The Laundry Room
This Old New House

original utility room

This is the utility room. It's about 6'x8'.

down to the studs

I demo'd this entire room…

flooring installed

…put down commercial rubber flooring with raised nibs…


…installed a washing machine outlet box…


…rocked it…


…taped and mudded it…

a little paint

…painted it…

new water heater and plumbing

…put in a new water heater…


…and installed our new Whirlpool Duets.

This room was completed on 22 June 2003.

In case you're wondering, the Duets are fabulous. They are very quiet and use much less water than any top loader. You can load the washer up with almost as much as you can stuff in the tub and it'll work just fine. If you're a family with infants/toddlers and use cloth diapers, get the washer model that has a sanitizing cycle.

By the way, out of sight between the dryer and water heater, is the main water shutoff for the house (you can sort of see the result in the rock/tape/paint shots above). The original gate valve handle broke off in my hand when I first started work on the plumbing. I had it shut off at the street and installed a ball valve and built a nice little access hole in the wall.

Also, in the process of preparing for the new washer and dryer, I decided to upgrade the electrical. Code at the time the house was built didn't require a ground for the water heater, and only three wires were needed for the dryer. I stripped the 10-2 wire to the heater and moved the old 10-2/wg that fed the dryer over to the heater box. I then pulled a new 10-3/wg for the new four blade dryer outlet (recessed instead of flush mount). It's nice to have things all up to date.

Late addition (16 October 2005):

utility hall floor

As you can see above the floor of the laundry room was tiled with a Congoleum rubber tile with raised, quarter-sized bosses. Gives it a nice industrial look—perfect for a laundry room (and practical, too). I had to buy two boxes of the stuff (at about $75 a pop) and used one box plus two tiles.

So for the past two+ years I've had a partial box of expensive tile sitting around with no reasonable way of disposing it. A few months ago I started wondering if there was enough to cover the utility hall (the small hall off the foyer that serves the laundry room, the gar^H^H^Hshop, the HVAC closet, and the guest bath). I did a trial layout and it appeared I had enough.

I had to build a small ramp out of thinset for transition between the foyer ceramic tile and the Congoleum, then I had to plan a proper layout and cut to fit all the tiles. Miracle of miracles, the tub of special order adhesive (around $30) of which I hadn't even used half, was still good, so Friday, 14 October, I tiled the utility hall.

I wound up with one plus almost another tile left over, but it's immaterial because I used every bit of the adhesive. There wasn't a teaspoon of it left. If I'd had to set another tile I'd have been SOL.

I had previously (recently) painted over the grim looking paneling with the same Pale Chamois as the foyer and library. It brightened the hall considerably, although painting a space with five! doors is a lot of casework and cutting in—probably an hour before I can put the roller to the flat spots.

Last updated: 06 February 2009

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