Second Level Laundry Room

LAST UPDATED: May 01, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Apr 29, 2021 | By:

There are so many reasons to consider a second level laundry room! Learn all about them here – their pros and cons, how to add one to your home, and tips to prevent water damage.

When we were shopping for our previous home, one of the things I looked for was a laundry room on the main level. I wanted to be able to do laundry easily throughout the course of my day.

A second floor laundry room with gray cabinets and a small white sink.

We ended up with a mudroom laundry room that we updated to be a bright, cheery space with DIY painted concrete floors. We converted an unused closet into a mudroom bench with storage. The space functioned well for our family.

However, when we purchased our current home I specifically looked for a second level laundry room. What had changed? I had realized there were several benefits to having laundry on the second floor, close to all of the bedrooms!

Now we absolutely love our second level modern laundry room. It has everything we need to make doing laundry easy and convenient. We updated it to have everything from Shaker style cabinets, a beautiful brass faucet, and even a Frame TV that doubles as art.

Keep reading for all of the reasons to love having laundry on the second floor. Plus check out all of my best laundry room organization tips here!

A white sink and small cabinet in a second floor laundry room requirement post.

Benefits of a Second Level Laundry

Here are some reasons you should consider a second level laundry room for your home:

  • No more carrying baskets up and down stairs – By far, most laundry is generated in or near bedrooms. It’s clothing, towels, bedsheets, etc. Having the laundry room near your bedrooms will save you from having to carry baskets of dirty laundry downstairs and clean laundry upstairs.
  • Doing laundry takes less time – Less carrying laundry back and forth means less time spent on laundry overall. It’s easy for everyone in the family to put away their own laundry when their bedrooms are just a few steps away.
  • No need for baskets in bedrooms – With the laundry room within easy distance, there isn’t a real need to keep a laundry basket in each bedroom. Of course, you still can if you want to but it’s just as easy to walk clothes directly to the laundry. At the very least, there’s no reason for teenagers to let their laundry baskets start to overflow!
  • Keeps laundry out of sight – Is it just me, or is it nice to have laundry away from where guests may see it? Having it upstairs means guests are less likely to stumble upon the laundry you haven’t quite gotten around to finishing.
  • Keeps noise away from main spaces – Along with the visual clutter, a second level laundry room also keeps the noise of running machines away from your main living spaces.
A second floor laundry room with gray cabinets and a small white sink.

Cons

  • Can make your second level warmer – The heat cycle on your dryer can add heat upstairs, especially if it doesn’t regulate temperature well. Keeping the door to the laundry space shut helps.
  • Adds noise to your living space – A second level laundry does add to the noise upstairs. That’s something to consider if you’ll have nappers during the day or if you like to watch TV or movies.
  • Potential for water damage higher – The risk of a leak isn’t greater, but the damage it can cause is increased. Of course, that’s because the flooring below the washer is also the ceiling of the first floor. A leak on the second floor has the potential to ruin the ceiling, walls, and floors of the first floor. Keep reading for tips on how to prevent water damage.
  • Can be expensive to add – Adding a second level laundry room can be costly if it isn’t done when the house is built. In some cases, however, one can be added fairly easily. Keep reading to find out more.
A second floor laundry room with gray cabinets and a small white sink.

How to Create a Second Level Laundry

Of course, the best time to add a second level laundry room is during the home building phase. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done after the fact. Our current laundry room started out as a bedroom!

Here are some tips on how to create your own second level laundry room.

A small white sink in a second floor laundry room.

Space

First, you’ll need to carve out some space. Like I said, ours used to be a bedroom. Unused bedrooms work great because they are usually large for a laundry room, have windows for natural light, and have a closet for organization. They often share a wall with a bathroom too, which could save money on your washing machine hookup.

A large closet can also work for a washer and dryer. Obviously this won’t be a laundry room, but in some situations a laundry closet is all that’s needed. A long shelf and hanging rod overhead provide extra storage. If you install a front loading washer and dryer, you can even add a countertop over them for folding laundry.

Look around at your space. Maybe you have an extra large game room or storage room that you could borrow some space from. The best space will have a water line in an adjacent wall or directly below it, such as a bathroom or kitchen on the first floor.

Hookups

Next, you’ll need to add hookups for your washer and dryer. Your washing machine will need a supply of hot and cold water, a drain, and an electrical outlet.

Electric dryers need a 240-volt electrical outlet, and gas dryers need piping to a gas supply. Both types of dryer require an exhaust vent.

A rolling laundry basket with a washer and dryer in the background.

Costs

The cost to add hookups is between $300 – $600, but it can be as much as $2,000. The cost depends on a lot of factors, such as where existing water and electrical lines are or if there is existing plumbing in the way.

For this kind of project, it’s best to plan for the unexpected. You never know what you’ll find inside a wall until you open it up. Unless you are very familiar with plumbing and electrical work, this is a job for the professionals.

Adding a second level laundry room, if you already have a space like a bedroom, can cost about $6,000. That includes the cost of a mid-level washer and dryer.

Don’t forget to budget for some fun extras like built-in cabinetry, subway tile backsplash, wall art, a fiddle leaf fig tree, and a cozy rug. The finishing touches will help make doing laundry less of a chore!

A second floor laundry room with gray cabinets and a small white sink.

How to Prevent Floods in a Second Level Laundry Room

Some people are afraid of a laundry room on the second floor because they worry about water damage. But with a little planning, you can rest assured your space is well protected.

  • Use a drain pan – A drain sits underneath your washing machine. It has a rim around each side and a precut hole in the center that connects to a floor drain and pipe. If water were to leak, it would collect in the drain pan rather than spilling over onto your floor. The drain pan would then funnel it down the drain.
  • Use a water shut-off valve – All washing machines are connected to a shut-off valve. However, for an upstairs washer, you can make sure that the valve is easy to reach so you can shut off the water line when the washer isn’t in use. If you’re leaving for an extended vacation, for example, you can shut it off. That way you’re sure to stop a flood from a burst hose. You can also purchase and install automatic shut-off valves that sense water or leaks and immediately shut off.
  • Upgrade to steel braided hoses – For just a few dollars more, you can upgrade from standard washer hoses to steel braided hoses. They are much sturdier and less likely to burst. You should definitely use steel braided hoses in a second level laundry room, but it’s a good idea in any laundry room, no matter the level.
A storage area in a second floor laundry room, with a wooden shelf and peg rail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you have a laundry room upstairs?

Yes, it’s a growing trend! In fact, this is a desirable layout for many families. It just makes sense to have your washer and dryer next to the bedrooms where you need it the most!

Does upstairs laundry add value?

That depends on what part of the country you’re in, actually. But for most homeowners, a second story laundry adds value to a home because it reflects a modern sensibility and style.

How do you prevent floods with an upstairs laundry?

Use an easily accessible water shut off valve and steel braided hoses to prevent floods. You can also use a drain pan for added security.

How do you make an upstairs laundry room?

Many homeowners find that they can create space for an upstairs laundry by stealing from an existing bathroom, bedroom, or closet.

A second floor laundry room with gray cabinets and a small white sink.

Maybe in an ideal world, I’d have a laundry room on both levels of my home. But for now I am loving my second floor laundry!

What is your laundry room like? I’d love to hear!

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