building a laundry chute

marklevinson1June 16, 2005


I am looking to construct a laundry chute in our closet. I was originally going to use large diameter pvc pipe but found it prohibitively expensive. I also looked into sheet metal ducting but it didn't seem stable enough and too many places for clothes to snag. So I am going to build it out of 2 x 4's and drywall. It will be about 12" square. I was going to place a side hinged door with a handle on the wall outside the closet for access. And I may or may not place a metal or plastic plate on the ceiling down in the basement attached with spring hinges to cover the hole from the chute. The hole in the ceiling will end up around 2 feet from the wall with the clothes dropping into a large basket sitting on a cart with casters I will also be building.

I was wondering if I could get away with using 1 x 3's instead of the 2 x 4's. Also if anyone could take a look at my proposed plans and comment/advise that would be greatly appreciated!



Here is a link that might be useful: laundry chute plans

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you'll want to stick with 2x4s because they're cheaper and easier to hit with a nail or drywall screw -- but not so many of them! You could balance your house on top of that thing.

My other thought is that drywall may not hold up so well with zippers and wet towels dragging over it several times a day. A good interior surface might be plywood or MDF with several coats of polyurethane, or some cheap countertop laminate from the 'discontinued' rack.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Most sheet metal ducts are smooth on the inside. All the seams, sharp edges, etc. are on the outside surfaces. HVAC contractors routinely fabricate a short section of rectangular ducting for chutes.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great looking plan... looks pretty stout. Agree with John... drywall won't take well to wet towels and the like. Post some pics when you get your project completed.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 11:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I had mine built by a carpenter friend, I had him make it two-sided. Inside the closet where the chute was located, was a small swinging (hinged along the top) door to push the clothes against and drop into the chute. The closet backed up to the hallway, so I had him add another opening into the hallway, but this was covered by a cabinet door hinged at the bottom, which had sides which telescoped into the chute intself, if that makes sense. It was hinged at the bottom and had a knob in the center of the top. I did it this was so even large comforters could fit down the chute, but my small children could not!

Good luck! Mine was made from MDF.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 11:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are presently installing a laundry chute. We have learned a couple of factors to consider. Do not use wall board or wood. It would be too much of a fire hazard. Use metal ducts, they are interlocking & are smooth as long as you use one long length. The chute, alone, is a fire hazard as it acts like a draft, if a fire should ever start from the basement. It would spread to the rest of the house very quickly. A laundry chute cover should always be used at the top end & at the other end in the basement, a spring cover should be used to keep the draft out, but more importantly for safety purposes, in case of a fire.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the laminate on the inside idea.

Use 3/4" plywood---that get's you 8' in length(or less) with no joints. A 12" square box 8' long will not need any framing other than what is needed to mount it to the house.

Having fire doors is a code requirement as well as a good idea.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you look at sonotube material for the chute? they are wax-treated on the inside, and are waterproof. You can regularly get them in 12" and larger diameters. I have seen 36" tubes used as changing cubicles in a clothing store.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

3/4" melamine gives a smooth surface, no snags.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is an old post, but I noticed people are still commenting four years later, so I'll add to it. How did this project turn out?

I also decided against sheet metal duct because even though most sharp edges are outside, there are still a few places inside.

I like the laminate idea. Is it considered a combustible material on top of plywood? I was told by local inspection office it has to be made out of non-combustible materials. Is melamine? MDF?

I'll look into sonotube that someone here mentioned also. Thanks for any other suggestions.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 5:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi nugentcn,

Wow, it has been 4 years indeed since I worked on that project. I also remodeled my kitchen completely. Finished that almost 2 years ago. Anyway I ending up using plywood that I had coated with polyurethane. For my project it was a bit tricky figuring out the angles for the descent into the basement. There are some pics and descriptions of that project below. As far as what materials are considered non-combustible I would make sure you ask your inspection folks exactly what is allowable. Let us know what they say and then I would be happy to help out with any other questions you might have.


Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry Chute project.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mark, thanks for your reply. I enjoyed your write-up on your kitchen renovation!

Sorry not to post back sooner. I did call the inspection people and they said that melamine, PVC, MDF, laminate are all flammable. They said that some non-combustible materials that would work are: metal ductwork, sheetrock, hardi/cement board, and tile (although I can't imagine making a chute out of this). He said that there is a plywood that has been treated with something that makes it fire-retardant but that it's hard to find and very expensive. He said it doesn't matter what the supportive underlying structure is made out of--can be plywood, 2x4, whatever--as long as the interior of the chute itself is lined with sheetrock, metal, or some other non-combustible material I listed. I ended up using sheetrock. Thanks again for your reply after so many years!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 1:27PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Anyone have experience with Charles Neil's Preconditioner?
I just ordered it and am wondering if anyone has used...
Table saw for hobby work.
I searched this question on here and I did find a few...
Kitchen Island panel made from veneer??
So we just had custom cabinets made for our kitchen...
Will these trees make good lumber?
I've got 2 fallen catalpa trees that have remained...
Fixing Nail Polish Remover Damage on a Solid Walnut Table
I need to fix some damage from nail polish remover...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™