Laundry Under Kitchen Counter: Cabinet Doors?

dyrmaker83February 22, 2013

Hi everyone,

This site has been invaluable in planning our kitchen remodel, which includes replacing existing layout on the left side of our rowhouse galley, and adding cabinets and countertop to the right side where the refrigerator and stacked "laundry center" are now.

We plan to replace the laundry center with compact Bosch washer and dryer units and place them under 30" deep countertop, with cabinets on either side. We'd like to cover them with 24" wide cabinet doors that preferably can slide in or either side of the units - or possibly bi-fold doors. Does anyone have any tips on this, particularly with needed clearances on each side of the units? We're going with full overlay slab cabinet doors so the tolerances are tighter if we're to keep a clean look.

We're likely going with Kraftmaid semi-custom cabinets, hopefully to which we can install the proper hardware. I know there was a thread on this very subject a couple years old on this very subject, so I'm hoping others have done this since and can give me advice on any design considerations to be wary of. If this is too difficult then we'll have to just keep them open, although our concern is leaving the front washer door open to dry with a cat in the house.

I've also attached a preliminary design image that we created with IKEA's kitchen planner to give you an idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Anyone done this? Cabinet doors in front of washer and dryer?

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dyrmaker83

Here's a good example of what I have in mind with the slide-in doors. It looks like about 2" would be needed on each side of each unit.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:43AM
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drybean

We were planning on doing this. If you search on my username, I had some very helpful threads and advice.

We were going to do custom cabinets, and the hardware for those types of doors was quite expensive, around $600 IIRC. The cabinet maker said it was closer to 4" on the side of each unit, plus you have to have a middle piece in between the two.

Check code where you live-some may require louver doors, especially if you have a gas dryer.

I ultimately decided to just leave mine open. I was worried about the wear and tear of those large, heavy doors, and I figured they would be open most of the time anyway.
I also ended up using ikea cabinets, so decided I just didn't want to mess with it. My Reno is not finished, but so far I don't regret not enclosing them.
I just leave the door slightly ajar-not wide open.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 2:52PM
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weedmeister

you might think of using a bi-fold type door. The hardware is readily available, and a cabinet guy should be able to make up panels to match your bottom cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:03PM
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dyrmaker83

I considered bifold, but thought of the closet style doors that slid on tracks and assumed it would interfere with a washer door left open. I guess they don't have to do that, e.g. they swing open and then fold. I assume you can just get two 24" doors and add the bifold hinges. This might be the easiest way to retrofit non-custom cabinets.

Drybean - I don't think we can get louvered Kraftmaid doors, I had thought of that too. The dryer is also electric so I don't think there's a code issue, but that is good advice. Good luck on your Reno!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:06PM
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chispa

Make sure you have the exact model of W&D and the correct measurements. Your 30" counters would not work for my large Miele front load W&D. Plan ahead if you think you might want to get larger capacity machines in the future. Make sure you allow plenty of space for venting the dryer.

The large Miele stick out 33-12" including vent space. Their keypad is also angled at the top/front, so probably not the best design to fit under a counter.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:59PM
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GWlolo

Have you considered smaller euro units? Asko actually has a panel ready model that is meant to have matching cabinet doors similar to a dishwasher.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 4:02AM
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pps7

How about using a curtain? Easy to open and close and a fun way to add an accent fabric. This is my laundry room.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Sophie Wheeler

How do you plan to do the service on these? You need to slide the dryer forward every 3-6 months and clean out the rear vent, even though most people don't do that until the dryer element burns out from the accumulated lint. What about the standpipe behind them that will still be there visible above the W&D as it's required to be? The installation wouldn't pass inspection with doors on them unless they had a switch on them that cut the machines off if the doors closed. And they wouldn't pass plumbing inspection with the standpipe located lower than the washer's height either. It has to be taller, to provide some measure of overflow inhibition when the pipe gets a bit clogged with lint. If those pictures are any example, I can only conclude that there is a lot of remodeling going on without regard to code inspections for safety. If you choose to do this, and experience a house fire or flood, be sure that your insurance company will try to get out of the claim because of the installation being non code compliant.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:58AM
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dyrmaker83

To clarify, we're talking about the compact Bosch washer/dryer units that are about 23.5" deep, making the total need about 28.5" when you factor in the dryer vent tube. We're considering going with a higher capacity set, but are struggling with finding something to minimize the depth needed, and obviously that would take doors out of the equation.

Hollysprings - my thinking was that the washer could be pulled out if access to the dryer was needed, but both machines would be able to be pulled out. The dryer vent is actually just a few inches up from the floor, going through an outside wall. I wasn't aware of possible code issues, but I assumed there was a "right" way to do it since this type of installation is common in Europe and Asia.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:08PM
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