When you want to remodel a laundry room, careful planning is essential to creating a space that is cost-effective, functional, attractive, and enjoyable to use. With basic room design tools that include safety, green building, workflow, and organizational planning, you will have this unique space operational with the least amount of effort and at a price that fits your budget.
Find a Place For the Laundry Room
Where do you want to place the laundry room? With some homes, a dedicated space has already been created for this purpose. In most cases, it makes sense to place the laundry room here since the difficult and expensive job of installing water, drainage, gas, and electrical connections is complete.
Homes that have a basement offer another opportunity for carving out an area for the laundry room. Basements have the advantage of moving noisy laundry operations out of the living areas. In the event of flooding, water is contained in the basement. On the other hand, placing the laundry room upstairs in the living areas makes it more convenient to integrate washing and drying clothes into your normal routine.
Shop for the Washer and Dryer
Because the washer and dryer form the core of the laundry room, it often is wise to start early to shop for a washing machine and for a dryer. Your choice of machines will dictate the subsequent layout and design of the laundry room.
Plan the Laundry Room Layout
Once you have decided on a space, you will need to decide on the laundry room layout, or footprint, within that space. A galley or corridor style laundry room is a long, narrow room with machines and cabinets on one side. In larger spaces, an L-shaped laundry room layout gives you more countertop space for folding clothes.
Design the Laundry Room
Home interiors often get the style treatment, while the laundry room is ignored. Break from the norm and design your laundry room to match your home's style or to create a new treatment altogether. Find a paint color for your laundry room to catch attention and inspire or to calm and soothe.
Create a Safe Laundry Room
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 15,000 house fires every year start in the laundry room. One-third of those fires begin at the dryer, specifically with the dryer vent. The dryer vent must be installed correctly and kept scrupulously clean to prevent fires. Additionally, laundry rooms should be designed to keep users safe against the possibility of electric shock, slipping, and poisoning.
Budget the Cost of Remodeling the Laundry Room
Decide in advance how much you can spend on your laundry room remodel. A low-cost laundry room is mostly centered around adding cabinets, counters, and economical flooring. A mid-range remodel will give you the full complement of cabinets and countertops, as well as better quality flooring. A high-cost remodel may include any of the previous items, plus a layout change, premium cabinets, quartz countertops, and loads of extras.
Be Eco-Conscious: Make Your Laundry Room Green
Laundry rooms are notorious power consumers. Lighten the energy draw by exploring simple ways to save energy. Once the laundry room is operational, save water by correctly gauging load sizes and cycles. Inexpensive, easy-to-install products such as indoor clotheslines and drying racks reduce reliance on the dryer.
Build Laundry Room Storage
A smart system of cabinets is at the heart of a well-organized laundry room. Floor-mounted base cabinets and wall cabinets—just like the cabinets found in kitchens—can store a majority of the laundry room's items. But don't neglect easy storage solutions like open shelves.
Choose the Right Laundry Room Flooring
The question is not if water will find its way to the laundry room floor but when it will. Laundry rooms are rife with moisture: water from the washer basin, water from the outlet hose, water in the form of moist, humid air.
Safeguard against water intrusion by choosing a type of flooring that resists moisture and retains its dimension if soaked. Sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl, ceramic and porcelain tile, and concrete floors work well in laundry rooms. Protect against catastrophic flooding by installing a floor drain.
Select Laundry Room Countertops
Strike the perfect balance between function, style, and price by choosing the right countertops to be installed on the base cabinets. High-end quartz or engineered stone counters are smooth, solid, and return excellent resale value but are expensive. Laminate and solid surface counters are less expensive yet equally smooth and ideal for folding clothing.
Install a Laundry Room Sink
A laundry room sink, or utility sink, is an option that allows you to clean especially dirty clothing or to pre-soak clothing. It is a bonus that many homeowners love, too, since it can be used for cleaning any dirty item that shouldn't be cleaned in your home's other sinks—paintbrushes, muddy boots, car parts.
A freestanding polypropylene utility sink is inexpensive and can be installed by most do-it-yourselfers. For a smoother look and extra convenience, consider a stainless steel or enamel-coated cast-iron sink that either drops in or mounts under your countertops.
Accessorize Your Laundry Room
Round off your completed and fully remodeled laundry room with gadgets and accessories that make wash day easier and more enjoyable, such as:
- Ironing board hanger
- Fun removable stickers on the washer and dryer
- Do-it-yourself rope hamper
- Dry-erase decal lists