a laundry room with a flat-screen TV monitor
Photo: Troy Thies/Collinstock
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Television (4). It'll keep you entertained during long periods of folding and ironing.

Not worth the splurge
Natural stone finishes, such as marble, for counters and floors. They require sealing to prevent staining and don't absorb sound. With exceptions for high-visibility laundries, such as one that adjoins a kitchen where you want materials to match, they're rarely worth the expense and upkeep.

Drying cabinet. This armoire-like machine air-dries your clothes with gentle heat and uses 90 percent less energy than conventional dryers, but at $4,000, you'll never recoup the cost.

Jetted sinks with timers for hand washables. Most washing machines these days have extra-gentle cycles for delicates.

Steam settings, which add some cleaning power to a washer but not enough to justify a couple hundred dollars more on the price tag.

Interactive LCD displays on washers to track the progress of a load and get stain-removal tips.

Built-in clothes bins. They hide dirties but tend to trap moisture and get smelly. Better to tuck bins into open cubbies where air can circulate around them.
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