In our old house, we had a laundry closet with a stacked washer dryer combo. So as we were planning to move into our new build, I was constantly pinning Laundry room inspiration on Pintrest. Once we moved into our home, we met with several companies to get a price quote on Laundry uppers, countertop and sink. The price quotes between the companies were fairly similar, around $4000 + tax, depending on materials we chose. However, we would still need to hire a plumber for the sink. My husband, excited at the opportunity to buy new tools, suggested we try to do it ourselves as a DIY project. I thought, why not!
*Let me preface this topic by letting you know this project took us 4+ months to do from inception. My advice- don’t start a DIY project when you have a new born baby at home!
Here is the before photo:
You will notice one major issue:
-The water shutoff valves are above the height of the washer/dryer
This means we would need to cut a hole in the top of the countertop for the pipes (which I did not want), or lower the valves to be below the countertop/height of the washer and dryer. If we lowered the valves, we would need to ensure we have access by being able to lift up the countertop, meaning we could not choose granite or another heavy stone countertop material.
I decided I wanted to have the laundry uppers the same dimensions as the bottom (60 inches for washer/dryer, 34 inches over the sink) for clean lines. I also wanted a rod to hang clothes above the sink. I started to shop around for cabinets, and the only store that carried a 34″ base sink cabinet was Rona. So I waited until they had a sale (15% back in giftcards; which I used afterwards for the backsplash and cabinet handles) and purchased two 30X30 cabinets (for above the washer/dryer), a 33×15 cabinet for above the sink, 34″ base sink cabinet, and a island panel. The island panel is important as extra material to bridge the extra inch between the 33×15 cabinet and the wall above the sink, as well as to hold up the countertop, since my sink base cabinet was a few inches lower. We chose the Maple Creek “Alouette” line. Rona offers a free cutting service, so I had them cut the pieces to size.
1. The Uppers
The first thing we did was to hang the uppers.
I learned from Bryan Baumer on HGTV to install uppers prior to lowers, so your not leaning over the lowers to hang the uppers. MAKES SO MUCH SENSE! For the edge piece between the wall and the 30×15 cabinet, I used Gorilla Glue to attach two pieces of MDF sheet together. I purchased 1.25inch melamine edge banding from eBay to put along the edges to make it look like one piece.
Afterwards, we hired a plumber to lower the valve heights and patch the drywall.
Next came the sink base cabinet. We had to use a Dremel to cut the baseboard and ensure the sink base fit tightly against the back and side walls. We also used the Dremel to cut the bottom of the base cabinet so the pipes would fit through, since they were run from the floor.
The laundry room was starting to come together! We used the island panel piece and screwed it into the side of the sink base.
2. The Countertop
In order to have access to the shut off valves, we decided that the countertop would need to be removeable. We attached 2X4 wood pieces to the studs in the wall behind the washer/dryer and to the side of the washer to hold up the countertop. Once the countertop was resting on the 2×4 pieces, my husband attached hasps to either side to keep it in place (genius!).For the sink side of the countertop, my husband used a jigsaw to cut a hole for the sink, and attached the countertop to the sink base with silicone. He then attached the sink to the countertop with silicone, and used a weight to make sure it stayed in place. Next was the plumbing (which my husband did) and we were almost done!
3. The Backsplash
I had done the kitchen backsplash in our old house, so I decided to do the backsplash myself again here. I chose a hexagon marble from Rona, using a grey grout. Because the countertop was removeable, I needed a way to ensure the tiles would sit nicely and still look “finished” when the countertop was removed, so I used a white JTrim along the bottom edge.
4. The Finishing Touches
I purchased a bulletin board, some jars from Michaels, and a “Lost Socks” sign from Etsy. My husband installed soft close hinges, cabinet handles and the clothing rod above the sink to finish the look, and voila! Done!
The final product: