5 On Your Side

Latest Trend: Laundry Moving On Up

Posted April 3, 2007 3:04 p.m. EDT
Updated April 3, 2007 6:36 p.m. EDT

Having an upstairs laundry area eliminates the work of carrying loads up and down the stairs. Consumer Reports looks at the latest renovation trend.

Gina LeDone recently renovated her home and one of the big changes was moving the laundry room upstairs.

"I just couldn't believe what a great idea it was. It makes perfect sense," LeDone said.

Moving your laundry room upstairs has real labor-saving benefits. But whether you're adding new space or adapting an existing room, Consumer Reports said there are some considerations.

"One of the first things you need to do is check with an engineer to make sure your house can take the extra weight and vibrations of a washer and dryer," said Celia Lehrman, of Consumer Reports.

Other things to consider when planning an upstairs laundry room, you will need a waterproof floor with a drain in case of leaks.
As for power, an electrician should run dedicated electric lines for your washer and dryer. Plus, the dryer needs a vent.

Plus, when it comes to choosing machines, some features matter more when the laundry room is upstairs.

"Well, the closer the machines are to your living space, especially bedrooms, the quieter you'll want them to be," Lehrman said.

The end-of-cycle buzzer is something else to consider. Make sure you get machines that let you turn the buzzer off.

Consumer Reports said front-loading washers tend to be quieter than top-loaders. However, some top-loaders can be stacked with a dryer, which saves space in an upstairs laundry room.