Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Finished: Laundry Room

 We are calling this project DONE. Whoo to the hoo hoo. 

This is a smallish room so picture-taking is difficult: here’s a weird panoramic picture for ya. The entry is on the left, right next the wall of shelves.

Here was the plan:

Let’s go back a few years to when we bought the house:

April 2009: old plumbing, concrete floor/sink/walls, and one lone ceiling light.

Here is the view looking the other way.

We were originally going to keep the full size fridge and do counters on two walls, making a horseshoe shape. In the end, we settled for a “L” to give us a bit more wiggle room.

2013: Note old lighting and plumbing. We tore out the wall between the laundry and bathroom as it was rotted. Easiest demo ever.

Following demo, it was time to build out the walls and construct a new sub wall on the north side. Chris is now a pro with the concrete drill and nailer.

Then our plumber and electrician went to work. They were fantastic.

Electrical work was followed by several weeks of shimming walls and preparing for the drywall guys. This is a tricky basement to finish. Our house was constructed 83 years ago and has settled a fair amount in that time, meaning that walls and rooms aren’t quite square anymore. This is typical of old houses and it often calls for some creative remodeling processes.

Following drywall, it was time for paint. We picked a neutral grey, in an effort to keep the space light and airy. 

And I got to work on the tile floor. 

I don’t love my tile selection. Wish I’d gone with more of a grey, rather than a beige. Live and learn. Tiling was actually kind of a fun process!

Now it was time for our build-out. We were finally ready for cabinets. We went with Ikea, as the cost was reasonable and we weren’t picky about the style. 

It was a bit of an adventure as Ikea was discontinuing their entire line of kitchen cabinets (in favor of a new version that was recently released) so we had a lot of trouble as items were sold out or unavailable in our local store. I had originally planned on a smaller sink cabinet and a nice bank of drawers but that wasn’t in the cards due to a rapidly diminishing inventory so we switched things around and made do with the cabinets that were left. All items were marked down 10%, so we were pleased to have a working solution and save a bit o’ money in the process. 

A word of advice: when pulling cabinets from the shelves at Ikea, don’t have a baby strapped to your back and bring a lifting buddy. And a truck.

It may not look like much but this ones the craziest jenga puzzle that I’ve ever done. And this was only two cabinets! Good job subaru. 

Let the cabinet assembly begin.

“Wrapping” the washer and dryer in wood counters was a pain but worth the effort. It gave us more counter space over the machines and creates a slightly more polished look.

Counter, sink, and faucet are all from Ikea. Thus far I like the counters and faucet but feel the sink could use some improvement. It has a practically flat bottom so water doesn’t drain so well, leaving water deposits on the lovely shiny surface.

As you see, we went all out in the art department. Kidding. That’s an old nautical chart that I salvaged from my craft bin; it makes great wrapping paper normally. I ironed it in an attempt to get a few of the wrinkles out and it worked, sort of. The middle crease is still noticeable but I’m too lazy to care at this point. The price was right.

The wrapped counter detail. Ikea makes wider butcher block countertops, so that the tops of the machines would be completely covered, however they only come in the 73” length, not the longer 98” length that was required for our space.

The clothes drying bar.

And no room would be complete without a secret feature! Here is our hidden water shut-off access door for the machines.

In hindsight, I wished we’d torn out the shelving unit completely as it’s not in great shape. Or we could have simply drywalled over it, losing the space but creating a more polished room. I told Chris I was going to buy one of those fake (full-size) skeletons that adorn most biology classrooms and curl it up on the middle shelf before closing up the drywall. You know, a nice little surprise for the demo team that will one day (long after I’m gone) demolish this house.

Best practical joke ever.


I think we’ll have to chalk that one up to my weird sense of humor.

Alright peeps, that’s a wrap.



Electrical - Stephen Jenkins (highly recommended)
Plumbing - Bill Arnold (highly recommended)
Drywall - TLC Drywall
Cascade Window and Glass - Attila (highly recommended)

Walls: Benjamin Moore Light Pewter
Trim: Behr Polar Bear (white)

Ceramic tile: Home Depot
Trim: Home Depot

Cabinets: Ikea (no longer available)
Sink: Ikea Double Boholmen
Faucet: Ikea Elverdam
Counter: Ikea butcher block (similar)