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How to Build a Laundry Pedestal

Layer beadboard and moldings onto a basic frame for a rock-solid surface that elevates the appliances—and the look of your space

A hardworking laundry room centered around a pair of smart, efficient appliances makes life easier, but at a cost. Modern washers and dryers can clean up to 20 pounds of clothing in a single wash—a pain, literally, to load and retrieve.

Pedestals raise the machines to a comfortable working height, but those from manufacturers are spendy. We built our basic lumber box with storage for baskets to keep colors sorted, and wrapped it in beadboard and molding to create a furniture look.

This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows you how to use standard building materials to up your washing and drying game. Disclaimer: This project will not help you find runaway socks.

Download and print the cut list.

Step 1: Laundry-Machine Pedestal Overview

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

PROJECT TIMELINE:

  • Day 1: Build the pedestal and add beadboard (Steps 2–8).
  • Day 2: Add the top and moldings (Steps 9-13).

Download and print the cut list.

Laundry-Machine Pedestal Cut List

  • 2x4 frame: two @ 53 ¾ inches, four @ 27 ⅝ inches
  • 2x3 frame: two @ 53 ¾ inches, four @ 27 ⅝ inches
  • 2x4 legs: four @ 19 ¾ inches, four @ 25 ¾ inches
  • plywood top: one @ 56 x 31 ¾ inches
  • melamine shelf: one @ 56 x 31 ¾ inches
  • beadboard panels, 1x4s, 1x5s, base molding, shoe molding, panel molding: all cut to fit

Shopping List

  • 1x4 Get four primed 8-footers.
  • 1x5 Get one primed 8-footer.
  • 2x3 Get four 8-footers.
  • 2x4 Get five 8-footers.
  • ¾-inch melamine Get one 4-by-8-foot panel.
  • ⅜-inch beadboard Get one 4-by-8-foot panel.
  • ¾-inch plywood Get one 4-by-8-foot sanded sheet.
  • base molding Get two primed 8-footers.
  • shoe molding Get two primed 8-footers.
  • panel molding Get two primed 8-footers.
  • 3-inch deck screws
  • 2½-inch deck screws
  • 1¼-inch deck screws
  • 2-inch 18-gauge nails
  • construction adhesive
  • paintable caulk
  • spray paint-and-primer-in-one
  • latex primer and paint

Step 2: Cut and Assemble the Frames

Photo by Laura Moss

Add at least 2 inches to the combined length and width of your washer and dryer, and build two frames that size. Use 2x3s for one and 2x4s for the other. Then cut two supports to fit inside the frames, dividing the space roughly into thirds. Attach the parts with a pair of 3-inch deck screws at each butt joint, as shown.

Step 3: Cut the Legs

Photo by Laura Moss

The legs need to be tall enough to allow your baskets to fit between the frames. Measure the baskets, add about an inch to the height, and cut a 2x4 to that measurement. Cut another piece 6 inches longer, and spray it with paint-and-primer-in-one for a finished look. Once that dries, trace a notch on one end to fit over the 2x4 frame and a second notch on the other end to fit over the 2x3s. Cut the notches with a jigsaw, as shown. Repeat the process for the other three corners.

Step 4: Make the Legs

Photo by Laura Moss

Use 2½-inch deck screws to attach the shorter legs to the longer ones between the notches, creating legs for each corner with the painted portion facing inside the pedestal. Add construction adhesive to the longer notch and place the leg in a corner so it fits over the 2x4 frame. Drill pilot holes through the leg, then attach it to the frame with 2½-inch deck screws, as shown. Repeat with the remaining legs. Repeat the process for the other three corners.

Step 5: Attach the Lower Shelf

Photo by Laura Moss

Using a circular saw and a straightedge, cut the melamine panel to the dimensions of the lower frame. Screw two scraps of 2x4 together and use them to mark notches at the corners of the panel so that it will fit around the legs. Cut the notches with a jigsaw. Drop the panel in place, then fasten it to the frame with 2-inch finish nails every few inches along both sides and the back, as shown.

Step 6: Add the Upper Frame

Photo by Laura Moss

Apply construction adhesive to the notches at the tops of the legs. Then fit the 2x3 frame in place, as shown. Screw through the outside of the frame and into the legs with 2½-inch deck screws.

Step 7: Prep the Parts

Photo by Laura Moss

Measure the length and width of each side, then use a circular saw to cut beadboard pieces to fit. Cut two pieces for the back the same way, then prime and paint the beadboard. Let it dry.

Step 8: Attach the Beadboard

Photo by Laura Moss

Use clamps to hold a piece of beadboard on the back, flush with the top of the frame and a corner, so the pattern faces in. Attach the panel with 1¼-inch deck screws every few inches. Butt the second back panel next to the first and attach it the same way. Repeat the process for the sides with the beads facing out, as shown.

Step 9: Make the Stiles

Photo by Laura Moss

Cut two 1x4s and four 1x5s to the height of the pedestal. Position a 1x4 along a side with its edge flush with the front corner, and fasten it with nails. Next, make a corner board by nailing a 1x5 on the front face of the pedestal so it covers the flush edge of the 1x4. Repeat the process for the other front corner, then add a 1x5 to the back edge of both sides.

Step 10: Add the Rails

Photo by Laura Moss

Mark each of the 1x4 side rails to fit between the stiles, as shown. Cut them to length and attach them with nails. Repeat the process for the two front rails and install the lower one so it covers the edge of the melamine panel. The exposed frame under the lower rail will be hidden with molding in the next step.

Step 11: Cut the Plywood

Photo by Laura Moss

Place the plywood top on the pedestal and scribe cutlines using the face of the trim, as shown. Remove the top and cut it with a circular saw. Drive 1¼-inch deck screws through the plywood and into the upper frame.

Step 12: Mark the Base Molding

Photo by Laura Moss

Hold a strip of base molding across the front of the pedestal, overlapping both ends. Mark the locations of the 45-degrees outside miters on the back side of each end and cut them with the miter saw. Attach the piece with nails. Cut the two side pieces with a miter at the front end and a straight cut at the back. Nail them in place. Repeat the process for the shoe molding.

Step 13: Add the Panel Molding

Photo by Laura Moss

Mark, miter, and install the front and side pieces of panel molding flush with the top of the plywood. Fill all joints, nail holes, and screw holes with paintable caulk. Prime the plywood top, then paint the pedestal. Call in a strong buddy to help lift the machines in place.


Tools: