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Integrity

Designing the Perfect Laundry Room

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

The laundry is a critical but often overlooked function of a home. Having in-home laundry is a luxury as much as a practicality, so it’s important to make sure your space is optimized for the best user experience. Of course, that varies depending on the home and the people in it! Here are the major points to keep in mind, and tips to ensure you make good choices for your needs.

Whirlpool Smart All-in-One Washer and Dryer

The new Whirlpool® 2.8 cu. ft. Smart All-in-One Washer & Dryer can be installed virtually anywhere thanks to its slim, ventless design. The unit fits in a variety of places including under kitchen counters and in closets, laundry rooms, and bathrooms for those with limited space.

Measure Your Space

You might get caught up thinking about all the new and advanced appliances out there, but if they don’t fit where you want them, you’re not going to love them. Washers and dryers come in all sizes these days, so they suit everything from tiny apartments and RVs to homes with large, dedicated laundry rooms. Measuring the space available needs to be the very first step, even if you think you know the capacity necessary to keep up with your family’s laundry.

It’s easy if your home already has a laundry room or you have house plans that detail the space available. Not everybody has it so easy, though—you might need to retrofit to account for a very small or old home, or to put the facilities in a more convenient location. Be sure to measure for height, width, and depth, and remember to account for the dryer vent and your own reach, if these could be issues.

Standard-sized and narrow appliances can be found everywhere. More recently, closet-depth machines have been gaining traction—especially the ventless dryers that condense moist air into a trap that you drain, so you don’t have to cut an exhaust vent through the wall. These sets are among the most flexible of all, because they can be placed side-by-side or stacked to work with what you have, and of course they are easy to move, if necessary!

Whirlpool 4.8 cu.ft HE Top Load Washer

This 4.8 cu.ft. HE Top Load Washer has a built-in faucet to prewash exceptionally dirty items right in the washer—no need for a laundry room sink and you won’t drip anything during transfer!

Consider Your Needs

Just like anything else in your home, laundry isn’t what it used to be! There are so many options to address diverse needs, far beyond those mandated by space. But first, you must have some basic appliance knowledge. If you need a quick introduction or a refresher, you can learn more in our article, Find Laundry Appliances That Work for You.

While the pros and cons of top versus front loading laundry sets are typically seen from an individual’s physical standpoint or in terms of efficiency, they also offer different bonuses. Most of today’s high-tech cycles and other washing features are available in both, but some are directly tied to the orientation of the machine. For example, a top-loading washer can include a faucet for easy pretreating and rinsing, but that is only possible because the tub acts as a sink basin to catch the water. This would be unwieldy and messy in a front-loading machine with its sideways drum, but a sideways drum allows the washer to tumble like a dryer, so it can help reduce wrinkles by keeping clothes moving until you get to them. And if you want to take that a step further, there are single-barrel machines—front load, of course—that wash and dry, which take up even less space and mean you don’t have to switch your laundry.

All these options exist because there isn’t one perfect solution that works for everybody. A family with young, stain-prone children might prioritize an in-washer faucet, while a single professional probably wants to avoid wrinkles at all costs. A number of different wash cycles are available, too—with more raising the price of the machines—so really look at your wardrobe and lifestyle to find the best fit.

Whirpool ENERGY STAR Front Load Electric Dryer

Want ENERGY STAR® appliances? This Front Load Electric Dryer is certified and includes Eco-Boost™ for extra energy efficiency. It also has a Steam Refresh Cycle and Wrinkle Shield™ so clothes come out looking great when you can get to them!

Weigh Features for Your Laundry Room

When it comes to building your laundry room, appliances are the main show, but they must work with your space and, hopefully, help you get more out of it. Those with limited space love the various closet-depth options, which are nice and compact wherever you choose to install them. If you have a real laundry room, decide based on what you already have and what different appliances could allow you to do. Do you have a sink nearby? How is the counterspace or storage situation? What about room for hanging clothes you can’t put in the dryer?

The ideal laundry room is set up to handle everything—you don’t want to hang damp items in your closet to dry, or haul fresh clothes to fold somewhere else. Whatever you can do to consolidate will make the space much more functional. Front-load machines typically come out on top because they can be tucked under a counter, raised over storage pedestals, or stacked to create space for hanging rods and/or shelves and cubbies. Of course, the bigger the room, the less creative you need to be. If you prefer a top-loader and are tight on space, you might consider a wall-mounted, collapsible folding counter and a wheeled hanging rack. It’s all about striking a good balance!

For a wide range of laundry options, check out Whirlpool® to find solutions that work for you! They have top load, front load, and combination models in an array of sizes and with all sorts of features—even app control for the busy modern family. When you have the right appliances, your laundry room can come together to serve your household to the greatest extent, so be sure to shop with a plan in mind!