Laundry room: Upper or main floor?

DougdevAugust 20, 2012

In my current home, it is on the main floor but I have read about some advantages to it being nearer the bedrooms on the upper floor.

What are your thoughts?

And if putting it on upper floor, near the master...I would be concerned about the noise. Is that a valid concern or has sound proofing improved to a level where noise wouldn't be a concern?

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kirkhall

Well, I had this debate recently as we are finishing a large addition. I decided to tuck a laundry in upstairs (but keep my hookups downstairs).

My downstairs will still have 1 large bedroom and full bath which will be used as a guest bedroom, but which can be used as a second master should mobility be an issue. If your house is set up with bedrooms up only, I'd put laundry up. If your house is split, bedrooms up and down, then down would be fine.

As for noise, there is sound insulation, drywall, etc, but also machines are quieter now than they used to be... And, watch what walls you back your machines up to. Maybe put them against a bathroom wall instead of the bedroom wall, for example.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:36AM
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gaonmymind

Our new laundry room will be beside the master on the second floor. The newer machines are very quiet. So quiet sometimes you don't know they are running. You can even check out their decibel levels before you buy. If you are really concerned with noise you could use quiet rock on the walls and a solid core do0r with a sill that doesn't leave a gab at the bottom.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Mom23Es

We're building a house with the laundry on the second floor. I'm so excited. I'm so so so tired of laundry baskets on our main floor. I do at least 2-3 loads a day, so it's a lot of laundry piled up.

Someone pointed out that I will have to go up and down the stairs during the day to flip laundry, but that doesn't worry me. I could see it as a downside if you spent all day on the main floor and had to make special trips up just for laundry, but I'm always taking care of kids for naps and such.

Fwiw- you're not supposed to use your washer/dryer when you're asleep or not home because of safety reasons. We try not to so noise isn't really a concern. Plus they are much quieter these days. Our washer and dryer back up to an exterior wall, and the room is "insulated" from the master by a closet and "insulated" from DD's room by a bathroom.

We were nervous about flooding, but our builder installed a pan with a dedicated drain for our washer to be placed in. There is a much greater chance of an overflowing toilet causing water issues than our washer.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

You can search these threads as this discussion has happened before.
We put our laundry room off the family room as I wanted it near where I spend my time when I'm doing laundry which is the kitchen/FR...not the bedrooms.

Seems to me, one way or tother, you're trucking....either up and down to get to the laundry, or the clothes up and down to get to the laundry.

And our new front loaders are noisy, esp on that super spin cycle. At certain frequencies it's pretty noisy and we got the one with the quieters in it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:58PM
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melaska

I'm a big fan of having laundry near where the action is. We've had a washer/dryer in our only bath in our mobile home for over 30 years so I got used to it and can't imagine having to go to another floor or another room far away.

We are building a house now & have designed our stackable front-loading W/D set into it. We're also putting in a closet with shelving/drawers into the bathroom. My hubby works lots of nights/days with weeks on/weeks off schedule so I don't like to bother him in the bedroom. We plan to use the bedroom closet for items that aren't used very often.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 4:06PM
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auroraborelis

One question, Mom23Es you mentioned "you're not supposed to use your washer/dryer when you're asleep or not home because of safety reasons".

What could be the safety reasons for not using your washer/dryer at night or when you are not home?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 4:55PM
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kirkhall

Fire.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:07PM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

I lived for 25 years in a house where all the bedrooms were upstairs and the laundry was down. Loved the upstairs bedrooms but at the top of my MUST HAVES list for our new house was that the laundry room had to be upstairs with the bedrooms.

Washers and dryers really are a whole lot quieter now than they used to be however we still positioned our laundry room so that it does not share any common walls with any of the bedrooms. I occasionally run the dryer after we've gone to bed and I can't hear it. Our TV room sits right next to the laundry and I usually run the machines while we're watching TV. As long as I close the door (solid wood) between the two rooms, the machines are not loud enough to be interfere with TV watching.

The laundry also sits directly over my home office where I spend a good percentage of my day and, if I do a load during the day, I CAN hear the washer and dryer going from the office but not so loudly as to be annoying. Just loud enough so that I am aware of when a load finishes.

I disagree with AnnieD that "one way or the other you're truckin..." Granted that one may still be making the same number of trips up and down stairs. But with the laundry on one floor and bedrooms on the other, you're also CARRYING 20 to 30 pounds of clean clothing up or dirty clothing down on every trip. With the laundry and bedrooms on the same floor, your hands are empty when you make those climbs and to me, that makes a world of difference!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:51PM
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lolauren

I agree with bevangel's last statement completely. I would loathe carrying the laundry down and up the stairs. Our previous home was 2 story with laundry upstairs. It was lovely.

In our current home, our laundry room connects to our master closet, which is tremendously useful. (There are three doors that enter into the laundry room... so this is also my back way out of the master suite when husband is working weird shifts. I can grab our laundry without disturbing his sleep.)

RE: noise, I doubt you could completely sound-proof these machines. I have "quiet" front-load models that still make noise/vibrate. I'd only consider butting them to a bedroom if you knew for sure you wouldn't do laundry while people are sleeping.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:31PM
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threeapples

we decided to do a laundry room off the garage on the first floor to wash kids soccer clothes, muddy stuff that we wear while outside, etc. and also one upstairs above the garage in otherwise unused space. this is down the hall from the master bedroom, but near the kids' rooms and i intend to do most of the laundry up there. i'm not sure we'll spend the money on units for both rooms right away though and am trying to decide which to put the priority on. i think people can adjust either way and, in the end, unless it's in a basement far away from main living, it will be fine.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:46PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Then there is the clothes line...if any one still uses a "solar dryer", trucking wet laundry downstairs to get it on the line would be no fun. And there is nothing like towels and sheets that have been dried in the sun. So fresh!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:39AM
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minneapolisite

We have had our laundry room upstairs (not against our bedroom or the nursery) for 7 years and have zero complaints. It is SO nice not to lug dirty/clean sheets/clothes/diapers all over the house. We have a small TV room near the laundry room where my husband watches ESPN while he does all of the folding. It's perfect. :D

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:40AM
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allison0704

Our home is main level living, so the main laundry room (aka mine) is off the kitchen. I didn't want it in the MBR area - would put in and forget about it).

We have a second laundry room on our lower level that DH uses for larger loads of work out clothes/towels, outside nasty clothes, etc. There are three bedrooms/2 baths and an exercise room on this level, so it would be handy for anyone living here in the future or staying/visiting us (as in adult children with children from out of state).

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 1:37PM
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ontariomom

We ended up putting ours near to our kitchen, as I figured I could multi-task better that way. If we had put it upstairs, I would have put a load on in the morning and forgotten about it. Since I spend most of my day downstairs, I predict having it downstairs will work well for us as it will be more efficient. Yes, we will be up and down the stairs carrying laundry, but at least our laundry room is right off the bottom of the staircase. There are pros and cons to either location. If you do put it upstairs, be sure to have a drain as a flood from above could be a disaster to finished space below.

Good luck!

Carol

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:55PM
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mjtx2

Upstairs every time. Three houses ago we moved ours upstairs and have had it by the bedrooms ever since. Bevangel is exactly right - you might have to go upstairs to switch the laundry, but you're doing it empty handed and that makes a huge difference. Personally I get things folded faster when it's upstairs, as well.

Also, I occasionally use the dryer as an ironing board ;0 and having it by the bedroom means I can just pop something in the dryer for five minutes quite easily.

My sister's had hers upstairs for 15+ years and I just asked her about it for another opinion. She said she can't imagine having it anywhere else - just loves it.

Does anyone have theirs by the bedrooms and they DON'T like it? But plenty of people have them on the main level (or worse, the basement) and would change it if they could. If you have the option, put them upstairs, or at least get a stacked smaller set in an upstairs closet.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:27AM
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momo7

I decided to put mine on the main floor because that's where I spend my days - in the kitchen or outside plus I hang laundry outside. We did put in a laundry chute.

I haven't figured out my clothesline yet. Does anybody have one?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:49PM
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peytonroad

I have mine upstairs, and thankful as it keeps the laundry dust and fuzz away from the kitchen/mudroom area. It is easy to do a load right before bed, shut the door and place in dryer in morning and then do another load right away. I easily go upstairs mid morning and finish that cycle. Plus I have the ironing board in there and able to iron whenever. I don't think the running up down is an issue either way you are going up and down the stairs... I do notice occasionally I have to "fix' my kitchen Dacor grates on oven as they vibrate from dryer, if not "just right"!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 9:14PM
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peytonroad

I have mine upstairs, and thankful as it keeps the laundry dust and fuzz away from the kitchen/mudroom area. It is easy to do a load right before bed, shut the door and place in dryer in morning and then do another load right away. I easily go upstairs mid morning and finish that cycle. Plus I have the ironing board in there and able to iron whenever. I don't think the running up down is an issue either way you are going up and down the stairs... I do notice occasionally I have to "fix' my kitchen Dacor grates on oven as they vibrate from dryer, if not "just right"!!

PLUS I down want my unmentionables sitting in a basket(as they did in prior home) awaiting transport upstairs to be noticed by unforeseen guests! Nothing like forgetting a bra hanging on the door handle to make conversation!!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 9:16PM
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pps7

Our master is on the main level and our laundry room is right next to the master closet with a pass through. I love this set up and am so glad I didn't put the laundry room in the Mudroom.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 4:56PM
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celticmoon

Momo,

I use a clothesline. It is out of sight coming off the garage, I do have to carry the laundry the length of the garage. Not bad.

My set up is a heavy duty metal pole 20 feet away from the garage. The pole is about 3.5 in diameter , about 7ft tall and probably sunk into concrete, I dunno. It has a 4 ft metal crosspiece parallel to the garage at the top with 5 large hooks sticking out sideways. On the side of the garage is a 4 ft board, also with 5 hooks. My line is one length of cotton rope. Over a season it does stretch, and I just tighten it by looping excess around the hooks. Occasionally I will restretch the whole thing. I keep a chair nearby for the basket. Wooden clothespins. Nothing fancy.

But wow, the sheets smell spactacular!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Alex House

I'm in the design phase right now and I can't justify to myself the trade-off of prime living space, either on the main or on the second, for a laundry room when I have an empty basement, otherwise considered low priority space.

If I take the square footage for a laundry and pose the following question: "Should I decrease the square footage of my kitchen or my master or my LR in order to have a laundry and thereby increase the square footage of space available in the basement or should I do the reverse, use up low priority space in the basement and increase the size of my kitchen or master or LR?" The answer for me is to put the laundry in the basement.

I guess that we all have different laundry habits. I'm in my kitchen for large amounts of time every day, same with my LR, same with my bedroom, etc. I use a mudroom, and even some closets, more often than I use a laundry room. When I do use the laundry room it's for a specific task and I'm in and out in short order. If I have to fold the laundry I can do it in the room or haul it somewhere else so I can multi-task. The inconvenience of the momentary transport of laundry only happens occasionally while the use of the space I've freed up happens every single day and for many hours of the day.

Who here uses their laundry room as frequently as they use their other rooms? Again, everyone has different lifestyles, but I've never seen a laundry room being a frequently used room.

Sure, I understand the convenience that most everyone upthread is praising but I haven't seen anyone address the trade-off, and with space planning there is always a trade-off in play, and when I weigh the added convenience gained against the dead space produced, I can't justify it for my lifestyle.

So, I'll be the lone voice in the wilderness and shout out "Shove it in the basement."

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:35PM
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kirkhall

Well, we don't have basements in my neck of the woods, as a generality. So, for me, it really was a question of where it will be easiest. And, in my case, that is a not very large room/closet on the second floor.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:52PM
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nikinikinine

In our current house our laundry room is on the second floor next to our bedroom. The noise is not an issue, although previously we had a first gen front loader that was crazy when it was on spin cycle and it made the whole house shake and so that was an issue. It since crapped the bed and we got a new one and it's quiet as a mouse.

It is nice not to have to travel far with dirty laundry, but I usually end up folding the clean laundry downstairs and then lugging it back upstairs to put away.

In the new build we intentionally put the laundry room/machines on the main floor. I have very young children and for us, it was easier to be able to do laundry/fold laundry near where they are rather than schlep them all upstairs and downstairs with me. The new house has a main floor playroom that I can gate them into and I can fold laundry at our dining table while they are playing in eyesight too. I'm more excited about this than almost anything else in our new house.

I think it depends on your lifestyle and way of doing things where the laundry room will be more convenient.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:51PM
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momo7

celticmoon - thank you! I've been trying to figure out if I should attach it to the house, and if so how, or have it freestanding. Thanks for telling me what works for you. I can't wait for a clothesline again.

I used to have a laundry room in the basement - absolutely hated it. It was such a pain with babies/toddlers. We were pretty tight with space for our new house so we'll have the laundry "room" in a wide hallway from the garage. Our basement has no plumbing, here you pretty much have to have a pump for your septic if you have plumbing in the basement. Something I really wanted to avoid, being off the grid. Although that's not the reason, it's just a side benefit.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:07AM
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worthy

When I complain how inconvenient the laundry in the basement is, I remember back to my trips to the laundromat when I was single. (Let alone a relatives' rape by a US Marine in the basement laundry of her apartment building.)

FWIW, I vote second floor near the bedrooms.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:02AM
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pps7

Alexmom,

We gave up a formal dining room. The laundry room, I use at leat 3-4 times a week. The formal dining room, 3-4times a year, so it's gone.

If I couldn't do a whole laundry room close to my bedroom, I would rather have a laundry closet upstairs than a whole room in the basement. Sorry, but I had a basement laundry in my previous home and hated it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:51PM
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