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Double (Or Even Triple) Your Bathroom Storage

Bathrooms never have enough storage or shelf space. Finding a home for all your blow dryers, curling irons, toilet paper, and cans, soaps and bottles can be a challenge. Once you’ve filled your vanity, how do you squeeze more storage into a small bath? And what about your knickknacks? Here are two simple projects to help you get the space you need.

Install Glass Shelves

Most bathrooms have one area you can count on for additional storage, and that’s over the toilet. Open glass shelving is a great way to display decorative bathroom bottles or knickknacks. There are zillions of glass shelving systems on the market. Follow the directions that come with the system for the installation, but read on for help anchoring the shelves to the wall because you probably won’t have studs exactly where you need them. We used masking tape to avoid marking the walls.

FIND LOCATION FOR BRACKETS

Apply a strip of 2-in.-wide masking tape above the center of the toilet and on both sides where the shelf brackets will be mounted. Draw a centerline with a level and mark the heights of the shelves on the center tape. Transfer the heights to the bracket tape with a 2-ft. level. Then measure from the centerline to mark the exact left and right locations for the brackets.

MARK WITH A SCREWDRIVER

Indent the drywall at the marks with a Phillips screwdriver and remove the tape.

INSTALL ANCHORS

Drive hollow wall anchors through the drywall.

FASTEN THE BRACKETS

Screw the brackets to the wall using the screws included with the anchors.

Build Your Own Medicine Cabinet

You can find a wide variety of medicine cabinets and shelves at home centers and kitchen and bath stores. When sizing a medicine cabinet, measure the space you have available behind your sink, both height and width. Keep a few inches away from existing light fixtures (unless you want to move them). Buy a cabinet that fits within those dimensions. Surface-mounting a large medicine cabinet is just a matter of centering it, leveling it and screwing it to the wall studs. Your old cabinet may be surface-mounted or recessed into the wall cavity between the framing. Remove a recessed unit by opening the door, backing out the screws in the side of the cabinet and pulling it out of the recess.

You may need to cut around it with a utility knife if it’s caulked or painted in around the edges. Have a helper support surface-mounted cabinets while you back out the screws, or if you’re alone, screw a temporary 1×2 support ledger under the cabinet as we show in Photo 1 to hold it while you unscrew it from the wall. You may need to move or replace the lighting beside or above the old cabinet. Now’s the time to do it. Hold the new medicine cabinet against the wall and adjust it up and down until the height is a good compromise for your family members, then mark the bottom and set the cabinet aside. Use the mark to draw a level line for positioning the 1×2 ledger (Photo 1). Then follow the photo series for installation details.