Building and Design Specifications for a Laundry Room

Laundry rooms are an essential part of any home. A well-designed laundry room provides convenience, efficiency, and utility when doing laundry. There are several factors to consider when planning and constructing the layout, size, location, and features of a laundry room. Paying attention to details such as ventilation, storage, appliances, countertops, sinks, flooring and lighting creates an organized, functional space tailored to one’s needs and preferences. This article will provide comprehensive guidelines and recommendations for designing and building specifications for an ideal laundry room.

Determining the Location

Choosing the right location is the first step in planning a laundry room. Here are some tips on where to place the laundry room:

  • Near bedrooms and common living areas for convenient access when transporting clothes. This minimizes having to carry baskets long distances through the home.
  • On the first floor for single story homes. For multi-level homes, consider placing it on the second floor near bedrooms. This avoids having to go up and down stairs.
  • Adjacent to the garage or external access if planning for an entrance from the outside. This allows for delivering and collecting laundry without going through the main house.
  • Away from social spaces like the kitchen and living room so noise and humidity do not spread. Laundry equipment operation causes noise and releases warm, moist air.
  • Near bathrooms and utility room connections to simplify plumbing and ventilation requirements.
  • Not above finished living spaces in case of leaks and moisture. Put buffer zones like closets or pantries to absorb sound between the laundry room and other rooms.

Optimizing Room Size

Allocate enough space in the floor plan for efficient laundry operations. Consider the following when determining laundry room size:

  • Measure dimensions of planned equipment – washers, dryers, folding tables etc. Include minimum clearance gaps as recommended by manufacturers.
  • Have enough space around machines for loading, unloading and accessing controls. At least 36 inches in front of units.
  • Additional work areas for folding clothes, ironing or sorting. Provide a minimum of 4 feet by 3 feet of open floor space.
  • Traffic zones for moving baskets in and out of the room. Doors should open fully without obstruction.
  • Storage for laundry supplies – soaps, bleach, iron etc. Cabinets at least 2 to 3 feet wide and tall are ideal.
  • Space for hampers, storage bins and sorting racks.
  • A recommended minimum size is 6 feet x 8 feet for laundry rooms supporting 1-2 washers and dryers.

Electrical and Plumbing Connections

Proper electrical and plumbing systems are vital for operating laundry appliances. Consider the following when installing:


  • Use a dedicated 240-volt circuit for powering heavy equipment like electric dryers. This provides sufficient current handling safely.
  • Have 120-volt outlets near the location of washers and fold down tables for plugging in portable irons, steamers etc.
  • Installation of appropriate outlet types – NEMA 10-30 for 240V dryers and NEMA 5-15 for 120V outlets. Position outlets at code compliant heights.
  • Sufficient wattage rating on circuits to avoid tripping breakers. For example, a 20-amp circuit for a compact laundry room.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in compliance with codes for protection near water sources.
  • Adequate lighting over work areas using moisture resistant fixtures rated for laundry rooms.


  • Hot and cold water hookups for washing machine connections using reinforced braided stainless steel hoses.
  • Drain pipe connections for washing machines that can handle heavy drainage. Have a floor drain as backup.
  • Laundry tub or wash basins with hot/cold faucets for pre-treating and hand-washing delicates.
  • Gas line connection if planning for gas dryers. Ensure adequate BTU rating for the dryer requirements.
  • Shut-off valves for both water and gas connections in accessible locations.

Ventilation and Humidity Control

Proper ventilation is crucial for letting out heat, moisture and preventing mold growth. Here are some tips:

  • External ventilation using louvered vents or ducts that connect directly to the outside. This expels humid air.
  • If external venting is not possible, use heavy duty dryer duct fans or exhaust heat recovery ventilation units.
  • Ventilation capacity of at least 200 CFM for efficient moisture and heat removal.
  • Vent duct diameter should match dryer vent outlet size. Use rigid metal ductwork to maximize airflow.
  • Avoid lint buildup by using smooth-walled metal ducts and reducing number of bends. Slope ducts for condensation drainage.
  • Duct joints should be secured with foil tape to minimize leaks. Don’t use flexible plastic or screw joints.
  • Openings in ceiling or wall for natural air exchange between laundry room and house for supplemental ventilation.

Countertops and Backsplashes

Countertops provide folding, sorting and staging areas. When selecting:

  • Durable, waterproof and stain-resistant materials like quartz, solid surface acrylic or laminate. Avoid porous surfaces.
  • Heat proof materials if mounting near washers/dryers. Solid surface or stone works well.
  • Countertops next to laundry equipment should be minimum of 30 inches deep and 36 inches high for ergonomics.
  • Provide 36 inches of open counter space next to washers for loading/unloading.
  • Include backsplashes to prevent wall damage and moisture. Use water-resistant materials like tile, stone, acrylic or laminate.
  • Countertop height should be standard 36 inches. Customize section next to laundry equipment to match unit control height.
  • Square sink corners instead of sharp angles for safety and easy cleaning.

Flooring Selection

Choosing the right laundry room flooring involves selecting durable, water-resistant and comfortable materials.


  • Use slip-resistant finishes like textured tile, grout or vinyl patterns for safety.
  • Sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl tile or ceramic tiles handle spills, splashes and high traffic well.
  • Avoid carpeting or rugs due to mold/mildew risks.
  • Install floor drains for quick water drainage in case of overflow.
  • Waterproof underlayment beneath the flooring provides an added moisture barrier.
  • Allow small clearance gaps between floor and walls/cabinets for appliances. Seal gaps with caulk.
  • Transitions between laundry room and other flooring should be flush to avoid tripping.


Ceramic tile: Durable, affordable option that resists moisture. Can be cold underfoot.

Porcelain tile: Similar to ceramic but tougher and more stain resistant. Can chip if heavy objects are dropped.

Natural stone: Withstands heavy use but requires sealing. May stain from dyes. Avoid polished finishes.

Concrete: Provides industrial, utilitarian look. Can crack over time and be cold underfoot.

Sheet vinyl: Budget friendly and waterproof. Modern styles mimic stone, wood or tile.

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT): Provides realistic stone/wood looks and cushioned feel. Easy DIY installation.

Rubber: Provides cushioning and sound dampening. Can scuff easily and show dirt.

Laundry Storage Solutions

Well-planned laundry room storage allows organizing supplies efficiently. Consider these storage ideas:

  • Base cabinets for storing soaps, detergents and cleaning items. Pull-out trays and lazy susans maximize access.
  • Upper wall cabinets provide additional space for rarely used items or seasonal supplies.
  • Shelving above machines to hold laundry baskets, detergents and other items used daily.
  • Hanging racks on walls to air dry delicates and small items. Locate near ventilated areas.
  • Freestanding storage carts with wheels are great for storing laundry bags, irons and folding boards.
  • Magnetic bars attached to walls to hold irons, hangers and small tools.
  • Cubbies built into the room keep laundry sorted between cycles. Useful for families.
  • Drawers under countertops offer enclosed space for laundry supplies and accessories.

Choosing Appliances

Appliance selection focuses on capacity, efficiency and matching aesthetics with other finishes.


Consider load capacity, cycles, special features like steam or WiFi controls and Modified Energy Factor (MEF). Stackable units maximize space efficiency.


Evaluate capacity, sensor tech for auto drying, heat settings and cycles. Match electrical specs and venting. Heat pump models increase efficiency.

All-in-one units

These combine washer and dryer functions in a single space-saving unit. Limitation is smaller individual capacity for wash/dry loads.

Pedestal drawers

These optional base drawers provide storage for laundry supplies when added under front load washers. Available in various sizes.

Laundry Room Lighting Tips

Proper lighting ensures the laundry room is bright for safe operation. Ideas for planning illumination:

  • Install overhead ceiling fixtures for ambient lighting. LED lamps are energy efficient.
  • Position task lighting over countertops and work areas for detailed visibility when folding and sorting.
  • Use moisture resistant fixtures with durability ratings for laundry rooms.
  • For a soft glow, install dimmable fixtures and smart bulbs to control scene settings.
  • Light switches placed near entryways and other logical positions for convenience.
  • Windows, skylights or other natural light sources improve aesthetics and reduce energy costs.
  • Night lights, cabinet lighting or undercounter LED strips provide usefulness after dark.

Additional Enhancements

Optional laundry room upgrades for increased convenience and utility:

  • Fold down ironing boards that store out of the way when not in use.
  • Cushioned floor mats in front of appliances and workstations for ergonomic comfort.
  • Built-in hampers with sorter compartments to organize dirty laundry.
  • Laundry chutes that connect from upstairs bedrooms to streamline transport.
  • Utility sinks for hand washing, pretreating stains or dyeing projects.
  • Sound insulation using special acoustic materials to reduce noise.
  • TVs or radios make laundry tasks more enjoyable. Smart options can connect wirelessly.
  • Windows, if feasible, to provide fresh air, sunlight and views improving the ambiance.
  • Smart home features like WiFi enabled appliances controlled remotely via apps.

Key Planning Takeaways

When designing a laundry room, keep these key pointers in mind:

  • Convenience of location is top priority, followed by sufficient space and storage
  • Provide adequate electrical, ventilation and plumbing systems to support functionality
  • Select durable, waterproof materials that are easy to clean and maintain
  • Include countertops, utility sinks and sorting/staging areas for workflow
  • Carefully choose appliances that match capacity needs, aesthetics and budget
  • Lighting and optional upgrades improve comfort, safety and enjoyment of the space

With careful planning using these building specifications, you can create the ideal laundry room tailored to your needs, preferences and home design. The right layout and features will provide convenience, efficiency and enjoyment for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size should a laundry room be?

A standard laundry room size is at least 6 feet x 8 feet to accommodate side-by-side washers and dryers with some workspace around the units. Larger laundry rooms are preferable for more spacious movement and additional storage.

Where is the best place to install a laundry room?

Ideally, install the laundry room on the same floor as bedrooms for convenience. Place it away from main living areas to contain noise and humidity. Near plumbing connections is also advantageous.

What special electrical is needed in a laundry room?

Laundry rooms need dedicated 120V outlets and 240V circuits for appliances, lighting over work areas, GFCI outlets near moisture and appropriate capacity for the electric load.

How do you add ventilation to a laundry room?

Ventilation can be added via exterior vents, ducts, powered fans and heat exchangers. Dryers require 200 CFM capacity vents while dehumidifiers and air circulation fans help control humidity.

What flooring works best in laundry rooms?

Durable and waterproof choices like tile, sheet vinyl, LVT and sealed concrete are good laundry room flooring options. Avoid carpeting or other absorbent surfaces.

What countertop material should you avoid for laundry rooms?

Porous countertop materials like unfinished wood are prone to water damage and mold growth. Choose non-porous surfaces like laminate, solid surface, quartz, acrylic or tile instead.

What are some laundry storage ideas aside from cabinets?

Shelving, hanging racks, freestanding carts, built-in cubbies, magnetic bars, pedestal drawers and hampers provide excellent laundry storage solutions.

Should you put the laundry room on the second floor?

Laundry rooms are best situated on the same floor as bedrooms for convenience. For 2-story homes, a second floor laundry room near bedrooms is preferred so clothes don’t have to be transported up and down stairs.

What is the minimum clearance in front of laundry appliances?

Allow at least 36 inches of clearance in front of washers and dryers. This provides sufficient space for loading, unloading and accessing the controls.

Can you put laundry appliances on the second floor?

Yes, laundry machines can be installed on the second or third floors above ground level. Proper reinforcements ensure the floor can handle the equipment weight and vibrations.


Designing and building a laundry room tailored to your needs results in convenience and functionality. Following floor plan guidelines for size, location, and equipment spacing maximizes efficiency. Using moisture resistant materials, adequate ventilation, storage solutions and lighting enhances utility. With attention to details in electrical, plumbing and appliances, you can create a durable, high-performing laundry space matching your lifestyle and preferences. Use this comprehensive guide of building specifications when planning your new or remodeled laundry room. Combine layout and design considerations with your home style for a customized space you will enjoy.