Saturday, 25 May 2013

Laundry Makeover

Many, many months ago we purchased cabinets for the laundry, but it's taken me this long to ask my brother in law for help to install them!

My 'new' laundry!

Here's the room at the time of house handover:

We chose white cabinetry in a gloss finish (Ikea FAKTUM in Abstrakt White) to keep the small narrow room from feeling cramped.  The existing sink cabinet we chose with the build is a wood grain laminate and it was a tricky decision whether or not to replace it.  I figured it's the laundry so I don't really care too much for the aesthetic and so why not save a few dollars where we can?  It is separated by the washing machine from the other cabinetry and there's always the ability to replace it later if we really don't like it, but it seemed more hassle (and cost) than it was worth.

We did, however, make the decision to replace the benchtop so that we have a single piece right the way across the wall to the broom cupboard.  We went for the Ikea NUMERAR laminate worktop with a wood effect edge.  I like the plywood look (even though this is 'faux' plywood).  The bench is double sided so you have a choice of whether to install either the white or the grey side up.  We chose to go with white.
IKEA NUMERAR worktop with wood effect edge

This is the Ikea planner layout we created for purchasing the additional cabinetry:

As you can see, the broom cupboard is against the wall next to the door that leads to the hallway.  The room is quite narrow and we therefore had to get our electrician move the light switch outside the laundry into the hallway so that the broom cupboard wouldn't obstruct it.  Admittedly, this was a compromise, but I'd much prefer the storage to the inconvenience of switching on the light before entering the room.

We also had the sparky replace the ceiling light with a flush mount and move a powerpoint in the splashback area about 30cm lower, as it was situated right underneath the intended mounting for the overhead cupboards.

The base cabinet between the broom cupboard and (future) dryer is a pull out drawer instead of a cupboard.  I thought this could function as a laundry hamper for the kids.  Now that it's installed I realise it's quite a bit narrower than I'd imagined, so I'm not sure if it will be wide enough to actually function as a hamper, but is handy for all the taller cleaning bottles and my peg basket in any case.
IKEA FAKTUM base cabinet with pull out storage in Abstrakt White

I also wanted a drying rack over the sink so I can hang shirts on coat hangers to dry.  I looked at installing a chrome wardrobe rail from the overhead cabinet to the wall above the window, which I've done in a previous house.  I also considered the Ikea GRUNDTAL drying rack, which has an adjustable width so we could expand it to fill the entire 800mm wallspace over the sink and get a little more room for drying clothes than just a single rail.

IKEA GRUNDTAL drying rack

I was all set to purchase the Ikea rack but then I saw the Elfa system at Howards Storage World and liked the flexibility of having a drying rack as well as adjustable shelves.

Elfa Folding Drying Rack from Howards Storage

However, after pricing it up with the top track and wall bands I quickly changed my mind.  It would probably be more economical if I were doing an entire laundry rack system, but for just a small set of racks in the laundry that I was going to have to cut to size anyway, I wasn't prepared to pay the $150+ price tag.

I then found a similar system at Ikea for a fraction of the price - the ALGOT system:

Ikea ALGOT Storage System

As for the splashback, I intended to extend the existing white ceramic tiles across the entire bench space, but we discovered the sink benchtop was only 35mm thickness, whereas the Ikea benchtop is 40mm, so had to remove the tiles.  This resulted in damage to the plaster wall, so it became necessary to simply start over with the tiling.  Never one to shy away from an opportunity, I went on the hunt for a nicer tile...

I'm currently having an obsession with white cabinets, black taps, marble benchtops and splashbacks, thanks to the many Scandinavian blogs I follow, but can neither afford nor justify the expense of slabs of marble in a laundry!  So I found an affordable alternative in marble mosaic tiles.

A few YouTube videos and fact sheets later and I was on my way to my first DIY tiling effort!  Apart from a couple of obvious spots over the sink where I didn't push a tile or two into the adhesive enough (my tile spacer obstructed my view of it whilst the adhesive was drying.  Once I noticed it was too late to adjust it!) I'm pretty happy with my effort overall.

Tiling In Progress

I still have a couple of tasks before it is complete, such as sealing the tiles and caulking between the tiles and overhead cupboards and benchtop (perhaps a task for tomorrow if I can make it to Bunnings).

I just love the feel of the laundry now.  Dare I say it makes me want to find excuses (like extra loads of washing or cleaning) merely to visit the room?...

Laundry In Use!


  1. Great job Nat! I really love those splashback tiles and overall it looks so much better. We just used some of the Elfa system stuff for our girls wardrobes but we first looked at the Ikea Algot system but hubby said it was too deep for the robes but I'm now wondering if it too like the Elfa stuff comes in different depths?


  2. Laundry looks fab, and what a great job you did on the tiles. Impressed!! Mx

  3. Hi Nat, love your laundry! May I ask where you got your tiles from? Thanks, Charlotte

    1. Hi Charlotte, the tiles are from National Tiles.