Where Should Laundry Go?


    Ok, fellow brownstoners, you have helped me in the past. Here is another question…
    I am currently finishing up schematic plans for renovating a 20X37 brownstone in Cobble Hill. Going from a bottom duplex with two rentals on top floor to a triplex with a garden rental. We are a family of four. Here’s the question…where should the laundry go? Initially, I thought top floor where the kds bedrooms are, but my architect says we will have to have a stackable unit if we keep the laundry near the bathroom where all the plumbing lies. Otherwise, I CAN move it to the other side of the building but it will cost a lot and be a big pain to bring the plumbing down through four floors to the basement. Plus, that seems like valuable real estate for something as prosaic as laundry. I am now inclined to put it in my not great basement but that will mean taking the downstairs hall away from the tenant. Or, rather, sharing it. And it will mean a lot of stairs for this lazy person (me). And it will mean upgrading the basement.
    Curious to hear how others have solved this conundrum? Many thanks.

    23 Replies

    1. Pianopiano- it might cause problems for OP to put her laundry on ground floor in tenant’s GARDEN RENTAL, what with having to go in and out of the tenant’s apartment to do the laundry. Enough to make this lazy person use a laundry service, or for a tenant to expect a significant discount on the rent.


      And DO NOT PUT IT IN THE BASEMENT UNLESS YOU ARE CRAZY OR ARE SIMPLY LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE IN HOME “GREEN” AND CORDLESS STAIR MASTER TYPE EXPERCIZE REGIME that also involves getting clean clothes dirty on the way up the stairs, as well as the opportunity to trip over the dirty socks that fell out of your laundry basket as you make your way back up the stairs with your now clean — well, they were clean until you tripped and fractured a few bones – and folded – well, it was folded until you tripped etc — laundry.

      Just my two cents.

      Sorry to shout.

    2. We could have squeezed stackables on the bedroom floor, but opted for full size laundry in the basement three 1/2 flights down. The stairs are a pain, I give you that. But it’s nice to have a full size laundry room, and the drainage sink did back up once causing the entire room to fill with 1/2 inch of water. That, in and of itself, made it worth having in the basement, as I can’t imagine the headache that would have caused on the top floor.

    3. We put our laundry on the garden level, next to the kitchen. I love being able to multi-task, all in the space where I spend the most time. I don’t spend enough time during the day on the bedroom floor to make it worthwhile to put the laundry there.

    4. Ground floor next to the kitchen and, more important, next to the garden where you can dry the clothes without using the dryer, smells better and save the fabric..
      No infants

    5. I would love to have a full size laundry next to my kitchen, as I do most of the laundry, but I am grateful for a full laundry on the top floor w/ the kids’ rooms. It tends to get messy, and I don’t have to carry clothes up and down stairs. However clothes do get left in the washer or dryer longer than I would wish. I am glad I moved the machines out of the basement, as that seems like the most hauling of clothes, etc, and still not convenient (ie. next to kitchen. Like most things you have to be honest about how you really live before you can decide what to do.

    6. On a bedroom floor, no question. Our bedrooms are on the top floor (two flights above the parlor, that is); if it were in the cellar, it would be four flights of stairs. Kids do generate the most laundry, and having the facilities right next to our two-year-old’s bedroom is a godsend.

    7. I agree that a full size laundry room with space for washer,dryer, hanging clothes, flat drying and storage is worth going up and downstairs. Mine is on our garden floor, in the extension off the kitchen and frankly now that the kids are teens they lug their own clothes up and downstairs. I can multi-task by doing laundry and cooking at the same time, and we don’t every worry about forgetting clothes in the laundry as we are in and out of the kitchen several times a day. Another thing to think about (especially if kids are using the appliances) is that in the event of a water leak or overflow situation, having the w/d upstairs may be a bit problematic.

      One creative solution I saw to the lugging the laundry conundrum was a house with a laundry chute/dumbwaiter to the basement laundry room. If you have the space that might be a nifty alternative.

    8. Only place to put it is on the top floor near the kids rooms. It is the best thing that I have ever done. Makes life so much easier!

    9. We have the kids on the 2nd floor (above parlor) and we are on the 3rd floor (top). Laundry room is on the 2nd floor (kids’ floor). Highly recommend having the laundry on kids’ floor – they generate the most laundry, and the highest traffic-ed bedroom area. As for drying, instead of having 2 bathrooms (granted 50′ depth), we have a bathroom and laundry room – side by side washing machine & dryer (I would have gone stackable as well) next to laundry sink (invaluable) and I let delicates drip dry into sink (I have Elfa rod over the sink).


      I copied this exactly, but no rods over the washer & dryer.

    10. hmm, guess I’m the lone dissenter here. When I renovated, several people suggested I put a stackable unit in one of the upstairs bedroom closets but I’m glad I kept the full size laundry room in the basement. Convenient to have the mess and laundry sprawl in its own room. Does no one else have a bunch of stuff they air dry? Skinny jeans, delicates, wool? I do prefer ironing upstairs so have boards and irons in both places. Plus my washer and dryer are often noisy–any large load in the washer there’s some thumping (front-load) and I use those plastic dryer balls in the dryer for fluffing and they make a lot of racket. Glad I can close 4 doors between my bedroom and the laundry, not that it’s THAT loud.

      I don’t have infants or trouble climbing stairs, which I can see might make me wish I had stackables within throwing distance.

    11. We have a 22×34 house. We made the top floor bathroom a laundry room as well, with side by side w/d. Bathroom has only a shower, no tub, so we picked up floor space that way.

    12. I can’t remember the last time I did laundry in my own house. In NYC thats like cooking your own bagels.

    13. I agree with others that you want it in your living space, not the basement. We have stacked machines that accomodate large loads, and the only problem is that I’m short so sometimes have trouble getting stuff out of the dryer.

      I know this wasn’t in your post, but I like our current laundry layout a lot so want to share. Our laundry is off of the kitchen, on the ground floor. The bedrooms are two floors up. I was disappointed that the laundry was not near the closets when we first moved, but now love having it near the kitchen. The bedroom floor is where we spend the least time, but I spend a ton of time on the bottom level in the kitchen or going in/out of the house. Since I pass the machines so much, it much easier to remember to move loads from the wash to the dryer and then from the dryer to hanging/folding things that need to come out while still warm.

      If it were by the bedrooms, I’m sure a lot more stuff would be forgotten too long in the wash or left to cool and get wrinkly in the dryer (as it did when we had it in the basement/near bedrooms). There’s a little space to the side of the machines with a small amount of hanging space that’s great for hanging stuff straight out of the dryer without trekking to closets. We then just leave the baskets of clean stuff at the bottom of the stair and when someone goes up, they take the basket.

    14. Yes stackable on sleeping floor. We are so happy we did this – trekking down to the basement makes laundry so much more a chore.

    15. Defintiely upstairs on one of the bedroom floors.

      Also, I love a stackable — If you had a 50 or 60′ deep house side by sides could have some appeal, but a 37′ deep house has limited floor space. Have your contractor design some cool folding table (like the old ironing boards that used to hide away in the wall) if that’s the utility you are looking for.

      I saw a great feature in one apartment a few years ago where they customized the bathroom with a drying rack that descended from the ceiling. Very cool.

    16. We have a triplex with a garden rental as well. The stackable washer and dryer are on the top floor and it works well for us.

    17. even if requires stackable – put it on top floor. there are some pretty decent size stackables.

    18. we have the laundry on the top floor with the bedrooms and love it. super convienient and we have one that it really quiet and evens runs at night and doesn’t disturb anyone. plus keeps the kids room neat because they throw everything in the laundry room. we have large washer and dryer – not stackable in seperate tiny room (used to be original hall bathroom).

    19. Keep is near the kids – stackables arent bad..plus the ventless dryers are also not bad. You will be thankful as will your legs later

    20. Why the top sleeping floor? I’d want it in the floor with the master bedroom. Let the kids carry their own stuff up and down that last floor if you are lazy…I would.

    21. When we had kids and a triplex, we put the bathrooms in the center of the house and the laundry on the top (kids’) floor in that bathroom. Worked fine. Vented to the roof.

      We have since converted to a garden duplex and two upper rentals. We have a stacked w/d in a closet on the top floor, venting to the roof, for use by the tenants. It’s a little tight but it works fine.

    22. having it on the top sleeping floor is really an amenity you will be thanking yourself for years from now