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Is your laundry room looking a little tired? Does it need a bit of a revamp? Well, here are some things to consider when updating your utility room.
*This is a collaborative post – for more details please see my Disclosure Policy.
Updating Your Utility Room
My utility room is in my basement. My kitchen is not large enough to accommodate both a washer and a tumble dryer, and I have plenty of space in my cellar. So it seemed the obvious solution to make my laundry utility room downstairs. But the existing space did need to be changed slightly. Here were my main considerations in making my choices when updating my utility room.
Of course, one of the first things to consider when updating any room is cost. Maybe you are on a tight budget. And if that is the case, then there are a many alternatives options to consider.
You could just choose to paint. You could just paint the walls and this can completely change the look of a room.
Have you got tiles? You could change them. You could even just change the grout colour. Or perhaps get new splash backs instead of tiling.
You could add some shelves or cupboards to the space. Often there does need to be some storage. Simple white shelves give a contemporary look and add valuable storage space in what might already be quite a cramped space. But they do add cost.
Definitely decide on what your maximum budget is and stick to it.
Another cost consideration is how you intend to have the new work surfaces and appliances fitted. Are you good at DIY and intend to fit the new cabinetry and put the new appliances in yourself? Are you good with plumbing? Well that is good, but you may certainly need professional help with some of the work required to fit your new utility room.
If you are having plumbing, electrical or boiler work fitted then these do need to be fitted safely. Electrical work and work associated with the boiler should be tested before use. And all this does add to the cost of any new utility room.
Similarly, if you need tiles fitted, plaster work, or a new floor then this will also add to the overall cost of your new room project if you need someone to help fit these for you. And sometimes if you are having all these items done separately you may need to project manage the fitting process, coordinating everyone to do their jobs in turn.
Durability is another of the things to consider when updating any room. Perhaps you just want a new style.
My utility room is very old and dated. But at the same time as wanting an updated room, I know that I wanted a style that is clean and modern but would not really date too much. I also wanted a lighter, airy space, so went for an all cream look. This also fits well with the colour of my appliances. If you are spending a considerable amount on a room, you do want it to last at least 10 years, and not look too dated in that time.
This can be an important consideration if you think you may wish to move home in the near future too. You do want your new room to appeal to a broader set of people, and not be too contemporary or off the wall.
However, if you have funky coloured appliances and are staying put for some years, you may decide to go to town on the bright hues for your new room!
Appliance Ratings And Features
Are you looking to update your appliances too? I would always advise keeping the ones that you have if they are not in too much disrepair. I only replace things when I really need to. Washers and tumble dryers can be expensive items.
Short on space? Maybe consider getting a combination washer/dryer.
But sometimes, appliances do need to be replaced. One of the most important considerations to me when changing appliances is how good the new appliance energy ratings are. Nobody wants an appliance that uses up a load of energy. And it is is an important consideration for the planet too. Most appliances these days show clearly their energy rating.
I will say, I have had my Miele washing machine for over 20 years, and it has been an amazing machine. Yes, it cost a little more, but it was worth it.
Using The Space Wisely
Planning is one of the most fun jobs when considering the layout of your new space. Especially when you don’t have a lot of space. There are lots of brilliant space saving ideas you can use in a utility room such as
- fold, up or space saving ironing boards
- half size ironing boards
- using shelving or cupboards to add extra storage.
- getting a combination washer/dryer
- adding some baskets for laundry sorting
Lighting is a really important factor in how you want your finished room to look, so also needs to really be considered when renovating.
My basement utility room has no natural light source. And it is useful to have good lighting to be able to see any stains that need treating before or after being washed.
In the end, I used a strip light fitting with a daylight type bulb to give out maximum light at the perfect wavelength to give me the best light for my needs in that space. Certainly think about what type of light you need the most. Maybe you would prefer spot lights?
Perhaps one of the most important considerations in a laundry/utility room is ventilation. Once the washer and tumble dryer are going, you can often get a lot of condensation forming, and this does need somewhere to vent.
I have a vent from my tumble dryer that exits via an exterior wall. But you may also need an extraction unit or fan. And this can all add to the cost of reveamping a room.
It is important to do this though, as condensation left to form over months and years can cause damp and mould to form.
And it may be the last thing that you think of, but flooring is also one of the major things to consider when updating your utility room. There are many different types and styles including
- and laminate.
All have their plus and minus points. Tiles can be cold but are much better for conducting and keeping the heat of underfloor heating. Linoleum can be cheap but durable. All factors definitely worth thinking about when planning what is best for your perfect utility room.
We actually left pour cellar floor, which is a natural stone. But I use a selection of rugs to help keep my feet warm when down there.
I hope that this has given you a few good ideas for things to consider when thinking about updating your utility room. And that you have a better idea of all the pitfalls that may await, and how they can be effectively tackled.
Now I just need to keep it tidy and organised!