The Australian Dream Series


Room sizes & layouts - Laundry Areas

If possible the Laundry area should be isolated from the sleeping zones and be located on the 'cold' side of the home in preference to taking up sunny space better used for habitable rooms such as the Family or Lounge areas.

From your initial list you will know what items are to be included in the Laundry area and this will form the basis for the required minimum floor area.
A 'normal' layout may be configured in a rectangular shape as shown below with the trough next to an outside window, the washing machine beside it and then a work bench taking up the remainder of the wall or butting up to a 'broom' cupboard.
Keep in mind that at some stage (usually lockup stage) the Builder may want to know your washing machine width to set out tap locations, benches etc.
The machine size that is currently fine for the two of you may need to be updated in the future and it will be better to have a larger than necessary space initially rather than having to remodel the area in the future. This will be particularly so where the washing machine is between a wall and the trough.

In the examples shown the layout to left has a total room size of 7.2 square meters and the layout below a total area of 5.6 square meters.
Both examples have a minimum width walk space ( circulation space ) of approximately 900mm with the layout at right having the benefits of less floor tiling expense together with extra cupboard space but would appear to be much smaller than its reduced area due to the closeness of the external wall.
These are obviously minimum workable sizes for a Laundry area with possibly not sufficient space for all your individual requirements but are shown to give an indication of how configurations can impact on the 'apparent' size of the room.

Many design briefs that we receive include - "sufficient space to do ironing" . When asked the question, many house wives (and husbands) relate that the ironing is done mainly in the 'family area' whilst cactching up on the days news, watching TV, supervising the children and the like, so even if you are not working on a tight budget is the extra floor space necessary or could it be better used in an other area of the home ?.
There are several products on the market such as the 'Robinhood Ironing Cupboard' which can fold out from an alcove within the laundry area into the existing circulation space. This type of product may suit your circumstances as a primary or a secondary ironing location.


As with Bathrooms, moisture on walls and ceilings can be a problem within the Laundry area and although there are many wall lining products and paint finishes tailored to suit these areas the best preventative action is to have sufficient air circulation or ventillation. Clothes dryers should be vented through an outside wall (in preference to into the roof space) and if the laundry is not located on an external wall with a window then an adequatly vented skylight should be installed. In all cases the Building Codes 'ventillation requirements' will be insufficient ( and are not tailored to) to remove steam from the room causing the inevitable fungal growth. Consideration should be given to the installation of a ceiling exhaust fan.

Another increasingly popular concept is to locate the Laundry within a hallway of the home, placing the machine, trough etc within a cupboard with either bifold or hinged doors. This is an adaptation of Laundry areas in Unit, Flats and the like where space is at a premium, but can be readily adopted into the home situation where a Laundry area as such is not required to double as the back door or a short access point to the toilet area.
There are several benefits to this type of Laundry area with the main one being the use of this sometimes infrequently used floor space being allocated to other areas of the home.  - food for thought !

Laundry considerations -

                    What area do we really need to suit our requirements and lifestyle ?
                    Storage - broom, cleaning products, ironing board, vacuum cleaner.
                    Lockable cupboards for smaller children.
                    Hanging space for raincoats etc.
                    A place for dirty boots.
                    If to be the main entry from the back yard - access to toilet area.
                    Floor drainage for overflowing troughs or washing machine.
                    A single trough or a double to be able to soak dirty clothes, nappies etc.
                    Back door with half glass or full glass panel for extra light.
                    In a 2 storey home - a laundry chute.
                    Bench space for sorting clothes.
                    Space for dirty clothes basket.
                    Drying space above floor heating ducts if installed.



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