How to Install a Laundry Chute

Installing a laundry chute is a great way to simplify laundry day by allowing you to easily send dirty clothes from upper floors down to your laundry room. With some planning and DIY skills, installing a laundry chute is a manageable project for most homeowners. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to install a laundry chute in your home.

Choose a Location

When deciding where to install your laundry chute, consider the following:

  • Proximity to laundry room – The chute should be located as close as possible to your laundry facilities to minimize the distance clothes travel. Ideally, the chute would empty directly into your washing machine or laundry sink.
  • Accessibility – Choose a location that is easy to access from bedrooms and bathrooms on upper floors. Hallways and closets near staircases are often good options.
  • Structural viability – Make sure the walls and ceilings can structurally support a laundry chute. You may need to open up the wall to add blocking between studs.
  • Aesthetics – Pick a location that won’t disrupt your home’s aesthetics. Laundry chute doors can be painted or wallpapered to blend in.

Once you’ve selected the optimal spot, confirm there are no electrical wires, vents or pipes in the way.

Choose a Laundry Chute System

There are two main types of laundry chute systems:

PVC piping – Piping comes in various diameters (10 to 16 inches is common) and can be cut to length. Attach elbow joints to route the piping.

Pre-fabricated kits – Complete kits contain all needed parts and installation is more straightforward. Kits are available in various materials like metal, plastic or fabric.

Consider noise level, fire safety, durability, weather-sealing and aesthetics when selecting a system. Choose a wide diameter to prevent clogging. Include features like quieting insulation or noise-reduction elbows if needed.

Install the Chute Frame and Liner

Follow these steps to install the chute:

  1. Cut an appropriately sized hole between floors where the chute will pass through. Clear out insulation.
  2. Install blocking between studs at the top and bottom to structurally support the chute.
  3. Attach the upper chute frame to the ceiling opening using provided screws. Attach the lower frame at the laundry room opening.
  4. Feed the chute liner piping through the opening and lock the liner into the upper and lower frames. Use clamps to further secure.
  5. Seal gaps around the chute with spray foam to prevent air leaks and noise.
  6. Finish by attaching the chosen chute inlet and outlet fittings on each end.

Install the Door and Trim

You’ll need to install an access door at each chute inlet to allow dropping in laundry. Here’s how:

  1. Cut out an opening in the drywall to fit your access door size. Most doors are 18″x18″ or 24″x24″.
  2. Attach the door frame into the wall opening using shims and screws.
  3. Attach the actual access door over the frame using provided screws.
  4. Finish by installing trim molding around the frame for a built-in look. Caulk any gaps.
  5. Repeat at each access door location. Make sure doors open and latch properly.

Safety Tips

Follow these tips for a safe laundry chute:

  • Use fire-rated materials or treat with flame retardant.
  • Vent to the outside at the bottom to prevent gas buildup.
  • Install child safety locks on doors if young kids are present.
  • Use noise absorbers so thumping noises don’t echo.
  • Attach cushioning at the bottom to soften the landing for clothes.
  • Label the inlet openings clearly so users don’t get confused.

With good planning and proper installation, a laundry chute can be an incredibly useful addition to your home. Just be ready for the endless baskets of dirty clothes that will come tumbling down!

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Laundry Chutes

Can I install a laundry chute in my existing home?

Yes, it is possible to install a laundry chute in most existing homes, provided you have enough space between floors and walls for the chute to pass through. Some retrofitting of framing may be required. Carefully inspect the desired areas to ensure electrical or plumbing lines will not be an issue.

What materials are laundry chutes made of?

Modern laundry chutes are commonly constructed from aluminum, steel, high-strength plastic, or fabric. Each material has different properties – metal is most durable, plastic offers smooth sliding, and fabric is lightest. Fire-rated, noise-reducing fabric chutes are a popular choice.

Do I need to vent a laundry chute?

It is highly recommended to vent a laundry chute to the outdoors. This helps prevent moist air and lint buildup inside the chute, as well as keeping odors from the dirty laundry from spreading through the house. Use rigid ducting and install a backdraft damper at the vent termination.

How wide should a laundry chute be?

12 to 16 inches is the recommended chute diameter. Too narrow, and clothes may get stuck. Too wide, and air resistance will slow the falling of clothes. Size your chute based on the types of laundry items typically used – wider for bulky comforters, narrower for just clothes.

Should I insulate a laundry chute?

Yes, insulating a chute will prevent condensation from forming and also reduce noise from clothes tumbling down. Fiberglass insulation wrapped in plastic works well. Noise-reducing wraps made specifically for laundry chutes are another good option.


Installing a laundry chute takes some planning and carpentry skills, but is a worthwhile project for keeping laundry organized in a multi-story home. Carefully choose a location, select quality chute materials, and follow installation guidelines closely. Safety features like fire-rated construction, ventilation and child safety locks also deserve consideration. With a properly installed chute, transporting laundry will become much more convenient.