How To Install a Bathroom Vanity Mirror & Light



I love in this video that it is a woman doing the work. You don’t see that too often these days. She makes it look and sound so easy, but for me, when it comes to lighting, I think I’d rather leave anything electrical up to the professionals. Other than that, it is very thorough and an easy DIY project. I never would have thought to put tape on the mirror before removing it in case it breaks, genius. The mirror and light fixture are what set off the vanity making it the focal point of your bathroom. This video gives you the step by step how to’s and also goes over the different types of mirror installations that you may run into such as recessed or surface mount.



The next project in our bath remodel is perfect for the novice DIYer. Installing a new vanity mirror and a new light to go above.

Let’s talk about mirrors first. There are several different kinds, like surface mount mirrors, surface mount medicine cabinets and recessed medicine cabinets. It’s easiest to replace your old mirror with the same kind.

Let’s talk about how to remove each type. Oh, and a word on safety. Glass breaks very easy so you want to wear safety glasses and wear gloves and make sure you have someone help hold and move it.

A surface mount mirror can either be screwed or glued to the wall. If it’s screwed on, it’s simple to take off. It’s a little harder to remove a glued-on surface mount mirror. First put some packing tape on the face of the mirror in case it cracks. Tap some shims between the mirror and the wall. Make them snug but don’t force them. Then starting at the top, put a shim against the wall and gently work a pry bar behind the mirror, pulling it away a little at a time. You want the drywall paper to tear. Have someone hold the top and work your way to the bottom. When the mirror is free, carefully set it aside. Then repair the drywall and paint.

Next, taking out a surface mount cabinet is simple since it’s just screwed to the wall. Just remove the shelves and back out the screws. The cabinet comes right down.

Finally, recessed cabinets. That’s what we had before we redid these walls. It was pretty easy to take out. First we got the shelves out of the way, then we removed the screws and just pulled the cabinet out of the wall.

All right. Once your mirror is gone, you can take out the lights. First we turned off the power in the bathroom. Don’t forget, with the power off you’ll need light, so it helps to have a work light powered from another part of the house.

Okay. The next step was to remove the bulbs. Then we removed the shades. Next we unscrewed and pulled the fixture out a little. If your house wires are all the same color, mark how they’re connected to the old fixture. Then disconnect.

Okay. Now it’s time to install the new mirror. Whatever mirror you choose, the first thing to figure out is where you want it. Make sure it’s centered above the faucet and below the light fixture at a comfortable height. Then mark the wall. If you’re considering a surface mount mirror, most of them nowadays come with a mounting hardware kit. Just follow the directions that come with yours.

We’re installing a surface mount cabinet. We simply hold the cabinet in place and mark the mounting holes. Then we set the cabinet aside and drill pilot holes. Always use the right wall anchors if you don’t hit a stud. Then we just hold the cabinet in place and drive in the screws. Cap the screws and add the shelves. Done.

As for recessed medicine cabinets, you can get one that will fit into the existing hole in the wall but if you get a larger one or don’t already have a recess in the wall, just follow the cabinet’s directions for mounting in your wall type. Usually it’s just a matter of cutting a stud and framing the recess.
And we’re ready to hang our new light. We’re moving the light from the sides to the top of the mirror and we had an electrician relocate our wiring. Once again, you’ll want to make sure the power is off. Pull your house wires through the fixture’s mounting plate and secure it to the box. Next, use wire nuts to connect the house wires to the fixture, ground to ground, neutral white to neutral white and hot black to hot black.

Carefully tuck the wires into the box. Position the fixture base over the mounting plate and attach with the nuts. Then place the shades and the collar nuts. Add the bulbs and turn on the power. These lights and your medicine cabinet look fabulous and they make the vanity the center piece of this bathroom.

For more on this bath series and other project videos, check out


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