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A Guide To Laundry Room Projects And Improvement Ideas
Whether you’re building a new laundry room or remodeling an old one, these comprehensive guide to laundry room projects and improvement ideas will offer you practical tips to make your undertaking a success.
While laundry activities may seem less tasking, you do have a few everyday chores that handling of chemicals, use of extra electric power, and lifting extra weight. This is why you should be concerned about your safety, convenience, and accessibility.
It is not easy to make your laundry convenient and accessible. You have to manage and organize your laundry equipment and supplies properly. Besides, you also need to cite the laundry in a convenient and an-easy to-access location within your home.
This article provides you with a comprehensive guide to achieve these targets as seamless as possible and ensure you have a laundry room you’ll continue to cherish.
Where to Locate Your Laundry
Your primary step is to determine a room that is most appropriate for your laundry. This should commonly be in a floor containing your central living area. This is very important. It’ll reduce the number of times you’ll have to climb up or down the stairs. Besides, it is risky to move up and down the staircase with piles of laundry.
Therefore, try to build your laundry room on the same floor where your bedroom, master bathroom, exercise space, and any other room where you’re likely to produce dirty clothes. If these places are not on the same floor of your house, put your bathroom nearest to the one with more potential to produce dirty clothes- commonly the bedroom.
Also, ensure that the location you have chosen for your laundry room is easy-to-access. Stay away from rooms that would pose some sort of navigation issues to avoid accidents, falls, and trip offs.
Most homeowners use the basement for reasons like noise insulation and to minimize the effects of humidity in the living area if there is any breakage of pipes. However, the best place is to cite your laundry close to the master suite and near to the kid’s bedrooms or close the back door.
If you cite your laundry close to the living room or bedroom, look for laundry appliances with additional insulation and suspension that makes washing quieter with minimal vibration. Go for dryers with a decibel (dB) rating.
Also, washing machines with rotation cycles above 1,000 rpm are unsuitable for laundry in living areas.
Choosing a Washing Machine and Dryer
Once your laundry location is sorted out, your next step is to select suitable laundry appliances. Front-loading dryers and washers are better and more convenient. They save your back from the potential strain of lifting off washed clothes from the washing machine and transferring them into the dryer.
Be cautious though, front loaders may make you bend over to load clothes, and this could strain your back, neck, or waistlines. The solution is to buy dryers and washing machines that have stands, which can raise them roughly ten to fifteen inches from the floor.
Besides making it easier for you to load laundry, a pedestal also makes it easier for you to tidy the floor without lifting the machine.
Avoid potential fire hazards by purchasing appliances that you can easily read their controls. An inappropriately set dryer could cause fire hazards. Also, you could leave your clothes longer than required and at an excessive temperature. Wrong setting of the washing machine can also pose some issues.
You don’t want to ruin your clothes or consume more electricity due to wrong settings. So, shop for appliances with appropriately clear and easy-to-read letters. Alternatively, purchase modern styles of washing machines which are automated to show you the level of water, cycle time, and more convenient functionalities that makes your task easier.
Decide on Your Laundry Room Design
Having sorted out your laundry location and appliances, you should now consider how to organize and arrange the laundry room. You should aim to make the most of the space you have available to limit possible risks and obstacles. This will ensure your safety and make your task easier.
Mount your washer and dryer close to the wall and far from the entrance. The position should either be exactly under or close to your major laundry cabinets. Where there aren’t cabinets, decide on the right place to locate them. This makes your task easier. You’ll just reach out to your laundry essentials and detergents without working to and fro.
After positioning the washing machine and dryer, place other bigger laundry items close to it and alongside the wall. For instance, your hamper for dirty clothes needs to be close to your washer to make loading the machine easier.
Similarly, you should position your ironing board close to your dryer, so you can iron your clothes as they come out of the dryer. By positioning your laundry appliances and essentials along the wall, you’ll free the interior from obstacles. This will make navigating inside the laundry room easier.
Larger items should be positioned along the wall but away from the door, so you don’t bump into any appliance as you enter the room. The arrangement should place everything in full view as you work in.
Consider a Task-Based Laundry Design
A task-based laundry design maximizes your time and makes your job less tasking. So, consider your laundry involves sorting out washing, drying, ironing and folding of clothes and organize your worktop and laundry appliances accordingly. The arrangement makes it easy for you to move clothes from the hampers to the washer and from the washer to the dryer and then to the countertop for folding.
Mounting a hanging rod for clothes on the right side of your dryer’s location gives you a place to hang clothes. Building overhead shelves on top of your washing machine and dryer make it easy for you to reach laundry essentials. You can equally mount a laundry sink for washing more delicate clothes with hands close to the washing machine and dryer minimize how long you have to move across the room to complete your tasks.
Again, an L-shaped laundry space helps you to put the laundry sink on one part of the L-leg and the washing machine and your dryer on the opposite leg. This laundry room design gives you additional counter space for clothes foldaway and managing hand washing.
Although a sink next to your washer is most convenient, if you have laundry/potting room combo or laundry/pet-washing room combo, keeping your sink separate may be necessary to avoid mess and keep your laundry clean.
Whatever laundry room design you decide on, remember to make the room comfortable so you can happily work in it. Design your laundry according to your personality. You can use fanciful or fun wallpaper or backsplash and incorporate a lot of colors or add cheery accents as you deem fit.
Laundry Room Dimensions
Ensure that both your washing machine and dryer is properly connected for efficient functioning. Your washing machine needs to be connected to drains with hot and cold water routes.
If you use gas dryers, ensure it is connected to the gas supply route and give it above 50 feet vent hole to the exterior. Similarly, your electric dryers need to be connected to 120-volt circuits.
Washing machines and dryers come in a dimension of twenty-four to thirty-three inches wide. To make stacking clothes in and unpacking them easy, leave thirty-six inches before a washing machine and forty-two inches for your dryer to have sufficient workroom and prevent bumping into or tripping over appliances.
The dimensions for front loaders are different. Fixed appliances don’t take up to thirty-three square inches of space. They are better for individuals with bending or stooping issues.
The front loaders, on the other hand, are more suitable for individuals who use wheelchairs. A dryer raised on a pedestal of roughly fifteen inches from the base makes it easier to load and unload.
Configuring Your Outlets
You need electric power to run your laundry appliances and laundry essentials such as irons, fans, and dehumidifiers.
Therefore, take care to provide appropriate wiring in your laundry room. You’ll require:
- A twenty-amperes and one hundred and twenty voltage circuit for your washer.
- A special type of electric channel and circuit (double one hundred and twenty and two hundred and forty volt) for your dryer. It has to be accompanied by a 4-pronged electrical plug.
- Your fan, lights, and other related devices require a fifteen-ampere circuit.
Although you need to get your wiring for every room in your house right, it’s especially important for your laundry room because of the enormous amount of power that they consume. So, ensure proper wiring to avoid any form of emergency.
Also, consider appropriate positioning for your outlets. Placing an outlet, a bit higher on the wall makes it more practical for your irons and accessories that you need while working at counter height. However, you’ll use the regular baseboard outlets for other accessories.
Choosing your Laundry Flooring Options
Tile or hardwood laundry floor may expose you to the extra risk of slipping and tripping over. It is better to choose a safer laundry floor with any of the following flooring materials,
Carpet laundry floor
Carpet floors are among the most popular laundry flooring options because of the excellent traction it gives to your feet. It prevents falls, and when you do, it provides a cushioning effect that keeps you from injuring yourself. The downside, however, is in the cleaning and drying aspect of a carpeted floor. It can also harbor particles which can trigger allergic reactions. When they rip off, that can equally cause tripping.
Bamboo or Cork laundry floor
Bamboo and cork are other good flooring options for the laundry. They offer some traction and cushioning to the feet but not as much as that of the carpet floor. They are not waterproof and can absorb water if not sealed. Also, they dent and scratch easily and are harder to maintain.
Laundry Rubber floors
Rubber floors are non-slippery even under wet conditions. They are soothing and more comfortable for your feet as well. However, they are more expensive options, but their low maintenance can make you spend less on rubber tile over a long time compared to other flooring options.
Vinyl laundry floor
Similar to the rubber floor, maintenance of the vinyl floor is easy because of its effective resistance to scratching. It is also non-slip. So, you are less likely to fall, but when you do fall, you have a less cushioning effect.
Whatever flooring option you settle on, be careful if you want to use mats or throw rugs. They can cause tripping risks. Remember to use tapes to secure them if you use them to minimize risks of falls.
Laundry Room Lighting Options
You need quality lights in your laundry room both to make things more convenient for you and to be safer. Besides having sufficient lightening options, you should also they are not difficult to put on and off.
Also, ensure your workspaces has sufficient lightening similar to your kitchen worktops. Install under-cabinet fluorescent light or LED beneath your cabinet furniture to provide sufficient illumination to your countertop.
This helps you to see clearly while sorting and matching clothes. Use lighting options that allow you to view the washing machine interior and dryer to ensure that you take out all the laundered clothes.
You can decide between installing lights on the ceiling or setting up lamps everywhere in the room while lamps can take up some floor space compared to ceiling lights and limit your ease of navigation around the room.
You can equally minimize the at which you have to change bulbs by replacing regular bulbs with LED lights. These use up less electric power and can last for a long period.
While installing your light, setup switches so that you can easily turn off and on these bulbs. You may want to use touch switches. Alternatively, use rocking switches installed roughly three feet from the ground level for easy reach. Use step switches for lamps but ensure the wires are kept where they will not pose tripping hazards.
Remember to integrate at least one window in your laundry for natural light and air. Natural light will increase your physical and mental health and helps to make the task more enjoyable. It will also see your way to wash during the day if there happens to be a power cut.
Installing Laundry Sink
Although it is not compulsory to have a sink in your laundry room, having one can greatly enhance the laundry procedure, especially when you need to hand-wash clothes. If you have enough room in your laundry, you cannot go wrong by integrating a handy sink.
However, your primary concern needs to be on the ease of use. Set up taps with lever grips so you can easily move it with little force. This way, you can turn easily turn the water on or off. Anytime it gets hardened up, immediately fix it or replace it with a new one.
If you prefer, set up a tap with a motion sensor that automatically activates when something is placed beneath the tap and turns it off when you take off the item. Although it will cost you more it, it prevents the accidental running of water when not in use.
If you have sufficient space, mount a sink with an extensive basin. This will offer you additional space for laundering a lot of items and increase your convenience. Besides, it will make it easy for you to keep your sink neat because rubbish and filth will not easily gather up around the corners.
Make some part of the wet laundry zone and the other dry zones to give you a more efficient work environment. Put the sink and washer adjacent to each other to restructure plumbing routes and place wet chores organized.
Close to your dryer, mount a clothes rod for air drying laundered clothes. Hang ironed materials on the rod as soon as you finish with them to prevent any wrinkling effect. You may spare a little space for your ironing board near the clothes rod to make it easy to do quick touch-ups.
Laundry Counters and Work Spaces
Set up your laundry countertop to give you somewhere to easily fold your linens as you bring them out of the dryer. Preferably, let your counter be on top of the dryer to reduce steps. You can equally use a table or a cart with a comfortable height to make it easy for you to perform your task while standing.
A well-built counter provides you with a platform for folding your clothes, placing your detergent and essential laundry materials. You can equally use it to iron clothes. Selecting a suitable laundry counter and placing it in an appropriate space can make your tasks safer and simpler.
Similar to other laundry room setup procedures, ensure that the counter is in a convenient location and out of your way to prevent tripping over. You can place it near the dryer and far from the entranceway.
The arrangement will make it easier for you to transfer dry clothes to the countertop either for ironing or folding. Remember to keep the top of the counter clean so that it doesn’t harbor allergens. Cleaning off the counter will be easier if the height is up to your chest level.
For easy to clean countertops, go for any of the following materials: natural stones, laminate, and quartz surfaces Besides doing cleaning easy, they stop snagging when you fold flimsy materials like underwear, shirts, or pullovers.
You need to integrate space for hanging out clothes in your laundry. You can either mount strong rods and hang them from wire shelf. Alternatively, install the rod next to the upper cabinets. Ensure that the rods sufficiently far from the wall to create enough room for the hangers. You could as well purchase a two-row fabric rack that is on a wheelbase or casters. Wall-mounted clothes valet may be an option if you have insufficient space for a rod in your laundry.
Laundry Room Cabinets
You must place your laundry essentials in a convenient and easy-to-access location. How easy your counter makes it for you to get all your laundry essentials will determine safe your laundry will be and contribute to fewer risks of strains and falls. Laundry cabinets are one of the best ways you can store your laundry materials.
The proper organization makes your task easier. So, put all your laundry and clothes washing accessories together into a single utility cabinet close to your washing machine. This keeps everything handy when you require them.
Also, store away your leftover laundry supplies in this cabinet to keep an eye on the quantity you have remaining and figure out when you need new supplies. Ensure your bleach and other harmful chemicals are in the upper shelves far from the reach of your little kids. Preferably, store them away in a childproof cabinet with locks.
Many laundry room place cabinets on top of the washing machine and the dryer. However, they can work equally well in between them. These two different cabinet arrangements have peculiar merits and demerits, as shown below:
Cabinets above laundry appliances come with an additional risk of spillage while such risk is greatly minimized if you install the cabinets close to the floor.
You can maximize space with cabinets on top of your laundry appliances. However, you take more room when your cabinets are stuck between the washer and dryer.
Different Strain Concerns
You could suffer from strain trying to open overhead cabinets. Minimize such strains by storing laundry supplies you often need on lower shelves. Nonetheless, lower cabinets can strain your back when you constantly bend over to reach them.
Also, ensure your cabinets designs are safe and accessible. Go for D grips instead of knobs. They are easier to manage. However, whether you use an overhead cabinet or lower cabinets, ensure you store your supplies to the rear end to avoid any risk of falling when you open the cabinet.
Despite the convenience offered by laundry cabinets, they cannot store or hold all laundry supplies. Additional types of storage, like the following, may help:
Collapsible shelves help you to maximize space usage. You can equally use them for the temporary storage of detergents, electric irons, and other laundry items to make them handy while washing. Don’t forget to fold them when you’re done to prevent accidental bumping.
A roll-out shelves under the counter or table gives you additional room for storage and help you to maximize space usage. You can use these types of shelves for storing away small and denser items to avoid the risk of falling you if placed in overhead cabinets.
Installing Lazy Susans beneath your counter for storage helps you to store away items that very tall easily and cannot enter into a roll-out shelf. Remember to use D-shelves and door handles just like with the cabinets.
Bins are perfect storage space for items and supplies that won’t easily fit into the majority of cabinets and shelves. Place them against the wall and ensure you can easily open the top while also providing a tight cover.
Ironing and Safety
You can get a built-in Ironing both to make ironing easier and less tasking. It can come with a spotlight to lighten up the work environment and an electrical outlet for plugging the iron. You may choose a foldable board.
Place the board near the dryer so you can readily transfer the clothes from board to the dryer and vice versa. However, ensure that it doesn’t make it difficult for you to open and close the door of your dryer.
Although it is more convenient to use collapsible ironing boards, you need to be cautious as you can get a serious injury if it dislodges by accident. To minimize the possibility for this type of injury, you can position the board in a cabinet mounted on the wall and open the cabinet any time you want only from the side.
To avoid potential issues of leaving your iron plugged in after ironing, mount a light kit and a timer that will automatically turn off electric current after a specific period.
Your Laundry Room and Proper Ventilationt
You need proper ventilation in your laundry room. To boost airflow in the laundry room, you can install a ceiling fan. There are a few advantages of having a ceiling fan in your laundry room. These include the following:
Running a fan while laundering maintains adequate ventilation of the room and keeps the air fresher.
The air is blowing across the room from the fan as your work will increase your comfort.
Enhance air-drying with a ceiling fan
An electric fan can help the clothes you air dry in a hanging rood to dry faster. If a ceiling fan is not a good option, you can equally install a standing fan but ensure you place it in a convenient position where it’ll not get in and obstruct your way.
Besides, maintaining proper ventilation, try to minimize the humidity. This will additionally boost the quality of air and make it worthwhile too if you suffer from breathing difficulties and if your laundry floor is made up of carpet materials. Venting your dryer outside the laundry will help to minimize the level of humidity in your laundry.
When you have done that, examine your washing machine pipe to ensure there is no breakage. If the humidity is still high, you can install a dehumidifier to minimize humidity and keep it around thirty to fifty percent.
The approximate minimum size for a laundry room is a width of 9 feet and a length of 11 feet. It is better if the room is bigger. The laundry room door should not be less than 32 inches wide. However, the majority of laundry room doors are 30 inches.
A hamper means a wicker basket commonly big which is meant for transferring items like food. A laundry hamper is larger and stronger than a food hamper and is mostly used for storing laundry supplies. It has a cover. A laundry basket doesn’t have a cover. It is mostly used for transferring items.
Spraying your dirty clothes with essential oils before sticking them inside the washing machine will make it smell nice when you finish washing. Alternatively, you can use a perfumed detergent or soap.
Folding clothes is part of your laundry process. You need first dry the clothes with a dryer before folding. Folding your warm clothes as soon as you take them out of the dryer prevents rumples.
Persil is a good laundry detergent. You can get it in different types of fragrance. It doesn’t also contain dye. It offers a better cleaning action than most related brands.
There you have it, numerous tips to make your laundry project a success. Implementing these tips will ensure you have a laundry room you’ll love and feel comfortable to use for many years to come. Feel about leaving us a note if you need any further help. Happy remodeling!