Second Floor Laundry Rooms - Nifty or Nightmare?

Posted by on Monday, March 27th, 2017 at 1:46pm.


Laundry rooms have come up in the world.  From the wringer washer in the basement to main floor convenience and now, upstairs where, in reality, 95% of all dirty laundry originates.

New home builders in Edmonton more often than not are putting laundry rooms upstairs in two-storey homes, at least in homes with adequate square-footage to accommodate the extra space.  Laundry areas with a drying rack on the wall or above the washer/dryer and cupboard space are a welcome addition for anyone who knows what it’s like to haul a basket full of sheets and towels upstairs from the basement.

Some builders have gone one step further and are creating a walk-through laundry area.  A package deal consisting of the master suite, adjoining ensuites, walk-in closet and laundry all together.

It minimizes the distance from closet to laundry and also makes great use of space, allowing in some cases the builder to put four bedrooms on the second floor and laundry.  Washing, folding and the ability to hang clothes up right away makes this a popular option with new home buyersPutting towels and bedding away is as simple as turning left out of the laundry room.

As convenient as it is, Edmonton home owners considering retrofitting their upstairs to include a laundry area should be away of some pitfalls of upstairs laundry rooms.  For example:

  • If the second floor of your home is hot in the summer, in the absence of air conditioning you might not want the added heat that a dryer can generate.  You might be able to circumvent this by being vigilant about keeping the door shut.
  • Noise could be an issue if you have older appliances and you have sleeping children upstairs.  Throwing laundry in to wash in the evenings is often the only time during a busy week you can get this chore done.  However, kids will grow up and noisy laundry may be a temporary issue.
  • Leaking washers or burst washer hoses can be problematic when you’re up on the second floor.  Careful installation and proper drainage can help minimize the damage potential.
  • Dryer venting has to be done carefully with a second floor laundry room.  Often the vent will be run vertically up through the roof. The issue, especially in Edmonton, is that if the vent screen becomes clogged or the connection is lose, moist air will get trapped in the attic.  That moist air will freeze and thaw over and over in your insulation and before you know it, you have mould.

Tips to Make Second Floor Laundry a Success

  • Make sure there’s a shut-off valve easily accessible. You want to be able to turn off the water to the washer really fast in case of a flood.  For a bit more more, you can install an electronic water sensor shut off valve under the washer so as soon as water is detected, it will shut off.
  • Instead of normal rubber hoses for your washing machine, use steel braided hoses. They won’t split and crack.  Consider upgrading your hoses no matter where your washer is located.  No one wants a flood due to burst washer hoses anywhere in their home.
  • A drain pain under the washing machine is an affordable option to an electronic water sensor.  In the event of a flood, the water would go into a drain pain attached to a pipe so the water would drain away rather than floor the second floor of your home and ruin the ceiling and drywall on the main level.
  • You can muffle the vibration of your machine with a barn mat or vibration pads perfect for under a front-loading machine.

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