Once you have a smart, stylish and energy-efficient washer and dryer, you’ve got to have a suitable place to put them. The National Association of Home Builders calls the laundry room a priority among home buyers. Its 2020 surveys showed that “a separate laundry room was ‘must-have’ for buyers of average-size houses (2,300 to 2,400 square feet) as well as purchasers of upscale home (4,000 square feet and up).”
The Association’s Remodelers Council surveyed homeowners further about their laundry desires and concluded that people want:
• laundry rooms adjacent to kitchens, bedrooms, or bathrooms. They don’t want them in the basement.
• laundry rooms that blend in with the rest of the house, including crown molding and hardwood or tiled floors that match adjacent rooms. Counter space with granite tops to fold, iron, or sew clothes
• cabinets that match those in the kitchen to store laundry detergent and other products
• double-size washers and two dryers to keep up with the washer
• cabinets or closets that hide the appliances when not in use.
Here are some tips for sensibly locating a laundry to make it as convenient and functional as possible. Many of them come from Greg Miedema, certified graduate remodeler and president of Dakota Builders in Tucson, AZ.
• Lots of light Even though we pulled the laundry out of the basement, there is still a temptation to stick the machine in small, dark places. Well-lighted areas seem bigger and it will be much easier to read the computer screens that are increasingly a vital part of the process or room.
• Insulation and soundproofing Laundry equipment is much quieter than it used to be, but most of it isn’t silent. Specially designed soundproofing materials will greatly muffle any irritating noise.
• Stabilize the floor If you’re not putting the washer and dryer on a concrete floor, ask your builder or remodeler to put extra blocking between the floor joists to cut down on vibration and wobbling.
• Access to controls New laundry machines are particularly sensitive to blocked vents and drains. Make sure that a repair person won’t have to dismantle the area to clean out the dryer vent or clean out the drain. And it’s also a good idea to ensure that the on/off water valves are easily accessible and use them when you’re not there to observe the machine. A flood is annoying when it happens in the basement, but when it happens upstairs, it could be a disaster.
Other conveniences that make doing the laundry a more pleasant experience include:
• Placing front-loading washers and dryers on pedestals for easy access. Manufacturers such as Maytag, Whirlpool, and LG all offer front-loading washers.
• Adding a drop-down ironing board and place to store your iron
• Including a laundry sink for presoaking heavily soiled items
• A closet or rack for hanging clothes
• Adequate outlets for the iron, a steamer, and a small TV or CD player.
• Men throw in a few loads now and then, but women do 88 percent of the
• In a typical household, more than 6,000 articles of clothing are machine-washed each year. The average wash load
at home contains 16 items.
• People in the southern part of the U.S. wash the most often while those on the East Coast wash the least.
• 50 percent of all loads are washed in warm water, 35 percent in cold, and 15 percent in hot.
• Consumers have an average of eight laundry products in the laundry room: three types of detergent, one regular sodium hypochlorite bleach, one oxygen color-safe bleach, two fabric softeners (a liquid and dryer sheets), and one stain remover.
• People in the East are most likely to use bleach.
SOURCE: Soap and Detergent Association