New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

10 Small Laundry Room Ideas [With Answers to Common Home Building Questions]

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, May 18, 2015 @ 11:05 AM

Laundry Room Layouts for Small Spaces:

Functional laundry rooms are essential for daily (or weekly) routines. Although we're seeing more new home plans that expand laundry rooms into multi-purpose mud room spaces, many home buyers also prefer to keep laundry spaces compact (and uncluttered). 

We've compiled photos of our most popular small laundry rooms -- typically 6'x6', 6'x8', or 6'x9' to give you layout options and storage samples that work well in compact areas.

Here are some examples of Raleigh custom homes with large laundry rooms or mud room combinations:

Compact Laundry Room Layouts:

These Raleigh custom homes contain compact laundry rooms -- usually placed near the garage -- that pack a lot of utility into relatively small spaces. See photos of small laundry rooms, with answers to some of the most common questions we hear about building efficient laundry rooms.

Popular layout and storage questions include:

Small Laundry Room #1: How big should my laundry room be to fit a sink?

The laundry room should be at least 6'x8' to comfortably fit a free-standing sink. Here is an example of a small 6'x8' laundry room that comfortably fits a base cabinet with drop in sink. 


The built-in tile step raises the height of the side-by-side washer and dryer, making them a bit easier to load and unload. A small walkway allows you to reach the washing machines.

The sink offers under-cabinet space; two upper cabinets provide additional storage space, without taking up precious floor space. A window keeps the room feeling more open. See more photos of this home.

Small Laundry Room #2: How can I fit more storage into a small laundry room?

Here is a great example of a small corridor style laundry room with well-integrated storage space.

Built in shelves line the back wall, for out-of-the-way storage.

A utility sink -- slightly more compact than a cabinet sink -- fits between the washing machines and shelves. And a built in ironing board folds out of the wall. (See examples of master bedroom closets with built in ironing boards, here.)


Small Laundry Room #3: A drop zone won't fit in my laundry room. How can I modify my floor plan to get the storage I want?

If you love a floor plan as-is, but want additional mudroom style storage, consider re-locating your drop zone into a hallway.

In this version of The Heatherfield, the compact laundry room can't accommodate a large drop zone. Instead of expanding the laundry room, the home owner asked for a drop zone in the hallway.

This hallway connects the garage to the laundry room and kitchen -- placing the drop zone in a location central to all three high traffic rooms.


Small Laundry Room #4: I want storage in my (small) laundry room -- in addition to wall cabinets. What options do I have?

Here is another small laundry room with flexible storage options. Cabinets hide cleaning supplies, while wire shelves double as open storage and a clothes handing racks:


Don't forget to take advantage of wall spaces -- you'll find lots of ways to add fixtures and racks to make a compact laundry more usable.

Small Laundry Room #5: What layouts do you recommend for very small laundry rooms?

In this version of The Smokey Ridge, the powder room and laundry room wrap around each other, allowing each enough space for a sink. 


In this custom floor plan, see how the powder room and laundry are each "L shaped":


What's another benefit of this layout? The powder room toilet is hidden, even if the door is left open. From the living room, you and your guests will see straight to the formal sink.



Small Laundry Room #6: What's the smallest laundry room you've built?

Every custom home we build is unique -- and many feature small laundry rooms.

This version of The Worthington II takes the cake, however, for our smallest laundry space. There is no door on this laundry room -- it is completely open, located in a hallway beside the kitchen.


From another angle, you can see the "butler's pantry" style laundry sink. This sink is separated from the washer and dryer by a small hallway.


See the floor plan for this Raleigh custom home, here, to get a better idea of the laundry layout.


Small Laundry Room #7: What will make my small laundry room feel bigger than it really is?

Two tricks can help any room feel bigger: windows and white or light colored finishes.

If you're laundry room is located on an exterior wall, consider adding or enlarging a window. In this version of The Cannon, an arched transom window and formal white trim give the room a more open feel.

White upper cabinets (paired with a white washer and dryer) keep the room feeling fresh.


Small Laundry Room #8: How does a custom home builder modify a floor plan to adjust room sizes?

In this version of The Bryson, the home owners asked for a mud room style laundry -- complete with a dog shower and indoor dog house -- in addition to adding enough space to the garage for two cars and a motorcycle.

To save costs (and avoid expanding the foot print of the home), Stanton Homes made a few floor plan adjustments. We:

  • Custom built the dog shower on-site to fit beside the washer and dryer.
  • Added a dog house under the staircase (to avoid taking up floor space).
  • Moved the garage wall inward to create an alley style, single wall laundry.

Overall, this laundry room is on the small side -- but it maximizes efficiency and incorporates a few floor plan modifications and architectural tricks that make it feel much bigger.


Get a better idea of the laundry room layout in this floor plan:


Small Laundry Room #9: I want to save costs in the laundry room. Where do you recommend cutting costs?

While most home buyers choose to include upper cabinets in the laundry room, you can always choose to save costs with the storage, flooring, and layout you choose.

The lower cost of simple shelving -- rather than full cabinets -- will save you a chunk of money.

Alternatively, by installing vinyl -- rather than tile -- floors, you can cover the cost of additional cabinetry or custom built-ins. (The photo below is an example of vinyl flooring.)

The finishes you select should reflect your lifestyle. Will your next laundry room service as a "home hub" or will it be a quick stop on your way to other activities?


Small Laundry Room #10: How else can I save money in my laundry room design?

If you plan on using your laundry room for daily chores, you won't regret adding a folding counter top.

Another great way to save money in your counter top laundry room is by adding the counter WITHOUT also paying for cabinets below.

Here is an example:


The home owners left an opening below the counter top to save money -- while also leaving a space for laundry hampers. Do you own pets? This is also a great, usable space for a cat litter box or dog bed.


Laundry Room Tips - From a Raleigh New Home Builder:

Whether you're looking for a full mudroom design or a small laundry space, the functional laundry rooms pictured in this blog contain a range of floor plan layouts and ideas to consider for your next home.

What's updates is your family looking for in your next home? Tell us what you're looking for, and we'll show you how to built it - with recommendations for floor plan features and selections that fit your budget.


Tags: how to save money, laundry room design trends, raleigh new homes, laundry room design, Raleigh New Home Builder