Bathroom Part 5: Cabinets

It’s time for cabinets! YAY!!!


I mentioned in an earlier post that I already had plans and a budget drawn up for this project and since pinching pennies is always a high priority, right above quality and style, we ordered our cabinets and some other items from Ikea.

I am not a huge fan of Ikea, but they have some good stuff. While I would have LOVED to have beautiful, solid wood cabinets professionally installed, that really wasn’t an option (Cost estimates to do that were close to $10,000). The total cost of our Ikea bathroom cabinets (with delivery) was less that $1000. Add that to the PAID days Hubby took off work to help me install them and if that is not pinching pennies I don’t know what is! Not to mention … they came out gorgeous and exactly what we wanted.

For this bathroom we ordered one tall mirrored cabinet for storage, one sink cabinet with two drawers and ceramic sink, a two door mirror cabinet for the wall, and a linen shelf.


Putting the furniture together really wasn’t that hard (that card was just too good), and didn’t take very long either.

Tall Cabinet

Starting in the back corner we put the tall mirrored cabinet in first and ran into our first snag: It blocked the only electrical outlet in the room. I had foreseen this and knew that we could either move the outlet or, better yet, cut a hole in the side of the cabinet and simply have the outlet inside the cabinet. So we dug up a few more extension cords and moved onto the sink cabinet. We’ll come back to the outlet in a later post.

The Sink

The sink cabinet with two drawers went together easy enough, but Ikea stuff comes with a different standard for pipes and the like. The first issue was the faucet. This sink only came with one hole, which made our options pretty limited (we didn’t want to drill holes in our pretty new ceramic sink if we did absolutely have too). We had already purchased a faucet that said it was for “one hole installation”, but once we got the box open, we learned we needed the other two holes to actually mount it (insert giant frustrated sighs from both me and hubby).

Additionally, the drain pipes that came with the sink were much narrower than the ones coming out of our wall. We needed some converter pieces and such to make this work. So we measured all the pipes as best we could, grabbed our stupid faucet and headed back to Home Depot to get what we needed.

I should point out that unlike almost everything else, Hubby and I have almost zero experience with plumbing. At the store we snagged an associate who DID know something and headed home with quite a few different pipes in various sizes (just to be safe) and at least 3 different kinds of adhesives to properly seal up all these pipes. Then we headed over to the faucets, picked out a different one that said “one hole installation” and then called over a salesperson to open the box for us and make sure it really needed ONLY one hole to be mounted and installed.

Home again, Hubby got back to work on installing the sink and I started putting the rest of our new cabinets together. Less than a half hour later, Hubby came down in a frustrated huff: none of the new pipes would fit… He expressed a few other frustrations and stomped back up to the bathroom. That was my cue.

The Fix

He was obviously frustrated and just needed a little help, perhaps a fresh set of eyes,  and not to mention, pipes that actually fit… So, after I remedied a couple minor things that were bugging him, I took a long hard look at the pipes, grabbed a few pieces I could use as examples and headed out the door.

This time I went to our local hardware store that happened to specialize in plumbing. I flagged down a sales guy and explained, twice, to him what I needed before he finally handed me over to the “expert” (a woman! I love it when the expert at a hardware store is a woman!) Within 3 minutes she got me exactly what I needed. I was so happy I had to restrain myself from hugging her! New pipes in hand (only cost me $3) I headed out, picked up Hubby’s favorite dinner, and returned home the conquering hero!

Hubby was ecstatic. He had got the faucet installed while I was gone and within 30 minutes the drain was fully functional as well, not a leak to be found! We enjoyed some early dinner and got back to work with a new spring in our step!

Ikea Hemmnes sink

Ikea to American standard drain pipes

Stupid pipes…

The Mirror Cabinet

I LOVE this Medicine Cabinet. It has mirrors on the inside of the doors and beautiful glass shelves on the inside. Not to mention I love the little shelf that hangs down below it. It is so elegant and homey (a major compliment for Ikea). However, when we installed it, we ran into a couple new snags:

  1.  It is HUGE, I mean super tall. There is only about 6 inches of clearance between the top of it and the ceiling. Because of this hugeness … it covered over where our existing light fixture can is located. Yet another electrical issue we still need to address… It is “okay” for now because our exhaust fan (located on the ceiling) has a light in it, but if you are wondering why some of my photos are dark and grainy? It is because the light in this room is often too dim to get a quality picture.
  2. This thing is SUPER HEAVY with all that beautiful glass and it only came with two mounting spots!! We managed to get both of them into a stud, but I was so paranoid the thing was gonna fall off the wall, shatter and take our beautiful new sink with it that I had a hard time leaving the bathroom that night (I had to catch it when it fell!!!) Hubby finally came in, gave it a shake (to show how solid it was) and promised me that he would add some brackets or something to it the next day so I would finally come to bed. (Hey, I’m the Mom: it is my job to worry!)

Ikea bathroom remodel

One Beautiful Shelf

Honestly, when I saw this linen shelf online, I wasn’t impressed with it, but when it was all put together and standing in the bathroom with the other new cabinets I kinda fell in love with it. It really helped make the room and I love how versatile it is!

So here we are at the end of Day 6? (or 7?) and we have a fully functional bathroom, complete with toilet, faucet, sink and shower; all sealed up and watertight!

Good thing too, because tomorrow Hubby has to go back to work and the rest is really down to me….

Ikea Bathroom remodelIkea bathroom remodel

More on this project:

Bathroom Part 1: The Tub 

Bathroom Part 2: Mold and Asbestos

Bathroom Part 3: Floors and Moulding 

Bathroom Part 4: Finishing the Moulding (Very Important!)

Bathroom Part 6: More Shelves and Some Color 

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