Good morning everyone! I know it’s hump-day Wednesday and that in and of itself, sucks major league donkey ballz, so here’s a distraction for you to waste a few minutes while you ‘work’ your way towards TGIFriday.
Today, I am offering up an old photo set of the laundry room remodel I did in my south Jackson home a few years ago before moving to Germany. The laundry room was a small (5 x 8 feet) separate enclosed room under the carport at one time, which required you to go outside to do laundry. This was a rather common construction technique in the neighborhood of homes built there during the 1960’s.
Our carport had been enclosed and added as part of the heated space of our home a few years earlier. In addition to having the laundry room inside the house, enclosing the carport let it serve as a dry storage room for all the other building projects that preceded my plans to turn it into a full blown dedicated indoor home theater build. I already had a semi-dedicated indoor home theater in our living room, but I wanted to make an actual theater type environment in the carport, where I could let my home theater addiction run wild.
Ultimately, I moved to Europe before finalizing that one last room/project in the house, but I did get the laundry room area that existed in that space remodeled before leaving. It was one of the last projects I tackled before leaving.
My wife wanted to have a European model washer and dryer set, both of which require 220 volt service (as well as a special order through Cowboy Maloney’s appliance import service at about $2000 for the pair). The European model washers need a 220v hookup because in addition to the washer motors, they have built-in water heaters which allow for the washer to raise the temperature of the incoming hot water to near boiling, for the washing of whites and other robust fabrics using less washing powder.
You can also adjust the spin cycle on most of the Euro model washing machines to levels approaching that used in nuclear centrifuges, greatly reducing drying time. As for the new dryer? Beside the internal lighting, which I found quite nice, the dryer has sensors for weight and wetness, and automatically dials down the juice necessary to dry each load of clothes, something I figured out when testing the dryer after installation. I ran it on empty to see if the heating element was working and it didn’t get hot, so I naturally assumed there was a problem, but the ‘problem’ was simple. The dryer was smart enough to know it was empty!
Since the existing laundry room only had one 220V outlet for the American style dryer, this necessitated the installation of an additional 220V outlet for the new washer. Fortunately, there was an abandoned 220V line that had been running an electric hot water heater left from when I replaced the electric hot water heater with a gas unit years earlier. Heating water for a whole houseful of people with electricity is a fool’s errand and very costly. I was able to move that abandoned 220V circuit to the laundry room with no problem, saving the expense and hassle of needing an electrician to run a new line from the breaker box. The only bit of wiring difficulty was finding and correctly wiring the European wall sockets necessary to mate with the imported washer and dryer.
The original laundry room plumping was not hidden at all and ran directly down the inside of the wall. I had already replaced the original PVC pipe with copper when I redid the entire house in copper a few years earlier, but at that time I did not make any changes to the mounting. In addition to flushing the plumbing back into the wall, I wanted to add a nice stainless steel laundry sink for soaking delicate washables so I needed to make those changes as well.
Tile and Trim
The original laundry room walls were nothing but wallboard. I replaced them with concrete backer board and tiled the walls. I also laid some tile over top of the bare concrete floor, but the floor tile job (see the photo) was a little sloppy by my standards, but in my defense, I’m not actually certified to do any of the work I actually did. I try to make up for the fact my wife drops two grand on a washer and dryer by doing all the other work myself, thereby balancing out the remodel with my own skills and labor. At the end of the day, my work is usually as good as that which I would pay somebody else way too much money to do.