How to Build a Cabinet Around a Stacked Washer & Dryer in a Bathroom

Ilustrations by Michael Straessle

When space is scarce, one way to use it wisely is to have a stacked washer and dryer. These are generally located in the one bathroom that small living quarters usually has. Building a cabinet around the washer and dryer will cover them and improve the overall appearance of the bathroom.

On an average, stacked appliances are 27 inches wide and about 31 inches deep.

Measure and cut three 2-by-4s at 30½ inches long with the electric mitre saw. These are the top and bottom plates for the cabinet opening. Next, mark and cut six pieces 32 inches long for the bottom and top plates of the cabinet walls enclosing the stacked washer and dryer.

Measure the distance from the floor to the ceiling around the stacked washer and dryer. Be certain to measure at least every 16 inches around the perimeter of the appliances. The shortest measurement is the one to use when cutting the studs to the correct length.

Measure and cut eight pieces of 2-by-4s the distance from the floor to the ceiling less 3½ inches. This allows for two top plates and one bottom plate.

Place the six 2-by-4-by-36 inch lumber on a worktable. Measure from one end and mark the centre of four of them. Next, make a mark ¾-inch on either side of the centre mark. This is where the centre stud will be secured. Place the studs from Step 3 between one top plate and a bottom plate. Two studs are to be placed at the ends of the walls to the front of the cabinet. See illustration. Secure the studs accordingly.

Place the framing square on the ceiling against the back wall. Draw a line on the ceiling to indicate where the top plate is to be secured. Secure the two 32-inch and the one 30½-inch top plates to the ceiling with the drywall screws. Be certain the 30½-inch piece is installed between the other two.

Set the walls in place and secure them to the ceiling top plate with the drywall screws. Place the carpenter's level on the wall to be certain it is plumb. If the floor has a wood substrate, use the drywall screws to secure the bottom of the wall to the floor. If the floor is concrete, use a strong construction adhesive. Be certain to clean up the excess adhesive right away.

Measure and cut three 2-by-4s at 8½ inches. Secure these on each end and in the centre of the 30½-inch pieces from Step 1 of the previous section. Place this assembly on the remaining top plate and secure it with the drywall screws. Next, secure the last 30½-inch piece to the bottom of this assembly.

Cover the exterior of the walls with panelling or sheetrock. Measure the inside of the door opening and cut one of the 1-by-6s to this measurement. Next, cut two pieces of the 1-by-6 to 80¼ inches. Set the fence of the table saw at 4½ inches and rip these three pieces to that width. These are the pieces for the door jamb.

Secure the top piece first, then place the side pieces in and secure them all with the finish nails. Trim the outside of the door with door casing. Install the door according to the manufacturer's instructions.