Laundry Renovation

Where should a laundry room be located in a house?

Laundry is a constant chore, from what to do with dirty clothes, washing and drying, and putting the laundry away. Even though it’s a daily part of our lives, putting the laundry room is too often treated as an afterthought.

Main Considerations

When planning on adding a laundry room, you might face the dilemma of locating the space. Your laundry room’s location must strike a perfect balance in ways that may seem contradictory. It should be convenient, yet not be so close to living areas that noise becomes an issue. It should be spacious enough for big appliances and for handling clothes, yet not so large as to steal room from the house’s living areas. Above all, your laundry room must tap into a range of utilities and access points that can be difficult to move or extend. Yet, you want maximum flexibility with the placement of the laundry room. Planning your next laundry renovations? Hitch Property Constructions has you covered!

Utilities

Of all of the factors that will shift your laundry room from one area to another, utilities’ placement is the most important. Locating a laundry room at or near electrical and plumbing points, plus a venting location, will save you considerable amounts of money, time, and aggravation.

Electrical

All dryers, both gas and electrical, require electricity. Gas dryers typically require a 120V, 3-prong electrical outlet. Electric dryers require a 240V, 30-amp electric outlet. Washers require a 120V, AC only, 15- or 20-amp, fused electrical outlet. These electrical hookups should be within 4 to 6 feet of the appliances. All power must be grounded, and all outlets should be three-prong.

Plumbing (Water Supply)

Clothes washers require both hot and cold water valves, clean and corrosive-free and within 6 feet of the intended hookup location.

Drain System

Washers require a drain system in the form of a floor drain, wall standpipe, floor standpipe, or a laundry tub.

Ducting

All dryers must duct out through an exterior wall or the roof to the outdoors. Some rigid metal ducts with no bends can extend as far as 120 feet to the outside. Generally, though, the best rule of thumb is to keep the dryer duct as short and straight as possible.

Gas

Natural gas dryers require a natural gas line; no liquid propane hookups are allowed.

Space

Count on using at least 30 inches in width and 35 inches depth per machine. Add another five and a half inches behind the dryer for the dryer vent.

Sturdy, Level Floor

Your laundry room must have the floor sturdy enough to support a minimum weight of 200 pounds. You will also need to take into consideration the combined weight of a companion appliance. Keep the slope of the floor to 1-inch or less across the width of the appliance.

Convenience

A laundry room located too far away from living and working areas such as the kitchen is inconvenient and adds even more work to laundry day. Keep the laundry room within a realistic distance of the house’s sites where you work and relax.

Safety Concerns

As long as you correctly set up the washer and dryer and keep them well-maintained, operational safety should not be an issue. Especially be vigilant about keeping the dryer vent clean, clear, and flowing. Make sure that any stackable washer and dryer unit is installed correctly to avoid toppling. If carrying bulky, heavy clothing is at all an issue for you, prioritize ground-level placement of the laundry room over one located in the basement or on upper floors.

Layout Options

Location, too, depends on the intended laundry room layout. Galley-style laundry room layouts are long and narrow, and they use the least amount of room and work well on the other side of the kitchen walls. The downside to this type of layout is that the working room is minimal.

L-shaped and U-shaped laundry rooms give you the most fantastic range of options in terms of washer and dryer location, storage, and working room. Yet, you need a more expansive space for the L-shaped room to accommodate an extra section of countertop and cabinets. For the U-shaped laundry room, the area needs to be even wider to make room for an entire U-shape of cabinets and countertops, plus even more space if you want to put clothes folding table in the middle of the room.

Laundry Space Options

Laundry Renovation

The laundry room dimensions page explores different layout options for different sizes of laundry spaces:

  • Self-contained laundry room.
  • Closet laundry room might face into a corridor or be located within another room such as the kitchen, mudroom, bathroom, walk-in closet or maybe the garage or another external space.

Of course, it might work better for you to have laundry spaces around the house (appliances, drying, ironing and folding taking place in different locations)

The size and number of people in your household will determine how much space you need for laundry and guide you to which of these two types of laundry spaces will work best for you. Check out a wide range of laundry renovations Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.

Dedicated Laundry Room

If your house already has a dedicated laundry room with all of the required hookups, you strongly recommend locating your laundry room there. All of the intricate, expensive work—establishing drainage, electrical, and water supply points—has already been done for you.

If you are balking at locating your laundry room in this space, it is often more comfortable and less expensive to take care of those concerns rather than move the laundry room elsewhere. If the dedicated laundry space is too small, consider removing a wall to expand the room. If the space is next to a quiet area, consider replacing the interior hollow-core door with a solid soundproof door.

Near the bedrooms

Considering where the laundry is stored and used, it makes sense to put the laundry room near the bedrooms. This would cut down on transporting dirty and clean laundry back and forth and keeps the chore out of sight in the more private part of the home. But there are noise issues to consider – would someone be able to sleep while running a load? And if the bedrooms are not on the home’s main living level, you’re back to the multiple trips up and down the stairs during the process.

If you’ve gone for a laundry location near the bedrooms, you could put it.

  • in the master closet
  • in a corridor, landing or hallway near the bedrooms
  • In the family bathroom

Near bedroom pros

Most of the laundry is generated from undressing, which occurs in bedrooms and bathrooms, which tend to be located together. This location minimizes the amount of carrying involved. A space near the bedrooms would feel very much like being part of the home rather than just a utility space.

Near bedroom cons

If there was a flood, there could be more damage, but this can be mitigated by placing the appliances in a bathroom. If some of the laundries are very dirty, there might be a mess created by getting the dirty laundry through the home to the laundry room. Running the laundry appliances at night would make a noise issue.

Near a Kitchen

The kitchen is where we spend the bulk of our time, and it is, essentially, a workroom on the main level of the home, so placing the laundry here makes sense. There are already water lines available, and the units can be hidden behind cabinets with space for storage and a countertop for sorting and folding. But this can also take up valuable work and storage space, and everyone in the kitchen will be aware when a load is running. Also, are you okay with someone folding laundry while you’re cooking?

Placing the laundry room next to the kitchen gives you all the advantages listed above while keeping it out of sight in a dedicated space, enhancing the experience and productivity. Kitchen-adjacent areas include a mudroom, butler’s pantry or the garage, and all these options are multi-purpose spaces used mainly by the family, so it helps with the privacy and noise concerns.

These are just the most common places for a laundry room. Bathrooms and spare bedrooms are also options, and as long as you can run plumbing to it, almost any space can work (especially when incorporating soundproofing techniques).

Near the kitchen pros

You can see the laundry as you see other things in the kitchen. If you have space for a laundry room, space could do double duty as a butlers pantry.

Near the kitchen cons

Carrying to and from the bedrooms, bathrooms and linen closet. If your main living area is also near the laundry, noise could be an issue.

Mudroom or Family Entrance

On house plans and floor plans, you’ll often see the laundry room located in a transitional space such as the mudroom or the corridor next to the home’s family entrance.

In the mudroom or family entrance pros

Sweaty, muddy, wet gear can be ditched immediately where it’s going to be washed. If this is the case in your household, I also recommend a shower in the mudroom.

In the mudroom or family entrance cons

The mudroom or family entrance is often used for pets. In my opinion, pets and clean laundry don’t mix. Most of the laundry has to be carried from and back to the bedrooms and linen closets.

Basement

Basements are often used for laundry rooms since they offer more space than the ground floor or upper levels. Also, putting the laundry room in the cellar lets you maximize space in the living areas upstairs. In the event of flooding, water is contained in the basement, away from living areas.

In the Midwest, this is the traditional place for the laundry room because it stays out of sight and keeps you from hearing the noise. The basement space allows you to create a productive workspace with tables, lighting, and storage around the washer and dryer. But making multiple trips up and down the stairs (often with a load in your arms) can become a problem as we age. And having laundry so far away from where the clothes and linens are stored can be illogical.

Basement Pros

You and your guests don’t have to stare at the laundry, and you won’t feel pressured to rush to tidy up if guests drop by. Many builders put laundry connections in basements by default, so even if your basement is unpleasant, you can do some easy updates around the washer and dryer to make it a little nicer. Lighting, cabinets, paint and a comfortable rug can go a long way to making things less scary.

Basement Cons

As mentioned, most basements tend to be dark, dank and unfinished. “So many clients run down, throw the laundry in and run back out. It’s not a Zen experience,” says Padvaiskas.

Basements also pose the same problem as discussed earlier with having the laundry room on the second floor. You’ll have to make multiple trips up and down a flight of stairs, and if you’re busy, you run the risk of not remembering to check on the load because you won’t hear the buzzer.

Hallway

Placing the washer and dryer in a hallway is a great space saver, and since bedrooms and bathrooms are often of a hallway, it’s a convenient location. If you place them in a closet, closing the doors keeps them out of sight and cuts down on the noise. A drawback is the hallway traffic congestion while attending to the laundry, and there may not be room for a folding surface and laundry hamper.

Hallway Pros

This is an excellent option if you don’t have a lot of space elsewhere. It works great for condos, single people, couples without kids and anyone who doesn’t mind having their laundry out. Hallways are typically centrally located in the home, putting you closer to the bedrooms, dirty clothes, and towels, making for shorter trips.

Hallway Cons

Doing laundry takes up space. You need room to bend down, open doors, set down a hamper, and hallways are usually high-traffic zones. So, if you’ve got a narrow hallway and have those bifold doors available and all your laundry piled on the floor in front of the machines, then you’ve got a choke point in your house, and it will be difficult for others to walk up and down the hall.

If your hallway and bedrooms are on a floor other than the main floor, where you spend the bulk of your time, consider how often you’ll need to go up and down the stairs to sort and load the laundry. If the machines are out of earshot, will you be prone to forgetting about switching loads? And will the noise affect any napping children during the day?

And don’t forget about storage. If the machines are stacked in a closet, the question becomes, where will you put the soap, fold the clean clothes and sort the laundry? If you live alone, this might not be a huge deal, but for large families, it’s far from ideal.

Remember that washing machines need cold and hot water connections, electricity, a water drain and venting to the outside. The cost of running all this into a new spot in a house can add up quickly.

Laundry Design Considerations

Over on the laundry room design page, we discuss what makes a good laundry, and some of the points deal with the laundry room location, and here we’ll look at those in more detail. We need to ask the classic why (to have neat stuff), who, when, where and what. The answers to these questions feed into how to design a laundry room.

  • Who does the laundry? They should get to decide where it is.
  • How often do you do the laundry? If you’re a couple and doing one or two loads per week, that’s one thing. If you’ve six children, that’s another! The more often you do the laundry – the more it should be in a very accessible place in the home.
  • When do you do the laundry? This question is essential because of the noise that laundry appliances make. It’s cheaper to run appliances at night in some countries, so you don’t want the noise drifting into the bedrooms – from a room to the side or from above / below.
  • Where do you dry your laundry? If you want to dry your clothes outside, you’re going to need access to an outdoor space – but it could be a balcony off an upstairs room. Alternatively, you could set up a well-ventilated indoor drying arrangement.
  • What do you wash? Of course, we’ve all got clothes and bed linen, but your laundry might also include heavily soiled or wet items such as rugby gear, pet equipment, or wetsuits, which might impact where your laundry room should be located. It might not be ideal to have your laundry upstairs beside the bedrooms if the stairs become filthy and wet, carrying dirty items upstairs. We have a wide range of Melbourne laundry renovations services at Hitch Property Constructions.
  • How do you want your laundry to feel? The location can set the atmosphere of a room. The area of your laundry room might make it feel very much like a working space, or it can feel like a pleasant room you spend time in to get a job done. It sounds like both these sentences mean the same thing, but you can make your laundry feel like an outhouse or like a luxurious bathroom, and much of that starts with the location.
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