Laundry Room Remodel Tips, Ideas, & Cost for a Laundry Room Makeover

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

I do laundry at least once a week, meaning it is a space in my home where I spend some time. For this reason, I decided to make my laundry room less drab. Apart from aesthetics, I decided to change the layout of the laundry room to create more storage space.

It costed me an average of $6,000 to renovate my laundry room which was about 36 square-feet.

I will talk about the laundry room remodel ideas I looked at and what laundry room remodel cost factors I had to consider for the makeover.

Laundry Room Remodel Tips

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There are some considerations I made when remodeling my laundry room to make the process a successful one. Here are some laundry renovation tips that you can use to help you settle on the correct layout and design.

a) Plan in Advance

Doing a remodel without proper consideration can be very costly if no adequate planning is done in advance. You can take time to look at ideas you want to implement in your laundry room remodel. We have outlined some good ideas later in the article.

b) Safety Upgrade

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The best time to upgrade the safety in the laundry room is during remodeling. I had to create drainage because there was none in the existing space. Installing smoke detectors, HVAC systems, and safe fittings are best done while upgrading the laundry room.

Because fire is more likely to start at the dryer, I had to take extra caution when installing the dryer combo.

One safety upgrade that I will insist on is to have slip-resistant flooring. This can include installing slip-resistant mats, and I consider them the most important laundry room additions.

c) Reorganize

Reorganization is equivalent to a slight makeover. Once I know where everything is in the laundry room, I can save time when doing laundry. Having the cabinets labeled makes the work easier for the next person who will come in to use the washer. I have fewer clashes with my wife and kids because the socks now go in the right place, not on the floor.

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Organization also means that the laundry room will always stay neat. No one throws things haphazardly in the space.

Part of reorganization includes placing things in the order of workflow, such as having the ironing board beside the laundry baskets for dirty linen. This makes me feel uncomfortable to a degree. On the other hand, having a workflow-based design improves the working speed tremendously. One of the main recipes for the industrial revolution was creating a workflow system. If it can work at such a large scale, it can surely work for your laundry room.

d) Budget

I must budget and work within my budget when undertaking any remodeling project. This avoids a situation like ending up with an unfinished laundry room for a long time. Having an unfinished laundry room will be more depressing than having the old laundry room as it was.

e) Inform Your Apartment Manager or the Local Authorities

Some counties or states require notification before any renovations are undertaken in a living space. If you live in a closely shared apartment, you may have signed a lease forbidding remodeling. Therefore, you must get the necessary permits to prevent the project from stalling.

I was lucky because I own a home, and my local authorities helped get me the appropriate permits to remodel my laundry room.

f) Have an Alternative Laundry Room While Remodeling

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I had to find an alternative way of doing laundry in my house to avoid a crisis. I have kids, which means a lot of clothes need washing regularly. I talked to my parents, and I could do laundry in their house while mine was under remodeling. They were kind enough to let me do that.

g) Relocate

Moving the laundry room to a different location in the house can be the best way to remodel your laundry. A good place to have your new laundry room is in a remodeled garage. I would recommend such a change to someone with the basement laundry room.

Relocating the laundry room might involve extensive changes in the house. Therefore, you have to keep the appropriate changes in mind.

If you have a small space and cannot relocate your laundry room, here are good ideas to save on space.

h) Aeration

An aerated laundry room was a must for my newly remodeled laundry room. Good airflow not only makes the room much more comfortable to use but it makes it safer. Since water is involved, lack of aeration might lead to mold growth and bad stench in the laundry room.

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Some clothes or shoes should not be dried in a dryer or in the sun. An aerated laundry room creates the chance to air-dry some clothes.

i) Have a Theme

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Most interior design ideas are themed. This is the best way to make a room unified and satisfying to look at. I theme my designs around colors, textures, and materials like wood and lighting.

j) Noise Reduction

Reducing the amount of noise that comes from the room will make a huge difference. For example, I have installed noise-canceling feet for my washer and dryer machines to reduce the vibration on the floor. In addition, I have soundproofed the laundry room door, and no noise comes into the rest of the house from the laundry room.

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I work from home and can not afford the noise to interfere with me. However, if an infant is in the house, reducing the noise from the laundry room is vital.

k) Rewiring

Unless you built the house, you currently live in, the electrical wiring was not catered to your personal needs. The best time to rewire the laundry room is during remodeling. This is because new laundry room accessories are coming out every other day, and the best way I keep up with this is by future-proofing my laundry room. One way of future-proofing is by installing extra power access points.

l) Consulting Your Partner

This might be more of a social issue, but it does come in handy. Your loved ones may have better ideas, and you increase your/their chances of enjoying the space more. But, again, consultation is the best way to go unless you want to surprise your housemate or partner.

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I asked my three-year-old son the challenge he had with the laundry room most. He said everything was too high for him. So, for this reason, I had to get the best step stool for him to use whenever he wanted to help mommy or me out with laundry.

Here are functional and aesthetic remodel ideas.

Laundry Room Remodel Ideas

1) More Light

My laundry room was dim, and I never knew how this affected my general mood whenever I was doing laundry. So, I researched more about how light affects my mood, which informed the kind of lighting I installed in my space. For example, white light feels cool and yellow lights feel warm.

Before

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After

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The best kind of lighting to get for any space is natural light. If you can have larger windows 0r a skylight, the laundry room will be your favorite room.

2) Larger Doors

Most laundry rooms feel tucked inside the furthest rooms in homes. However, some homes opt to have a laundry room in the basement. Opening up the laundry room makes it a space that can be shared and one that everyone in the family will want to visit.

Before

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After

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The easiest way of opening up a small laundry room is to work on having larger doors and windows.

3) Large Windows

Having large windows is the best way to aerate the laundry room. I installed large windows in my laundry room, and I can now air-dry some of my shoes. There is a need for lots of fresh air in the laundry room, and I no longer have to depend on the air conditioner for that. I have limited my air conditioner use mostly to the winter season. Otherwise, I just open the window, and everything is fine.

Before

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After

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The best part about having large windows is that the laundry room no longer stays damp for longer periods after I clean it.

4) Wall Tiles

Wall tiles add to the vibe of a laundry room. Cool wall tile options for the laundry room keep the new look for a long time.

Before

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After

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The more important reason I got wall tiles for the lower half of my laundry room wall is that tiles handle moisture and water better than paint. In addition, some heat is emitted from the dryer and might not be very friendly to wall paints. For this reason, tiles will be more appropriate for the laundry room.

5) Declutter

I got rid of everything I did not need from the laundry room. If your laundry room is in a smaller space, then you have to declutter by all means. Detergent containers ran out last year, and you are still keeping them. Get rid of those. The old brushes, mops, buckets, and more things that you no longer need should be out as soon as possible.

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6) Cabinets

Cabinets offer the biggest opportunity to remodel a laundry room. Cabinets are a major part of any laundry room renovation project because we use them for many purposes.

You can either have open shelves or closed cabinets. This will depend on your preference. I have mixed up the open shelving and closed cabinets to add some character to the laundry room. I have set aside the open shelves for things like towels that are easy to arrange neatly. The cabinets are set aside for supplies I am yet to use.

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One creative way I use the open shelves is by having some plants. This adds life and character to my laundry room.

Take advantage of cabinet knobs, as they are the easiest to accessorize. You can have creative cabinet lighting to make the laundry room more exciting. Having a strip light below the cabinet does the magic. Find some counter space to at least has a family photo. Alternatively, you can have a quote like "let's get ready to tumble" or a family inside joke.

7) Drop in Sinks

Sinks are a big deal when looking at laundry room design ideas. I got a larger sink where I could wash some things that are not machine washable. You might not know you need a large drop-in sink until you need one. There is no need to wait until you find out.

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You might need the utility sink to bathe the pets or kids. My last born sits in the sink filled with water while I do laundry. She enjoys that.

Other sink ideas include the farmhouse sink and the undermount sink. Farmhouse sinks have a rustic feel to them which some people like.

8) Floors

There are a lot of flooring ideas that will make for a beautiful laundry room. However, you will need a more functional floor for a utility room like the laundry room.

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Wood floors are a go-to choice for me because they fry faster. However, there are more good options, like vinyl floors, to look at.

9) More Storage Space

If you run out of space to store laundry essentials, it is time to consider having more storage space. Some things, such as detergents, need a dedicated space for storage to ensure they are safe and away from kids or pets. This means you must consider storage one of the priorities when remodeling the laundry room.

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Having custom cabinets will solve a lot of storage space issues. Everyone can have a spot where they store the things they need. For instance, there is a detergent whose perfume I hate, but my wife loves it. So we both have different storage cabinets for storing our preferred detergents.

Bleach has lockable storage in the upper cabinets. However, keeping bleach in the lower cabinets is risky for the young ones' sake.

10) Repaint

Repainting does the magic. There are a lot of good interior design painting ideas out there and you cannot miss out on getting one that works for you.

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Here are some colors that work well for a laundry room.

a) Green Interior

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There are a lot of colors that go with green, and it makes for a good base color. Green signifies freshness, which is the energy you want to tap into. The color wheel's colors on the opposite side of the green will work perfectly with green. Brown works well with green, giving a natural vibe when looked at.

There are many shades of green, and I will suggest some pastel or jungle green options.

b) Earth Colors

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Earth colors are the best because they work with almost any other color. Colors like peach or brown will give that laid-back vibe that is neutral and easy for everyone to relate with. There are a lot of colors to match with earth colors, and you can never go wrong.

c) Blue

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Blue is the color that signifies water and will fit easily in a laundry room. Blue has many more shades, such as turquoise, that will bring an ocean and dreamy feel.

You can try out stronger shades of blue, like navy blue, and still, make it work.

d) Grey

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The best way to go about the grey scale is to buy grey laundry room appliances. Most of the appliances either come in grey or silver. So you can choose to either go with grey on everything or silver and still pull off a good look. I would not go for gray walls, but some designs work well with grey.

e) White

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My wife prefers white in any room with a tap in it. That is why my shower is all white. I had to get some colors for the laundry room, but I had to give up the white kitchen. White does it for any room, and there are a lot of colors that match white.

There are different shades of white to try out.

f) Golden Touch

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Accessorizing parts like sinks, taps, and knobs with a golden touch will make a huge difference. There are a lot of colors that match gold, and it is very hard to go wrong with gold.

Functional Remodel Ideas

a) Create More Space

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More space works well for any space. It is more of a psychological thing that a more spacious room feels more comfortable and relaxing. The laundry room is no exception. A large laundry room will eliminate the claustrophobia that a cluttered and full laundry room induces.

b) Stacked Washer

A stacked washer and dryer will work well to save much-needed space in the laundry room. I am lucky to have a large laundry room, and I did not have to layer them. However, this is one way to solve the space problem.

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You will have to buy front-loading appliances for this method to work efficiently.

c) Floor Heating

The laundry room should not be very cold. However, during winter, the laundry room is one of the places that can become quite punishing especially if touching water is involved. Therefore, floor heating will come in handy in such seasons.

d) Laundry Baskets

While having laundry baskets in the laundry room may seem obvious, you may need to be more strategic about it. Having extra laundry baskets makes your laundry more organized so that you do not have to sort out clothes every time you are doing laundry.

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I have a basket for colored clothes, one for white clothes, shoes, and socks, and one for clean clothes. I consider the laundry basket as the most important laundry room addition.

e) Countertops

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You can have either laminate or granite countertops. Counter space is a space that I interact with a lot. The one thing I look at when choosing a counter space is how easy it is to clean. Laminate countertops are a good choice because they have a lot of design ideas.

Laundry Room Renovation Costs

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A renovated laundry room will come at a cost. However, there are ways I ensured I saved on cost when undertaking the project. One thing I did was list the cost factors.

Here are the cost factors for renovating a laundry room.

i) Labor Costs

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Unless you plan to renovate the laundry room yourself, you must consider the labor costs. Getting labor might end up being cheaper because it saves you time, money, and materials. Getting experts who know precisely what they are doing increases efficiency.

ii) Scope of the Project

Are you planning to remove the entire wall or move to a different room? Some laundry room remodels involve just repainting, while others involve removing entire sections of the laundry room. Factor this in when calculating the remodel cost.

iii) Permits

Different states have different permit costs. But, again, a renovation company might help you sort this out.

iv) Hiring a Renovation Company

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If you are undertaking a large project, a renovation company might come in handy because they have learned the ropes. They know where to get the materials, labor, permits, and more. In addition, they saved me time because I could go about my other businesses.

A renovation company will take care of any damages in renovating, saving you more money.

Ensure you sign a contract.

v) Buy Your Materials in Bulk

While a renovation company will advise you on what to buy, get them yourself, or actively be part of the project.

Buy material in bulk to save money.

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I had to buy materials in the appropriate order to ensure nothing went to waste and no step was bypassed. Buying materials that will sit there might lead to damage by rust. A material like dryer vents costs about $400, and just having it sit there is not an option.

vi) Settle on a Design

Settling on a design saves you cost in the long run. Changing your mind in the middle of your renovation will cost you a lot of money and put your labor providers in a tight spot. Do not request outrageous results when you do not have the budget. Instead, look at a practical design.

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To create a perfect room, you can add cabinets, ceramic tile walls, and other new appliances. You have to be creative.

Adding a modern twist to your renovated laundry room is still possible within your budget if you settle on a design in good time.

The design does not have to match the other rooms, but it would be nice.

vii) Floor Area

The floor area directly impacts the cost of renovation. Some renovation companies charge labor costs per square inch or square foot. Know the exact square footage of your laundry room to help you estimate the number of materials you need. This will come in handy when getting vinyl flooring or any other type.

Final Thoughts

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I wanted my laundry room to be a classy space, and I achieved that because I paid attention to the things I outlined above. You can enjoy folding clothes and doing laundry if you enjoy being in the laundry room in the first place. The ideas above will help you achieve that.

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Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.