How to Design the Perfect Laundry Room

How to Design a Laundry Room

Designing your laundry room to be an effective and pleasant work space can take the doldrums out of the mundane task of washing clothes. Whether you're remodeling or building your home from the ground up, there's a lot of factors to consider. Before beginning, we recommend taking a few minutes to ponder what a perfect laundry room would look like in your minds-eye.

 What type of appliances would you have? How much counter space? Do you have cabinets above the counters? on the floor? Is there a sink? Is there a designated space to hang clothes? 

Steps to Design a Laundry Room

Jot down the things that are important for your laundry room to incorporate. As you design your laundry room you may have restrictions that'll prevent the room from matching your vision, but that doesn't mean that you can't work around these obstacles and still have the things that really matter to you.

Step 1 - Appliances

If you plan to purchase a new washer and dryer you'll have less limitations than if you need to work around your existing appliances. As an example, you may prefer to have your washer and dryer stacked, or maybe side-by-side with counter space over the top. In these scenarios, you'd need to purchase a front load washer. Click HERE to learn the pro's and con's between front and top load washers. 

Another consideration is where your washer and dryer will be positioned within the room. If you already have the electrical and water hook-ups in place, your laundry room layout needs to be built around the appliances. If you want to relocate them, you'll also need yo move the hook-ups, which will add additional costs to your project and should be done by a professional.

Washer and Dryer Tips

  • Leave extra space around your appliances. Washers and dryers are not standardized in size. They come in different dimensions and when the time comes to purchase new ones, having a little extra space can make the transition simple. Check out this guide.
  • Front loader vs. Top loader. Consider the pro's and con's and what happens if you want to switch from one style to the other down the road. For example, a front loader can fit under a counter-top, but a top loader can not. 
  • Stacking your front load washing machine uses far less space than having them sitting side-by-side. If stacking is what you want to do, you'll need to purchase a stacking kit designed for your specific appliances.  
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    Placing your washer and dryer on a pedestal will provide additional storage. Be sure the pedestal you purchase is built for your model. 
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    Some manufacturers build their washers with washing pedestals. These give you the ability to wash small loads of laundry or separate delicates into small batches. 
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    If you need to purchase a new washer and dryer these buyers guides should help you make an educated decision. Washer Buyers Guide and Dryer Buyers Guide. 
Laundry Room Workspace

Step 2 - Work Space

Many people find their laundry rooms to be a wonderful space for a mud room; a place to wash the dog or store a litter box; working on craft projects and even starting seedlings for the garden. 

But if you don't have the work space available, you'll find yourself frustrated and disorganized, especially when your laundry room is used for anything other than washing and drying clothes. Having a well laid out work space, with plenty of counter space, will not only help you do the laundry, it'll also open the door to many other uses. Here are a few things to consider:

Count​​​​er Space

Build in as much counter space as possible. Frequently laundry baskets, detergents and other laundry supplies find a home, if only temporarily, on the counter. So the more counter space you have, the better.

If you have adequate counter space you'll be able to easily work on several tasks without the frustration of picking up in between. Keep in mind, that if you don't stack your washer and dryer the top of the appliances can be used to sort and fold clothes as well.

Floor Space

Moving freely in your laundry room can make a big difference in your efficiency. If you're always needing to close the door to the washer or dryer in order to move to the other side of the room . . . well, let's just say, you're not being very efficient and you're probably frustrated.

Some homeowners like to build an island counter where they can fold clothes and do other tasks. Be sure to leave enough space to be able to fully open the appliance's doors, and ideally be able to move freely when the doors are open.

Don't try to cram too many things into your laundry room if you don't have the floor space to move freely.

Sink

If you have the space and plumbing, a sink in your laundry room can really be helpful. Even if space is limited, you might consider finding a cover for the top of the sink to add more counter space when it's not in use.

A laundry room sink can either be a stand alone floor model, like the one on the right, or it can be built into the counter-top with work space on either or both sides. 

In the ideal situation, your sink should be located on the left side of your washer, as this offers the best work flow for efficiency. Clothes can be soaked and then placed directly into the washer with out any wasted steps.

Zenna Home, ErgoTub ELT2006W Freestanding Utility Laundry Tub with Pull-Out Faucet, White
  • Includes integrated washboard, towel bar and utility hooks
  • Includes multifunctional shelf, work surface and drying rack
  • Includes combination washing machine hose guard and soap dish
  • Pre-drilled holes for 4-inch faucet
  • Pilot holes and guides molded into underside for other faucet, soap pump and sprayer

Work Space Tips

  • Counter space is generally 24-inches deep, but if you are short on space it could be cut down to a foot.
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    As a rule of thumb, a side-by-side washer and dryer is designed to  fit within a 60-inch wide space. Where stacked appliances typically use less than 30-inches.
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    48-inches of clearance should be provided in front of a front-load washer. This will allow room to move in front of the open doors.
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    Having a minimum of 18-inches of free counter space for stain removal prep and other pre-wash activities will give you plenty of room to prepare your laundry prior to washing.
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    We recommend installing a deep sink. Deep sinks can be easily used to fill buckets. They are also less likely to splash when dumping a bucket full of dirty water. 
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    More is better than less when it comes to electrical outlets. 
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    The most common flooring material for laundry rooms is vinyl or linoleum.
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    Place your washing machine on a drip pan (or install a floor drain) to as an added layer of protection from a leaking washing machine.
Laundry Room Storage

Step 3 - Storage

 Laundry rooms need storage space. There's the obvious laundry supplies such as detergent, dryer sheets and stain remover, then there's irons and ironing boards. But you'll most likely also find this room to be a handy place to store other home necessity items such as light bulbs, water and furnace filters, brooms and vacuums among other things.

Overhead Cabinets

Cabinets that are above the counter are also called upper cabinets and they are a great option to maximize storage space. Using cabinets rather than shelves also helps keep the area looking neat and tidy.

Of course, all cabinets can be custom made to fit any space, but using the standard sizes will save you money. Here are the standard measurements to consider:

  • Depth: 12 inches
  • Width: Varies in size between 9-inches to 48-inches, increasing in 3-inch increments (ie. 9" - 12" - 15" etc)
  • Height: The cabinet height is determined by your ceiling height. Keep in mind that tall upper cabinets will require a step stool or even a ladder to reach the top shelves.
  • Positioning: Overhead cabinets should be placed at least 18-inches above your counter. 

Base Cabinets

A base cabinet is the cabinet that sits under the countertop. Thy offer the most storage since they are twice the depth of overhead cabinets. The standard measurements are:

  • Depth: 24-inches
  • Width: Base cabinets have the same size variations as overhead cabinets
  • Height: These cabinets are designed to fit under the standard counter height of 36-inches
  • Positioning: Leave at lease 42-inches of space between the front of the cabinet and any other cabinets or walls.

Free-Standing Cabinets

These pantry-style cabinets can turn extra wall space into a sharp looking storage area. They can be purchased to match your other cabinets giving your laundry room a rich look and feel, but is likely the more expensive way to go.

A  simple white storage cabinet can be just as effective and easier on the pocket book. Some freestanding cabinets are only 16-inches wide making them ideal for fitting into small spaces. 

Sale
Elite 32" Storage Cabinet
  • From Prepac elite storage collection, 2-Door cabinet for extra storage in utility room, garage, office, kitchen, or Bedroom
  • Constructed in laminate composite wood with White Melamine doors; with 2 adjustable and 1 fixed shelf
  • With all-metal 6-way hinges and all-metal handles on doors; soft-edged Corners on doors for safety
  • Ready to assemble Upon delivery; matching topper unit for Expanded storage
  • Assembled, measures 32 inches wide by 16 inches deep by 65 inches high; 5-year limited warranty

Unless you have a definite purpose in mind for your freestanding cabinet, we recommend purchasing one with adjustable/removable shelves. This will give you plenty of options down the road and even allow you to use it as a broom closet if you choose.

  • Keep in mind, that if you are planning on storing your ironing board within a cabinet, it will need to be larger than: 14" wide x 60" tall x 3" thick.

Custom Cabinetry

Whether you want to custom design your entire laundry room or you need  that one special cabinet to finish off your space, custom cabinetry is always an option. It is however, far more expensive than purchasing pre-built cabinets.

Storage Tips

  • Many people find folding clothes on a 36-inch counter uncomfortable and prefer using a table or lower counter that is between 30- to 34-inches high.
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    Laundry supplies such as pods, detergents and bleach can be very dangerous. Store these items out of reach of children. 
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    Top load washing machines should have a minimum of 6-inches of clearance between the bottom of the cabinet and the top of the washer lid.
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    A front load washing machine will generally be about 6-feet high when stacked. 
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    Most overhead and base cabinets are sold as kitchen cabinets and can easily be used in your laundry room.
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    Kitchen and closet storage bins and organizers work well in the laundry room to help you minimize clutter. 

Laundry Room Extras

Step 4 - Finishing Touches

The finishing touches in your laundry room can make all the difference. They not only help keep you organized and productive, but they can also give the room personality. 

The best laundry room designs are those that are built with convenience and enjoyment in mind. Like it or not, you'll spend a lot of time doing laundry, so you might as well make the room a space that's not only efficient, but also someplace you enjoy. Here are just a few things you should consider:

Baskets

Baskets are a handy way to keep your laundry room organized. They not only look fantastic, but they're also very practical and reasonably priced. Whether you like wicker, wire or something different, baskets can really add the "wow factor" to your room.

Sale
VonHaus Set of 4 Seagrass Storage Baskets with Insert Handles Ideal for Home and Bathroom Organization - 12(L) x 9(W) x 6(H) inches
  • SET OF FOUR: Set of 4 multi-purpose organization and storage baskets
  • MULTIPLE USE: Great for storing a range of items including clothing, accessories, beauty products, letters, paperwork and general household items
  • 100% SEAGRASS: Natural woven seagrass with wire frame and insert handles
  • STACKABLE: Stack on top of one another for efficient storage and a small footprint
  • SIZE: 12(L) x 9(W) x 6(H) inches for each basket

Sorting Basket

If you have the space, a sorting basket can be a great organization tool in the laundry room . . . especially for large families.

Saganizer Bag Laundry Organizer, Chrome/White
  • Limited time offer
  • Laundry hamper 3 section with 4 removable white poly-cotton sorting bins with metal handles for easy lifting
  • Laundry basket with removable bags to wash them laundry sorter
  • Laundry hamper sorter rust-resistant chrome-plated steel frame, high-traction, lockable rubber casters
  • Laundry hamper on wheels commercial-grade 4 bag laundry sorter combines sleek design and sturdy heavy-duty construction

Drying Rack

We highly recommend having a drying rack in your laundry room. You'll likely be surprised how frequently it's used. There are many different types available, this post covers the best of each design. 

Our all-time favorite drying rack is the British Cast Iron Ceiling Airer. It is easy to use and store. This drying rack is sturdy enough to handle the heaviest towels and even bed linens. 

Premium British Cast Iron Ceiling Airer Classic 4-Slat Bracket Ivory 7ft-Slats
  • Classic style 4-Lath clothes airer is the most ornate and curved bracket that is offered by Cast In Style
  • Complete with 2 brackets, 1 deluxe double pulley, 1 deluxe single pulley, 1 cleat hook, slats of the length of your choice, and 10m/32ft rope. Custom options available.
  • The tough as enamel, hand cut, powder coated cast iron brackets and pulleys from Great Britain's premier foundry are guaranteed not to rust
  • Classic style brackets spaces the wooden slats further apart allowing you to load thicker items such as towels; Each is 40cm/16in wide and 19cm/7.5in high and when fully hoisted is 33cm/13in from the ceiling to the brackets' bottom
  • 5 year manufacturer's guarantee to replace or exchange any defective cast iron parts FREE of charge

Lighting

If your laundry room is well lit you'll not only be able to easily see the stains that need to be pre-treated, but your workspace will be much more pleasant.

If you have the opportunity, take advantage of windows to help provide as much natural light as possible, and of course, a good overhead light is critical. We've seen homeowner's use a chandelier in small laundry rooms to give the space an uplifting personality.

Installing under cabinet lighting is a great way to not only provide excellent task light to your work area, but also give your laundry room an expensive look at an inexpensive price. It's also easy to install.

Sale
Albrillo LED Under Cabinet Lighting, Dimmable Under Counter Lighting, 12W 900 Lumens, Warm White 3000K Kitchen Cabinet Strip Lights, Pack of 3
  • Super Bright & Energy Saving: The whole set of under cabinet light is 900lm 12W, save 85% of energy. 3000K soft white glow, light up any dark corner, perfect lights for kitchen, closet, cupboard, shelf, etc
  • Full Dimmable & Memory Features: You can choose ANY brightness level you want ( 0% - 100% ) by simply rotating its dimmer switch. The last brightness setting will be remembered, no need to adjust every time
  • Easy to Install: It can be installed by yourself in seconds. All installation accessories included, two flexible mounting ways: Double sided tape options ( no damage to the cabinet ) or Simple screws method
  • Durable & Safe LED Strip: Made of aluminum and plastic, low profile and light weighted. Frosted PC cover makes the light softer for the eyes. The voltage of this light is DC12V that makes them safe to touch
  • 2 Years Warranty: 3 month money back / replacement guarantee, 24 months product defect free replacement warranty. If you need extra accessories, please search in our store " Albrillo under cabinet lighting Accessories "

Track lighting is an excellent way to illuminate your work space since each individual light can be adjusted.

Sale
CLAXY Ecopower Vintage Oil Rubbed Bronze Metal Track Lighting Ceiling Light Fixture
  • Vintage oil-rubbed bronze ceiling light, 4 lights
  • Antique style pendant lighting fixtures, ETL listed for dry location
  • GU10 cap based. fit LED bulbs (NOT included); use the sucker in the package to install bulbs
  • Tracking heads adjustable; look at the second picture for bulb installation guide
  • Perfect for kitchen/dining room/bedroom/cafe/bar/club

Ironing

Many people choose to iron their clothes in another room, but regardless, it's a best practice to organize your laundry room to accommodate the task. If possible ironing should be done near a counter or table to increase the work space. You'll also need an electrical outlet nearby for your iron.

Another consideration is where you'll store your ironing board. Here are a few options:

  • wall mounted ironing board holder can be an easy and inexpensive way to store both the board and iron when not in use. 
  • If you have a cabinet large enough, you can mount  a holder inside the door. Be careful that the door and hinges are capable of handling the weight. 
  • Another inexpensive solution is to leave a space between your cabinets.
  • fold-away ironing cabinet can take advantage of extra available wall space.
Sale
mDesign Wall Mount Wire Metal Ironing Board Holder with Large Storage Basket - Holds Iron, Board, Spray Bottles, Starch, Fabric Refresher for Laundry Rooms - Durable Steel, Chrome
  • CONVENIENT STORAGE: Make ironing a little less of a chore with this convenient storage solution; Use empty wall space to create additional storage for your iron, ironing board, water mister, fabric sprays, starch, wrinkle releaser, stain sticks and more; Great for additional home storage throughout the home - the versatile basket holds a multitude of items and you can use the hooks to hang brooms, mops, reusable grocery bags, dust cloths, feather dusters, dog leashes and more
  • SPACE-SAVING: Maximize your space and eliminate laundry room clutter with this handy organizer; Utilize extra wall space in laundry /utility rooms to create convenient storage, or mount inside doors; (Tip - check the depth of your door and choose hardware that doesn't exceed that measurement) Free up space in cabinets, countertops, shelves and more; Keep ironing supplies close at hand and ready to use; Ideal for small or cramped laundry rooms
  • FUNCTIONAL & VERSATILE: Installs quickly with the included hardware; Works in any room of the home - try this in your kitchen, pantry, craft room, garage, basement, entryway, mudroom, laundry/utility room and more; The space-saving design is also perfect for small spaces: dorm rooms, boats, RVs, campers, apartments and condos
  • QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Made from strong, sturdy steel with a durable finish; Wipe clean with a damp cloth
  • THOUGHTFULLY SIZED: Measures 13.5" x 7.1" x 20" high
Household Essentials 18300-1 Iron 'N Fold Floor Cabinet Fold Away Ironing Board | White
  • FLOOR STANDING adjustable foldaway ironing board that screws to wall
  • MULTIPLE HEIGHT ADJUST SETTINGS; great for all heights and wheelchair access
  • SLIDING DOOR can open to the right or left accommodating left or right hand users
  • ONE PIECE heat and scorch resistant 100% cotton cover and 5 mm pad
  • BASEBOARD CUTOUT at base of unit for easy installation over existing baseboards

Television

Many people enjoy watching TV while they're folding or ironing clothes. If you plan on installing a television in your laundry room you'll need both an electrical outlet as well as access to cable or internet.


If you're looking for some ideas and inspiration for your laundry room, you might want to check out this video:

Last update on 2018-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API