Bathroom cabinet #1: So near, and yet so far...

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Blog entry by Astreja posted 07-10-2021 07:56 PM 489 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bathroom cabinet series no next part

I did some major renovations to my bathroom around 2013-14, but never quite got around to finishing it. The basin was installed on a counter tucked between the bathtub and the now-enclosed plumbing stack, so it was never an option to pop down to a home improvement centre for an off-the-shelf cabinet. This is what I’ve done so far:

  • Built a riser out of 2×4’s.
  • Made a template and pieced together a base designed to fit around the pipes:

  • Searched for a couple of second-hand doors that matched the style of the bathroom door, and were tall enough and narrow enough to fit.
  • Deglossed, primed and painted the doors to match the bathroom.
  • Built and painted a frame to support the doors.

This is what I have so far:

There are three problems left to solve:

  • The left door doesn’t close all the way. I suspect that the hinges on that side need to be adjusted, and that the problem is either screws that are too large, or the depth of the hinge mortises.

  • There’s a noticeable gap on both sides of the frame, larger on the right:

First thing I’m going to do is get the level and check to make sure the cabinet front isn’t slanting inward at the top. Probably fixable with small shims between the doorframe and the counter.

  • The top of the right door is scraping against the frame. Planing may be in order, but first I’m going to make sure that the frame is straight. If I do shim it out a bit, it’ll probably reduce the gap.

Stay tuned…

2 comments so far

View splintergroup's profile


5444 posts in 2381 days

#1 posted 07-10-2021 10:34 PM

Fun with remods, nothing is ever square 8^)

Best place to start is to get the side cabinets square to the floor and vertical. If you succeed with this, everything that follows is simple in that you don’t need to futz with slight angles and shimming.

For your last picture, I can see that that side cabinet needs the treatment. If the top is indeed out further than the bottom (it is leaning outwards), It probably would be difficult to push in the top or pull out the bottom. In that case you’ll probably need to duplicate the angle and lean out your new work.

View Astreja's profile


6 posts in 32 days

#2 posted 07-12-2021 03:47 AM

Oddly enough, the top wasn’t further out than the bottom (although that’s what it looks like in the photos). It was straight on the left side but about 1/2” too far back on the right. I added three shims, and now both sides are straight.

The countertop is a bit too shallow for the space. It was fine when it was just a countertop, but in order to accommodate the cupboard it needs to come out slightly past the tub wall on the left and the plumbing stack wall on the right (the frame for the doors is intended to match up to those two walls). The doors are anchored to the base and to a 2×2 rail on the underside of the countertop. If the rail hadn’t been secured with construction adhesive I could have just unscrewed it and swung the right side forward half an inch, and wouldn’t have needed to add the shims.

The plan includes adding trim to the front edge of the counter to bring it out past the doors.

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