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Planning a Bathroom Renovation to Combine Your Powder Room and Main Floor Laundry

Oct 10 2012 - Posted by
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Planning a Bathroom Renovation to Combine Your Powder Room and Main Floor Laundry

Some things naturally go together in a home. Shared functions and similar designs make combining a powder room and main floor laundry not only possible, but also smart, and an affordable bathroom renovation project can help you get there.

Assuming you have the space in your main floor laundry, it certainly makes sense to add a powder room for guests and handy clean ups. But you need to include a few design options and lay out the room for optimal function and traffic flow. Plan well to ensure this combination adds to your living space and helps to retain property value.

Tips on Combining Laundry and Bathroom Functions

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Both laundry and bathroom fixtures require plumbing. Combining them into one area of your main floor optimizes floor space. But placement of your plumbing fixtures plays an important role, and will determine how well this room works for both laundry and bathroom tasks.

Talk to your plumber about whether or not the laundry and bathroom sink can share an incoming water line. Drains may also be shared where possible. Toilets, showers and gas lines (for a gas dryer) must stand alone, but can be arranged in an advantageous way to minimize plumbing.

A powder room often includes storage for common household items, like tissue, paper towels, hand towels, rags and other cleaning or hygienic supplies. Enlarge this section and combine it with laundry storage, including convenient shelving and cabinets for laundry soap and other essentials.

Must Haves for Your Main Floor Laundry

Storage and space are the two most important elements of a functional laundry room (besides the washer and dryer, of course). Storage provides organization, and makes working in this space faster and more efficient. Space allows you room to move around the laundry room and work within it. Break down both of these elements to figure out how they can be effectively incorporated into a bathroom renovation.

Make a list of all the items you need to store in the laundry room, including these common items:

  • laundry soap
  • fabric softener
  • bleach and other additives
  • iron and ironing board
  • clothes pins
  • hangers
  • hampers
  • buckets and tools for hand-washing laundry

Then brainstorm the various storage set-ups you will need for these items. Remember that in a combination powder room/laundry room, storage must be kept neat and tidy. Since guests will use this room, it helps to keep most of the storage behind closed doors using cabinets, closets or a combination of both.

When considering space, start by assessing the existing floor plan. Measure the amount of square feet available. A powder room is often squeezed into a compact space, since movement within that space is not vital. On the other side of the spectrum, a laundry room requires room to move and your combination renovation should provide as much space as possible.

Folding within the laundry area generally requires a table or flat work surface. Front-loading washers and dryers allow for a countertop workstation, which can also include the powder room sink and vanity for convenience. Stowaway tables provide another good option for a flat workspace, and can be folded up into the wall or cabinet.

You'll also need to consider including an area to hang up delicates and store dirty laundry before it moves through the cycle. Fold-up rails provide convenient spots for hanging out, as long as the excess moisture has a place to drain. Consider how many hampers you typically use in an average cycle and include enough floor space or stacking area for that amount of laundry.

Creating Privacy and Dealing With Cleanliness

On the bathroom side of this particular equation, privacy and cleanliness are the two most important elements. Your family and guests need to be assured of their privacy while using this dual-purpose space. And the surfaces and finishing used in this room should be easily cleaned and durable. Tackle one element at a time during the design phase.

Install a locking door for privacy. Some spaces can even accommodate a pocket door to quickly separate the powder room and laundry area, equipped with a lock that operates from the bathroom side. Consider placing the bathroom fixtures behind the door for an even greater sense of privacy in this room.

Insert frosted glass in the window, or think about opting for a skylight instead of a traditional window. This option provides natural light without presenting an undesired view.

Creating a low maintenance room that is simple to clean well involves more forethought. Include high quality building materials in your bathroom renovation, such as:

  • tiling
  • laminate or natural stone counters
  • sealed or stained natural wood cabinets
  • porcelain fixtures
  • glass

Keep the design of this space smooth, with flat surfaces that are simple to wipe down and disinfect. Flooring should be low care tile, vinyl or cork, and walls should be covered in a semi-gloss paint.

Make sure the room is well vented to combat odors; both the dryer vent and exhaust fan should be directed to the exterior. With the proper exhausting system, you can save money and skip the operable window, and venting helps to cut down on condensation.

A well planned bathroom renovation can transform a space on your main floor into a combination laundry room and powder room. Think about plumbing fixture placement and be sure to include the vital elements of storage, floor space, privacy and cleanliness. When each of these are taken care of and the room is finished with a cohesive feeling, this combination space can improve the value of your home and make daily living more functional and convenient.

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