April 15 marks National Laundry Day (yes, really). Nowadays, doing laundry no longer means beating clothes on rocks, boiling them on the stove or running them through a mangle. But even with the comforts of modern life, there are lots of things to take into account when you’re planning a dream laundry room. If you’re thinking of taking your laundry to the next level, start by taking a look at these tips from Canada’s most recognizable handyman, Mike Holmes.
Make a plan — but leave room for surprises
Those that fail to plan, plan to fail. Work out a budget and figure out the timing for your project, but remember that things can and will go wrong. You may find you have to re-route a basement drain to meet code. Or your dream washer might be backordered for six weeks. Whatever the hiccup, Holmes’ advice is to leave some wiggle room in your plan for unexpected delays or problems.
Think about what you’re going to do in the space
The function of the laundry room might seem obvious — laundry, of course — but Holmes cautions you to think a little more carefully. Do you want space to fold? Iron? Do you do a lot of hand-washing? Do you like to hang your clothes to dry? Where are you going to store supplies? Laundry is usually a lot more than simply washing and drying, so map out your needs before work starts so you get the most functional room possible.
Do we really need to tell you that a reno involving electricity and water can be challenging? Plumbing and wiring require licensed pros, says Holmes, so don’t approach a laundry room reno as a DIY project. Make sure the folks you hire have the proper permits and certifications, you’ll save money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary repair costs, and your laundry room will be safer.
Pick the right appliances
You won’t find a mangle anymore, but there are lots of options out there when it comes to laundry appliances. Look for features that will make your life easier: a timer, so you can set loads to run when peak billing time is lowest, a high capacity drum for big loads (ideal when someone or something decides to throw up on your duvet) and a self-cleaning function can all come in handy.
“Top load laundry pairs, like GE Appliances’ Designer Line Evolution, are making a big comeback,” explains Holmes.
“What I love about top loads is their ergonomic design, reliable performance and the fact that they don’t retain moisture, which can often lead to issues with mold and mildew.”
Figure out your flooring
Where there’s water, there’s the potential for leaks, so the laundry room isn’t the place for thick, plushy carpet or expensive hardwood. Vinyl works well and can be an inexpensive option, but for the best bang for your buck, Holmes recommends tile. It’s durable, easily cleaned, and stands up to water better than anything else.
What can’t you live without in your laundry room?