If you’re renovating, it’s often tempting to look at the space that is currently your laundry to see if it has better use. In my case, I was able to turn the laundry into a second – much needed, bathroom. But if your laundry is repurposed, where are you going to wash and dry? The answer may be in a closet! Most closets are 600mm (24″) deep. Most laundry appliances just happen to be around 500mm (20″) deep. What a lovely coincidence! Its perfect for a closet laundry room.
Converting a closet into a laundry can be an inexpensive exercise as long as you have easy access to both plumbing and drainage. In my case, the original laundry adjoined a closet so it was easy to take the plumbing through the wall and the drainage was only a short run.
If you have underfloor access, either via a basement or because your home is raised off the ground, it is also a relatively easy project.
Remember to ensure the closet has good ventilation. Mechanical ventilation is probably a worthwhile investment, especially if you intend to install a dryer.
Do you want to turn that closet at home into your laundry area? Gather ideas and plan how you can modify your space now!
View our album of closet laundries for inspiration and head over to the link to a great tutorial below.
Constructing a Closet Laundry Room
- Iron-on Melamine Edging
- Non-slip Grip Liner
- Collapsible Laundry Racks
- Collapsible Laundry Baskets
- Adjustable Clothing Rod / Steel Rods (for hanging clothes)
- Paint(s) of your choice
- 1 whole Plywood or Melamine Board (as surface for folding clothes)
- Shelving (for storing clothes, detergents, etc.)
- Assortment of Screws
- Measuring Tape
- Carpenter’s Level
- Circular Saw
- Paint Brush and Rollers
- Cordless Drill
Other Items/Ideas You Can Include:
- Baskets (for segregating clothes)
- DIY Wall Mounted Drying Rack
- DIY Washing Machine and Dryer Pedestal
Creating a functional and efficient closet laundry room requires careful planning, a bit of DIY skill, and the right materials and tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you build your own closet laundry room using the provided materials and tools.
Step 1: Planning and Preparation
- Measure Your Space: Use the measuring tape to determine the dimensions of your closet space. Note the width, depth, and height to ensure all chosen appliances and fixtures will fit.
- Design Your Layout: Based on your measurements, plan the layout of your closet laundry room. Decide where the washer and dryer will go, where to install shelving, and the location for your folding surface and clothing rod.
Step 2: Preparing the Space
- Clear and Clean the Closet: Remove any existing items from the closet and clean the area thoroughly.
- Check for Ventilation and Outlets: Ensure there’s adequate ventilation and electrical outlets. You may need to hire a professional to install these if not already available.
Step 3: Installing the Shelving and Folding Surface
- Cut the Plywood or Melamine Board: Use the circular saw to cut the plywood or melamine board to the size needed for your folding surface.
- Install Shelving: Determine the height for your shelving and use the cordless drill and screws to secure the shelving brackets to the closet walls. Place the shelving on the brackets.
- Attach the Folding Surface: Secure the folding surface to the wall or a freestanding support structure, ensuring it’s at a comfortable height for folding clothes. Use screws for a firm installation.
Step 4: Adding Finishing Touches
- Apply Iron-on Melamine Edging: If you have cut edges on melamine or plywood, apply iron-on melamine edging for a clean, finished look. Use the iron to adhere the edging according to the product instructions.
- Paint: If desired, paint the interior of your closet laundry room with your chosen paint. Use paintbrushes and rollers for a smooth finish. Let it dry completely.
- Install Non-slip Grip Liner: Place non-slip grip liner on the shelves and the surface of the folding area to prevent items from sliding.
Step 5: Organizing and Accessorizing
- Set Up the Laundry Appliances: Place your washer and dryer in the designated spots. Ensure they are level using the carpenter’s level.
- Install the Adjustable Clothing Rod: Use the steel rods to create a hanging area for clothes. Determine the desired height and secure the brackets to the closet walls with the cordless drill and screws. Place the rod in the brackets.
- Add Collapsible Laundry Racks and Baskets: Place collapsible laundry racks and baskets in convenient locations within the closet. These should be easily accessible but out of the way when not in use.
- Organize Supplies on Shelving: Arrange your detergents, fabric softeners, and other laundry supplies on the shelving.
Step 6: Final Touches
- Check Everything: Go through your newly created closet laundry room to ensure everything is secure, functional, and organized.
- Ventilation Check: Make one last check to ensure your dryer is properly vented and that there’s adequate airflow in the closet to prevent moisture buildup.
Designing for Small Spaces
Every square inch counts when space is at a premium, especially in your home’s utility areas. A closet laundry room is a fantastic solution for combining functionality with space-saving design, allowing you to enjoy the convenience of in-home laundry without sacrificing valuable living space. Whether dealing with a tiny apartment, a compact urban home, or simply wishing to repurpose existing space, designing a closet laundry room requires creativity, planning, and a keen eye for detail.
Here’s how to make the most of small spaces while creating an efficient and stylish closet laundry room.
Utilize Vertical Space
Maximize Height for Storage: The key to freeing up floor space in a closet laundry room is to think vertically. Install shelving units or cabinets above your washer and dryer to store laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and other necessities. Use the highest shelves for less frequently used items and keep daily essentials within easy reach.
Stackable Washer and Dryer: If your closet laundry room is narrow, opt for a stackable washer and dryer set. This configuration doubles the functionality without doubling the footprint, making it perfect for tight spaces.
Compact Appliance Selection
Choose the Right Size: Not all laundry appliances are created equal, especially in size. For a closet laundry room, look for compact or apartment-sized washers and dryers that offer the same functionality as their larger counterparts but are designed to fit into smaller spaces.
Front-Loading for Efficiency: Front-loading machines are ideal for closet laundry rooms, not only because they’re often more compact but also because they allow for easy access in tight spaces. Plus, you can utilize the top of these machines for folding clothes or additional storage if space allows.
Smart Door Solutions
Sliding or Bi-Fold Doors: Traditional swing doors can eat into your limited space, making sliding or bi-fold doors a smarter choice for a closet laundry room. These doors require less operating room and can be opened easily, even when your hands are full.
Curtain Dividers: Consider using a decorative curtain to conceal your laundry area for an even more space-efficient solution. This option adds a touch of style while eliminating the space needed for door clearance.
Folding and Ironing Stations
Drop-Down Ironing Boards: A fold-out ironing board that tucks away when not in use is a godsend in a closet laundry room. Install a wall-mounted, drop-down model to save space while keeping this essential tool handy.
Pull-Out Folding Surfaces: Include a pull-out shelf or surface for folding clothes if possible. This can be as simple as a retractable drawer that extends from beneath the washer or dryer, providing a temporary spot to fold clothes without requiring permanent floor space.
Designing a closet laundry room in a small space challenges you to think creatively and make every detail count. Prioritizing vertical storage, selecting compact appliances, opting for space-saving door options, and incorporating smart solutions for ironing and folding, you can create a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing laundry area.
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Soundproofing for Closet Laundry Rooms
Transforming a closet into a laundry room is an ingenious way to save space in your home. However, the proximity of a closet laundry room to living and sleeping areas can raise concerns about noise.
The hum, whir, and occasional thumping from washers and dryers can disrupt the tranquility of your home environment. Fortunately, with the right soundproofing strategies, you can minimize noise and enjoy the convenience of your closet laundry room without compromising on peace.
Here’s how to effectively soundproof your space.
Choose the Right Appliances
Opt for Quiet Models: When selecting appliances for your closet laundry room, consider models designed with noise reduction in mind. Modern washers and dryers feature special insulation materials and quieter operating cycles, making them ideal for placement near living or sleeping areas.
Enhance Wall Insulation
Add Mass-Loaded Vinyl: Installing mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) on the walls of your closet laundry room can significantly reduce sound transmission. This dense material acts as a sound barrier, absorbing vibrations and noise before they can spread to other parts of your home.
Use Acoustic Panels: Consider lining the walls with acoustic panels for additional sound dampening. These panels absorb sound and can be aesthetically pleasing, blending seamlessly with your closet laundry room’s decor.
Install Anti-Vibration Pads: Place anti-vibration pads or mats under your washer and dryer to reduce the noise these appliances generate. These pads absorb vibrations, preventing them from traveling through the floors and walls.
Opt for Sound-Absorbing Flooring: If you’re renovating, choose flooring materials that absorb sound, such as cork or rubber. These materials can help dampen noise and are also water-resistant, making them suitable for a laundry area.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Use Weatherstripping and Acoustic Sealant: Ensure that all gaps around doors and windows in your closet laundry room are sealed with weatherstripping or acoustic sealants. Even small openings can allow sound to escape, so it’s important to create a tight seal.
Consider Mechanical Ventilation
Install a Quiet Vent Fan: Proper ventilation is crucial in a closet laundry room for managing moisture and reducing noise. Opt for a vent fan designed to operate quietly, ensuring it doesn’t add to the noise level.
Creating a soundproof closet laundry room is all about paying attention to the details—from selecting the right appliances and materials to sealing gaps and considering quiet ventilation solutions. Implementing these strategies can significantly reduce noise, making your closet laundry room a quiet, peaceful part of your home.
Incorporating a laundry room into a closet is a smart way to maximize space in your home. However, without proper ventilation, this convenient setup can lead to moisture buildup, mildew, and a lack of air circulation, harming your home and affecting your health. Ensuring your closet laundry room is well-ventilated is crucial for maintaining air quality and extending the lifespan of your laundry appliances.
Here are several effective ventilation solutions to consider for your closet laundry room.
External Venting for Dryers
Install an Exhaust Vent: The most effective way to ventilate a closet laundry room is by installing an exhaust vent for your dryer. This directs hot, moist air outside your home, preventing humidity buildup. Use a rigid or flexible duct that leads from your dryer to the outdoors. If you’re unsure how to install this, consider hiring a professional to ensure it’s done correctly and safely.
Ventless Dryer Options
Consider a Condenser Dryer: A condenser dryer might be a suitable alternative if external venting is not an option. These dryers collect moisture from wet clothes in a water reservoir or drain it away, eliminating the need for an external vent. However, the room still needs some form of air circulation to prevent condensation.
Heat Pump Dryers: Another ventless option is a heat pump dryer, which recycles hot air within the drum, using less energy and producing less heat than traditional dryers. Like condenser dryers, they don’t require external venting but do require a room with good air circulation.
Improving Air Circulation
Install a Ceiling or Inline Fan: Consider installing a ceiling or inline fan to help circulate air within your closet laundry room. These can help disperse heat and moisture, even using a ventless dryer. Ensure the fan vents to the outside to effectively remove humid air from the space.
Use a Dehumidifier: Dehumidifiers can be particularly effective in smaller spaces like closet laundry rooms. It helps reduce moisture levels in the air, making your laundry area feel more comfortable and preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
Door and Wall Vents
Add Vents to Doors: If your closet laundry room has a door, installing vents in the door can improve air exchange between the laundry room and the rest of your home. This is especially important in tightly sealed spaces where air circulation is minimal.
Wall Vents: Installing passive wall vents can also improve ventilation by allowing air to flow naturally into and out of the closet laundry room. This is a good solution if mechanical ventilation options are limited or not feasible.
Proper ventilation is key to maintaining a healthy, efficient closet laundry room. Whether you opt for external venting, ventless dryers, or improved air circulation with fans and dehumidifiers, ensuring good airflow will protect your home from moisture damage and create a more pleasant laundry environment.
Energy Efficiency and Appliance Selection
Incorporating a closet laundry room into your home offers a convenient and space-saving solution for your laundry needs. However, selecting the right appliances is crucial for fitting into the limited space and ensuring energy efficiency. Energy-efficient appliances reduce electricity and water usage, lowering utility bills and minimizing environmental impact.
Here’s how to choose and optimize appliances for your closet laundry room for maximum energy efficiency.
Selecting Energy-Efficient Appliances
Look for Energy Star Ratings: Appliances with Energy Star certifications are designed to use less water and energy than standard models. When shopping for your closet laundry room, prioritize these options for both washers and dryers.
Consider Size and Capacity: Compact or apartment-sized washers and dryers are ideal for closet laundry rooms. These models are designed to fit in smaller spaces without compromising functionality. Additionally, selecting a model with the appropriate capacity for your needs can prevent energy waste.
Front-Loading Washers: Front-loading washers are generally more energy-efficient than top-loading models. They use less water by tumbling clothes through a small amount of water instead of filling the drum. This design also typically offers a more thorough clean, so you might run fewer cycles.
Optimizing for Energy Efficiency
Adjust Water Temperature Settings: Washing clothes in cold water whenever possible can significantly reduce the energy used to heat water. Most modern detergents are formulated to be effective in cold water, ensuring your clothes still come out clean.
Use High-Efficiency Detergent: High-efficiency (HE) detergents are designed for use with energy-efficient washers. They produce fewer suds and require less water to wash out, enhancing the efficiency of front-loading machines.
Regular Maintenance: Keeping your appliances in top condition is key to maintaining their energy efficiency. Regularly clean the lint trap in your dryer, inspect the washer’s rubber seal for leaks, and ensure the dryer vent is clear to improve air circulation.
Utilizing Smart Features
Programmable Settings: Many modern appliances come with programmable settings that adjust the water level, temperature, and spin speed based on the load. Utilizing these features can optimize each cycle for energy efficiency.
Energy-Saving Modes: Look for washers and dryers with energy-saving modes. These settings automatically adjust the operation to use less energy, such as reducing the drying time or lowering the water temperature.
Load Sensing Technology: Appliances equipped with load sensing technology can detect the size of the laundry load and adjust the water usage and cycle settings accordingly. This prevents energy and water from being wasted on smaller loads.
Choosing the right appliances for your closet laundry room is more than just size and fit; it’s also about ensuring energy efficiency. Selecting Energy Star-rated, appropriately sized appliances and utilizing energy-saving features and practices, you can minimize your environmental footprint while enjoying the convenience of your closet laundry room. Remember, investing in energy-efficient appliances benefits the planet and leads to savings on your utility bills in the long run.
Transforming a closet into a laundry room is a clever and practical solution for maximizing space in your home. Through careful planning, the right selection of energy-efficient appliances, and thoughtful design considerations, you can create a functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing laundry area.
For more ways to save space, check out our laundry room shelves ideas next!