Front-load washers and dryers come with a few perks. They're easy to work into a laundry room design that incorporates a workspace above the washer and dryer, highly energy-efficient, and generally look a little nicer than the standard top-load varieties. However, without a pedestal beneath them, they tend to be hard on the back, especially for tall people. Unfortunately, the pedestals that manufacturers sell alongside the appliances can easily run you $600 for the pair, and when you're already spending upwards of thousands of dollars for the appliances, this just isn't always realistic.
This DIY laundry pedestal won't just save you money, it will look better, create more functional storage, and can be easily modified to fit perfectly within your space. Best of all, no fancy woodworking tools or sophisticated joinery techniques are needed to complete this project.
What Is a Laundry Pedestal?
A laundry pedestal is a raised platform that the washer and/or dryer sit on top of. It increases the height of the appliances, which makes them easier to use while typically incorporating storage underneath.
Before You Begin
Before you head out and buy materials, it's necessary to first gather a few dimensions, factoring in your specific appliances and the space in which the pedestal will fit. Generally speaking, the majority of front-load appliances are 27-28 inches wide. Because this pedestal design is one unit rather than two, the overall width should be 57-60 inches wide. This accounts for a slight gap between the units as well as some space on the sides. However, this width should be adjusted to accommodate your specific appliances.
The design of the pedestal allows three baskets to slide into the void between the top and bottom. For this reason, it's a good idea to find baskets before you determine the exact height of the pedestal to ensure they fit. A standard woven laundry basket is 19-20 inches tall, 14-15 inches wide, and 15-16 inches wide. These are the dimensions we'll use to determine the size of the openings. This too can be adjusted, so long as the adjustments don't alter the overall dimensions to a point that no longer accommodates the appliances. This design would also work with a basic DIY drawer box and sliders if you preferred more hidden storage.
Many washer and dryer sets are placed inside of nooks. If this is the case in your home, we recommend altering the size of the pedestal to fill the nook and tying it in with the surrounding trim. This will give it a "built-in" look that will complement and elevate the space.
If you set out to build this laundry pedestal, it's important to follow the instructions and materials as presented. The design has been intentionally engineered to hold the weight of the washer and dryer, and skimping on materials or construction could compromise the safety and effectiveness of the pedestal.
Equipment / Tools
- Miter saw or circular saw
- Tape measure
- Drill bits
- Countersink bit
- Pocket hole jig
- Orbital sander
- Brad nailer or hammer
- Painting supplies
- Oscillating multitool (optional)
- 1 2 x 4 x 10 pine board
- 3 2 x 4 x 8 pine boards
- 2 4 x 8 x 3/4 paint-grade plywood
- 2 10-feet x 2-1/4-inces primed MDF casing
- Paintable caulk
- Wood filler
- 2-inch wood screws
- 3-inch wood screws
- 18-gauge brad nails
- Pocket hole screws
- 220-grit sanding padsBr
- Wood glue
- Anti-vibration floor pads (optional)
How to Build a DIY Laundry Pedestal
The measurements outlined in the steps are based on a pedestal that is 60 inches wide, 35 inches deep, and 20 inches tall. Any discrepancies between these dimensions and your intended dimensions should be factored in and the steps adjusted as necessary.
Measure and Cut Frame Pieces
The bones of the pedestal consist of two 2x4 frames positioned in the front and back. The width of the frame will be determined by your intended overall width, minus 1-1/2 inches of plywood that will be added to the sides later on. For example, if your intended overall width is 60 inches, the width of the two frame pieces will be 58-1/2 inches. Additionally, if your pedestal will span from wall to wall as in the case of a nook, the frame should span the entire distance rather than account for plywood.
Use a miter saw or circular saw to cut 2x4s into four 58-1/2-inch sections. Next, cut eight pieces to a length of 16-1/4 inches.
Build Frame Pieces
Start by building a rectangle using two long boards and two short boards. Position the short boards on the inside of the long boards, flush with the ends, and clamp together before pre-drilling and screwing together using two 3-inch wood screws.
Using the same method, measure from one end and fasten one short board at 19-3/4 inches on center and a second at 38-3/4 inches on center. This will result in a space of 17-1/2 inches between each board. Repeat to create the second frame piece.
Cut Plywood Top and Bottom
Use a circular saw to cut two pieces of plywood to 58-1/2 inches in length and a width of 35 inches.
Cut Notches in Bottom Piece
To create a smooth flat surface on the inside of the pedestal, the plywood will need to be notched, so it sits perfectly inside of the front and back frame pieces. The quickest way to mark the notches is by using a scrap piece of 2x4, positioning it on the plywood, and tracing it with a pencil. Marking the four corners is quick and easy, as you just place the 2x4 in each corner and trace it.
For the four notches along the front and back of the plywood, measure from one end (preferably the same end you measured from when building the frame) and make a mark at 19-3/4 inches and another mark at 38-3/4 inches. Repeat on the other side.
On your scrap 2x4 piece, use your tape measure to find the halfway point of the 1-1/2-inch side and make a mark. Line this mark up with the marks made on the plywood and trace.
Line the two frame pieces up with your notches before cutting to ensure you've traced the lines properly. If so, cut the notches out using a jigsaw.
Fasten Plywood to Frames
Slide the two frames into the notches to guarantee fitment, removing any material with a jigsaw or sandpaper if the fit is too tight. Once you've achieved a perfect fit, use a countersink bit to drill pilot holes through the top of the plywood and into the frame. Aim for two to three equally spaced screws between each vertical board. Fasten the plywood to the frames using 2-inch wood screws.
Attach Top Piece
Place the second plywood piece on top, clamp it in place, and drill pilot holes approximately every six inches. Fasten the top piece to the frame using 2-inch wood screws.
Cut Horizontal Braces
To further strengthen the laundry pedestals, two horizontal braces will be installed on each end. To create the braces, cut 2x4s into four 28-inch pieces.
Drill Pocket Holes
On the ends of each 2x4 piece, drill two pocket hole screws. Make sure all pocket holes are on the same side regardless of end.
Attach Horizontal Board
On one end of the pedestal, position one of the boards against the top of the bottom plywood piece so that it lines up with the framing on the front and back with the pocket holes facing out. Fasten to the frame using pocket hole screws. Repeat this process with a second board pressed against the bottom of the top plywood piece. Move to the opposite end of the pedestal and repeat with the remaining two boards.
Screw Plywood to Horizontal Braces
For added strength, use a countersink bit to drill three to four pilot holes through the top plywood piece into the newly added horizontal braces, then tightly secure with 3-inch wood screws. Flip the pedestal over and repeat the process on the bottom.
Cut Side Pieces
Cut two pieces of plywood measuring 20 inches by 35 inches.
Line the plywood sides up with the sides of the frame until flush on all edges. Starting in each corner, use a countersink bit to pre-drill holes, and fasten using 2-inch wood screws. Once attached, add one additional screw between each corner screw. Repeat on second side.
Cut and Attach Trim
Cut the MDF casing into two pieces measuring 60 inches long. Apply an even layer of glue to the back of one and position it along the bottom of the front. Secure using an 18-gauge brad nailer or a hammer and brad nails. Repeat this process on top attach the second 60-inch piece.
The vertical trim pieces will measure 15-1/2 inches and you'll need four. Once cut, line the end pieces up with the outside edges and attach using glue and brad nails. Position the middle pieces on center covering the frame and attach with glue and brad nails.
Fill Gaps, Cracks, and Holes
Use wood filler to fill any nail or screw holes, as well as any noticeable divots and imperfections. Once dry, sand the filler as well as the entire pedestal with 220-grit sandpaper. Fill any remaining imperfections, gaps, or cracks using paintable caulk.
Prime the pedestal with a primer intended for covering raw wood. Once dry, sand according to the manufacturer's instructions and wipe away all dust.
Paint the pedestal in your desired color. Once dry, apply a second coat and consider following up with a third for extra durability.
How to Mount the Pedestal Inside of a Nook
If you chose to alter the dimensions of the pedestal to fit inside of a nook, follow these steps to mount the pedestal inside of the nook.
To allow the pedestal to sit tightly within the nook, remove any baseboard that stands in the way. To do so, use the depth of the pedestal to determine how far out from the back wall you should measure and mark the baseboard. On this mark, use an oscillating multitool to cut a clean vertical line down the baseboard. Repeat on the opposite side. Use a pry bar to remove all of the baseboard from the line to the wall and any remaining on the back wall.
Find and Mark Studs
Use a stud finder and pencil to find and mark each of the studs along the side walls.
With a helper, slide the pedestal into place, being careful not to damage the walls in the process.
Use 3-inch wood screws to secure the horizontal side braces to the studs in the wall. This will keep the pedestal from vibrating and shaking, allowing you to fill the gaps between the pedestal and walls with caulk and paint.
Caulk and Paint Around Pedestal
Fill all gaps and cracks around pedestal with paintable caulk and let it dry. Once dry, paint the caulk and touch up any surrounding paint.
How to Keep a Laundry Pedestal in Good Condition
Maintaining your laundry pedestal is as simple as keeping it clean and touching up the paint when necessary. To ensure the paint lasts as long as possible, consider placing anti-vibration adhesive pads beneath the feet of your appliances. This will also increase the safety of the laundry pedestal, though proper anchoring is recommended.