Laundry Room Renovation Ideas
Laundry duty ranks pretty low on the list of household chores. For the most part, laundry rooms are strictly utilitarian spaces void of personality. Many are equipped with outdated appliances, dimly lit and relegated to the basement or garage. If this sounds all too familiar, your laundry room is definitely due for a makeover.
Experts say a laundry room remodel not only adds beauty, it increases the value of your home. With a top-notch laundry room renovation, you can expect, on average, a 72 percent return on your investment.
The Big Things
Older homes often require the assistance of a professional to inspect, repair and upgrade the plumbing, gas and electrical lines. It would be a pity to find out once the renovation is complete that you need to tear it apart to replace the pipes.
Take this pre-renovation time to determine if your laundry room is configured to suit your family’s needs. You may want to add walls (if there aren’t any) or move a wall to expand the space creating a combination laundry/mud room. Or maybe you just need more space to fold and iron your laundered items.
If your new washer doesn't have a quick wash feature, consider installing a sink in your new laundry room. Install it directly into a countertop, or place a free-standing utility sink adjacent to the washer and dryer. A laundry room sink means you can easily wash and rinse clothing without having to use a sink in another part of the house. Don't forget to include the cost of plumbing into your renovation budget.
A sink located in the laundry room, means you can easily wash and rinse clothing without having to use a sink in another part of the house.
Vinyl flooring is an inexpensive solution for the laundry room. Gone are the days of hideous vinyl patterns and inferior materials. You can choose from durable peel and stick vinyl squares or vinyl sheeting. Modern vinyl flooring includes designs and textures that simulate wood grain or natural stone. It's amazingly similar to the real deal, and unlike hard surface flooring materials, it's comfortable underfoot.
Ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles are also popular choices because of their stylish appearance and easy cleanup. Hard surface flooring is pricier than vinyl, but it offers a wide variety of colors, textures and designs from which to choose. Consider using natural stone flooring for a designer look and added resale value.
The dream of any busy household is a state-of-the-art washer and dryer. This is a decision best made as you determine the layout of the room. You may want to save space with a stackable washer and dryer or a single combination washer/dryer unit. If you have additional space, research pedestal washers and dryers--they raise your appliances to the perfect height and come in an array of trendy colors.
To prevent water damage to your flooring and subfloor, place an overflow pan under your washing machine. These pans may not be required by code, but are a great idea--especially if your laundry room is located upstairs.
For any number of reasons, many laundry rooms lack adequate lighting. It may not seem important, but when you're trying to remove stains and iron out wrinkles, good lighting is imperative.
A simple suspended fluorescent fixture can make all the difference in the world to a poorly lit garage or basement laundry room. You can pick up these "shop lights" at a relatively cheap price from the local hardware store. If your laundry room is inside the house, update your lighting with a track system, pendants or a large ceiling fixture to adequately illuminate the entire space.
If you have additional space, purchase a folding table or include an integrated counter to serve as a folding station. Clothes can be folded as soon as they are removed from the dryer. A folding station can also be used for sweaters that require flat drying.
A great idea to help you get motivated to do laundry is to organize the room. Add shelving or a bank of upper cabinets to store all of your laundry products. If everything is neatly organized and in its place, you might actually look forward to laundry day.
Consider installing pullout laundry hampers under the counter. Designate one hamper for colors, one for whites and one for delicates. Include a wall-mounted drying rack for hanging up delicates during inclement weather.
Wall-Mounted Ironing Board
Instead of setting up a full-size ironing board in the laundry room, purchase a wall-mounted version that folds down and stores neatly away when not in use. This frees up valuable laundry room square footage. You can also find models that feature shelves to hold your iron and ironing supplies.
Some wall-mounted models include a clothes hanging rack, built-in electrical outlet, work light and auto shut-off feature. These handy ironing board stations come in a variety of finishes to coordinate with your cabinetry.
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© 2012 Linda Chechar