Contractor Tips: Advice for Laundry Room Design

Laundry rooms these days are migrating upstairs in basements, in which they have traditionally sat in the majority of homes. Occasionally these rooms are little more than two appliances and a slop sink within an unfinished area. While this is a step up from rubbing against the clothes on a rock at lake’s edge, the majority of people are looking to have a better laundry experience.

If you’re upgrading your laundry space but are still maintaining it in the basement, the issues you deal with are largely about aesthetics and function — better lighting, counter area and other common difficulties. However, if you are moving the setup to upper levels, there are distinct concerns. These are heavy-duty appliances one full of water and one with warmth, so you want to be careful. This advice can help you manage this serious situation with proper care and preparation.

Lucy Interior Design

One of the first upgrades to create to a laundry room is adding counter area. Front-loading washers free up space on top of the appliance, so it’s possible to install a counter top over the washer and drier. Be certain that you leave space for those machines to move without hitting the counter top. You will want to set up wood blocking to support the counter — don’t rest it on the machine.


This chandelier certainly does sparkle, but it is not practical lighting for the laundry area on its own. Fortunately, it does not have to do the heavy lifting in this space because there are recessed lighting for ambient lighting and undercabinet lighting for task lighting. Other than additional counter space, better lighting is just one of the initial upgrades you need to create for your laundry area, so you don’t end up stepping from the house with a place on your top you could not see.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

To make the job of moving wet laundry to the dryer simpler, make sure the washer and drier are set up so that the door swing on every is opposite, and that the door of the dryer does not get in the way as you throw clothes from one to another. When you purchase appliances, ask the salesperson when the doors could be changed easily at home when the swing isn’t right about the one you purchase.


Rev-A-Shelf Fold-Out Ironing Board – $190.30

If your laundry is in a place available to see as people pass through your house — such as a mudroom — you’ll want to keep things hidden. A number of the very same things that we install in kitchens to make life simpler work in a laundry too. If you’re constructing a laundry and kitchen at precisely the same time, consider mixing the cabinet order and get accessories such as this pullout ironing board. Or use the older kitchen cabinets in the laundry and add an aftermarket pullout trash can, such as the one available at Rockler.

Style Moe Kitchen & Bath / Heather Moe designer

The nearer your laundry area is to the remainder of your dwelling, the more sound will probably be an issue. If you are building the space from scratch, then install batt insulation in the walls to decrease noise. All these are heavy appliances that move around a good deal. If the laundry is going to be on an upper floor, the floor joists should be reinforced to handle the load. Stiffening the floor will also reduce noise from rattling objects nearby.


A noise you don’t want to dismiss is what is known as “water hammer” Newer machines add little bursts of water repeatedly, and the water turning off and on can liquefy the pipes in the wall, possibly causing leaks. Should you hear a clunking sound when the washer runs, consult with a plumber until it is too late. On the exterior of the wall, a burst washer hose can flood your house in a minute, so make certain you are utilizing stainless stainless steel reinforced hoses.

Tina Kuhlmann

The washing machine itself could flow, so if you are on an upper floor, then it should be set up in a pan with a drain, as shown in this picture. Better yet, tile the floor and have a floor drain installed. This way you will be prepared for any floods and you are able to mop the floor right into the drain.

Du Bois Design Ltd

The drying rack above the sink pictured here’s a terrific way to conserve energy, but you are going to want to eliminate the moisture in the atmosphere, so install a dehumidifier or an exhaust fan ducted to the outside.

Abbott Moon

We’ve talked a lot about water, but remember there’s fire in the area too. The most significant safety concern on your laundry area is the dryer duct. A smooth-walled rigid duct, properly set up using the minimal run and fewest number of functions is critical. Be sure that the dryer isn’t pushed against the wall, crimping the exhaust. Clean your lint filter and examine the ductwork and outside socket at least once a year to get lint buildup. You’ve made your laundry area beautiful and functional — don’t let a flood or fire ruin it.

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