Whether you're getting ready to build a new laundry room or you're just renovating a current space there are a few key things you need to consider before you start. It was once the norm for washers and dryers to always be located in a garage or unsightly utility space but the new trend is to make washers and dryers more convenient by locating them closer to living spaces. Not only does this mean that you might not have to haul heavy loads of dirty laundry up and down stairs but it also means that you can add value to your home. New luxury master closets and guest rooms often include their own washer and dryer. Stackable and ultra efficient front loading washing machines make this a very feasible option. Recently washing machine manufactures like Maytag, Kenmore, Samsung, LG, GE and Whirlpool have all added sleek and stylish designer colors to the option list for their washers. Now is the time to take the steps to modernize your laundry room but make sure you consider the following list so that your dream laundry room doesn't turn into a nightmare.
Proper Utilities - There are a few basic utilities that every laundry room needs. They are water, electricity/gas and good drainage. It is especially important to consider the costs of routing these utilities when deciding on a location for your laundry room. When choosing between electric and gas dryers take a look at the current and historical prices for both utilities in your area. If natural gas prices are low and are likely to stay that way then now is a perfect time to add gas lines and invest in an efficient gas dryer. Gas dryers can dry much faster than electric appliances due to decreased warm up times.
Structure - This may be one of the most important items to consider for you new laundry room. If the room has a joist floor (most likely any room without a concrete slab floor) then you will need to add structural strength to the joists using sister boards. Without proper joist strength the vibration of a washing machine will cause damage to the structure of your home. Over time this can lead to creaking floors, sagging floors, cracking, gaps, uneven sub floors and in the worst cases structural collapse. It is also recommended that the sub-floor be made of double layer plywood to add rigidity.
Noise Insulation - No washing machine is silent and even the best washers will still be loud enough to be heard in all nearby rooms without some form of laundry room sound proofing. The best place to start is to add fiberglass for foam insulation in the walls, floor and ceiling of the laundry room. Then make sure that double layers of gypsum or drywall are used. Together this will help to greatly reduce the audible noise from the washing machine and dryer. But that is only half the battle for sound control. The next step is to reduce the vibration resonance noise that is caused when the vibration from the washing machine transfer into the sub-floor. The best way to do this is by installing an anti-vibration washer pad like Silent Feet Anti-Vibration pads. The patented Sorbothane rubber in these pads features a unique molecular structure that converts vibration energy into silent heat energy. The combination of proper insulation and Silent Feet anti-vibration pads will guarentee the quietest laundry room.
Style & Design - Finally, you will need to choose the fit, form and function of you dream laundry room. The wide range of colors, styles and types of washing machines and dryers gives you a huge amount of flexibility. Traditional top loading washers are great for families who need lots of laundry capacity and short cycle times. Efficient front loading washers are the best choice overall if you don't mind that they may take up to twice as long as top loaders during the wash cycle. Compact and stackable washers are a perfect choice for apartments, condos, master bedrooms, guest rooms or anywhere that space is at a premium. Keep in mind that stackable washing machines have are more likely to walk or have unwanted movement during spin cycle so it is best to install an anti-walk device like Anti-Walk Silent Feet.