Laundry Renovations

How do you support a countertop for a laundry room?

How do you build a counter over a washer and dryer? That is one of the challenging questions we faced when renovating the laundry room. A countertop in the laundry room is a necessity. A countertop across the washer and dryer provides space for folding clothes, a place for placing detergent and other cleaning products, and – as is the case in our house – room to stack the folded clothes for weeks until you put them away. Planning your next laundry renovations? Hitch Property Constructions has you covered!

Laundry room countertops are a convenient area to hold laundry detergents and stain removers, and fold clothing. An unsupported countertop lacks stability and strength, which can lead to the countertop loosening and falling. A laundry room countertop without support is a shelf. Using the same techniques as bracing a frame will provide a secure and firm surface. Manufacturers make shelf brackets capable of holding a countertop in a laundry room in the place.

Two main components of the makeover involved hammers, nails, and drills: installing an attractive backsplash and constructing a laundry room countertop. It wasn’t hard, but it did affect some “deep thinking” and a “let’s do this with intent” attitude.

How To Build A Counter Over A Washer And Dryer

Determining how to install a laundry countertop is not a complicated project. If you are installing your counter over a front load washer and dryer, no matter what material you use for the countertop, the supporting structure beneath will pretty much be the same. 

The method I am sharing here can be used to install any floating countertop. You can use it for a desk, counter, or floating bench.

Preparation Before Installing The Laundry Room Countertop

After painting and installing the boards for the backsplash, it’s time to tackle the countertop. You can purchase two 4′ X 8′, ¾ inch pre-sanded birch plywood sheets and have them cut into the two large pieces you would need 1 for the countertop (30 1/2″ X 75″) and 1 for the vertical support (30 1/2″ X 40 1/2″). Next, paint the two boards. You can purchase two 10′, ¾ inch flat moulding to cover the countertop’s raw, exposed edges and the ends of the backsplash. First, cut those pieces into the lengths you need using a mitre box, and hand saw. Then paint.

Materials For Installing The Laundry Room Countertop

We would need support for the countertop and support for the vertical sideboard. Technically, we required three support boards:

  • One board to support the countertop against the side wall; the depth of the countertop is 30 1/2″, but I measured a commission to be 28″ long.
  • One board the length of the countertop minus 3/4″ to allow for the vertical panel.
  • One board to be vertical on the wall. The sheer panel is 40 1/2″ tall. The vertical 1′ x 4′ needed to be 40 1/2 – 4″ to allow for the moulding on the floor.

What’s the best way to support a countertop across a washer and dryer?

The easy method you can do is to use a combination of cleats and a roof. The cleat provides a brace to hold the countertop up on the wall, and the top provides support underneath the countertop so it won’t sag.

How do you support a countertop for a laundry room? (1)

In our situation, we had a sink beside the washer and dryer, so we used an end gable (an Ikea panel from the As-Is section) to support one side of the countertop. However, if our washer and dryer were in a niche and had walls on three sides, we could still use this method just using cleats. 

In addition to using this method for a counter over a washer and dryer, you can also use cleats and gables for:

  • installing a floating countertop in a nook
  • making a floating vanity countertop
  • installing a desktop between cabinets
  • installing a floating bench
  • installing floating shelves in a closet

How To Install A Countertop Over A Washer And Dryer

Draw a Level Line

The first step to installing a counter over a washer and dryer is to draw a level line to indicate the countertop’s underside. If you want to move your washing machines in and out, you’ll want to have some wiggle room, so don’t have the countertop touching the devices’ tops.

Install a cleat on the wall

Under this line, install a cleat. A cleat is a strip of material to which the countertop will be attached, providing horizontal support. 

Support the countertop with a gable

If your countertop spans a wide area, you’ll also need to install a roof to support the countertop in the middle and prevent it from sagging. 

Ensure that the roof’s height is level with the top of the cleat and that the roof’s depth is narrower than the centre of your countertop. The top short vertical piece will screw into the cleat. For the sheer bottom work, you will first need to screw a spacer piece (the same thickness as the cleat) at the base of your wall and screw into that. The extended horizontal component will be screwed into the underside of the countertop. Again, you’ll want to make your roof less profound than your counter so it isn’t visible.

Affix the countertop to the cleats and gable 

You can use a combination of L-brackets and screws to affix the countertop. Attach the L-brackets around the countertop’s perimeter, with one side screwed into the countertop and the other into the cleat. Then attach the roof to the countertop. Use L-brackets along the top of the roof, with one side screwed into the countertop’s underside (along with the middle horizontal piece) and the other into the ceiling. Once the countertop has been attached to the cleat and gable, slide the washer and dryer back in place. 

Installing The Laundry Room Countertop

Mount the countertop on the horizontal supports and the vertical board. Use L-brackets to attach the countertop. First, move the washer and dryer to the wall to connect the countertop to the vertical support and then transfer them back to the excellent help with about 1″ clearance. Attach the countertop to the horizontal approval on the wall. 

Finishing The Laundry Room Countertop

Attach the 3/4″ flat mouldings to the raw edges of the countertops. Measure the mouldings (very carefully!) and use a mitre box and handsaw to cut the moulding. You will need two straight pieces: 1 for where the vertical board met the wall and where the countertop and the vertical board met. For all the moulding, use wood glue and finishing nails.

Then you will need two boards for the front of the countertop: 1 for the vertical board and 1 for the horizontal. Use a mitre box to make a 45′ angle and paint it.

The final step is to figure out how to bridge the gap between the top of the counter and the bottom of the backsplash. 

TIP: Check your wood at the store to make sure it’s straight.

Measured the length for the countertop’s back and cut it 75″ inch; the size of the countertop plus the flat moulding width. Get a straight moulding and cut for the depth of the countertop: 30 1/2″. Paint both pieces. Now we had to figure out how to attach the two parts of moulding. Once again, caulk and finishing nails came to the rescue.

Last Steps

Now the laundry room countertop installation is complete. Besides having a space for folding clothes and paint (an unintended bonus), the laundry room now has a cleaner, sleeker look. The plugs and plumbing are out of sight and (hopefully, no more socks or underwear lost behind the dryer), and the weathered barn wood backsplash provides an excellent focal point. I also discovered that the space under the countertop on the washer and dryer is a great place to store large stencils and foam boards. To cover the caulk and the finishing nails and give a cohesive finish to all the wood, give everything one more paint coat. But that’s for another day.

How to Support a Countertop in a Laundry Room

  • Locate the wall studs, using a stud finder, along the countertop’s entire length—Mark the wall stud locations with a pencil.
  • Choose shelf brackets or angle iron L-brackets in length equal to half the wall’s distance to the front of the countertop. Use one frame for each wall stud.
  • Position the bracket up against the wall on the stud marking that extends under the countertop. Trace the outline of the frame onto the underside of the countertop. Repeat this step for the bracket.
  • Cut strips of 1-inch-thick wood that are 1 inch longer than the bracket section that will lie under the countertop.
  • Apply construction adhesive to the strip of wood and affix it to the countertop’s underside, lining it up with the outline you drew for the bracket. Hold the wood in place for five minutes, connect the next strip of wood and hold it in place for five minutes. Continue until you’ve set wood strips into each outline. Construction adhesive dries and sets quickly, so there is no need to brace the wood strips.
  • Place the bracket up against the wall and along the wood strip on the underside of the countertop. Have an assistant hold the frame in place tightly up against the wall and bottom of the cabinet. Use a pencil to mark the bracket holes directly on the wall and the underside of the countertop.
  • Drill pilot holes through the marks and into the wall studs. Drill pilot holes 1-1/4 inches deep on the underside of the countertop.
  • Line up the bracket with the pilot holes, and have your assistant firmly hold the frame in place. Sink screws through the bracket holes and into the wall studs with a power screwdriver. Sink screws that are 1/4-inch shorter than the combined thickness of the wood strip and countertop through the bracket hole and wood strip into the countertop’s underside. Repeat this step for each bracket.

How to Build a Laundry Cabinet With a Countertop

Today, most homes are built with attached laundry rooms for convenient cleaning, but the rooms are often no-frills in terms of style. With this project, you can upgrade your laundry room into an attractive work and storage space with cabinets and a tiled countertop. Check out a wide range of laundry renovations Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.

Materials and Tools:

  • measuring tape
  • circular saw
  • safety glasses
  • dust mask
  • oak plywood for counters
  • ½-inch plywood
  • 2-by-6-inch boards
  • 1-by-4-inch boards
  • 2-by-4-inch boards
  • trim pieces
  • cabinet doors
  • pneumatic nailer
  • 2-inch screws
  • screw gun
  • level
  • drill with a paddle bit
  • jigsaw
  • mitre saw
  • finishing nails
  • drop cloth
  • water-based stain
  • 3-inch paintbrush
  • towels
  • small notched trowel
  • countertop adhesive
  • tiles
  • plastic spacers
  • grout
  • grout bag
  • wet saw (available for rental at home stores)
  • sponge

Steps:

  • Measure the laundry room. Measure the depth of the washer and dryer to determine the centre of the countertop. Leave about 6 inches for the water-hose connections and the dryer vent. Measure for the height of the counter, leaving about an inch between the counter and the appliances.
  • Remove the washer and dryer from the room. Rip the first piece of plywood to length. Cut the two side pieces of the cabinet from this piece of oak plywood. Cut a 2-by-6 to the desired lengths, and attach the lumber to the base of the cabinet. These will serve as supports for the bottom shelves of the cabinet.
  • Wearing eye protection, use a pneumatic nailer to assemble all the pieces. Attach a couple of 1-by-4’s to the cabinet to act as supports for the countertop.
  • Since the countertop will cover any holes you knock in the wall, you can use a hammer and nail to locate wall studs if you don’t have a stud finder. Attach the cabinet to the wall with 2-inch screws, securing the screws into the studs.
  • Make a mark at the location for your nailer and draw a level line across the length of the wall. Set the 1-by-4 nailer onto the wall, lining it up with the level line, and secure it to the wall with 2-inch screws driven through the nailer and into the studs.
  • Secure three 2-by-4’s to another nailer, and then secure this assembly to the wall and on top of the base cabinet to serve as your countertop framing. This support system will bear the weight of the countertop.
  • Wearing safety goggles and a dust mask, cut the ½-inch plywood to size with a circular saw. Set the plywood on top of the countertop framing. Secure the plywood with 1½-inch screws, driving them through the countertop and into the 2-by-4 frame.
  • Mark the location for the sink cutout. Drill an opening in the cutout with a drill and paddle bit, and then cut out the door with a jigsaw.
  • Measure around the perimeter of the base cabinet to establish the lengths of trim. Cut all the trim pieces to size with a mitre saw. Secure the border to the cabinet with a hammer or pneumatic nailer and finishing nails. Use a tile piece when installing the trim so that the frame will be flush with the tiles when they’re installed.
  • Throwdown a drop cloth and apply the stain, starting from the inside of the cabinet. Wipe off excess stain with a towel.
  • Spread adhesive on the countertop with a small notched trowel. Draw a line and begin setting tiles into the glue, using plastic spacers to keep them evenly spaced. Use a slight twisting motion to seat tiles into the adhesive.
  • Use a wet saw to cut tiles to fit. Keep the reservoir in the saw full, and change the water occasionally to get rid of sediment that could clog the circulating pump.
  • Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s directions; use a mixing paddle and a drill to make mixing easier. Fill the bag and apply the grout to the grout lines. Use the trowel to force the grout into the grout lines. Remove excess grout.
  • After the grout begins to cure, wipe across the surface with a wet sponge to remove any of the excess grout along the tiles’ edge and clean up the countertop. We have a wide range of Melbourne laundry renovations services at Hitch Property Constructions.
  • Install the new sink and faucet, and attach the doors to the front of the cabinet.
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