Mirrored Medicine Cabinet Door Details

A range of suggestions (and one nice photo) for medicine cabinet door construction details. February 19, 2011

Does anyone have any advice regarding building a nice medicine cabinet door? The last one I made I used 1/4 mirror and1/4 ply and it seemed way too heavy. Iím thinking of using 1/8 mirror, but what should I use on the back and how do you install it? Could I use 1/8 " material and stick it in the regular slot for the panel?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
What is wrong with single strength glass/mirror (3/32") and nothing on the back?

From contributor U:
We recently replaced a bunch of 1/8" mirrors that had 1/4" backing that had separated and buckled due to humidity, etc. I ordered new pivot hinges for thicker glass from Hafele and installed 1/4" mirrors. I actually bought two or three types of hinges till I found the one I liked. They are not that expensive. It worked out great.

From contributor J:
What about using two 1/8" mirrors back to back?

From contributor A:
We have had to do numerous nice looking ones over the years - beaded faceframes with thumbnail or square profile doors. We finally ended up with 3/32 mirror, mastic and 3/8" MDF backs. The backs are rabbeted and screwed to the back of the door. The back has a micro chamfer to ease the edge. The architects, builders, and customers all like the fact that the mirror can be replaced easily. No one cares how it looks because the door is closed 95% of the time. It looks tidy with the nickel plated screws. The screws do not split the stile/rails. Our typical paint grade doors use 3/8 MDF for flat panels and 5/8 MDF for raised panels. The weight of the 3/32 is nill. If you are really concerned throw on an extra hinge.

From the original questioner:
I think doing it with the MDF would look nice with what I'm doing on these. They're painted, so I can paint the MDF too. The two mirrors back to back would be a nice touch also.

From contributor B:
You can also have the glass shop wrap a coating like a white tape on the back side, same as on wardrobe doors.

From contributor O:
I not only put mirrors back to back in the door, I put a mirror in place of the plywood back in the cabinet.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From the original questioner:
Great looking cabinet! Are the mirrors 1/8 pieces back to back? How are you putting them in? Do you glue them together?

From contributor O:
They are (2) 1/8" mirrors back to back with craft paper between. On 3/4 stock like these, I put a wooden stop. On 7/8" material, I use a vinyl stop used for glass doors. The back mirror sits in a rabbet secured with glazer points. A small amount of silicone in the rabbet on the door is used to prevent rattle.