If you’ve got kids, you’ve got laundry, and if you’re not careful it will take over your entire house. Even without kids laundry is a chore that always needs to be dealt with. And since laundry rooms tend to be small it’s incredibly important that they be practical. Here are a few ways to maximize your laundry room renovation so that it makes sense for you and your family for years to come.
Laundry rooms are usually pretty small, and given the amount of work that needs to be done, functionality is hugely important. Make sure you include drying racks, a surface for folding, and of course, plenty of storage. Also, there’s nothing worse than side-by-side washers and dryers whose doors open the same way. You always want your washer and dryer to open in opposite directions – washer to the left and dryer to the right so that you can easily transfer clothes from one to the other.
Most laundry rooms have tile floors, and when you have a tile floor you need to have an uncoupling layer to prevent cracking and breaking. My preference is to use Schluter DITRA for any tile floor installation. With this safeguard in place the tile will stand up to whatever you and your family inflict on it. The DITRA membrane is also waterproof and that can be very helpful in a laundry room. With the small extra step of waterproofing the seams of the membrane you can have a completely waterproof floor for protection against spills or the worst case scenario of a flood from the washing machine. For the ultimate in flood protection you could consider installing a floor drain. This requires plumbing connections and is not always possible, but it’s a good idea if you can do it without too much expense.
Take uncoupling to the next level by using an electric floor warming system like Schluter’s DITRA-HEAT. It combines the same uncoupling technology in DITRA with an electric heating cable that provides warmth for the entire floor. This is a particularly nice feature to have in basement laundry rooms where ceramic tile floors can feel pretty cold. It’s also great in rooms where there is no other heat source. Once considered a luxury, heated floors are becoming more and more popular.
A backsplash is only necessary if you have a sink, however that doesn’t mean you can’t add one for decorative purposes. Since the laundry room is somewhere that you tend to spend a lot of time, you may as well make it look good! But whatever you do, don’t forget to finish off a backsplash with a profile to cap off the tile. It doesn’t just look better, but it helps to protect the tile edges from cracks and chips
A single overhead light fixture really isn’t enough. A thought out lighting plan that includes general and task lighting is ideal. Consider recessed lighting for general illumination, and then think about lamps, sconces or pendants to use as task lighting in work areas (like for sewing or ironing).
For more information about planning a laundry room renovation, check out my Laundry Room Do’s and Don’ts, and for more info about products you can use to maximize your renovation visit Schluter.com.