Here’s our guide to moving a laundry room upstairs including design considerations, labor & plumbing cost and the best place to put a laundry room.
Having a dedicated space for laundry makes your home more enjoyable to live in. It can also make the dwelling more attractive to future buyers. Moving the laundry room upstairs is worth considering if it would give you more space, lessen your workload, or improve the functionality of your home.
Whether you’re considering a move from the basement to the main floor or moving your laundry room to the second floor of your home, learn the ins and outs of moving a laundry room from one level to another. We’ll run through your options, including the costs and level of difficulty involved.
Can You Relocate a Laundry Room?
Yes, you can relocate a laundry room. Any room in your home can serve as a laundry room, provided it is structurally capable of supporting the weight of the machines and properly equipped with appropriate plumbing, ventilation, and electricity.
To power your washer and dryer, you will need to connect them to mains electricity through a suitable outlet. If no suitable outlet is available in your chosen location, you can hire an electrician to create one.
The washer requires a supply of water and a drain line to carry away the waste. A plumber is generally required for these tasks.
Most dryers release the hot, moisture-laden air produced by drying clothes through a duct that passes through the exterior wall of your home. These are known as vented dryers. If you’re using a vented dryer, the dryer must be placed against an exterior wall.
Vent less dryers are also available but are less common. With these appliances, the moisture from your laundry is condensed and collected within the machine. No exterior vent is required.
Doing away with the requirement for an exterior vent makes it more feasible to relocate your laundry room, but the drying experience of vented and ventless models is not the same. Ventless dryers take up to twice as long to dry your clothes, and usually can’t handle large loads.
Is It Easy to Relocate Washer and Dryer?
Washers and dryers are easy to relocate but may require support from a plumber and/or electrician. Both washers and dryers require electricity to operate, so you’ll need appropriate outlets.
Many washers are capable of running on a standard, 120-volt outlet, although some models require a 240-volt outlet. Most dryers require 240 volts of electricity. If your new laundry room doesn’t have a 240-volt outlet, you will need an electrician to professionally install one before you can relocate the dryer.
One safety consideration: if a sink is located within six feet of the washing machine, the appliance must be plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). GFCI outlets protect you and your appliances from a surge of electricity, reducing the risk of injury or fire.
Unless you purchase ventless models, you will need to make sure your appliances are properly vented to ensure they don’t emit hazardous fumes. To ensure your washing machine and dryer are properly vented you will most likely want to hire a contractor skilled in plumbing and sewer work.
You also want to make sure the space you select is large enough to accommodate a washer and dryer. You can read more about washer and dryer dimensions on this page.
Moving Laundry Room Upstairs to the 2nd Floor
To reclaim the space from your current laundry room on the main floor, consider moving your laundry room upstairs, to the second floor.
While second floor laundry rooms are somewhat uncommon, this may be the most practical solution to your laundry room problem. In most homes, the second floor has a full bathroom, supplied with water from the mains supply, making installation of a laundry room next door convenient and relatively inexpensive.
If you move the laundry room to the second floor of your home, you have extra reason to be concerned about leaks damaging your property below. Monitor the condition of the hoses that supply the water, and consider swapping them out for steel-braided versions.
If you notice a leak anywhere around the washing machine, use the shut-off valve to turn off the supply and unplug the machine before investigating.
Moving Laundry Room From Basement to Main Floor
A laundry room on the main floor is more convenient than a laundry room in the basement, as it’s more integrated into your daily life. Basements tend to be cold, damp, and uninviting, which makes it harder to motivate yourself to switch the washing to the dryer.
Even if your basement is dry and brightly lit, going up and down the stairs with a laundry basket is a chore. It requires a good amount of balance, strength, and dexterity. People with mobility challenges may not be able to safely navigate to and from a basement laundry room.
Moving the laundry room from the basement to the main floor can be part of a wider strategy of risk reduction, allowing seniors to continue living independently.
Cost of Moving Laundry Room Upstairs
The cost of moving your washer and dryer upstairs is likely to cost around $5,000. This price is driven by the large quantity of professional labor required to complete this project. If you are constructing an entirely new room or making significant decorative changes, the cost could easily spiral up to $15,000 or more.
Expect to pay an electrician between $40 and $100 for each hour of their work. Installing a new 240-volt outlet for the dryer takes about five hours. It therefore usually costs between $200 and $500.
Plumbers command hourly rates of $50 to $150 per hour, depending on location. You will need a plumber to connect your washer to the main water supply, install a drain line, and attach a shut-off valve. If your dryer is gas-powered, a plumber is also required to run and connect a new gas line in your desired location.
How long you’ll need the plumber varies depending on the complexity of the job. If the designated area for the laundry room shares a wall with a bathroom, less time and effort is required than if a new line needs to be run halfway across the house.
Accessing your home’s plumbing and wiring may require cutting through the drywall. You can expect this demolition to be included in the cost of hiring an electrician or plumber. However, it is usually the homeowner’s responsibility to replace the drywall or patch the access point.
You’ll need to purchase the supplies and spend time to do this yourself or hire a drywall contractor. Professional drywall contractors usually charge between $50 and $100 per square foot.
Moving Laundry Room Plumbing Cost
Plumbing costs are one of the most significant expenses associated with moving your laundry room. Unless there is already a washer hookup in place, this project requires a professional plumber.
Professional plumbers have the skills required to do this project safely and efficiently. They use their knowledge and expertise to identify the best spot to join the existing plumbing with the pipes and hoses that will connect your washing machine, and install a cut-off valve.
They’ll also install a drain line, which allows used water to exit your property. Plan to spend at least $350, even if the washer is ideally located, and the main water supply is easily accessible.
In projects where the main water supply is not easily accessible, the cost will rise accordingly. Budget between $50 and $250 per foot of new pipe. The same costs apply if your new laundry room requires rerouted gas lines. If your new laundry room isn’t conveniently placed, your plumbing costs could be as high as $2,000.
Where Is the Best Place to Put a Laundry Room?
The best place to put a laundry room depends on the configuration of your household and your priorities. Washing machines and dryers are heavy appliances, so they will need to be placed on a floor that can support their weight.
Appropriate hookups are required, so ideally you would choose a place that is close to the mains water supply (and gas line, if required).
For a budget-friendly solution, laundry rooms are best placed near other rooms connected to water, such as kitchens and bathrooms. This limits the amount of new pipe or wiring that will need to be installed, keeping the cost as low as possible. Read more about putting a laundry in a bathroom here.
Putting a laundry room near the kitchen is also a good choice from a practical perspective, as it allows you to easily switch between laundry and food preparation or cleanup. Especially in households with young children, it can be much more convenient to step into the next room to change the laundry rather than traipsing back and forth across the house.
Before choosing a place to put a laundry room, consider the level of noise and vibration generated by washers and dryers. The noise from laundry rooms that are too close to bedrooms or living rooms may interrupt sleep or make it difficult to enjoy watching movies and television.
Excessive vibration can cause a top-load washer to ‘walk’ away from the wall, resulting in broken hoses and costly leaks. Anti-vibration mats can be placed under washers and dryers to help decrease this possibility.
Another popular choice for laundry room placement is just inside the rear or side entrance to your home. In this configuration, the laundry room can double as a mudroom or utility room. Heavily soiled clothes from work or play can be immediately deposited into the washer to avoid carrying debris into your home.
For more related content visit our laundry room dimensions guide here.