If I Where to Remodel Another Bath, Thinking W/D Too?

enduringNovember 27, 2012

I wanted to take a break from remodeling but...

I have a small full bath that I have been thinking about putting a stacked washer/dryer into, along with a new shower. Is this feasible? The room gets pretty steamy even with the exhaust fan running. My concern is moisture damage to the washer/dryer equipment because of shower fog. Is this an issue? And if it is, are there remedies or appliances that accommodate for this?


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Can you get a more efficient fan? I know that Fantech makes some kind of dryer venting fan to help pull the moist dryer air out of the room.

They also have the best exhaust fans if you have a place to mount the motor - they do have an exterior mount if you don't have attic space above your bath. If you can install one, you probably wouldn't need the booster fan.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fantech.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Thanks olychick. I did buy a larger fan (Broan) last year but haven't installed it yet. It is over sized for the small room. I have since heard there are better fans out there. The fan that is there currently, is sized for the room but it doesn't seem to work very well (another Broan). I will look into this Fantech brand. Thanks for posting the link. I have the attic space. I've heard this brand mentioned here before and it was in a positive light.

Anyone with with their W/D in the bathroom with shower?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:04PM
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I'm interested in your thread because I am also considering moving the washer/dryer to a bathroom. But my laundry room never gets steamy or moist, so I can't imagine why there would be steam or moisture problems in a bathroom if your dryer venting is installed correctly. My washer doesn't seem to add any steam or moisture to the room, because the front load has such a tight seal to keep the water in, no steam (if I used water that hot) can escape.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Olychick, I mean moisture from the shower. The mirror steams up and while not too bad, it is still extra moisture so was wondering about this moisture. Not moisture from the washer/dryer setup :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Moisture issues from the shower are the least of your concerns.

How will you vent the dryer? How close is the exterior in relation to the place where the bath is located? Is it a direct route? Or would you be using a condensing dryer that doesn't need an exterior vent, but instead condenses the water vapor from the clothing into the plumbing drain? (They are much more expensive, have much less capacity, and take a VERY long time to dry a load. But they don't need a vent.)

How large is the drain that services the bath? Most bath drains will not be large enough to serve a W/D and a bath without redoing it all the way to the main drain. There are simply too many DFU's in combination. So, do you have access to the plumbing drain all the way to the main drain, as well as the vent through the roof? You'll need to have that in order to increase the plumbing size.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:40PM
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GreenDesigns, thanks for your post. As far as I am concerned the moisture is my first concern to consider. The other issues you bring up can be dealt with as I plan. I am not going to risk this idea if the equipment is going to rust out in a year because of high humidity in the bathroom. I just want to know if people put washer/dryer combos successfully in bathrooms with showers. Modern equipment also has computer circuit boards that I would think could fail in the moist conditions, not to mention the steel that is used to construct the boxes and drums.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:55PM
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I had a stacked washer/dryer in the bathroom for almost 20 years in my last house. Never had a single problem with it. This was the only bathroom in the house, serving 6 people, so lots of steam. Moving the laundry out of the basement and up next to the bedrooms was one of the best moves I ever made.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Thanks Catbuilder! glad to hear of your success. We only have 2 full timers in the house now.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:41PM
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The master bath currently in reno has a new stacking W/D beside the shower, which will be a steam shower. Yikes, never thought of the issues you raise.

My dryer vents to the outside (its' on an outside wall - easy peasy). It's a Miele and I LOVE LOVE it! LOVE having it on the 2nd floor. It's been operational about a month while the rest of the renovations continue and it cheers me up every day.

The steam shower - I have 2 separate Fantech fans with remote motors. One inside the shower ( a fan/light combo) to be used during regular showers. One outside the shower, to be used for , er, smell or during steam showering to catch residual steam. Based on my experience with Fantech, I never have had a mirror fog up and I've tried to make it happen in my other bath, 5x8 bath with shower curtain. Fantech sucks the air/steam right up.

I will definitely report back once the steam shower is operational and we start using it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Thanks phylhl, I am going to look into those fans you mention if I remodel. i have always had my w/d in the basement, and it has been humid down there, it has never been a problem, though we often run a humidifier during the summer months. We live in an old nondescript house. This is sounding better and better:)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:03AM
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My house was built in 1982 (by someone else) and the current w/d are in the main floor bathroom that has a tub/shower combo. It has been that way for 30 years. To my knowledge, having them all in one room has not been an issue for anyone or the machines... And, we installed the fan 9 years ago. Before that, there was no fan (and no window).

Maybe we/they just don't take as hot of showers as you do?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 2:55PM
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1. Humidity is a regional issue. Arrangements that are fine in Las Vegas are ridiculous in Virginia. Don't ask me how I know, but my DH is a desert boy. Pay careful attention to vapor barriers in your walls to ensure moisture is not trapped in stud cavities.

2. You might install the second fan as an addition instead of a replacement, to give you more control options.

3. I really really want to quit lugging laundry up/down the stairs, but my plumber says a washer dryer upstairs will vibrate like crazy and be too loud. My current plan is to put it atop the junction of two cinder block walls - a nice sturdy place. Just another input.

good luck!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 3:11PM
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If I needed to, I would not hesitate to install a washer and dryer in a bathroom. Quite frequently, I hear comments on here about moisture in a bathroom, but I have NEVER noticed a significant amount of moisture in either of my BR's. I have an old Panasonic vent/heater/light fixture that doesn't even work anymore in my BR (I am in the planning stages of a remodel) and haven't even bothered to replace them. DH's BR has a cheapo Broan and seems to work OK.

Sure I get some steam/moisture on the mirrors after showering, but it is usually gone within a few minutes. Nothing has ever felt damp in my bathrooms either. I have acrylic. one-piece shower units with the domed tops and they drain/drip-dry very rapidly unlike tile, so that may have something to do with - no such thing as having to wipe down with with a towel or squeegee.

Lyvia is right about the regional issue. Some summers here in Kentucky can be quite humid, but we love our AC. I have gas heat in winter, which seems to be quite dry.

I may be naive about this - but I really don't think so.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Ok, don't want to rain on your parade, but one question: I'm assuming an upper floor, since you mention attic space for new fan.

If so, consider this: In new construction, at least here in British Columbia, they beef up the floor joists etc around any upper floor laundry room because of vibration from the washing machine. It's not inconceivable you might get cracking of tiles, floor tiles or grout from an unbalanced load, if there's a lot of movement.

As for the moisture, provided you use a decent fan - oversized is probably ok if you make a larger undercut at the bottom of the door (to allow for replacement air into the room) AND it's not a natural gas dryer - you don't want to suck combustion products back in.

I'd use an automatic fan switch, one that senses condensation like in the below link:

I have two in my house, they work well. Around $40 CDN. Only caveat is, they need an actual neutral, they won't work as a switchleg, like most electronic timers these days. If you're doing a reno and ripping walls out, it shouldn't be a problem provided you tell your electrician when they're wiring.

You need to check your local city and electrical codes as to whether or not such an arrangement is permitted.

You may also want to consider resale, some people might not like the idea...many prefer a full laundry.

Would you consider keeping the existing laundry also?

Here is a link that might be useful: Dewstop switch

This post was edited by alan_s_thefirst on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 15:44

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Kirkhall, thanks for the input. I think this is W/D idea is doable now. My idea might not fly, as the room is kind of small. If I have to move a wall this project will certainly have to wait. I have to get my current BR project finished. I haven't drawn anything up yet.

Lyvia, we live in the Midwest and can have a lot of humidity. Since the room is small I don't think 2 fans would work but that is a great idea that I will keep in mind. I had thought about a solar tube in the room as there is no window currently and I would love natural light. If a solar tube goes in, then there probably wouldn't be ceiling room for 2 fans as well.

Tuesday_2008, thanks for your input. I am getting the idea that it is common for people to put the W/D in the BR. It would be so convenient to not go up and down those stairs.

Alan_s, my upper floor is the only floor besides the basement. The house is our farm house that had been moved here from town in the 30's. It was a small square house (Sears kit house I believe) that was built in the 20's. The joist are 16" on center with 2x8" joist. They are cross-braced every 16"? I have heard that there could be a lot of vibration so I was thinking that beefing up the area would be something to take into consideration. I hadn't thought about cracking of wall tiles or plaster. There still are plaster walls in parts of the house. The dryer would be electric. Thanks for the link to the switch it is a great idea. The current laundry would remain. It is well situated in the basement. Oh, and there is no way that there is room for a full laundry in this pint sized house âº

With regards to resale, the house is part of the farm and has been in the family for 3 generations and probably will stay in the family. If it ever goes to sale, the house and farm will likely go together. This isn't a typical house scenario. So, I don't consider resale value when I remodeled something, instead I consider reuse value - by another farm generation.

This thread was created for me to get an idea if moister was a concern, because if it was something that couldn't be worked around I wouldn't even consider this BR/laundry option.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:47AM
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enduring - I so love having the W/D upstairs. It's worth tearing up the floor to a) see what's under there and b) to definitely shore it up.

However, one brand to consider is Miele. That's what I bought and you can customize the speed of the spin! I have mine on medium most of the time. It spins clothes just fine.

Another thing to be aware of with front load washers, and you may know this, is that the doors are best left open most of the time so they can dry/air out. Fortunately with my Miele, the size of it allows me to leave the door open and the doors to the W/D closet closed.

One thing we wanted to avoid was having the master bath end up looking like a laundry room with clothes piled up and hanging dry everywhere. In my closet there is floor space for small baskets or piles and I just put in 2 retractable clothes lines that go across the front, and you can see the hooks hanging from the shelf. Definitely enough to hang some things and close the doors.

The last benefit - is since there is no place to fold laundry, it forces me to make the bed so I can fold on the bed!

Can't say enough about how great it is to have the W/D upstairs. Truly my favorite feature of our new master bath (although we have not yet taken a shower nor hooked up the steam :-) ).

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Phylhl, that is a great picture and report. Thank you so much. I have thought about he Miele. Some posted on the laundry forum that they are downsizing their US market. And that they only come in the 110v now which I guess impacts the water heating prospects. What do you have? There is a commercial line that was mentioned by Miele called the Little Giant I think.

Anyway this laundry thing has really been off topic for me as I have a soapstone sink cut out and routed that is waiting for me in the shop. And with each stage of this project it seems to be like planning a trip to the moon. I look at the raw soapstone cut out backslash and I think "that is going to be beautiful installed" but I don't know if I can get there from here :/

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:35AM
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We have the W3033 + T8003.

Another consideration is the drain. We opted not to put ours in a pan on the floor, but sloped the floor ever so slightly downward into the closet. There is an extra drain in the center of the floor in case of a leak. That drain goes straight down into the slop sink in the basement. I think that the idea behind that was if it drained into where the other drains go, and is never used to direct water, then those toxic gasses would come up the drain. The washer drains through the drain in the back, the normal way.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Thanks Phylhl for the info. and the extra drain makes a lot of sense too.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Well, I am a good devil's advocate :D. First and foremost, do things YOU are going to like, especially if you're staying in the house/house is staying in family. That's cool.

As a second laundry, perfect. You can do all the 'farm stuff' in the basement one? Sounds like you have access to the basement underneath and will be able to do some shoring up. What people do here, typically, is a closet or bathroom is built underneath with load-bearing walls, which supports the laundry floor above. Your joists and spacing probably wouldn't meet code here in BC (although I think our code is pretty basic still, most people build above that) - your floors are probably pretty springy. By cross-braces, you mean the x - type thing between the joists? Is it really every 16 inches, or feet?

You could "sister" the joists easily (you double them up, you could even go deeper if you are prepared to drop the ceiling a bit below)

A floor drain is a REALLY great idea. You won't regret that. As for the trap drying out and bringing smells into the room, I don't know if this is a code thing where you are or not, but the solution for floor drains is what you call a "charged" waste - the trap below the drain serves as a junction, your bath or sink discharge into it, so that the water in the trap's being replenished/changed often so it doesn't dry out or become stagnant. Since it's a laundry, you might have the washing machine drain into it (it still has its own trap, drain in wall, then joins floor waste underneath) instead, or as well.

There's a good argument for dropping the ceiling in that section below, using deeper sistering joists - it will give you more room for plumbing, as well as stiffening the floor.

Whilst your dryer will be vented outside, you could always add a second fan in the washing machine area, especially if it's in a closet like that.

This post was edited by alan_s_thefirst on Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 13:52

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Thank you for your reply.
About those every 16" cross bracing...when you brought that up, I had to go down and look at the rest of the basement. They aren't 16", I don't know what I was thinking. They probably are 16'. The house is only 24' across and that is the direction of the joist. Where I saw the long row of cross bracing (X's) I was in the area I was working, with my current bathroom project at the other end of the house. There were extra bracings around that area too so I made a big assumption!

The area where this other bathroom and possible new laundry is located is accessible, and sistering looks like it could take place easily enough. The laundry wouldn't be in a closet but have a compartment made for it with a stud wall on the side between the machines and the shower.

This is probably not doable unless I pop the wall out into the neighboring bedroom one or two feet and I don't know if that is a option, considering the small sizes of these bedrooms as they are already.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:17AM
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