How to install an upstairs laundry room

Written by elizabeth falwell
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How to install an upstairs laundry room
A second-floor laundry room is a convenience many modern homeowners expect. (half laundry basket image by Snowball from

Second-floor laundry rooms are becoming more popular in American homes, as homeowners search for new conveniences. Rather than forcing homeowners to carry heavy loads of laundry up and down stairs, a second-floor laundry room allows homeowners to perform this chore on the same level as bedrooms, where most of the clothes are stored. Many older homes do not have this luxury; however, if you have enough space, time and technical knowledge, you can install a laundry room on an upper level of your home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Blueprints
  • Permits
  • Plumbing supplies
  • Carpentry supplies
  • Electrical supplies
  • Power tools

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  1. 1

    Draw plans for your laundry room. Accurately map out the dimensions of the planned laundry room before beginning construction. Locate any pre-existing electrical or plumbing connections to see if you'll be able to incorporate them into your new plan. This will save time and cost.

  2. 2

    Determine what permits you'll need. Contact your local city hall about the rules and regulations for your remodelling project.

  3. 3

    Remove the wall coverings in the area you wish to install your laundry room. Determine which walls will need to be moved, replaced or torn down. It may not be necessary to knock down any walls, but if it is, be careful not to take down any studs or supporting walls.

  4. 4

    Frame out the dimensions for your new laundry room according to your plan. Lay down base plates and top plates, nailing two pieces of lumber--preferrably 2 by 4's--placed back to back into the floor or the ceiling. Place studs every 16 inches.

  5. 5

    Install the plumbing. You will need hot and cold water, as well as a drainage system. Buy and install a drain specifically for the washing machine; a prefabricated stype of this type of drain can be found at most home improvement stores. If you are moving the laundry room from a lower level to an upper level, this is an extensive undertaking. Consider calling in a licensed plumber for help with this project.

  6. 6

    Wire the room for electricity. Again, if you are moving the laundry room into an area that was not already wired for power, you should consider calling a professional electrician. Some dryers require natural gas to operate. Contact your local natural gas provider if you need a line installed in your laundry room--this is not a do-it-yourself step.

  7. 7

    Finish the walls of the room as desired. Insulation must be added in to any exterior wall. Add drywall or another type of finishing, such as panelling, to cover the walls.

  8. 8

    Hook the washing machine and dryer up to the power supply. The washing machine will also have to be hooked up to the water supplies. The dryer must be connected to a vent that will carry the hot air out of the home. It also will require 220-volt elecricity or a natural gas line. An electrician or a plumber can do these jobs.

  9. 9

    Test your washer and dryer to ensure they are functioning properly and there are no leaks in the system.

  10. 10

    Call a building inspector or a professional contractor to evaluate your finished work. A professional will be able to help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise before you close your work permits.

Tips and warnings

  • Turn off the water and power supply while working on this project. Working around live electric wires can be dangerous.
  • Call a professional to build a duct to ventilate the dryer. Depending on the location of your upper-floor laundry room, this can be an extensive task, which requires a higher degree of expertise than possessed by your casual do-it-yourselfer.
  • Turn off the washer or dryer immediately if you notice any leaks or shorts in the system.

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