Laundry in kitchen or in separate laundry room?

crl_October 6, 2012

We have put in an offer on a lovely house with a tiny kitchen and a small laundry room immediately off the kitchen. Who knows if we will get the house, but since I seem to hold a contrary initial reaction to the space, I thought I would post here and see what you all think.

My initial thought was to keep the spaces separate, but my husband, the contractor and the real estate agent all seem to have the opposite view. I am willing to admit that i have been wrong a (very) few times in my life ;) so I thought I would post here for a reality check.

There is no where else for the washer and dryer to go. The hot water hater must also stay in the laundry room space, though it can be converted to tankless, thus freeing up a good chunk of real estate.

Since the washer and dryer must stay, you wouldn't really gain much wall space, in fact it would be about equal to what's there now. You would gain square footage, but that just seems like more steps to take to accomplish things to me.

I also should admit that I am the primary cook and I really dislike others in my space while I am cooking.

We would not gain enough space for an island or any other seating in the kitchen. There is already a cozy separate breakfast nook and a spacious separate dining room.

So, as a general matter would you take down a wall to incorporate the laundry area into a tiny kitchen, knowing that you would need to keep the washer and dryer ( and tankless water heater) in the space?


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Hi crl

When I first read 'cozy breakfast nook' I thought why not utilize that area to enlarge your kitchen instead of dealing with the laundry room? You could maybe incorporate an island to take the place of the breakfast nook.

Good luck on your offer!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Our new kitchen has/not complete a laundry closet (stackable) next to the refrigerator but not in the main work area. I think it would depend on the layout, etc. as to if it would work for you.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:09AM
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It really depends on the layout. We have the laundry in our tiny house right off the kitchen in my still not finished pantry. I like it there cause... well... mostly because without doing an expansion it was the only place to put it. We did reconfigure several interior walls.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:17AM
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My small laundry room is separate from the kitchen and I like it that way--especially when my sons are washing their clothes. The mess is not visible to anyone in the Living Rm or kitchen.

My sister built a semi-open layout home 5 years ago. Her laundry room is open to the kitchen and family room. She said if she had it to do over, she would have laundry in a separate space with a door she could close. She lives on a farm with lots of chore clothes and has company often. Even though the washer/dryer are pretty quiet (new), they add to the noise in the kitchen & family room with the tv going. My sis has hearing aids and background noise often interferes with her hearing your conversation. I thought you might want all points of view for your decision.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:48AM
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If I truly searched hi/low for alternative placement for laundry to no avail, I would opt to keep the spaces separate. It's difficult enough to view dirty kitchen/dishes, I would not want to be viewing the laundry

Good luck

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:11AM
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How do you do laundry? Some sort things into different piles and have them sitting waiting for their turn for the washer. That may not work in the kitchen. Using a collapsable basket I collect what I'm washing (say whites) from the hampers. Put the load in and fold up the basket.

Also think about when (time, day) you do laundry. Will that interfere with other activities in the house?

Would you have a door? Noise or the smell of bleach may annoy.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Post a floor plan with measurements.

You might gain extra countertop space, or cabinets or something useful.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Since we don't own the house (and still haven't heard back on our offer) I don't have good enough measurements to post a plan at this point. Thus the general question. More curiousity at this point than anything.

I did briefly consider expansion into the breakfast nook, but it has a lot of lovely windows which I wouldn't want to lose and which we most likely would not be permitted to eliminate anyway because the house is old enough to be considered historic. The windows are too low to get cabinets under. Also we would have to rip out an orginal to the house built-in corner cupboard. So, just not a possibility.

Thank you all!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Just a rough sketch would help the rest of us visualize the space. Right now, I'm having a hard time. From what I've read, I'm thinking replace HW heater w/ tankless (are you sure it can't be moved to garage or use a an exterior installed tankless?) and stack the W/D to gain the most square footage then decide to move a wall or just add a counter, sorting hampers & hanging space to your laundry. But a rough sketch may change those thoughts :-)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:53AM
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I agree it's hard to give a fair answer without knowing the layout/seeing photos and understanding the reasons why DH and others suggest combining.

With that said, the big negative, for me, would be the noise. Our laundry is in an adjacent room to the kitchen/living room and it's hard to hear the TV/each other with the laundry running. Being able to close a door on that sound is a big help. If you can manage to only do laundry at off times, I guess that wouldn't matter.

The second negative depends on how you do laundry. Do you have dirty clothes sitting around in the laundry space? If so, I would opt to isolate that mess/dirt/smell in another space. We are childless so we don't collect laundry in our laundry room.... so, that wouldn't be an issue for us/everyone but it's something to consider.

The positives, potentially, are a larger feel to your kitchen..... and more countertop space. What are the positives your DH sees?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Our realtor was thinking we could move the w/ d to the detached garage. Not happening for me. I hate laundry enough as it is so schlepping it to a separate garage would be intolerable.

I think dh and the contractor are just thinking a bigger kitchen is better without really thinking through where the laundry would go.

And I do tend to have some laundry stacked on top of the machines, so my laundry space is messy. How much of a struggle it would be to change that I don't know as I have never tried.

If we actually get the house, I will be back with sketches and a thousand more questions as we would be shooting to remodel the kitchen/laundry area summer 2013.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Is the garage attached to the house? We just bought a house with a tiny laundry-space off the kitchen. We took out the wall and took 8 ft from the garage. Enclosed it, added a separate door and I love it!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:26PM
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What's with posting photos on GW?? I tried to post two and only the last one shows. I'm sorry.

In the above photo, the door in rear is the old entrance from the garage to the house. The space with the machines, was part of the garage.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:31PM
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>I tried to post two and only the last one shows.

Hi, Jane. When you upload from your own computer, it's one photo per post. To do more than one photo in a single post you have to be linking to photos posted online somewhere, like photobucket.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:36PM
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I've done one in a small home where we did undercounter laundry with pocket doors gaining counter and some wall cabinet- was a couple- no kids. Only suitable to the organized and methodical. Tricky details and installation.
Have also hidden full size laundry behind stacking sliders- no advantage in that from what I saw.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Jane, Nope it's a detached garage.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone! They let our offer expire yesterday without ever contacting us. Who knows what's going on but I'm not feeling optimistic about getting the house at this point. Sigh.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:39AM
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