How to Recognize Good and Bad Laundry Space Design

John and Matthew breakdown what makes or breaks the design of laundry spaces in single family homes.

  • http://deleted S.N.

    Cool videos, love them….

    I have a question, what about smaller apartments, where there is no room for proper laundry? What is the appropriate placement for washer-drier? I saw that they are usually placed in a small wardrobe in the hall. Can you show good and bad examples of that?

    In my part of the world washer-drier units are placed in the bathroom unless there is a utility room.
    I know this can be weird to you, but it is a cultural difference, that is interesting in a way.


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  • Terri

    I have had a laundry in a separate “closet” accessed by pocket door at the end of a bathroom. It was convenient at that time with young kids. The issue for many with laundry in limited space is keeping the space clear of clothing (meaning: keep it in the machines and not on the adjacent floor or counter).

  • sk

    How do you weigh in on washer and dryers on the main floor or in the basement? Mike Holmes is a basement only guy. But if we want homes where people can age in place you would want to have your w/d on the main floor.

  • Matthew North

    Hi SK – thanks for your question – I am in full agreement with having a main floor laundry for convenience sake and to be more accessible for an aging population. Mike Holmes is worried about flooding as most laundry areas in production built homes do not take this into account – and we all know that washing machines fail from time to time. The floor of a laundry area should be treated like a shower base with a drain and the ability to hold flood water in the even of a machine malfunction. If this is not possible, say in an existing condition or a remodel, then I recommend a moisture sensor, which is an electronic device that shuts the water off to the machines if any moisture is detected on the sides or below the washer.

  • Expat

    I’ve had the good fortune to live almost all of my life in places where line-drying is the norm and the dryer is for emergency use only. That makes easy access to the outdoor drying area essential. Ventilation then becomes much easier, if that’s a concern.

    I understand from many posts on Treehugger that line-drying is generally a big no-no even in those parts of North America where the climate is perfect for it and that many people are pressing to be allowed to do it.

    Is there not a case for at least designing in the possibility of sanitizing laundry naturally with the UV in natural sunshine and saving a ton of energy and greenhouse emissions in the process? If a house’s design makes it difficult, it’s less likely to ever happen.

    Reading the question about basement vs main floor sparked a memory from Germany. The family I lived with had a laundry chute from the upstairs bedrooms down to the basement laundry. It had outdoors access via a ramp for good weather and drying racks and hangers in the bottom of the stairwell. Clothes there took advantage of the rising warm air from the basement and helped to humidify the air in the rest of the house, while being largely out of sight and out of mind. That cut their dryer use considerably.

    I think it was Jodi J who beat me to my first point way back in the days of the Slow Home Project. (Yes, John and Matthew, you have a long-term devoted follower here, although one who only intermittently had the chance to check what was going on. Is there any way to make some of the work from the old website easily accessible?