Designing a Laundry Room for Aging in Place

Laundry Room Blue Cabinets

The basics of laundry room design include storage, lighting and space planning. An additional consideration is incorporating features that will accommodate the aging process. A bit of planning now will make your laundry room usable as aging limits physical abilities.

Appliance Selection

While most appliances don't last a lifetime, there are design features that make appliances more user-friendly for aging eyes and bodies. Spend some time reading washer reviews online before you begin shopping.

  • Select easy to read controls located on the front of the machine. Controls at the back of the machine can be hard to reach if a wheelchair is needed.
  • Select a front loading washer.
  • Select a dryer with a side-opening door.
  • Purchase laundry pedestals or raise the machines 12 to 15 inches above-floor with built-in cabinetry.

Storage Modifications

Just a few modifications in storage installation will keep cabinets useful as mobility decreases.

  • Install upper wall cabinetry three inches lower than conventional height.
  • Install pull-down shelving in upper cabinets.
  • Install roll-out trays and lazy Susans in base cabinetry.
  • Add easy-roll storage between washer and dryer.
  • Provide open under-counter seated work area.
  • Select lever hardware for cabinet doors for easier access.


Good lighting is essential for checking laundry for spots and stains. These recommendations are good for any room that requires task lighting.

  • Light switches should be placed in accessible locations no higher than 48 inches from the floor.
  • Install rocking or touch light switches for easy use.
  • Place a couple of electrical outlets higher on the wall for portable appliances like irons and clothes steamers.
  • There should be clear access space of 30 inches by 48 inches in front of switches, outlets, and controls.

Placement in Home

If you have the opportunity to build or remodel your home, the laundry room should be located in an area without stairs. If the home is two story, consider a laundry chute from the second floor to avoid having to carry baskets of clothes down steps.

A laundry room near the primary bedroom usually eliminates the most amount of walking.

About This Term: Primary Bedroom

Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

Adaptable Laundry Accessories

A few laundry accessories will keep a laundry room easy to use.

  • A rolling laundry cart can be used to transport clothing to and from the laundry room.
  • An adjustable ironing board will accommodate the ability to iron sitting down.
  • Install a lower hanging rod or retractable clothesline.