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How to update and raise your bathroom cabinets

One of the quickest ways to raise a bathroom vanity is to leave the cabinet in place and raise the top.

Having a taller bathroom countertop will make it

Having a taller bathroom countertop will make it more comfortable for you in the long run. Photo Credit: Dreamstime

If bending over to wash your face, shave or brush your teeth gives you a backache, you probably have a low bathroom cabinet. These cabinets are great for kids and petite adults, but they can seem uncomfortably low to a tall adult. Rather than bearing with that old back-aching bathroom cabinet, why not try raising it instead?

Most bathroom vanity heights are about 30 inches tall. There may be some variation of an inch or so, but that's a standard height for a bathroom vanity. A raised vanity would be about 34 inches. This can make a big difference in how much bending it will take to use the sink.

Bringing up a short cabinet isn't as difficult as you might imagine. There are a variety of ways to do it, but there are two that can easily be accomplished on a weekend.

Raise in place

One of the quickest ways to raise a bathroom vanity is to leave the cabinet in place and raise the top. This is a moderate-level DIY job; if you're even a little handy, you could get this done in an afternoon. Begin by removing the vanity top. This will require you to disconnect the pipes and turn off the water supply. Next, very carefully separate the vanity and surround from the cabinet and the wall using a putty knife.

Once the countertop is removed, it's time to add the framework that raises the cabinet. Using a standard two-by-four, cut lumber to create a box on the cabinet. Cut one piece to run against the wall. Next, cut two pieces for the sides and one for the center, if you have a center bar. Make these pieces end three fourths of an inch from the front.

Next, cut a one-by-four the length of the cabinet front. Screw the box pieces together. Cut a small piece of wood screen trim and tack in place where the two-by-fours meet with the old cabinet. Putty all the nail holes, sand and paint or stain to match. Reattach the counter and reconnect the water lines and drain pipe, and you're done.

Replace entirely

The other option for a raised bathroom cabinet is to simply replace the old one with a new kitchen cabinet. Standard kitchen cabinets have a 35-inch height and can make excellent stand-ins for a tall bathroom cabinet. However, it's important to check the depth of your current short bathroom cabinet. Some bathroom cabinets have less depth and a kitchen cabinet may not fit in your bathroom cabinet space. If it will fit, remove the old cabinet, install the new one in its place, and prime, stain or paint.

Regardless of what you choose, this is also a great time to swap out the countertop if yours is showing age or you want to change over to granite, marble or another type of surface. Having a taller bathroom countertop will not only make it more comfortable for you, but raising your bathroom cabinets will give your bathroom a more updated appearance.

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