Modern Master Bath Remodel: Part 4: Barn Door Medicine Cabinet

Monday, April 2, 2018 -
How to build and install an extra large custom medicine cabinet with DIY mirrored barn doors

*This post is sponsored by DAP Products and Kwikset. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product in exchange. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

We're getting close to finally finishing the bathroom friends. Most of the big stuff is out of the way. In my "Part 1" blog post I showed the floor plan and identified the walls that we were planing to move. Last week I shared my custom tile shower and today I'm moving to the other side of the room - the water closet. 

Check out the full series: 

So you're probably thinking "Speak American Elisha. What the hell is a 'water closet'?". It's basically a fancy name for the little room where the toilet is. Not having a lockable door hiding the toilet is a deal-breaker for me. Luckily, when we bought the house, we noticed we had some options. 

*Here's the rest of the Modern Master Bath Remodel blog posts
The original layout only allowed a small alcove or niche for the toilet behind a medium sized linen closet. I love my husband, but we needed a little more privacy than that (especially since we removed the door into the bathroom long ago). We decided if we were to relocate the linen closet, we could turn the toilet

So during the demo, we pulled out the cabinet doors and closet, and tore down the wall. 

To create the new water closet, we needed to build a new wall and add a door. We have a concrete slab foundation, which makes adding new walls a little different. Normally, you can just nail the bottom plate of the wall through the sub-floor and into the floor joists, but nailing into masonry can be tricky. A lot of foundations in the southwest where I live are what's called a "post tension slab". Without going into a long explanation, it is VERY important not to drill or nail into those type of foundations unless you know what you are doing. 

We used DynaGrip Heavy Duty construction adhesive to secure our bottom plate to the foundation. DynaGrip grabs quickly and is designed to bond a multitude of materials, including wood and masonry. We then stud-framed the rest of the wall, attaching it to the existing framing in intersecting walls. 

We picked up a 30" pre-hung door from the same supplier we used when we replaced our interior door slabs, and installed it where the linen closet originally was. 

While framing the new wall, I decided we should make the most of the space and leave a 2' x 4' opening for an extra large, custom medicine cabinet. 

We created an opening using additional 2 x 6's and hung drywall on both sides of the new wall. 

I built a simple, 2' x 4' box from 1 x 6 boards to create the basic medicine cabinet insert. I wanted the whole insert to sit flush inside the wall niche, so I attached 3/8" plywood (the same thickness as the drywall) to the back of the box. I included fixed shelves for rigidity. If you wanted adjustable shelves, I would recommend having at least one fixed shelf near the middle and using a shelf pin jig for the rest. I secured the whole thing using wood glue and 2" brads

Since the medicine cabinet hold make up and beauty products (and other things that tend to leak and make a mess) I wanted to make sure the interior was seamless and easy to wipe down. Before painting, I caulked each seam using Alex Plus Fast Dry. It's hands down my favorite latex caulk! It's easy to clean and can be painted in only 30 minutes. 

When the paint was fully dried, I slid the medicine cabinet insert into the wall niche and secured it in place using my DeWalt cordless brad nailer. A cordless brad nailer can be a little pricey, but if you are going to do much finish carpentry, it's a life saver! 

I mitered some simple 1 x 2 trim and cased the opening, similar to how you would trim out a door frame. This hid the intersection between the wood cabinet and the rough drywall opening. 

In my experience, filling nail holes on smooth boards or trim always looks the best when using wood filler. My favorite is Plastic Wood-X with DryDex. It dries quickly and sands like a dream. 

Once the holes were filled, I could caulk the seam where the 1 x 2 trim meets the drywall. I used the same Alex Plus Fast Dry as before, which I saved using a DAP Cap

I always share my favorite products with you guys, but someone really deserves a raise for designing this one! I found the DAP Cap by accident a few months ago at Home Depot. It's a universal cap that will fit and protect almost any product in a tube, but it has a second job as well. 

The long end can be used as a caulk smoothing tool! My fingertips cheered for joy when I brought this home. 

When the caulk was dry, I touch-up painted the insert and painted the trim. 

I always knew I wanted something unique for the doors, so I decided to hang two long mirrors side-by side, barn door style. I'll be sharing how to make your own mirrored door on the cheap shorty. In the meantime, I want to share how I mounted the doors to the wall. 

I used my good friend Jaime's tutorial to make my own DIY barn door hardware

Since these doors kinda float in the middle of the wall, it wasn't practical to have a channel or track for the bottom of the doors to ride in. This created a big problem. The DIY hardware allowed the doors to slide back and forth, but there wasn't anything to keep the bottom of the doors from flapping in and out. That's when a local friend gave me the idea of using a keyhole router bit

A keyhole bit is T-shaped and cuts T-shaped tracks or openings. 

I measured to determine the slide length I needed for each door. I drilled a pilot hole, then used the keyhole bit to cut a track on the backside of the mirror frame. 

Next, I marked on the wall where the pilot hole of the track would align. I pre-drilled and drove a 3-1/2" screw into a stud. I used washers and a nylon spacer to maintain a 7/8" gap from the wall, allowing the mirrored doors to clear the trim around the cabinet.

When I was ready to hang the doors, I aligned the screw head with the pilot hole, and pushed it into the keyhole track. The t-shape held onto the head of the screw, preventing the door to pull away from the wall. 

The last step was to attach a large bar pull to each of the mirrored doors, 

and I have my new extra large, barn door medicine cabinet! 

I'll probably keep the doors open most of the time for daily use, but it's nice to know I can close them and hide the junk when i want to. 

You can NEVER have to much storage space, especially in a bathroom. 

The first couple of times I tried to open the doors, the movement was a little rough, so I rubbed some wax into the track on the back of the doors, as well as on the screw head. That helped quite a bit! They slide much more smoothly now. 

So, here's where the bathroom stands currently. You can catch a glimpse of the new walk-in shower on the window wall. You can check out this blog post to see how I installed that bad boy. 

Make sure to check out the full Modern Master Bath Series:

Next, I'll be tackling the new location for the linen closet. It involves more drywall, so Heaven help me! Like this idea? Feel free to pin the image below to save it for later! 

diy how to tutorial modern bathroom medicine cabinet large oversized barndoor barn door

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