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Planning a multipurpose laundry room

Doing the laundry might not be your favourite chore, but a well-designed laundry room makes life easier and saves you time. With good planning, the right furnishings and appropriate materials, spending time in the laundry room takes on a whole new meaning! Because honestly, who wants to spend their day washing dirty clothes?

Planning your laundry room

The design of an efficient multipurpose laundry room starts with good planning and by clarifying some key elements:

  • location of the room in your home
  • needs of every individual
  • budget and work involved.

Location of the space

  • For optimal efficiency and for getting chores done, place the laundry room close to the hub in the home. You’ll cut down on the number of steps needed to carry out daily tasks and help declutter your other rooms.
  • Think of the proximity to plumbing and the hot water tank
  • If you set up your multipurpose room just steps from the entrance used most often, you can double it as a mudroom or entryway to the rest of the house. By filtering the morning and evening traffic, you can say goodbye to coats and school bags strewn over the floor or sports bags no one knows where to put!
  • Located close to the kitchen or bathroom will reduce the back and forth movement between these rooms.
  • If placed in the basement, it takes more steps to get there, but keeps the noise of appliances at a distance.
  • If you don’t have an extra room, a well-designed closet does the job. With smart storage solutions and customized lighting, you can have a practical laundry space.

Needs

It is essential to define the needs and expectations of the members of your household. You then must assess your options in relation to your available space. This step is crucial to the success of your project.

Consider the following elements:

  • The number and age of family members: A family with young children does a lot of laundry. You need to facilitate sorting clothes and increase the number of laundry baskets.
  • The type of activities and hobbies: Sports or work clothing piles up, requiring space for drying and airing. Reserve a corner for crafts and scrapbooking.
  • Storage for Work: A workstation, including a designated area for recharging cellphones and sorting paperwork and bills. By grouping all of this in one spot, papers won’t be lost or
  • Storage for everything else: For cleaning products, out of season clothing, Christmas decorations and more.

Pro tip

Think ahead! Allow for more storage than you currently need. You’ll find a way to use it, you’ll see!

Budget and work involved

Creating a laundry room involves plumbing and electrical work, as well as finishing touches.

Things to remember when working out your budget:

  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Cabinets and counters
  • Sink and faucets
  • Flooring
  • Paint and room finish
  • Appliances and laundry tub
  • Lighting
  • Storage articles and accessories (baskets, shelves, etc.)

Don’t hesitate to get help from professionals to perform certain tasks. Request multiple evaluations and consider these costs in your budget.

Designing the room

Maximizing the benefits of a laundry room means designing a space by marrying utility and harmony, all while keeping the priority on designing a functional space that is useful for all.

Design the room according to work zones, and make sure you have the furnishings and equipment you need in each zone. The aim is efficiency.

To make laundry easier:

  • Space to collect clothes to be washed: Choose laundry baskets with 2, 3, or even 4 compartments for sorting clothes as they’re dropped in. A small investment that translates into a big saving in time. Each compartment should measure a minimum of 24"H x 14"W x 20"D, otherwise clothes will end up spilling over onto the floor.
  • Storage for your products: Space permitting, reserve space for bedding and out-of-season clothing. If you opt for cabinets, make sure they are deep enough to store fairly large objects, such as comforters and sheets. The standard size for laundry room cabinets is almost the same as kitchen cabinets: 24"D x 36"H for floor cabinets and 12" to 15" deep for wall cabinets.
  • A counter for folding clothes: If your washer and dryer are front-loading, install them under a counter which would then serve as a work table. If not, a table close to your appliances will do just fine.
  • A laundry tub is a must-have if the sink is at a distance.

Optimizing your mudroom or entryway

  • Design your space for hanging coats and bags with your family’s daily activities in mind, such as:
    • your eldest’s piano lesson
    • your youngest’s hockey practices
    • work clothes, and school bags.
  • Set aside hooks for each member of the family, a shelf, baskets and space to place

Other helpful and practical ideas

  • An ironing corner
  • A sewing corner
  • A designated zone to hang up clothes to dry
  • a shower for the dog

Pro tip

Trace a plan to scale of your favorite configuration and put in your chosen elements. Note the placement of the electrical outlets needed, plumbing elements and large appliances, and don’t forget to leave space to circulate freely.

Choosing materials and equipment

Humidity, heat, everyday comings and goings; this is what you need to factor into your choice of materials.

  • Coverings and surfaces
    Choose them for their resistance to everyday life and for their easy maintenance.

  • Flooring
    Flooring should be easy to clean. You can’t go wrong with ceramic tiles, linoleum, or vinyl; all three are resistant and should last for many years. Maintenance consists of damp mopping.

  • Semi-gloss paint
    This finish is the easiest to clean. To be able to see stains clearly and clean whiter than white, choose light shades, which will also make the room seem larger and brighter.

  • Counters
    It’s better to choose smooth surfaces because they are low-maintenance and require little product to clean. Laminates are a good choice because they are easily cleaned with a damp cloth: available in all sizes, patterns and colours, and very affordable.

  • Cabinets
    Thermoplastic or melamine cabinet models are perfectly adequate. They come in all shades, with various finishes and can even be made to measure. Keep in mind: quality goes hand in hand with durability. Ready-made, easy-to-install plastic cabinets in various sizes are also available.

  • A laundry tub
    A must-have in the laundry room. Deeper than a regular sink, it makes hand-washing and soaking much easier. Tubs are available in various shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to make your choice based on your available space and washing needs. Double models are practical for people who do a lot of hand-washing or for large families. Opt for an easy-to-manoeuvre faucet with a flexible hose.

  • Accessories
    Choose the accessories that will be useful. They have to be adapted to the number of clothes you’ll be taking care of, from the type of clothes to how often they’ll be worn. Look for rods, hooks and baskets made of plastic and other materials that can withstand humidity.

Doing the work: main steps

It’s now time to get working. Here are a few essential steps.

Plumbing and electricity

  • Ensure that all the necessary plumbing work has been done. At this stage, make sure that the water outlets and feeds for the washer, laundry sink and fixtures are installed according to regulations.
  • Install electrical outlets, light fixtures, and exhaust ducts.

Pro tip

Don’t hesitate to leave these jobs for qualified professionals; you’ll end up saving time, and you’ll know the work has been done properly.

Wall and floor coverings

  • No need to trim the walls or protect the floor if you can get your painting done before the cabinets, flooring, appliances and fixtures have been installed. Painting walls is a lot easier and faster when the walls are bare.
  • Install the flooring before all the pieces you have so carefully chosen. Be it vinyl or ceramic tile, this type of project is easy to do, whether you’re experienced in renovation or not.
  • All that’s left is to install the cabinets, shelves and counters.

The rest

Everything is now ready for you to install the equipment that will transform your laundry room into a fully functional area.

You can now install:

  • Fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Storage: baskets, shelves, hooks

Installing lighting and decoration

Have fun and let your creativity fly. A personalized laundry room will make chores a lot more enjoyable.

Good lighting

  • Fluorescents are available in many types of white, with some very similar to natural light. Fluorescent lighting ensures good visibility in the laundry room.
  • Recessed light fixtures Install dimmer switches so you can adjust the light according to your needs. You can always add floor lamps to complete your lighting.

Window dressing

  • If you have windows in your laundry room, choose curtains or blinds that are easy-to-clean.
  • Harmonize the colour palate you’ve chosen for the room to the décor if there are any.

Well chosen accessories

  • Choose the color,baskets, brackets and hangers to be installed in the space. The decor details will help keep the room tidy and give it the character you want.
  • It’s your choice: Put up pictures and photos, or set up a radio or small television to marry utility and comfort.

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