4 Expert Tips To Choose Bathroom Cabinets And Shelving

The bathroom is one of the smallest and yet the most functional areas of your house. To get the most out of its limited space, your bathroom needs plenty of cabinets and shelves that provide ample storage for toiletries while also adding to the style factor.

Here are our three expert tips to help you choose the best bathroom cabinets and shelves.

Table of Contents Hide

How to get the right size of bathroom cabinets and shelves?

The space in any typical bathroom is quite limited. Simply buying the biggest shelves available is not going to cut it. Before you embark on purchasing cabinets and shelves (or get them constructed), it is important to properly measure the space first.

The important thing to keep in mind is clearance. While extra storage is always great, ensure that any cabinets you install leave enough space for unimpeded movement through the bathroom.

Also, pay extra attention to the doors. Each of these cabinets is going to have its own door that swings open, which needs to be accounted for as well. You do not want to end up with cabinets that are so close together (or so deep) that opening the doors intrudes upon the available area.

And lastly, measure the walls themselves. You cannot just fill up every inch of the area available. Mark out no more than sixty percent of the wall for wall-mounted cabinets and shelves; leave the rest free.

What types of bathroom cabinets are available?

Thanks to the range of bathroom sizes across different homes, there are quite a few options for bathroom storage solutions out there. Depending on how much space you have available (and how much storage you wish to for) different options would work for you.

Want to make use of the space under the sink? => Vanity

A vanity base is simply a cabinet below your sink, concealing the piping and giving foundation for the sink to rest on. A spacious bathroom vanity is a must for any space efficient bathroom. While not strictly a bathroom cabinet, a vanity is a handy storage solution for the toiletries you need around your sink itself.

When choosing a vanity, the most important factor is to ensure that it matches the overall theme of your bathroom decoration, and does not look out of place from your other cabinets and shelves.

Matte White Manufactured Wood Bathroom Vanity
Honey Alder Double Bathroom Vanity Base
White Manufactured Wood Single Bathroom Vanity
Solid Manufactured Wood Double Bathroom Vanity
White Metal Pine Single Bathroom Vanity
Wood Knots Single Bathroom Vanity

Wish for a sturdy storage solution? => Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets are basically storage boxes. Usually constructed out of durable materials like plyboard or synthetic polymer sheets, frameless cabinets are one of the sturdiest bathroom storage solutions out there.

These units have a solid top as well as a back panel, which makes them suitable for both wall mounted installation or a floor plinth.

Most such cabinets have holes drilled at 32-mm increments of height along each side panel. These allow the cabinet to be fitted with hardware like European hinges, cabinet joinery fittings, shelf pins or even drawer slides.

White Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Cabinet
Black Solid Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Cabinet
White Solid Wood Wall Mounted Cabinet
Beige Undertones Wall Mounted Cabinet
White Solid Wood Bathroom Cabinet
Brown Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Cabinet

Looking for something slimmer? => Face-frame Cabinets

The problem with frameless cabinets is the space requirements. For some bathrooms with irregular walls, it can be difficult to mount a high density box properly.

That is where face-frame cabinets come in. These cabinets generally lack a top panel, as well as possessing a partial (or very thin) back. The focus is on a sturdy hardwood (or synthetic resin) front that gives a very rigid 'frame' to the whole cabinet, and acts as a strong base for hinges.

Because of this unique construction, face-frame bathroom cabinets come in slim units that can fit in any bathroom or any wall with minimal customization. What is more, the strength of the frame means that you can go easy on the materials for the side panels, driving down the cost for the whole thing. As a result, face-frame bathroom cabinets form the bulk of storage in any modern bathroom.

White Manufactured Wood Bathroom Cabinet
Brown Classic Triple Return Bathroom Cabinet
Soft White Manufactured Wood Bathroom Cabinet
Modern Wall Mounted Bathroom Cabinet
Stainless Steel Manufactured Wood Bathroom Cabinet
Oak Manufactured Wood Bathroom Cabinet

Require a more spacious box? => Freestanding Cabinet

For some styles (like antique) the more popular design options for bathroom cabinets just do not fit. What you need for these styles is a more traditional 'furniture' look.

Freestanding cabinets are exactly for this purpose. Designed like a console vanity or a chest of drawers, these cabinets have their own legs. This removes the need for installation, as you just need to place the cabinets in your bathroom.

These cabinets also tend to have much more space for storage, whether you go with a tall or squat form factor. They can be very useful for imparting a 'living room' feel to your bathroom.

Cotton White Free Standing Bathroom Cabinet
Manufactured Wood Free Standing Linen Cabinet
White Manufactured Wood Free Standing Bathroom Cabinet
Dark Charcolate Free Standing Linen Cabinet
Solid Manufactured Wood Free Standing Storage Tower
Sequoia Rubberwood Free Standing Bathroom Cabinet

Which style of bathroom cabinets and shelves are best for small bathrooms?

Trying for a modern look? => Go with open shelving

The so called 'modern' theme of decor works especially well for bathrooms. The design sensibility of keeping things minimalistic and understated is just what your bathroom calls for.

Not only do cabinets with simple lines and plain colors complement this style, but they also increase the perception of space, which is important for the limited size of the bathroom.

Another good choice for a modern bathroom is to go with open shelving. Open shelves are rapidly gaining momentum as a superior alternative to the usual bathroom cabinets. This frees up your bathroom, granting a spacious and airy feel apart from giving you a space to display your stylish accessories.

Chrome Clear Wall Mounted Shelving
Manufactured Wood Free Standing Open Shelving Storage
White Gray Metal Bathroom Open Shelf
Rustic Natural Wall Mounted Bathroom Shelves
Black Metal Free Standing Bathroom Shelf
White Manufactured Wood Free Standing Bathroom Shelves

Fusing style with functionality? => Mirror cabinets and toilet units

In a small bathroom, every inch of space matters. Mirror cabinets are a great way to capitalize on a constrained area.

Basically, these cabinets have reflective surfaces installed on their doors, which allow the storage space to double up as a mirror to use in your bathroom. They make for a great addition to any wall other than the sink to act as a secondary mirror.

Toilet units are another good way to make the most of the available space. These cabinets hide the piping behind the toilet, giving a clean, clutter free look to the area beside adding a ledge to keep your toiletries on.

Ash Gray Over The Toilet Storage
Manufactured Wood Over The Toilet Storage
White Over The Toilet Storage
Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Bathroom Mirror Cabinet
White Wall Mounted Mirror Cabinet
Elegant Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Mirror Cabinet

Which materials are best for bathroom cabinets?

Nothing beats the timeless appeal of wood, but bathroom furniture is different from other pieces in your house. It needs to resist moisture in order to last.

Of course, classic wood cabinets are still a way to go, but they need to be properly varnished. Your best bet would be teak as it is naturally resistant to moisture, but you have to be prepared to spend quite a lot.

A lot of bathroom cabinets on the market is crafted from MDF or plywood but both these materials are equally susceptible to damage in moist environments. The edges tend to soak up water and become visibly thicker.

If you want an option that will last, PVC cabinets are your most durable and cost-effective choice. Being a plastic, PVC is available in a multitude of color options to give your bathroom a a sleek, modern look.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.