studio460 laundry room project:

studio460June 2, 2013

[Disclaimer: I am authoring this thread to document our laundry area renovation. I have no specialized knowledge in any of the home-building trades, and claim no particular expertise in any of the construction techniques shown here.]

Back to square-one. This weekend (June 2, 2013), I demo'd the cement board I put up last week to allow the plumber to lower the laundry outlet box so that it'll be fully concealed once we install our 36"-high countertop over our 24" LG washer/dryer combo unit [Edit: we've since changed to standard-sized Kenmore units instead--the planned counter is now approximately 40" high]. I noticed that the old trap is still in place--we'll replace that as well. While I've got the wall re-opened, we'll add another duplexed 120VAC outlet to the left:

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 6:49

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studio460

As I mentioned before, the laundry area is visible from the front entrance (the front door is about 5' behind camera):

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:42PM
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studio460

The laundry area is also visible from the adjacent living room and kitchen. Here's the view from the kitchen:

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 3:00

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:43PM
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studio460

[Edit: We've since returned the LG combo unit due to excessive drying times. The design is now completely changed due to the new, taller machines, and we'll now only have space for a single, 30" base cabinet, and the countertop will now be 40" high].

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 3:36

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 10:47PM
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studio460

Here's the original 58-year-old, cast-iron laundry trap. I'm glad I pulled off the cement board--this should have been replaced when we plumbed the new supplies for the baths--I just wasn't savvy enough back then to ask the plumber to do it. We'll use a no-hub coupler to mate the cast-iron drain (which is buried in the concrete slab) to a new ABS drain and trap:

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 0:26

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 10:53PM
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studio460

Concealing the washer outlet box:

As I mentioned at the top of the thread, we've decided to move the washer outlet box in order to conceal the supply/drain lines, and the box itself, behind the washer and new cabintery. We're planning to install a white/aluminum-trimmed Ikea Numerar countertop, mounted at the standard-counter height of 36" to finish everything off [Edit: This has since been changed to 40"].

Now, I'm attempting to determine the new laundry outlet box/drain location. A quick Google search prompted the following regarding both trap and laundry drain height:

"804.1 [excerpted] No standpipe receptor for any clothes washer shall extend more than thirty (30) inches (762 mm), nor less than eighteen (18) inches (457 mm) above its trap. No trap for any clothes washer standpipe receptor shall be installed below the floor, but shall be roughed in not less than six (6) inches (152 mm) and not more than eighteen (18) inches (457 mm) above the floor." [Source not given; code may vary by state/region].

Assuming the information above is both correct and applicable to my area, my existing plumbing is currently out-of-code. The trap is too low, and the drain too far from the trap. To conform to code, an 8" trap height (measured at the weir), plus a 20" drain-to-trap height would result in a 28" overall height, leaving a margin of 8" before exceeding the height of the countertop. This is about what would be required to completely hide the outlet box and its bezel.

Assuming a drain outlet height of 19" at the machine, this leaves a 9" increase in height before the exit hose reaches its turn into the drain. It's unknown whether this is an adequate enough distance to prevent siphoning since LG's documentaion makes no mention of a minimum drain height (maximum height is a whopping 96").

Perhaps it would be prudent to raise the drain height to at least the highest point on the drum; however, any drain height above approximately 28"-30" will no longer allow us to completely conceal the outlet box. This is a problem which may only be resolved by speaking to an LG service engineer. Chances of that happening are unknown.

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 8:49

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:22AM
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knot2fast

I find the plumbing forum here to be good help for plumbing specific questions.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:16AM
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studio460

Ahh . . . good point, thanks!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:46AM
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chanj

Best of luck!!! INteresting project!!!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 6:34PM
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lee676

After you're done, I'd be curious about your impressions of the LG 120-volt 24" combo W/D. I've used only two washer/dryer combos recently - the 240v Fagor (which is nicely built and not toylike at all) and one of the LG 27" 120v combo units, which was even better made, but the 120v power source meant it both took a long time to heat the water, and even longer to dry the clothes afterward, about 4 hours total. But the narrower, shallower 24" LG may be quicker since there's less water or air to heat.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 7:14PM
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studio460

Ah, interesting point, Lee (about the smaller volume of water/air to heat). I'd be happy to publish a full report once installed since it was such a nightmare to vet the hundreds of contradicting reviews for all of the brands and models we considered (Miele, Asko, Bosch, GE, LG). If my feedback can help clarify any of this for anyone else, It would be my pleasure.

Excuse the knee-jerk Fagor characterization, but I watched a demo video on the product, and its controls and user interface seemed to pale in comparison to more popular brands. It may be a great machine for all I know, but it just didn't seem very sophisticated at all (as if the engineers only managed to program a simple FPGA-driven interface).

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 2:47

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:03AM
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studio460

Thanks, chanj! I'm selfishly using GW as a public journal both for my own reference, and hopefully, for anyone else's benefit, who may learn from my DIY mistakes (and, believe me, I make a lot of them). Stay tuned!

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 6:51

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:06AM
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studio460

Minimum standpipe height: 30" for compact GE machines--GE owner's manual [Edit: it's only 24" for GE's full-sized machines--see next post below]

The washer installation instructions for GE's 24" front-loader gives a minimum standpipe height of 30" above the finished floor (oddly, the LG documentation makes no mention of a minimum drain height). Assuming the height requirement is similar for our planned 24" LG washer/dryer, this is still cutting it pretty close [Edit: We've since changed to standard-height Kenmore machines, yet were still able to maintain only a 30" standpipe height].

Add to the 30" standpipe height, an additional 6" in height to accommodate our Oatey outlet box (but, without the bezel), and you have a total of 36". This is the same as standard counter-height (the height of the LG unit is 33.5"). This means to conceal the outlet box, we either need to delete the bezel, or locate a smaller outlet box.

Also, note that a diagram taken from the LG documentation (below) for our specific washer/dryer shows an alternate installation which appears to suggest that a drain height slightly below the top of the washer is acceptable:

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 8:56

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:35AM
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studio460

Minimum standpipe height: 24" --LG senior technician

I just called LG customer service. To my surprise, a live person answered on the second ring, with no automated menu (kudos, LG!). When asked what the minimum standpipe height is for an LG washer, before I could say the model number, the CSR immediately replied, "39-inches."

When I asked about the specific model (since we're going with the shorter 33.5"-height LG compact washer/dryer), the CSR put me on hold briefly. After speaking with the senior technician, the CSR now tells me that the minimum standpipe height is only 24".

Since this isn't stated in any published LG documentation, I asked if this is only opinion, and warned that if this information is incorrect, I would be forced to tear out a wall to re-plumb the drain. So the CSR left again to re-confirm with the technician. He returned to the phone, and added that the technician now stated that 8" from the top of a front-loading washer should be sufficient, and you could even go as low as 20" (again, anecdotal). I said, 8" from the top of any front-loading washer?; he replied, "yes." I then pointed out that a 24" compact washer is smaller than "any washer," so that 8" rule-of-thumb could similarly, also be smaller. When asked what the height of the outlet was on the 24" LG washer (it's 19" on a full-sized LG machine), he didn't know, and at that point I was ready to end the call anyway.

New info! Contrary to GE's 24" machine's manual, GE's manual for their standard-height, front-loaders indicates only a 24" minimum standpipe height (not 30"):

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 6:39

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:56PM
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chanj

Best of luck!!! INteresting project!!!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 6:22PM
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studio460

Thanks, chanj . . . again!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:55PM
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studio460

[Edit: I've completely changed the design since this post was written.]

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 3:41

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 4:20AM
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studio460

[Edit: Again, the design previously illustrated here has now been scrapped]

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 3:42

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 4:53AM
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knot2fast

While you have the wall open, take the opportunity to replace as much of the cheap flexible dryer vent with smooth ducting as possible.

Dryer performance is directly related to the ability to move warm, damp air out of the machine. Anything you can do to reduce the length, bends, or turbulence of the exit flow will improve the dryer performance.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:53AM
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studio460

Thanks for the suggestion--that's just temporary. The new washer/dryer is ventless. [Edit: we're back to a vented gas dryer, and we've subsequently installed 4"-round, rigid-metal ducting, in-wall.]

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 12:14

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 6:32PM
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studio460

[Edit: We've since changed machines to benefit from the energy savings and superior performance of a gas dryer].

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 6:46

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:21AM
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studio460

Well, in case you haven't been following my other threads (or my many recent "edits" above), we returned our LG combo machine, and decided on a pair of full-sized Kenmore [built by LG] machines instead, mainly for the gas dryer (shown below). Unfortunately, at local rates of $0.31/kWh, the energy costs of more-compact alternatives is too costly.

The primary reason for the new purchase is purely cosmetic--white-on-white (white with white door trim), instead of "stainless-look" with chrome door trim. Inside, however, these are basically the same LG machines we just gave away.

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 15:46

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 5:18AM
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allison0704

Here is an article with numerous hidden laundry machines. Have you considered doing something like this so it's not seen when not in use?

DD2's is the last photograph - DH built a faux wood backsplash that can be removed if/when the water turn off and/or power needs to be accessed.

The first photograph has laundry supplies stored in pushed back cabinet that might come in handy with your deep counter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hidden Laundry Spaces

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 3:39PM
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studio460

Thanks for the link, Allison! I so wish we could do this, but our new standard-depth machines extend beyond the depth of the laundry alcove, so unfortunately, enclosed, or "hidden" machines aren't an option. This is why, originally, I was so adamantly in favor of going with 24" counter-depth machines (e.g., LG, GE, Bosch, etc.), but the 240V electric dryers would've cost us a fortune to run at our energy rates. Gas dryers are only available in standard-depth machine (save for the slightly smaller Frigidaires, which are almost universally poorly reviewed).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 3:34AM
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studio460

Big day tomorrow! Plumber's coming! I found more information on minimum outlet box height. GE recommends only a 24" minimum standpipe height for their 40"-tall, front-loaders, which is the same dimension given by an LG technician over the phone for their machines (recall that our 39"-tall Kenmores are actually LG machines).

So, it looks like 30" is going to be okay, and we'll be able to hide the outlet box behind our 39"-tall Kenmores.

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 3:54

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 5:17AM
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studio460

Lowered outlet box to approximately 30" high, with an overall standpipe height of 32"-34" (once plumbed). This will now be completely concealed by the 40"-tall, countertop:

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 6:53

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 5:28AM
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studio460

Plumber's done! Success!

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 15:22

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:19PM
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studio460

New ABS 2" laundry trap and drain (previous was only 1.5"):

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:26PM
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studio460

New lint filter, and in-wall 4" rigid-metal ducting:

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:29PM
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studio460

A 90ð elbow was used to exit the 4" in-wall duct to both minimize required clearances, and ensure good air-flow (a recessed dryer box wouldn't fit in this application). However, exiting the wall using a short, straight duct, then attaching a short periscope duct could possibly reduce our back-of-dryer clearance even further:

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 15:43

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:37PM
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studio460

Back to square one . . . again! I believe this is now re-design no. 4. So, I'm back to using the 25.5"-deep, Ikea white countertop. But, since the machines are deeper than 25.5", I needed to somehow add 7.5" more inches of "depth."

My solution was to build a rear "shelf," to which the Ikea counter can butt-up against. So, to make framing easier, I simply bought a 4" x 8" x 8' piece of lumber, and installed it today as a "rear counter-extension," which will also serve as a 3"-high raised "shelf."

This gives us about seven inches clearance behind the machines to accommodate the dryer vent and washer hook-ups. The steel StrongTie bracket on the left will help support the heavy Ikea counter--more support will come from the 30" Ikea base cabinet I'll install here (to the left of the washer).

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 6:32

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:22AM
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studio460

Here's the right side of the 7.5'-wide laundry alcove, shown below. I'm thinking to top the 4" x 8" piece of lumber with rear-painted Plexiglas (a spray-painted test piece is shown under the Bounce):

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 6:48

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:30AM
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studio460

Look ma, no outlet box! I also lowered the electrical outlet today for a completely concealed install. Unfortunately, we lost "sleek" as a design option as soon as we decided that a compact 24" washer, and/or a small 240V condenser dryer just wouldn't work for us, and that we would have to go back to a much bulkier, much taller, standard-sized washer and gas dryer.

Also, I changed my mind from the green Silestone, to the white Ikea countertop we already had, mainly because the more white we have in this area, the more unified it will tend look (notice the freshly painted, pure-white hall to the left). Although larger than I had originally planned, I think the full-sized, white-on-white Kenmore machines will look great within this all-white palette.

Had to re-connect the machines for use during the week. Will have to pick this up next weekend . . .

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 7:27

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 4:06AM
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studio460

Test-fit the white 7.5' Ikea Numerar countertop and attached two-gang outlet boxes to studs today:

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:53AM
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studio460

Another angle:

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:56AM
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