Renovating your home can feel like a game of Tetris - a blank canvas that at first, seems like it will fit in everything you need - room to accommodate all the appliances, storage and workspaces on your wishlist. In planning the layout of key traffic areas in kitchen, bathroom and living rooms however, allowing for adequate laundry space is often last on the list. Worse still, hopes and dreams for your laundry renovation are often jammed into a tiny space at the last minute.
When space is already tight, how do you go about fitting in a laundry, and just how much space do you need to make it work?
How much space do you need for a laundry renovation?
Whether you're in an apartment, an old home or are working on plans for a new build, it's good to know up front what is the least amount of space possible needed and what exactly is required to get a workable laundry into even the tiniest space in your home.
We asked the experts for a breakdown on how small space living can work to include laundries, and what combination of appliances works well in the available space.
“Think practical and make good use of small spaces,” says Senior category manager for Winning Appliances Jordan Rogers. “Every single part of your laundry can be useful to you no matter how small, whether that means having less cupboards or a smaller sink to compensate for bench space, or room for appliances.”
“It’s definitely better to prioritise what you think you need more space for, such as washing machines and dryers, and what you may not use as much.”Jordan Rogers
Benchtops should be 650mm deep to accommodate a washing machine/dryer, and allow adequate space for a large sink and tap directly behind. “It is essential to have practical sink space, with lots of room to work with and an optional drainer accessories,” Jordan suggests when considering in the planning stages of your laundry renovation process. “Adequate bench space is often overlooked for laundries, but is needed more than people think. Having easy to access powerpoints for other appliances are also a common afterthought for renovators.”
A simple rail affixed between walls, or a collapsible air dryer, are ideal for hanging delicates for freshly ironed items.
How big is your home?
“When space is limited in a studio apartment, and a laundry is simply a single appliance in a cupboard, a washer dryer combo is a two-in-one solution that will save space as well as time,” suggests Fisher & Paykel Senior industrial designer Wendy Nannestad. “Compact all-in-one front loaders are easy to install under a bathroom or kitchen benchtop or into a hallway cupboard and will wash and dry an average load in less than three hours. And as no venting is required for installation, it means less humidity in a small studio space.”
Apartments and townhouses
“Space is equally valuable in apartments where washers and dryers are likewise hidden behind cabinetry,” says Wendy. “Side-by-side front-loading machines allow for usable benchtops above, or stacked machines make for efficient use of cupboard space.”
“In a townhouse there may be a small laundry room, but it’s still wise to stack front-loading appliances where possible to free up valuable floor or storage space.”
“While larger laundries offer more room to move, top-loading washing machines may be the ideal choice for meeting the demands of families who do lots of washing,” says Wendy. “Fisher & Paykel’s top-loading washer ranges in capacity from 5.5 to 10 kilograms to handle family-sized loads and bulky items, such as doonas.”
Essentials to consider when renovating a laundry
Ensure that the placement of your appliances lends itself to ease of use day in and day out.
Allow for enough storage space where you can place items, such as ironing boards and laundry baskets, out of sight, so the laundry becomes a beautiful extension of your home.
Energy and water efficient appliances are a must. Look for products that tick boxes of efficiency to suit both your daily needs and that of the environment. “The ASKO 10kg/10kg Laundry Package has a 5-star energy and a 5-star water rating for the washing machine and a 9 star energy rating for the heat pump dryer which are some of the highest rated laundry appliances on the market,” says Jordan.
“Appliances have hugely improved in the star rating in recent years, so getting a new washing machine or dryer that has a better rating will end up saving you money in the long run.”Jordan Rogers
Buy once, buy well
Rather than cutting corners, it pays to future-proof as you make decisions for your laundry renovation – perhaps less likely to be updated down the track than a kitchen or bathroom.
“Always invest in quality appliances that are focussed on not only durability, but fabric care too,” says Jordan. “These items are mostly used daily, so you will always get your return on investment with quality appliances. Many brands on the market now offer 5 year + warranties on products, so it’s good to know how long your warranty is before you make any purchases.”
Getting the finishes right
“It is important to choose good quality, durable materials for benchtops, wall tiles and cupboards that can handle water, steam and any other elements they may be exposed to in the laundry room,” advises Jordan.
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