How to Replace Medicine Cabinet Shelves

Lead Image
  • 4-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-300
What You'll Need
Steel measuring tape
Wood screws
Circular saw
Carpenter’s square
Drill and screwdriver bit
New glass shelves
Plastic shelf supports

It is relatively easy to replace medicine cabinet shelves, either wooden or glass ones; all you need are some basic tools and a bit of spare time.

Step 1 - Take Measurements

Measure the length and width inside the cabinet and record these measurements on a small sheet of paper. The shelves have to fit snuggly inside the cabinet, but still be loose enough to slide in and out easily.

Step 2 - Sketch the Shelves on Your Plywood

Draw the shelves on the plywood using the carpenter square; draw the corners of each shelf at a 90° angle.

Step 3 - Cut the Shelves

Using the saw, cut out the number of shelves you require. Any left over wood can be stored for other projects.

WARNING: Always remember to use safety gear when using your saw.

Step 4 - Install Your Shelves

Place the shelves on the notches inside the cabinet. Using the level, ensure that they are straight. Also ensure that the notches are steady and still fixed firmly in place, as the strength of the shelves depends on their stability. If they are wobbly adjust them till they are firmly in place; if they are not up to standard you can always replace them.

If the back of your cabinet is of solid wood you can insert 2 wooden screws through the back for more stability.

Glass medicine cabinet shelves are installed in pretty much the same way as other shelving. You may consider discarding any wood dowels or metal shelf supports, which are often found in older cabinets and replacing them with modern plastic shelf supports instead, in the spirit of new shelving needs new fittings.

Step 1 - Remove Old Shelf

Remove the existing shelf in the cabinet paying particular attention if the glass is chipped or even cracked.

Step 2 - Remove Old Shelf Supports

Pull the old shelf supports and measure the width of the cabinet’s side panel to determine the size of the new shelf supports you will need for your new glass shelf. It is vitally important that the new supports are of adequate size because if not, the glass might fall down. The new plastic shelf supports, are typically clear and not noticeable, which goes well with glass.

Step 3 - Install New Supports

After getting the required size, insert them in the pre-drilled holes to make sure they fit correctly.

Step 4 - Install Your New Shelves

Place the shelf on top of the supports and use the level see if they are straight. If not, you have to reposition them.

WARNING: Whenever you are replacing wood or glass shelving, take safety precautions (especially when working with wood). Wear safety glasses because slivers of wood might get into your eyes. Glass has to be handled carefully, not only because it might break, but also because flying shards of glass can be deadly.