Recessed vs Surface Mount Medicine Cabinets

Medicine cabinet with doors open, showing three rows of products

Whether you are building new or remodeling your bathroom, you will need to decide between a recessed or surface mount medicine cabinet. Both styles will do the job for you, but there are a few things to consider before making your final choice. Whichever style you choose, remember to install a lock to keep medications out of reach from children.

Ease of Installation

Your choice of medicine cabinet is limited by the extent of your bathroom renovation. If you are looking to simply change the color on the walls and the style of cabinetry, then you will want to install a surface mount medicine cabinet.

While a flush mount medicine cabinet is an all day project, you can install a surface mounted cabinet in 10 minutes. Instead of cutting into the wall and possibly moving studs and wiring, you can install a prefabricated medicine cabinet by anchoring 2 screws in the wall and hanging the cabinet.

Storage Capacity

Different people have different needs. Each home renovation offers unique challenges. The size of a flush mount medicine cabinet is limited by wall depth, as well as stud and wiring placement. You must include the cabinetry inside any wall measurements you take. You don’t want a surface mount medicine cabinet that is cumbersome; however, you will have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the size and depth of your cabinet.


Bathroom décor is a personal choice. Your options are limitless with both surface and flush mounted medicine cabinets. With a flush mounted cabinet, you can match your medicine cabinet door with the rest of the cabinetry in your bathroom. Although surface mounted cabinets come in a variety of styles, your creativity is limited by what the factory has to offer.