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How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Finding My Feet

How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Hi everyone!

Long time lurker, first time poster as I've recently purchased my first home and am very excited for all the DIY projects I can do!

Admittedly I'm well versed in home DIY in Canada and not as acquainted with how things are done in Australia, so this forum has been a great help!


One of the first ones up is I'm looking to add storage space to my small ensuite by installing a shaving cabinet.

The space is quite small, so simply wall-mounting something will make the space even smaller. Not to mention most cabinets are 150mm in depth and will protrude too far past the tap to be functional.


I know that the house has metal studs and the wall is not load-bearing, but I'm just looking for a sanity check to make sure I'm not missing any potential issues before I go down this road.

I'm thinking of finding a wide cabinet/mirror that will extend over the toilet as well with the power point relocated inside the cabinet.

Where I'd like to installWhere I'd like to install

The wall pictured on the right is what is on the other side.

The wall on the right is the other side of the wall in questionThe wall on the right is the other side of the wall in question


Thanks in advance for any advice!

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Hoping to recess a shaving cabinet



Thank you for your question and welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It is great to see you sign up and make your first post.


The only non-intrusive way that I can see it being possible, is if it fits within a single stud bay. This means its positioning could not be decided, it would be dictated by the current location of the studs.


Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible without significant alterations to the frame. This would require the removal of all the tiles and the sheeting behind them, so you have access to the top and bottom track of the metal framing.

As much as it would look fantastic, unfortunately, I don't think the cost would justify the benefit gained.

I understand that it is a small space, but in the grand scheme of things, 150mm of protrusion is not enormous and it is going to be situated over the vanity and toilet, so the space isn't really usable anyway.


I'd suggest it could be mounted so there is good clearance between the tap and the bottom of the cabinet allowing the tap to remain functional. This would allow you to have it as large as you want and have it situated where you want.


Allow me to tag some of our helpful members to see if they have any thoughts, @Dave-1, @DIYGnome, @Nailbag.


Let me know if you have any further questions.




Home Improvement Guru

Re: How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Afternoon @ATKL 

Mmmm interesting idea tho not sure if I would extend anything over the toilet :smile: I can rem telling someone that a vase on top isnt a good idea and they still decided to have it sit there... Right up to the point it was knocked off and went straight through the toilet bowl lol...


I was trying to find a slimline cabinet that you could extend maybe 10cm either side of the existing mirror and also hide that power point (tho more chance of knocking things off a shelf inside the cabinet and going "tinkle tinkle" into the toilet or sink..


How about the wall behind your left shoulder? Is there space there? I thought of the other side until I realised its a cavity door lol Looking at the first photo how about a long but short width cabinet next to the window near the towl rack? I am presuming the window is centered on the wall.


Id like to say howdy :smile: And welcome to the Bunnings community. There are lots of differnta ways to gain space back and you should find ideas amongst these pages :smile:




Finding My Feet

Re: Hoping to recess a shaving cabinet

Hi @JacobZ 


Thanks for your response and for tagging in some extra help!

The only issue with wall mounting is that at 150mm, it hangs over the actual basin, which then is in the way of using the basin without issue (bending over for face washing etc).


My initial thinking was to cut open the wall to the size of the cabinet and lay horizontal tracks in the studs like you would for a window frame. Wouldn't this be easier than removing all the tiles/sheeting?

Finding My Feet

Re: How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Hi @Dave-1 


Thanks for your input! A slim cabinet is a great idea and something I can build to fit! Maybe with a door that opens to the right as an extra guard from toilet incidents, lol.


Unfortunately, the left is a wall-to-wall shower and the towel rail on the right goes right to the wall, leaving about 7cm until the window frame. It's a very small space I'm working with! I appreciate your thoughts though!

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Hello @ATKL 


It's great that you've received excellent suggestions from our members. I agree with @Dave-1's suggestion about a slim line cabinet that you can build yourself. I propose building a surround for your existing mirror so that it looks like it's part of the cabinet. To challenge you even further, I suggest installing the cabinet door as a sliding door instead of a swinging one.


I've placed some sample renders below to give you an idea of how you can put it together. Since the surround for the mirror is not very deep and does not have a bottom shelf, there is no danger of hitting your head when washing your face. 


If you need further assistance, please let us know.





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Home Improvement Guru

Re: How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Evening @ATKL 

Instead of heading into the wall how about changing the top of the cabinet/sink itself so you can bring it forward a distance that will allow you to have a thicker storage cabinet up top? I suspect that the wall will be the tickness of the studs plus plaster and not be suitable for what you are proposing.  I do like @EricL's sketch :smile: His style certainly matches the style of your bathroom. 



Making a Splash

Re: How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Hello @ATKL 🖐

Interesting project, I would agree with all previously supplied suggestions but like @Dave-1 I have an aversion to placing any type of storage above a toilet apart from the aesthetics is the high likelihood something is eventually going to land on/in toilet, we humans are not at our best first thing in the morning and this can be reflected in our reduced co-ordination. 

I really like the idea of a DIY slimline cabinet, however why couldn't the slimline cabinet also be the support for a sliding mirror door (all-in-one solution)? 🤔  



Amassing an Audience

Re: How to recess a shaving cabinet?

Hi @ATKL you have given yourself a challenging project and one I have done a few times over the years. Good news is that its very doable but depending on a few factors may not be cost effective as @EricL highlighted.


Recessed cabinets are available in a wide range of sizes and most importantly depth starting at around 105mm. The minimum layers you will be faced with will provide a cavity depth of around 107mm. A small surface protrusion of a few mm will not be an issue.


Your main concern is what services are already within that cavity? the only way to know is to open it up from the toilet side and physically look. Use a plaster saw and shallow cut a pre-marked 100mm x 100mm square opening directly behind where the recessed cabinet is to go. But only cut the sides and top and pry the hatch open with a flat knife. The plasterboard paper on the bottom will act like a hinge and make for an easier repair.


If there are any services within, then you will need to decide whether to go ahead is viable. Re-routing plumbing and electrical cables will come at a significant cost, as will making good the wall that will need to be opened considerably more (unless you're able to repair the wall yourself).


Let us know how you go and if you decide to continue I can provide next steps.


Regards Nailbag



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