Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas
Making the Laundry Room Enjoyable for Everyone
As founding members of the 50+ Housing Council in Raleigh, we enjoy sharing universal design ideas with top new home builders and interior designers in the Raleigh area.
The laundry room can be a forgotten area of the home - but here are some universal design ideas that will make your new home's laundry room enjoyable and easy to use, no matter who wants to help with the wash.
Laundry Spaces - Easy to Use Laundry Rooms
A universal design home is safe, easy to access, and comfortable. Whether you're planning to be in your new Raleigh home for a few years or for the rest of your life, implementing universal design at the beginning of the process will save money and give you a more versatile home, for everyone to enjoy.
Where is the Laundry Room?
The location of the laundry room should be carefully considered. In a two story home, it can be very convenient to have the laundry room upstairs, close to the bedrooms for easy access.
But in a main floor master suite home, it may be best to keep the laundry room on the first floor, and eliminate the need to climb the stairs multiple times on laundry day.
Is the Laundry Room Big Enough?
A universal design laundry room should ideally be large enough so that anyone can use it, with or without a mobility device.
Plan to include wide doorways (ideally 36"), and a 5 foot diameter open space in front of the washer and dryer if at all possible. In the plan to the right, it's easy to substitute a 4" wider doorway for the 2-8 door drawn.
Not enough room for a large laundry? A hallway closet laundry can still work well, if the hallway is wide enough, and the closet doors should open in a way that still allows access and room to move.
What about the Washer and Dryer?
Front loading washers and dryers are becoming much more popular. Front loaders can easily be loaded and unloaded while seated.
But a standard front loading washer and dryer may still require excessive bending.
Consider having your builder add a 12"-15" platform under the machines, or purchase models that have matching pedastals to raise them above the floor. This Whirlpool set in red has optional matching pedastals.
Room to Fold in the Laundry Room
Many of today's laundry rooms are large enough to include a small countertop area. Instead of installing a standard height countertop, choose a 28 to 30 inch height countertop, with knee space below. You'll be able to pull up a chair to fold and sort, instead of standing.
Laundry Room Lighting
Laundry rooms don't often include windows, so think carefully about the amount of light you'll need.
Consider motion detector lighting, for when you enter and leave with your arms full. In a room with workstations, think about adding under cabinet lighting or other supplemental lighting. Flexible track lighting can be another great accent, particularly in a multiple use room.
Laundry Room Flooring
Choose a flooring that's easy to clean, and water resistant. Cork flooring can be considerably more expensive than most standard types of flooring, but a laundry room is a comparitively small space and may be a great room to consider for cork. Cork is comfortable to stand on when ironing, and naturally water resistant.
A little planning ahead can make a BIG difference. Look for a new home builder experienced with universal design, and willing to be flexible enough to meet your goals. More in Stanton Homes' special "Universal Design" series coming soon!
Universal Design meets the needs of the present and the future.
Consider universal design concepts for your next home - universal design is most cost efficient and effective when incorporated directly into your new home.
Thinking of building a new home in the Raleigh area? There are many great places to live near Raleigh, including Angier, Apex, Bear Creek, Cary, Chatham County, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Lillington, Morrisville, Pittsboro, Rolesville, Sanford, Siler City, Silk Hope, Wake Forest, and Wendell.
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