Laundry Room Remodel Tips

The laundry room is one of the hardest working spaces in our homes. Most people use it every day and could not imagine life without one. Yet when it comes to remodelling, many people tend to spend the lion’s share of remodel budgets on kitchens, bathrooms, and living areas, and leaving very little to nothing for the workhorse in our homes. The laundry room is often the last to be considered for remodel, if at all.

Neglected laundry rooms are seldom attractive spaces and often the unpleasant spaces that simply contain a washing machine and a dryer, left with bare walls, exposed plumbing and cheap fittings and fixtures. However, by investing a little planning and forethought into this often-forgotten room, it is possible to transform it into an enjoyable space that focuses on functionality and eye-catching interiors. 

Furthermore, in the same way that carefully thought out and planned kitchen, bathroom, and living area remodel projects increase home values, so does a carefully thought out and planned laundry room remodel project.

So, if a laundry room remodel is something you are thinking about, either because it’s old and run down, the room is not well utilised, or because you are looking to add value to your home, below are some useful tips for planning, designing and implementing your laundry remodel.

Laundry Room Functionality

Laundry room functionality cannot be overstated. It is a waste of money and valuable time to focus on eye-catching and good-looking interiors if the laundry room does not functionally and efficiently work well. It is imperative to consider how the laundry room will be used thereby informing the functional design and layout of the room. It is important that you spend as much time as you can thinking about the alternative floor layouts to ensure that you end up with the most functional and efficient layout possible given the constraints imposed on you by the layout of the adjacent rooms. Once functional design and layout is in place, its then easy to bring in the aesthetic aspects commensurate with the hardworking nature of the laundry room.

Draw inspiration and learn from others

In a bid to come up with the most functional and efficient design and layout of your laundry room, it is a great idea to check out laundry room inspiration boards available on visual discovery engines such as Pinterest to see how others have effectively designed and planned their laundry rooms, especially laundry rooms that are similar in size and floor layouts to yours. You will be surprised to discover a vast number of ideas on how to plan and layout your space, ideas you might not have thought of such as mounting an expandable drying rack to the wall, or adding a bench with hooks for coats, hats, and backpacks if your laundry room also serves as your mud room. Of course, it is not all about function and efficiency, it is imperative that your laundry room is an enjoyable space with eye-catching interiors too. Because most people use the laundry room every day thereby spending many hours of the week in the room, it should be a cheerful and beautiful space that makes doing laundry pleasant.

Choose your laundry room appliances and fixtures first

It is imperative that you choose your laundry room appliances and fixtures first to ensure that you know the dimensions that should be included in the room design layout. Cabinetry, benchtops, and shelving can be built around your appliances and fixtures like sinks. You also need to consider whether you will be using a top-loader or front-loader washing machine. Knowing which way your appliance doors open is also a must, which will dictate where you place your machines.

Consider your list of must haves

Do you need counter space for folding laundry? Do you need lots and lots of open storage shelves? What about lots and lots of closed storage cabinets? What about a rack to hang ironed clothes? Do you need a space for an ironing board? Will the ironing board need to be stored away after use? What about a space for your laundry mops and brooms? Where will you store your vacuum machine? Do you need drying lines in the laundry room in case the dryer is not working? How many sinks do you need and what size should they be? Will you need to move gas lines, vents, or add outlets? Make a list before you start your design so that you will not have any unexpected surprises when the remodel project starts. If space is an issue, consider the possibility of stacking your washer and dryer to save a significant amount of space in your laundry room. However, note that this can only be done with a front load washing machine. Do you want your appliances concealed or not? And do not forget waste bins.

Are any of the appliances, fittings, and fixtures special orders?

For the sake of time and budget, choosing items that are in stock at your local appliances and hardware stores is the safest bet. But in order to make your laundry room truly unique and cost effective, you will likely want to special order a few things like appliances, fittings, and fixtures. This could add a bit of lead time, so make sure conservative lead times are included in your plan.  Also, things like countertops and custom cabinets can take extra time to be constructed and installed, so ensure conservative lead times are included in your plan.

Laundry room lighting

Ensure there is adequate lighting through windows, doors, or a skylight, and consider installing task strip LED lighting within your cabinetry. Having lighting above your workbench, sink or shelves means you can always see what you are doing no matter how cramped the space is. Make your laundry as light and bright as possible, which will help with drying if you plan on installing drying lines in the laundry room and think about placing your hanging lines next to a source of natural light.

Adequate Ventilation

Having a well-ventilated laundry room is an absolute must. If you’re designing from scratch, think about positioning your laundry room adjacent to an outdoor space, that way you can leave the door propped open if you’re home, providing fresh air to the room which will help with drying anything left to hang indoors. Ideally, you will also want to position your outdoor line near the laundry door, thus minimising travel time. Regardless of access, make sure you include good exhaust fans into your designs to get rid of excess moisture that can cause significant damage that’s costly to repair, not to mention the health issues that arise from damp and mould.

External access

The first step to remodelling your laundry is deciding on the location of your laundry space. Simpler access from your laundry to the backyard makes it convenient to hang clothes on the line rather than just popping them in the dryer, saving money, energy and wear and tear on your clothes. If you are trying to reduce your environmental footprint, having the laundry with outdoor access makes diverting grey water to use on the garden a lot easier. By locating your laundry with External access, you get the huge bonus of opening the back door and allowing the breeze to draw out the excess moisture from washing and drying clothes, thereby reducing potential mould and smell issues.

Flooring and splashbacks

Make sure your flooring is suitable for a wet area and is non-slip when wet. If you are tiling, consider running a short tile band skirting up the wall to prevent damage in case of a flood. Use a feature splashback above your bench top and sink for ease of cleaning, and to give your laundry that designer look.

To DIY or to hire out?

Although you may enjoy, and are skilled enough to carry out, DIY projects, there are some things that you need to hire out to specialised trades. For example, electrical, lighting, plumbing, drainage, and gas works that required qualified electricians, plumbers, and gasfitters. What about drywalling? What about demolition? As much as you love taking on a new project, it is imperative to know your limits and when it is best to leave it to an expert. Spend time planning out how and when the work is going to be done, how long it will take, and how this will affect your laundry room use in the meantime.

What is your budget?

As with any remodelling project, there will always be surprises that pop up just when you think you have thought of everything, so be sure to include a contingency. If you have decided to tackle some of the renovation on your own, don’t forget to account for quality tools, in addition to all your other supplies.

What is your time frame?

When does your project need to be completed? How will you do your laundry while you are renovating? At a friend’s or family member’s house? At the laundry mat or with a laundry service? This is important to fully think through so that you can decide what parts of the remodelling project you can realistically DIY and what parts you should hire out.

Are you finding the laundry remodel project overwhelming?

It can be quite a bit of work, especially if your remodel is an expensive or labour-intensive one, but these tips will help you design, plan, and implement your remodel as smoothly as possible. In the end, you will have a beautiful new laundry room to enjoy for as long as you live in your home. Who knows, you might even find yourself making excuses to throw in another load or iron a few shirts. What is more, a carefully designed, planned, and implemented laundry room remodel, with functionality, efficiency, and aesthetics in mind, will definitely increase home value.

Disclaimer

Information provided in the text above is general in nature and does not consider your specific Laundry Room Remodel needs and requirements. The information is not professional advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information in the text above as an alternative to professional advice. If you have specific questions relating to this subject, we strongly recommend that you seek independent professional Laundry Room Remodel advice for all the relevant information and requirements.