Please review possible laundry room layouts, shelving, sink?

akcorcoranFebruary 25, 2013

I am trying to finalize our laundry room layout ... and could really use your help?

We are re-using kitchen cabinets along the top so that's the back bank of 81" of glass cabinets (it's three 27" cabinets in real life but IKEA planner had to create that out of different sizes.) Not ideal that they are all glass, but we own them and they are beautiful cabinets, so I'll figure out how to make the storage neat... somehow!

And, then we want to have open shelving for full-size laundry baskets, at least one for each four of us - so four to maybe six (towels and sheets?)

PLEASE NOTE: the IKEA tool only puts in two-shelf units in the planner, so imagine that it's only two shelves which allows for two laundry baskets in each space. And, also, our washer/dryer will be on the pedestals from LG so they are higher and fit right up to under the window.

The question is:

Where should the open shelving go - and where we add the sink?

In the plan where the open shelving is along the same wall as the full-height utility cabinet, we would put a utility sink centered under the window. It has a trash pull-out next to it, then another set of open shelving for either baskets or storage.

(Caveat: While I think it's more logical to have the baskets near the w/d, I also want to be sure there is room on the counter next to the dryer for baskets / folding without hitting the sink?)

In the plan where the open shelving is along the back wall where the windows are, we'd need to put the utility sink in the back left corner. It's tough to tell on this view but it has a narrow cabinet for paper towels, then a set of three drawers in the middle on the utility cabinet side, then a pull-out trash cabinet before you get to the corner for the sink.

I attached one plan that has the cabinet layout flat so you can just see the general dimensions of the room.

Thanks for your thoughts?

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The second option of placement for open shelves - sink would go in the back corner (a little awkwardly under the cabinet) but it's most out of the way?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:56AM
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Finally, here's one of the two plans with the cabinets spec's because that way you can see the shape of the room.

In the inset corner, I'm putting hanging racks and a sorting table...

And, recessed into the wall between the w/d and the hanging area is going to be a fold-out ironing board.

Pls ask if you have any questions or suggestions! Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:13AM
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One last view -->

Here's another view where the cabinets on the bottom have doors, not open for easy pull-in/pull-out baskets. It looks nice and clean but I want the laundry room to be about laundry!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:30AM
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Question - if you have your ironing board out - can you get to the washer/dryer?

I personally don't like the open shelving under the glass door cabs - I think it looks too messy. I would like the shelves/baskets closer to the washer/dryer.

I hate corner sinks, especially in the laundry room. Depending on how you use it, it may work for you.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Good point on the ironing board - since I've ironed twice in about 3 years, i wasn't even thinking of that. :-) I can move that elsewhere, or use a drawer version one instead. Hmmm...

You've sort of caught my catch 22 there - I prefer the baskets nearer to the washer too - however, to get 4 of them, then I'm pushing the sink towards the window, you know?

I was thinking I could make the countertop as deep as the washers (so 30") then be able to put the baskets in perpendicular to the wall (as oppososed to the horizontal positioning.) The problem is that then when you pull it out, you've got to catch that back half because you aren't supporting both sides?

I don't thnk we'll use the sink a lot but I think it should be functional if we're going to spend the money on it. And, I can't put cabinets where the window is, so it's the logical place to put it - it's just a matter of how much "folding space" there is between the w/d and the sink?

I feel ridiculous when I'm grumblng that I can't make the space work when it's ridiculous to have laundry space this big! I just want it to work well for US!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Our sink is right next to the washer & dryer, and I find this to be very convenient. Sometimes I soak items in the sink, then place in washer. This also keeps the plumbing layout simple. It depends on how you will use the sink.

"I was thinking I could make the countertop as deep as the washers (so 30")"

Will the washer only stick out 30" from the wall, after the dryer vent is connected, etc.? There will be a few inches between the W/D and wall, so be aware that they might stick out farther than your cabinets, anyway.

"...then be able to put the baskets in perpendicular to the wall (as oppososed to the horizontal positioning.) The problem is that then when you pull it out, you've got to catch that back half because you aren't supporting both sides?"

Have you thought about making those into very wide drawers, in which the baskets can sit down? Add the soft-close hardware and it might be something you really like. Just an idea.

This post was edited by Cavimum on Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 15:58

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:56PM
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There are 2 things in my l.r. (similar but not as spacious) that I'm grateful for. First is the 13-foot long counter with w/d at one end and sink at the other. Everything goes on that counter.

Second thing is the open "closet" (about 6 -7 feet long) with a stainless steel closet pole between beadboard partitions. When I see your L it looks similar.

Everyone has different routines and habits. I can only suggest what would works for me -- you may get some ideas.

I would put the sink next to the tall cabinet with task lighting under the cabinet above it and with a pullout faucet so you could fill something on the counter as well. I'd do a deep utility sink and at least a 28 wide. Say this because I went with a D-shape 24" and don't always find it large enough (and we are just two).

Where you have the tall cabinet placed, we have a window. So there was about 2 feet of dead space in front of the window as I suspect you would have for door clearance for the tall cabinet.

I store the ironing board there -- it could easily hang. A long laundry hook (I have one that's about 10" long) on the wall in the clearance space would permit additional hanging without interfering with the tall cupboard opening. Plus there would be the "open closet".

I've got rolling laundry baskets -- easier on the back than lifting. Could you not make space for a 4-compartment one of those? Or get 4 that roll and leave the area next to the w/d open below for those, perhaps with single drawers or pull outs right under the counter since the rollers might not be full height.

I used kitchen cabinets (Ikea) in my l.r. as well. I have 13 feet of glass uppers for my overflow dishes and flower vases. I do my flowers there when needed (not often).

But what I really need in there more is base cabinet drawers for all the utility stuff we use all the time. I have a bank of 4 drawers that are among the most used in the house. Wish I had 8 drawers (sacrificed for a wine fridge). The uppers are not used nearly as much. You have the advantage of the large cupboard for the box boxes of soap etc. and all the supplies, cleaning rags, etc. I also keep my emergency/power outage stuff in the laundry room -- that requires one drawer.

Also, unless the w/d is very tall, I'd continue the counter over it.
The more counter the better IMO and that corner could be great for storage of things in attractive covered baskets (or whatever)

Are there electrical outlets where you need them? Mine are on the backsplash and in back of the hanging area. Would love them on plug mold in a strip tucked just under the front of the countertop like you see in some kitchens for small appliances.

I have Euro front loaders which fit under my counter. That's only about 26" deep and that accommodates the dryer vent easily. My machines have a little shelf built out in back to help with the necessary clearance for plugs etc. -- I'd check on that on the machines you have.

The only issue with my suggestion of separating w/d and sink is that the neatest solution from a plumbing aspect is to have the sink next of the w & d.

Good luck! You're off to a good start.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:59PM
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I'll be the odd man out here when it comes to the sink--ours is in the corner and it works out great. Ours is a 23" W x 19" x 10"D undermount D-Shaped sink, so it's nice and big for all those laundry things--soaking, rinsing, handwashing, etc. The corner allowed the sink to be so big and still have the faucet placed directly behind the sink. It also allowed for more efficient use of the base cabinet space--no blind corner for things to get lost in and hard to reach into.

What is your plan for the laundry baskets--are they used to sort the dirties, separate & deliver the clean laundry or a combination of both? If just for sorting, have you considered pull out double hampers instead? Then you could have the look of the last pic while still having the functionality you need. You can use the counters to fold and separate the clothes then have the various family members pick up their stack to take to their room and put their laundry away.

Pull out hampers:

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Thanks, everyone! This is SO helpful!

So, for using the baskets" ours is more of a "laundry traffic management" system.

We each have our own (they are actually Bungalow Scout Junque Trunques - pretty huge!) - so Mom, Dad, Daughter #1 and Daughter #2 each have their own spot for laundry. We don't actively keep dirties there or sort with them, everyone keeps their dirty laundry in a hamper in their room and then it comes down to get done. Then when dry, it goes in their own basket, they take their basket to put the laundry away and the basket comes back to the laundry room home base.

That's why the kind that sits in a pull-out drawer, or even the rolling wouldn't be as ideal (we have a three-story house so the laundry is traveling all over. rococogurl, can you send me a link or take pic of those baskets though? I'd love to see what those look like - and it certainly saves me on base cabinets since I don't have those?!)

That SAID, I am now thinking that since Ikea has those handy cabinets with pull outs that are pretty reasonable, maybe I'll build in two of those for towels and sheets? A big hamper for those would be fabulous and they never fit in our "personal" baskets.

Knowing that, what do you think in terms of where the baskets live? That's sort of why I'm focused on the folding, packing in basket, and returning, process.

In terms of using a sink, we've had laundry upstairs for 12 years and the ONLY time I've soaked something is when my husband washed whites with a red sock and i was trying to white vinegar out the pink. So, wouldn't say we are big "hand washing people." It's more to have the option - and to have a place to wash your hands which I do want b/c of sticky soap, lint, etc.

So, in light of that, thoughts on the sink? The think about our corner is that unless I put a giant lazy susan, it is a dead corner because of the window, so it's sort of why I considered that option?

The idea of it by the big utility cabinet is interesting too through (again, rococogurl - thx) - it leaves me the MOST countertop space in one swoop. And, the big utility cabinet is actually for the mop, swiffer, vacuum, etc so there could be some value to it being there? rococogurl, any chance you could take some photos of your laundry room (I won't judge - it's about function!)

The washer and dryer are going to be on a platform and then on a pedastal - I just couldn't do that in the IKEA rendering. I'm 5' 11" and my hubby is 6' 2 and our daughters are already tall, so the higher the better! I'm ok not having counter there as a sacrifice for not breaking my back. The only thing that occurred to me after is that I could have run a counter along the wall to the LEFT of the washer - that would have been handy, even if it was just width of a basket b/c I could have set something there and it's sort of dead space now. Hmmmm... I think the plumbing is already in though for the washer, does it need to be right behind it?

mydreamhome, if I go corner, what brand is that? it does look like a nice size?

Last question to toss out there, I've been struggling wth what countertop material. My contractor has a slab of soapstone that is pretty and could be used for a really good good price. I know soapstone is soft but I guess what I"m thinking of is making it a very CLASSIC laundry room - white subway, simplicity? My house is a 1917 Colonial, so while having a laundry room on the 2nd floor like this is out of period, soapstone is not?! Even if it gets marked up and "loved" over the years?

Thoughts? THANK YOU to all of you - I have no one here to help me. No designer and my contractor just executes. My husband has a mantra: "I care deeply but have no preference." So, I really appreciate your thoughts!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Our laundry sink is made by Luxart. I've linked to their site below for you. They have a dealer finder on there so you can locate one in your area. Other companies make these D sinks in the same size as well. Luxart had a really good price though. Here's a better pic:

Here is a link that might be useful: Luxart D Sink Link

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:31PM
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alexa, my laundry room photos are on the attached link. The rolling baskets are in the shot. I got the first one at Target but found the second via Bing search for rolling laundry basket, which should give you an idea of what's available.

Mine is rather small but I like not having to hoist those baskets as they get very heavy. It has a linen liner which can be laundered and nothing falls through. There's a handle on each side so it's handy going up and down stairs. I also have one of those big plastic ones that could slide onto a shelf but it took up too much space as I've only got 10 feet in width. I would love to take about half the garage and expand it into with a big table for my sewing machine and mending supplies, plus a chair. Also, we have no downstairs coat closet (fluke of the house builder) so it does double duty for our parkas and coats plus shoes. Lovely to have so much space!

There are a ton of inserts that can be used in a corner cabinet to make it functional. I'd search Haefele and Lee Valley. I have no strong preference on sink placement except to say that uninterrupted counter top is -- at least for me -- far more important than sink placement. Far side seems most logical but I'd ask the plumber what's most practical aside from next to washer.

Can't comment on hot and cold for washer -- check spec sheets to be sure. I changed out my pair last week and had to add a regular outlet behind the washer space. Each brand has different requirements. We also have a hot & cold water inlet that sits back there and hooks up to the washer and drainpipe. It's recessed in the wall.

I have Absolute black granite which is super durable and shows nothing. It was all the contractor could get in our area 10 years ago when we reno'd. It's had every spill including superglue and nothing shows.

Today, I would not accept anything but Caesarstone. This is engineered stone used by all the top designers now, there are a ton of colors and can adapt to most style. It is pretty much bulletproof. I'm not a fan of soapstone for a laundry room as it must be oiled and I wouldn't want clothes on oiled stone. It also dings too easily for me. There's enough to do maintaining the washer and dryer IMHO.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry Room

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:41PM
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I really like the looks of the corner sink posted here on the diagonal!

Hubby and I are as tall as you and your hubby. We got pedestals for our FL washers and I love them.

Have you considered having your cabinets built with the counter top at least one inch higher than standard? That also raises the bottom of your sink, and will save your back over the years. We raised the island where I cook and prep food, in our recently renovated kitchen, and that one inch makes a big difference. Two inches is nicer, but might make a harder resale to a potential buyer who is 5'1". They'll notice two inches, but maybe not one inch.

I personally wouldn't put any counter top material that needs pampering in a laundry room. Splash a drop or two of chlorine bleach or other type cleaner (i.e., ammonia), and you've ruined it. Formica and quartz (caesarstone, silestone, etc.) are quite durable and don't need to be pampered. It's a laundry room. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:31PM
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