laundry room with washer and dryer
Photo: Andrea Rugg
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The Essentials

Upstairs laundry rooms require planning. Consider the following:

Flooding: Install the washer over a shower base with a floor drain (required by some local building codes), or a pan that'll funnel water to plumbing waste lines running to the basement, and be sure to hook the machine to an automatic shutoff valve—a must for downstairs washers, too.

Placement: New machines are quieter, but they still vibrate and thus shouldn't share bedroom walls. If your machine is level, it won't rock on the floor, says Albertsson. But in older homes, where floors are often uneven, put motion-arresting pads under the washer.

Venting: Ventless dryers (which use condensers to wring out water) are an option for second-floor laundry rooms. Common in Europe and Asia, they're becoming popular here. Albertsson cautions, however, that the machines are pricey and may take longer to dry your clothes. If your laundry room shares an outside wall, it's still best to use a conventional dryer that vents outdoors.

Noise: Choose cast-iron pipes over PVC, which don't muffle water sounds well. Wrapping pipes with insulation will also cut down on noise. And seek out machines engineered for quiet function. Bosch's Nexxt washers and dryers, for example, are so quiet you wouldn't even know they were on.
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