10 Tips for Designing Your Laundry Room
As one of the hardest-working areas in your home, the laundry room must be practical and efficient. Here are some insider tips to help you plan your space.
1. Deep Countertops
One of the biggest mistakes made when planning a laundry room is choosing countertops that are too narrow. The main goal: You want your countertops to be deep enough to accommodate the washer and dryer so that they don’t stick out and look unsightly.
Consider a minimum countertop depth of 26 inches. That way your appliances will tuck in neatly underneath.
2. More Cupboards, Fewer Open Shelves
Most of the things you store in a laundry room are ones you’d rather not have on display. Therefore, it makes sense to include more closed cupboard space than open shelves. Be sure to include plenty of overhead cupboard space, as this is typically where most items are stored. Also, a tall cabinet is a great one to have to stash awkward items like brooms, mops and the ironing board.
If you’d like to use open shelving, consider using it sparingly for display items that bring interest to the space. However, be sure not to let it compromise your overall storage needs.
3. Durable Materials
Considering hot irons and chemicals will be used in your laundry area, a durable countertop material that is resilient is a must. A solid choice? Engineered stone.
In addition, you’ll also want to choose tough materials for the cabinets. They need to be very hard-wearing and have the ability to withstand moisture and steam.
Consider adding tile to the base of your cabinets since they cope well with moisture and will stand strong against mopping or steam cleaning.
4. Compact Fixtures (for Small Spaces)
Two must-haves for a laundry room are ample counter space and storage — especially in small spaces. To free up room in a little laundry, choose a compact sink that is smaller in length and width than a normal sink, but deeper so that your sink capacity is satisfactory.
5. Know Your Specific Storage Needs
When determining cabinetry, get specific about your storage requirements. For instance, will you be storing cleaning detergents or long items like mops and brooms? Do you need room for laundry baskets or hampers? Will you be storing pet items in the laundry room? Being clear about your needs will ensure that they are taken into account in the design.
6. Location is Critical
When deciding on the layout and positioning of your laundry, don’t forget to think about any access needs. For example, if you’re storing kitchen appliances in the laundry room, you may want direct access to the kitchen. Or you might want to plan for an external door so you can easily access an outdoor clothesline.
You should also pinpoint any other storage requirements, like if your laundry will double as a mudroom you’ll probably need somewhere to stick soiled shoes and clothing.
7. Space for Folding or Hanging
Are you going to want room for an ironing board in your laundry room? Maybe a flat surface is needed to place folded and ironed clothing, or a rail to hang them on. If working with limited space, consider using a fold-up ironing board that can be stashed away when not in use.
8. Pick the Right Door
Hinged doors are typically the most cost-effective style, but they’re not always the best choice — especially in small laundry rooms. For compact laundry spaces, consider bifold or sliding doors since they take up less room when open.
9. Plenty of Power Outlets
When planning, know which appliances you’ll use and make certain you have enough power outlets to accommodate them. Be sure the outlets are placed in the right spots so that everything can be plugged in easily. In addition to those needed for the washer and dryer, you might need outlets for an ironing station or small appliances.
10. Most Practical Washer-Dryer Setup
The best space-saving option for little laundry areas is stackable front-loading washer-dryers. When shopping, keep in mind that not all washers and dryers can be stacked. Some are too heavy and must be installed under a counter.
For those needing the maximum amount of counter space, a side-by-side washer and dryer setup that nestles under a countertop is best. However, it might not work well in an apartment or a small laundry room.
Top-loading machines are another option, but will require plenty of overhead space so that they can be opened. That means no stashing them under a countertop.