Laundry Room Redo!

November 04, 2007

I don’t have a great “before” picture of the laundry room, since the sellers took their washer and dryer with them, and rooms without appliances always just look so bizarre and empty. But I did take a picture of the room when we were doing the inspection, so I suppose that makes a good before view. Major features of the room include doors to the garage and kitchen, a remnant-vinyl floor (it must have been the end of a roll, since it has brand names stamped all across it), a huge built-in cabinet, and room for a washer and dryer. The corners aren’t perfectly square, but the room is more-or-less 5’3” by 5’6”.

After removing the massive cabinet, Kevin did a fair amount of spackling, I plied off all of the old trim, and then I started painting. For the walls, we chose Behr in Sparkling Spring (730E-2) in a Satin finish. (Kevin’s parents recommended Behr – it’s the Home Depot house brand – as being great to work with for the price. So far, I couldn’t agree more.) We picked up two 30”W x 30”H x 12” D laminate cabinets (both have two adjustable shelves), new baseboard trim, and new vinyl flooring.

I decided to go with sheet vinyl for several reasons. Cost and speed of renovating were obvious considerations. This is for a laundry/mud room floor that sees a lot of traffic, so it needed to be durable and easy to clean. Barring plumbing nightmares, this floor won’t be subjected to tons of water, but the fish buckets will pass through several times a week, so there needed to be something that would hold up to that. Also, the old floor was in good enough shape that a new layer of vinyl could be installed directly on top – VERY appealing, especially since we don’t know how old the existing floor was (if before 1986, it probably contains asbestos, which obviously isn’t something we wanted to be ripping into). Also, vinyl sheeting comes in 6’ widths, which was perfect for this project. So, vinyl sheeting it was.

I found a pretty pattern, with little blue diamonds on a white background, but it ranged from 1.50 a square foot with a three week wait, to $2.89 per sq ft with a two week wait… Not ideal. Then, Home Depot came through again, since they sell 6’ x 8’ rolls for $20 – not a huge pattern selection, but I found one that I really liked and we were off and running. I bought a 3/16” v-notched trowel and the adhesive, and rented a 75-lb roller. The installation went surprisingly well. Kevin removed the door to the garage for ease of access and I sawed about an eighth of an inch off the bottom of each of the door frames so that the sheet could slide underneath. The adhesive was increasingly messy to work with until I got a cup of hot water – that and a paper towel solved everything when a little bit went awry. I installed new floor tacks, and then the new trim, and now I love this room.

Pretty, right? :-)

I’m particularly proud of us for hanging the cabinets level and appropriately close together without incident. :-)

(Sorry for the dreadful lighting in that one -- it's what you get when you take pictures at midnight.)

The new washer and dryer showed up the next day. We’re both getting a kick out of them. We ended up with the LG WM2455 (the only 4.0 cubic foot front washer that was shallow enough to fit in the room. Thankfully, consumer reports had great things to say about it!) and the matching dryer. The two of them are a riot. I would love to know what sort of market research went into the design, but it resulted in a cross between an arcade game and a huge laundromat washer. When you turn the washer on, lights flash and it sings a little “yay, we’re about to do laundry!!” song. Select your cycle, and it spends a few moments earnestly sensing its load, and then goes on its merry way. When it finishes, you get another triumphant little melody (perhaps it’s calling to the dryer? “This was such fun! And now it’s your turn!!”), and then repeat all of the lights and singing for your dryer run. I would have thought the noise would be annoying, but it keeps making us laugh and so we haven’t turned it off yet.



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