As a mother of three and working a full-time job, I am always trying to find ways to make my life a little easier when it comes to chores. I’m always looking for things to help add convenience to our daily lives. One great addition that can make the laundry process easier is the installation of a laundry chute.
What is a Laundry Chute?
A laundry chute is a vertical passage or duct used in multi-story buildings, especially residential homes, to transport dirty laundry from the upper floors to the lower floor where the laundry room or area is located. Typically, the chute has an opening on each floor, secured with a small laundry chute door or flap, which allows for the easy disposal of the laundry directly into a basket or bag in the laundry room. This practical design feature not only helps in keeping the living spaces tidy but also eliminates the need to carry heavy laundry baskets down the stairs, adding convenience and efficiency to the task of doing laundry.
Step 1: Planning
Before you start swinging a sledgehammer, careful planning is essential. First, determine the location of your chute. The ideal place is a bathroom or hallway, with a clear vertical path to the laundry room below. Once you’ve selected a location, confirm that there are no electrical wires, plumbing pipes, or HVAC ducts in the way.
Next, consider the size of your chute. The standard size is 1 foot by 2 feet, but you can customize this based on the space available and your needs. If you think you will have larger things such as comforters or a large amount of clothes at one time, you may want to go a little larger.
Step 2: Cutting and Opening
Once your location and size are confirmed, mark the spot where you’ll cut the hole for the chute. This should be done on both the upper floor and in the ceiling of the room below. Use a stud finder to avoid cutting into any structural beams. With a straight edge and a pencil, draw your cut lines on the floor and the ceiling. Then, cut the opening using a reciprocating saw.
Step 3: Constructing the Shute
The chute can be made from a variety of materials, but one of the most common and durable options is ¾ inch plywood. Measure the distance between the floor of the upper level and the ceiling of the lower level to determine the length of your chute. Cut out the four sides of the chute and ensure they fit into your opening.
Step 4: Installing the Chute
With your chute constructed, it’s time to install it. Secure the chute to the framing on all sides using screws. Be sure the chute fits snugly into the hole, without gaps that could snag clothing.
Next, install a door or a flap at the top of the chute. This can be a simple hinged door or a more complex one with a safety lock, depending on your preference and if there are young children in the house.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
After installation, make sure the inside of the chute is smooth, with no rough edges or protruding screws that could snag or rip clothing. Sandpaper can help you accomplish this.
On the lower level, install a laundry basket or a bag directly beneath the chute. Consider adding a soft cushioning material at the bottom to prevent clothes from getting damaged as they fall.
When you are finished, patch up and paint any scuffed areas around the installation spot. This will give your laundry chute a finished, professional appearance.
Installing a laundry chute is a doable DIY task that can add convenience to your everyday life. Just imagine the ease of tossing dirty clothes down the chute, saving you the effort of lugging laundry downstairs. If you are unsure about installing this yourself, consult with a professional or experienced DIYer for help.