Remodeling your laundry room can be a fun process, whether it includes replacing a top load washer or dryer, repainting the room, redecorating or doing a total renovation of the space. But when completing a project like this, questions may arise and things can pop up that you didn’t expect- leading to financial consequences or even a need to alter your plans. If you want to avoid common mistakes people make when remodeling your laundry room (and we bet you do!), keep these helpful tips in mind.
- Poor Drain Placement
A floor drain should be located at the lowest point of the floor when remodeling your laundry room, and can be easily installed by a contractor during your renovation process. The floors in the room should slope or dip, leading to the drain. This removes any water that may accumulate due to issues such as a leaking pipe, a broken sump pump, or excess water from appliances. Having a floor drain will also help you avoid a flood in the event that the washer or dryer malfunctions. Keep in mind that if there were a flood in your laundry room, the floor drain would help limit or even totally prevent the damage caused.
- Limited Access to the Water Shutoff Valve
In the event of an emergency where you need to quickly turn off your home’s water supply, you’ll want easy access to the water shutoff valve. People often try to hide these valves in their laundry rooms, in an effort to eliminate a potential eyesore. But if an emergency does occur, large appliances like washers and dryers are often very difficult to move, not only because of their weight, but because hoses and wires would need to be disconnected. You’ll also want to keep the valve out of reach of any children who may accidentally flip the switch on and off.
- Improper Ventilation
The laundry room can get steamy with a top load washer and dryer running. If there’s an option to add a vent in your laundry room, this is the best way to avoid a fire. The hot water and fast speeds generated by a washer and dryer can also create surprising amounts of humidity – leading to excess moisture in the room which can result in mold. That’s not something you want to worry about, which is why it’s best to have proper ventilation in your laundry room. A window can also help to let out some of the steamy, wet air.
- Lack of Storage and Space Considerations
You’re going to need somewhere to store detergent, dryer sheets and other household items that make their way into the laundry room. Consider storage options, like shelving, drawers and hanging racks, to maximize the space in the room and ensure that unorganized piles of clothing don’t build up. You’ll likely want a dryer rack and a place in which you can store it when it’s not being used. Another helpful laundry room storage tool is a washer and dryer pedestal, which will up the accessibility and storage space underneath your front load washer or dryer. Extra counter space to fold clothes, sort through your laundry and treat stains is another item you will probably want in your laundry room. Make a list of all the ways in which you’ll use your laundry room and see to it that you have the space that you’ll need.
- No Space for a Sink
When remodeling, if you have the space to include a sink, it could be a big help in the long run. Having a sink in the laundry room will allow you to treat stains and pre-soak with ease. You’ll also be able to hand wash your clothes in the laundry room as opposed to using a kitchen or bathroom sink so that laundry can be done all in one place. A sink allows you to easily clean the laundry room and do dirtier chores like filling a mop bucket. If you have a dog, the laundry room sink could also be a good place to bathe your furry friend!
- Moving Your Laundry Room to the Basement
If the placement of your laundry room isn’t set, you should map out your options. People often put the laundry room in the basement, but there are good reasons to rethink that option and consider any alternate space available. A basement laundry room may mean that you need to carry clean clothes up two flights of stairs to the bedrooms. Basements also have a tendency to accumulate considerable humidity and moisture compared to the rest of the house, and this can lead to mold. If you do opt to go with a basement laundry room, proper ventilation and an exhaust fan are important, while windows could be helpful too.
- Lack of Adequate Lighting
Although most of us won’t plan sophisticated lighting for the laundry room, the lighting in the space shouldn’t be neglected either. Whether it’s a light fixture, lamps, smart lights, natural light, or a combination of these options, make sure to provide adequate brightness to the laundry room. With smart lights, you can even set mood lighting with the option to change the colors of the lights in the room.
The laundry room shouldn’t be an afterthought when you’re doing home renovation. In fact, women spend an average of two hours per week doing laundry, while men spend an average of 35 minutes per week doing laundry, according to the American Time Use Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a lot of time spent in your laundry room over the course of your week, month, and year!. So when the time comes to spruce up, remodel or renovate your laundry room, make a plan, research your options and keep these tips in mind to avoid making common mistakes during the process.
Author Bio: Lauren Silver is a Marketing Coordinator for Abt Electronics, the largest independent retailer of consumer electronics and major appliances. Lauren oversees all content creation from their Glenview, Illinois Headquarters. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and cooking for her family.