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Laundry Room Building Tips

Are you sick of hauling clothes to and from the laundromat? Then it’s time for you to indulge in one of life’s underrated pleasures — the home laundry room. Never again will you have to scrounge for quarters or battle for the best dryer. As a bonus, a laundry room means you can wash soiled socks or stained pants the moment they get dirty. Who doesn’t want that kind of convenience?

Before you get started converting your mudroom or basement into a haven for cleaning clothes, there are a few important factors to consider.

1. Plumbing

A laundry room needs to have the proper plumbing. Without it, you’re guaranteed to be left high and dry with a mess of dirty clothes. You’ll need the ability to run hot and cold water to both the washer and the utility sink.

Both of these will have to be able to drain. You can hook the washer up to drain into the sink, but the sink itself has to be able to drain to the outside of your house.

If you really want to pimp out your laundry room’s drainage system, install a floor drain for drips and overflow.

2. Ventilation

Nobody wants to wash their whites in a room that feels like being in the bayou. Before you install any appliances make sure the room is properly ventilated.

A dryer vent is a must-have. It’s the key to removing heat and any hazardous gases that are bi-products of drying clothes. When connecting your dryer to the vent, opt for a ridged metal vent pipe as opposed to a corrugated plastic one which wastes energy and traps lint.

Windows that open and close are the easiest way to moderate a laundry room’s temperature. However, basement laundry rooms that suffer from a lack of outside air need ventilating fans near the washer and dryer to combat lint, air pollutants and humidity.

3. Door Width

Don’t get stuck with a washer and dryer you can’t fit through your mudroom entrance or down a set of narrow basement steps. Measure the width of the door before you head out to purchase appliances.

4. Flooring

Muddy clothes, detergent spills, potential flooding and major foot traffic all contribute to the wear and tear of your laundry room floor. Choose flooring that’s up to the challenge. Vinyl, ceramic tiling and concrete are all viable options that are easy to clean, durable and both water and stain resistant.

5. Walls

A truly organized laundry room is not only going to have plenty of shelving and cabinet space, but also an area to hang drying clothes. Make sure your walls are up to snuff. They need to be able to withstand a good amount of weight.

Before you hang anything, check for wall studs. If you’re dealing with drywall that doesn’t have studs or basement walls made of brick or concrete, you’re going to need special screws. You may also want to consider alternatives like floor cabinets, stacked baskets, or a collapsible drying rack.

A laundry room should make life easier, not create more chaos. Taking these important factors into consideration nixes the likelihood of a major design disaster.

By Megan Mostyn-Brown

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