What Does a Laundry Renovation Involve?
There’s much more to a laundry renovation than simply replacing the washing machine and dryer. With an efficient layout and appealing décor, your laundry room can change the way you approach the chore of washing clothes and ironing. It can even add value to your home.
A laundry renovation takes into consideration the size and placement of your appliances, the paint and finishings you choose, as well as the type of sink, benchtop and flooring you choose.
A New Laundry Layout
Having the right laundry layout can really make a difference in whether you love or loathe doing laundry. A new and stylish layout can make the laundry chore easy and more enjoyable.
The layout of your laundry will depend largely on the shape and size you have to work with.
Straight line: A straight line layout has your appliances all in a line beside each other. You’ll have your washing machine, dryer and sink beside one another, usually with a benchtop above that has room for folding and for easy access to detergents, etc.
U-shaped or L-shaped: Other common layouts that we see are layouts in the shape of the letter U or L. Here, the appliances don’t sit side by side, but along the wall following the corner or corners of the space. This may also create a bit of extra counter space, depending on the size of the room.
There is no right or wrong layout – it comes down to what makes the best use of your space, its size and shape, what wall space you have available, and whether there are windows in the space.
When designing a new laundry layout, don’t forget to incorporate tall storage for a mop, broom and ironing board. Think about whether you want to store the vacuum cleaner away in this room as well, and what type of storage space it needs.
Laundry Benchtop, Sink, Floors and Tubs
As well as considering where to place your washing machine and dryer, a good laundry renovation considers other elements that can improve the functionality and aesthetic appearance of the space.
Benchtop: There are several benchtop options for a laundry room (similar to those you’d find available for a kitchen renovation). Porcelain, stone/granite, engineered stone, and stainless steel are the most durable and water-resistant. There are other laminate surfaces available, but these usually have a component of manufactured wood or particleboard (MDF). If you prefer a laminate benchtop, choose wisely as it may need special coating to provide the water resistance needed in the laundry.
Sink: If your space allows for it, try to position the sink beside the washing machine. This makes it easier to transfer items that have been soaking over to the washer without dripping water across the room.
The size of sink you choose depends on how much space you have as well as your needs. If you’re going to be soaking sports uniforms or washing a dog in the laundry room, then opt for as large a sink as space allows. It’s a good idea to have a faucet or mixer with an extendable hose. A gooseneck faucet is a good idea as it enables you to fit a bucket in the sink under the faucet. Choose tapware that complements what you have in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Flooring: You’ll want something that is durable, moisture-resistant, easy to clean, and comfortable for standing (especially if you do your ironing there). We don’t recommend carpet or timber in the laundry. Some good options include tiles, linoleum, sheet vinyl, polished concrete, and laminate.
You may want to section the laundry area off by using different flooring than the adjacent rooms. Or you might like to use the same flooring that you have in the kitchen or bathrooms.
Tubs: Whether or not you include a laundry tub in your renovation depends on a few things – personal preference, budget and space. Not everyone likes to use a laundry tub. They’re great if you need to soak clothing (workwear, nappies, sports uniforms, etc) but not everyone needs this.
If you’re short on space or budget allowance, you may want to consider leaving out a laundry tub. A smaller sink may suffice. Our advice is to include at least one of these. If you have the space and budget to include a tub, then do so. But if you’re renovating a smaller laundry area or are trying to keep costs down, then just a sink should be enough
Small Laundry Renovation Ideas
If you’ve got a small laundry space, the layout will be key. The best way to maximise space is to use the full height of the room. Consider having the dryer mounted on the wall over the washing machine.
If you can’t stack the washer and dryer, there are other ways to use the height of the room and the wall space. These include cupboards and shelves where you can store laundry supplies, detergents, pegs, cleaning cloths, etc.
If your laundry area is quite small, consider open shelves. Trying to back up and open cupboard doors in a small space will only cause frustration. For a similar reason, you may want to look into having a cavity slider door if you have a small laundry. Just slide it closed to hide any mess without needing to have room for a door to swing open.
If you’re renovating your kitchen or bathroom(s) at the same time as your laundry renovation, talk to your builder or designer about using benchtop off-cuts for your laundry benchtop. This will not only save you a bit of money, but it will also help create a cohesive look throughout your home.
How Much Does a Laundry Renovation Cost?
The cost of a laundry renovation depends on several factors:
- Whether you are replacing the washing machine and dryer, and whether you’re choosing top-of-the-line appliances
- Whether you are doing any structural work that requires a builder
- The materials you choose for the benchtop, sink, tapware and flooring
- If you’re installing or removing windows and doors
- If you’re tiling a splashback or painting the walls
- Whether you need custom shelving or storage built
- The age and condition of your current laundry space and the amount of work needed to install or replace an exhaust fan
- The amount of work you need from other trades, such as a plasterer or electrician
At Sumich Plumbing & Drainage, we will work with you to maximise the space you have available to create something that works for your lifestyle and your budget.
Does a Laundry Renovation Add Value to Your Home?
A renovation will almost always add value to your home. Some real estate professionals estimate that a laundry renovation can add several thousand dollars to the resale value of your home.
Because all homes need a laundry area, if you design it well and make it bright and stylish, it can become a feature area that future buyers take notice of.
Key Takeaways on Laundry Renovations
When it comes to renovating a laundry in NZ, our key tips include the following:
- Take the time to create a smart layout
- Consider the needs of your household and your laundry habits, both now and into the future
- You can never have too much storage
- Make full use of the wall height in a laundry room
- Consider a cavity door and open shelving if you don’t have a lot of space to open doors
- If space allows, incorporate storage space for the ironing board and vacuum cleaner
- Try to tie in the décor style of your laundry room to your kitchen and bathroom(s)
- When it comes to choosing materials for the benchtop and flooring, think first about durability and water resistance
We’ve worked on plenty of laundry renovations and can share other valuable tips and tricks suited specifically to your space.