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What is a Laundry Closet?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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A laundry closet is an enclosed area containing a clothes washer and dryer. These appliances may be side-by-side or the stacking, space-saving type. Some types of washers and dryers are combined into one compact machine. Laundry closets may be found in either houses or apartments.

Most laundry closets aren't overly large; typically there is just enough room to fit the washing machine and clothes dryer. A laundry closet may have a few small shelves for storing supplies such as detergent and fabric softener. Houses with a washer and dryer in the basement often don't have a laundry closet.

Laundry closets are typically located off kitchens, in utility rooms or in bathrooms of houses without basement clothes cleaning facilities. The doors to the laundry closet may be bi-fold or sliding. Some laundry closets have a door that opens from hinges on one side like many standard interior house doors. A bi-fold closet door has a long hinge between two panels. When a bi-fold door enclosing a laundry area is pulled open, the hinged middle section creates an outward V-shape.

Any type of laundry closet door will reveal the washer and dryer when open, but hide them from sight while closed. The exception to this would be glass closet doors, but they aren't commonly used for this purpose. With the fancy, newer types of clothes washing machines, some homeowners may want to use glass closet doors. However, heavier doors, when closed, will help muffle the sound of the washing machine and clothes dryer.

What makes the laundry closet distinct from other closets are the hook-up fittings for washer and dryer hoses. In some houses and apartments for sale or rent, the washer and dryer are included, while in others, the owners or renters must purchase the machines to hook up to the fittings. In some homes, a washer and dryer fit into half of the closet, while the other half is all shelving or closed cabinets.

Large or deluxe laundry closets may include an upper and lower cabinet section with a sink. These cabinets usually have a counter top to use when folding clothes. These cabinet systems are typically beside, as well as touching, a stacked washer and dryer set. Laundry cabinets located near kitchens may match the color and wood of the kitchen cupboards.

Bathroom laundry closets especially may be very small and fit only a one piece machine with lower washer and upper dryer sections. Walking through the bathroom to the end wall is often the way to reach these types of laundry closets. Sliding doors can be less awkward in a laundry closet in a bathroom than a bi-fold or standard door because extra space for opening them isn't needed.

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