Archive for the ‘Cabinets’ Category
If your renovating your home or perhaps building a new one, you should strongly consider placing your laundry room adjacent to the bedrooms on the same floor. It seems that approximately 90% of the laundry is generated on that level. Bed linens and dirty clothes are the most commonly washed items and an occasional throw rug can always be carried upstairs if need be from time to time.
In a two story house, it is especially desirable as many housewives can truly attest too. Climbing up and down stairs carrying heavy clothes baskets can be murder on the back and legs. Placing a laundry room in the basement which builders did for years, is out of the question today.
A five foot by seven foot room is just a large closet but can accommodate both a washer and dryer either side by side or stacked units. This leaves plenty of space for a nice set of wall hung cabinets and a folding table. If you iron clothes, the room can be slightly larger or use a wall mounted ironing board that folds up when not in use. There are also wall mounted irons available today that save space and can be left in a wall holder when not in use.
Although not critical, a window is always desirable but with or without a window an exhaust fan is a must. Excess moisture can cause mildew to form on the walls, causing both a health hazard and mold stains on the painted walls. I use smooth faced mylar paneling which is easy to clean and takes a great deal of abuse over time. The floor needs to something easy to clean as well. Using either twelve inch or twenty-four vinyl tiles makes installing the flooring easy to do and the care of the floor quick and easy as well.
Any laundry installed today should have a plastic drain pan placed under the washing machine. These pans come with a drain outlet that can be connected to a sewer line. In the event of an accidental overflow of the washer, the water is safely sent down the sewer line and not onto the floor surfaces. A sewer trap must be installed as well to prevent any sewer gases from backing into the house. The pans are inexpensive and can save thousand of dollars in water damages.
Another must is the use of metal clad burst proof hoses. Old rubber hoses can break and will usually do so when your not home of course. Burst proof hoses are a bit more but the extra peace of mind they provide are well worth it.
Cabinets-You may get as fancy or as plain as you wish. Open shelving is also a possibility but clutter quickly becomes unsightly. Good solid cabinets with a melamine finish offer good long life and a very easy to clean surfaces as well. A simple wipe down keeps them like new. I suggest using as light a color as possible to keep the room light and airy. Soap, softener, lint removers and so on can ll be stored out of sight and if you can afford a larger cabinet, toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes and towels and so on can all be stored there as well.
Lighting-People often skimp with the lighting as it is “only” a laundry room. A good quality double tube four foot fluorescent fixture provides lost cost lighting that will light up a five by seven room quite well. Incandescent or recessed lighting can be used but the added cost is really not necessary. Florescent lamps last a good long time and running cost are lower than incandescent bulbs. Make sure the fixtures in any case are placed so they do not cast or create a shadow when you are working in the room. The is often overlooked but will be quite evident if your trying to iron or sort clothes in a dark shadow. There also many many CFL fixtures available now that are small (less then 3 inches in diameter) and cost very little to operate. A sixty watt CFL provides sixty watts of light but consumes only 12 watts of power for example. Many are directional as well for task lighting. Take a good look before you buy and think about long term savings.
Outlets-All outlets in your laundry should be Ground Fault Interrupter type. You will need one behind the washer and dryer units, one by the ironing board and at least one additional convenience outlet at the standard eighteen inches above the floor for vacuuming or other cleaning chores. With a little care in planing you should be able to cross between the cabinets, washer/dryer and the ironing board without crossing a power cord. Accidentally pulling a hot iron off the ironing board and on the floor or your foot is no fun.
If you have a large family and a good deal of laundry and ironing, installing a cable TV outlet can also provide some added down time while you work. Standing in a laundry room for an hour with no TV or radio can be a drag to say the least. You also may want to consider purchasing a rubber mat to stand on while you work. There are many specialty mats available and may save a great deal of stress on your legs and feet.
Laundry baskets-Keeping open top laundry baskets within sight of the door helps train kids (and hubby) to toss dirty clothes into a hamper and not on the bedroom floor. This of course helps Mom or whomever is in charge of the laundry chores, perform the task quicker and easier. You may hope for a color clothes and a white clothes basket but that may be far beyond the kids (or again the hubby’s) abilities. At least all the dirty clothes will be in one place.
Keep your paint colors bright and cheery for walls and ceilings. A good quality washable paint with mold preventer added can again help provide a good long life of your new laundry room.