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Read This Before Renovating Your Laundry Room

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Design & Renovation Inspiration

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 @ 10:08am
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While having a well thought out laundry room may not help lessen the mountain of clothes you need to wash, it can take some sting out of the chore and be more efficient. When planning your next laundry room renovation, here are some home improvement tips you can follow, so you’ll have a space where laundry won’t rule your life.

Where Should Your Laundry Room be?


Does your laundry room need to be in your basement? Not necessarily. While many homeowners prefer having a dedicated space in the basement that doubles as laundry and storage, this doesn’t have to be the case.

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Advantage of Having a Main Floor Laundry Room


For example, those who plan to live in their homes forever can really benefit from a main floor laundry room. By keeping it on the same level as your kitchen, bathroom, living room, and master bedroom, you’ll be navigating less stairways, which can become a challenge as you age, and mobility becomes a concern.

Pay special attention to washing machine leaks, as they can really damage your main floor rooms.

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Moving A Laundry Room


If you do relocate a washer and dryer on the main or upper floors then I recommend putting additional blocking in the framing of the floor below to carry the added weight and reduce vibrations. I would also put the units on acoustic pads for further vibration reduction. You don’t want the rinse cycle to shake the whole house so a little extra strength is always a good thing for laundry rooms.

Upgrading Your Washer & Dryer


If you are getting a new washer and dryer; I say, definitely opt for high efficiency washer and dryer units.

These units use less water than the regular models, and extract more water through a faster spin, which also reduces drying time.

Anything we can do to reduce our water usage, and shorten our reliance on the dryer (which uses lots of energy) is a good thing in my books.

Front Loader or Top Loader Machine?


Should you go with a top-loading washing machine, or a front-loader? There are pros and cons to each.

If the space is tight than top-loading machines tend to be less wide and take a little less space to open and operate. I find the top-loader to be easier on the back and knees for guys like me that are up and down a lot. High efficiency top-loading washers tend to cost a little less than their front-loading counterparts and usually have a larger drum, allowing for more laundry to be done at once – perfect for big families with a never ending pile of clothes to wash.

However, as a trade-off, the wash cycle tends to be a little longer than in front-loading units.

With either choice I like to make sure the units are near but not on a perimeter wall. You want to be able to vent to the outdoors without too much trouble for the dryer but the washer will need to have water pipes connected so you don’t want those in an exterior wall where freezing could occur. I also recommend lifting air vents (registers) out of the floor and into the wall a foot or two above the baseboard – if there is accidental flooding it will not allow water to go into your ducts and throughout the house.

Storage and Organizational Solutions


Think about the functionality of your laundry room and how you use it. Do you wash, dry, fold, and hang right in the laundry room, or do you dump the clothes onto your couch and fold while watching Holmes + Holmes? Do you have lots of items that need to be air dried? Answering these questions will help dictate what kind of fixtures you’ll need for the space.

I like keeping everything to one space, but your needs may vary.

Leave Space For Accessories


Laundry rooms are typically small, so you want to plan for storage that will facilitate doing the laundry, like a spot for soap, bleach, etc. A folding table is a must for me as I like to fold and then put away. With lots of items that need air-drying, you might invest in some clothing drying racks. 

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Also think about incorporating some counter space for folding your clothes.

And while the basement often allows for more utility with more space it often has less ventilation and musty smells and mildew can become an issue.

So, when planning your new laundry space think function over form and take some time to select a durable and reliable washer and dryer. It’s not a fashion show until you put the clothes on so don’t worry if the machines look “sexy” – I say get what works.

Looking for design tips? Watch the Holmes @ Home video below.

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