Laundry Room Location: Upstairs, Downstairs or Basement!

Lyns06February 13, 2012

Hey guys!

I'm in the process of tweaking my floor plan for my new home and I have literally moved the laundry room up, down and back again! I can't seem to settle on the best place for it.

The original plan has it located in the mudroom, off of the kitchen coming in from the garage. It's a nice sized room 9.6" x 7.8" so it would probably accommodate it well.

However, we will have (one's baking!) two young boys by the time construction is complete whose rooms will be upstairs and a master suite on the main floor. My sister has her laundry located in a similar location in her home and she hates it! She wishes so much she had it upstairs where their bedrooms and main bathrooms are located. She also has two boys (the age mine will be when we move) and she says she gets so tired of hauling their laundry downstairs, then back up every day.

So, I moved it upstairs across from the boy's bathroom. The only thing that causes me concern about this location is if there were a leak or problem with the washer that would cause a flood. We'd obviously have to tile the floor, but would that be enough? Also, what about venting (and cleaning the vent trap) on the second floor?

So, I considered moving it downstairs, with a built in dumbwaiter (manual, mind you) but then I have to try to figure in where to put the chute and still factor in that I will be traveling up and down steps (although not with a load).

Any suggestions? I'm stumped!

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I personally don't believe there is a right or wrong answer here. It boils down to personal preferences and how YOU do laundry.

When we bought our house we did a complete gut and reno. My laundry was located in a large closet in my kitchen (large enough for cabinet with sink, stacked machines and another storage unit to the right). Everyone convinced me to keep it there - said it would be so convenient to have it on the main floor.

Fast forward a few years and two small boys later ... I hated it. I was still working full time then so weekends were laundry days (that's when I could strip beds and such). I'd be walking over laundry in the kitchen ... yuck!

A couple years ago we finished our basement and down it went (where I wanted it in the first place).

My issue with having it upstairs with the bedrooms is size. Unless it could be a large room than can accommodate all I want in my laundry then the basement is the only logical place for it.

My husband wears suits/dress shirts to work and I iron items like sheets, linens, etc ... An ironing board always seemed to be up in my kitchen. I also like to hang dry certain items so a drying rack had to be somewhere.

Anyway, you get the picture. Down in the basement I have a large dedicated room. It has my machines, cabinets and a large laundry sink. I have a large table on castors in the middle of the room for folding, crafting, wrapping gifts. We installed two large Ikea Pax units to hold out of season items and craft/wrap supplies. I've got a wall mounted tv, comfy chair and my elliptical.

It's a great space and I use it all the time (as laundry never seems to end). My kids use it too for messy projects or crafts like painting. Nice to not have the mess in the kitchen anymore.

I do have to carry laundry up and down but heh ... I could use the exercise ;)

I really don't mind considering the space I have to work in. I wouldn't trade it for a small laundry closet upstairs. Now ... a second set of machines on the bedroom level?? That's another question all together :)

If you're doing a laundry room on an upper level, I would make it a water tight space with a drain (incase of floods). You certainly don't want to ruin your nice new home. Plus you would want to reinforce the floor to take the extra weight and vibrations (to ensure a quiet spin).

Friends of mine built expensive custom homes and this is how they do the (large) laundry rooms on the bedroom level. They usually install Miele front loaders and they reinforce the floors and make them water proof.

I read this on waterproofing:
"The best way to prevent a leak from flooding the rest of the house is to build a curb across the laundry room's threshold, waterproof the floor area, and install a floor drain. Because the drain will normally be dry, it will require a trap primer, which diverts a dribble of water from the supply line to the drain to keep the trap full and prevent sewer gas from wafting into the living space. Additional safeguards include washing-machine drip pans and electronic shutoff valves that automatically stop the flow of water when they sense a leak."

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Lots of wisdom in the post above -- what is best for YOU?

Personally, I'd rather have the w/d on the floor with the BR's and baths, as this would save you so much time and energy, especially with a new baby (BTDT, several times).

I currently live in a ranch home, only one floor, and the washer is between the kitchen and garage. That works great here. At times it would be more convenient to have it closer to the BR's and baths, but there have been advantages. An older traditional washer overflowed several years ago and it was great that all the water went out onto the concrete floor of the garage, for example.

A number of years ago, we rented a home which had the laundry in the main (very large) bathroom. At first I thought, how odd (but was willing to do it because of the great deal we got there, plus the wonderful location). I ended up loving it! When we took showers/baths, the washer was right there. Didn't have to carry laundry anywhere. It was the most convenient of all the places I've ever had a laundry area.

So there's a lot to think about. Try to picture life in your new home and think what would be best for you. If the overflow concern in the upstairs is the only thing holding you back from having the laundry area there, I would want to see what the builders can do to ensure no problems in that regard. The suggestions in the post above sound very reasonable to me.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 11:54PM
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I also feel the laundry room should be near the bedrooms. But it really is a personal preference. Some people prefer the first floor because that is where they usually are and having it close makes it convenient. I have a two story house with all bedrooms on the second floor and my laundry was in the basement until I moved it to the second floor by converting a bedroom to a combo laundry/walk in closet. But you will have bedrooms on both floors, so where will most laundry be from, you and your husband or your boys? As far as venting, mine is vented through the roof. The washer/dryer are stacked and sit on a hardwood floor and there is little movement. The noise is loud when you are in the room, but with the door closed it is barely noticable. For overflow, they sit in a tray that has a drain and an alarm. I don't know if it works since I've never had any problems.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 12:27AM
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Thanks, everyone, for your opinions! I guess a lot of it boils down to personal preference and your laundry habits! Lots of good info though on how to proceed no matter where I go!

Our plan is to also get an older, used washer and dryer to put downstairs (it will be a walk-out). My husband is a farm manager on the family dairy farm. So, his work clothes will not be washed with our family's clothes.

Since we will be doing the building ourselves and only contracting out some of the concrete and framing work, perhaps I can try out the basement location before we finish the upstairs laundry locations!?!?!

Again, thanks for all the input and info to think about!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:52AM
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