern with this sleek but simple design. What sets it apart are its features: a swing-out, interior magnifying mirror for makeup application, optional electrical outlet, widths between 16 and 24 inches, and adjustable hinges. The 24-inch, electrical, recessed model retails at nearly $1,300.
  • NuTone Surface Mount Corner Cabinet is as basic as a corner mount medicine cabinet can be. It has a chrome frame and a frameless look, steel body and is eight inches deep at its deepest. For simplicity you get a reasonable list price of $150. (Compare that to a Robern deep corner cabinet starting at $1,010.)

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