Apartment Laundry Room Planning

Design plans and tools on a wooden table

When designing a multi-family apartment laundry room, location is the primary concern. Residents prefer laundry rooms within easy walking distance from their apartment units. The apartment laundry room should be near main traffic patterns and not in secluded, remote areas that pose security problems. Read on for tips on planning your apartment laundry room.

Design Guidlines

  • Size: Determine the size of the laundry room by allowing a minimum of 25 square feet per machine.
  • Dryers: Start with dryer location when developing a room layout. Place dryers against an outside wall for the most efficient venting.
  • Floor and drainage: Concrete floors that slope toward a floor drain are the best choice.
  • Water heaters: Place water heaters near washers and protect them with proper fire-rated walls.
  • Clearance: Provide a minimum clearance of 8 feet between floor and overhead pipes.
  • Security: Consider personal danger when designing an apartment laundry room. Place entryways on main traffic patterns and use glass windows, walls or panels to provide total visibility and eliminate screened areas. Avoid placing change machines and soap dispensers inside laundry rooms.
  • Lighting: Rooms should be well lit; fluorescent lighting is recommended.

Equipment Guidelines

When choosing the type and quantity of washers, dryers and other equipment, consider the family composition of your residents, the number of units served, the presence or absence of children and the number of laundry rooms in the building.

Washers recommended: Energy efficient 14-16 lb heavy-duty commercial washers

Dryers recommended: There should always be one energy-efficient, single-load dryer for each washer. Double load dryers are less energy-efficient and may slow the laundry completion process when used to dry less than a double wash load. Instead, use stacked dryers when more than one dryer is needed in a laundry room.

Use the following guidelines to determine the equipment needed for each laundry room location. The following affected the number of machines necessary:

  • Resident profile (families, singles, elderly)
  • Price charged (low price encourages usage)
  • Proximity of units to laundry rooms

Predominant Resident Profile: Washers and Dryers per unit*

  • Families: 1 pair W/D per 8-12 units
  • Young Working Adults: 1 pair W/D per 10-15
  • Older Working Adults: 1 pair W/D per 15-20
  • Students: 1 pair W/D per 25-40 students
  • Senior Citizens: 1 pair W/D per 25-40 units

*These figures are based on the predominant resident profile. Adjust according to your particular profile mix. Determine using units by adding all units without an in-unit washer/dryer and half the units with in-unit laundry connections.