laundry room design and chute

innof3happinessOctober 19, 2007

hello,

i have 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 husband and a significant laundry-management problem: i can't keep up with it!! we are putting an addition on to our home,which includes a laundry chute going into a small but brand-new basement laundry room. i'm looking for tips/suggestions on laundry room design. i've never had a chute: should it open flat into the ceiling so that the dirty clothes fall into a big canvas laundry basket? GC says it should open into a trap door, which you then open to let the laundry fall....on your head? GC lives alone, clearly! What kind of system do you all have for sorting laundry? How do you keep up with it? Can you recommend a book (martha stewart?) on laundry room design ideas? Does anyone have ideas for fun sorting containers and where to buy?

I've posted a similar question to this on my houseblog which is listed below.

Here is a link that might be useful: the fixer upper house

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iasheff

My SIL is the only one that I know who has a laundry chute. Hers is the bottom drawer of her main bathroom's vanity-- and it goes down to a trap door in her laundry room. I asked her about it and she says she loves the trap door. All the laundry stays in the chute until SHE is ready to deal with it.. then she pulls the door open and has a pile of laundry that she is able to sort into built in hampers or directly into the washer. It is a pretty cool setup.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 3:34PM
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housekeeping

One thing to think about with a laundry chute is the need to have some fire stops in place to prevent easy extension of a fire from the lower levels to upper parts of the house. The walls will have firestops inside them, but the chute could wind up being a fire- and smoke-spreading chimney straight up from your furnace area to your sleeping areas.

That may be an excellent (possibly even required by building code) reason to have a trap door, which is normally closed unless it is actively being dumped out. At the top the door should be rigged so it would be pressed closed in the event of a draft from below. The chute should be equipped with smoke detectors at the highest point so you have the earliest warning of a problem. And of course if you have small children you may want to have some kind of child-proof access control on the top end.

In some areas building codes address the laundry chute issue.

I like chutes but always plan them very carefully for safety reasons. BTW, the trap door doesn't have to be at ceiling level, it can easily be made lower down on the wall.

Molly~

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 3:55PM
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housekeeping

One other thing about living with a laundry chute: You must train every member of the household to never drop in anything that is even a tiny bit damp from bath towels to exercise clothes that are moist from perspiration. Unlike a hamper in the living space which normally can take a bit of dampness because it can "breathe", moisture on any item closed inside the chute will quickly lead to mildew and mustiness. Only you know if your household is trainable on this important issue.

Molly~

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 4:06PM
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aliceinwonderland_id

The neatest idea I've seen for a laundry chute has the chute open into the top of a ceiling-height cabinet. Simply open the cabinet doors to access the laundry. You could have the laundry end up at any convenient height so you don't have to pick it up off the floor, drop into any sort of basket or bag. Easy. This method could also address safety issue without a trap door to drop laundry on your head.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 8:33AM
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plumbly22

copied from... "Posted by aliceinwonderland_id (My Page) on Sat, Oct 20, 07 at 8:33

The neatest idea I've seen for a laundry chute has the chute open into the top of a ceiling-height cabinet. Simply open the cabinet doors to access the laundry. You could have the laundry end up at any convenient height so you don't have to pick it up off the floor, drop into any sort of basket or bag. Easy. This method could also address safety issue without a trap door to drop laundry on your head. "

This is what my grandmother's house had... the laundry collected in a huge cabinet.... her doors opened onto a countertop, about the height of a vanity or bedside table... not as tall as the washer for sure... and she would pull the laundry out onto the counter and then sort it into "piles" on the floor for washing from there...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 9:24AM
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