Laundry Room Storage Shelves: Diy Guide

how to build a storage shelf in the laundry room

Building a storage shelf in your laundry room is a great way to save space and add a decorative element to an otherwise dreary area. There are many ways to go about this, depending on your budget, the size of your space, and your personal style.

If you're working with a small laundry room, you can try installing adjustable shelves, wire shelving, or wall-mounted wood shelves above your washer and dryer to keep detergents and other laundry supplies within reach. You can also repurpose an old bookshelf or install a shelf with a hanging rod to save space.

For those with more space, you can build floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and add a rolling ladder for easy access to supplies. You can also install a combination of cabinetry, hangers, and containers to open up your laundry room and keep your supplies tidy.

No matter which option you choose, adding storage shelves to your laundry room will undoubtedly enhance the functionality and aesthetic of the space.


Choosing a shelf style

When it comes to choosing a shelf style for your laundry room, there are several factors to consider. The layout of the space personal preferences, and the amount of storage needed all play a role in determining the best shelf style for your needs. Here are some options to consider:

Floating Shelves: If your washer and dryer sit next to each other in an alcove or closet, floating shelves are a great option. They are easy to build and can provide ample storage space. You can also purchase prefabricated metal floating shelf hardware if you prefer a more modern look.

Standard Wall Shelves: If your appliances are against a standard wall, you may want to opt for standard shelf boards with brackets. This option provides a sturdier solution and can bear more weight than floating shelves.

Open Shelves: Open shelves above your washer and dryer can keep detergents, stain removers, and other laundry supplies within easy reach. This style also helps you stay organised as you can easily see and access all your supplies.

Adjustable Shelves: Installing adjustable shelves is a versatile option that can adapt to your changing needs. You can move the shelves up or down to accommodate different-sized items or to create more space as required.

Wire Shelving: For a cost-effective and easy-to-install option, consider wire shelving. Wire shelves are also great for hanging hangers directly on the shelf, providing additional hanging storage.

Wall-Mounted Wood Shelves: If you prefer a more customised look, wall-mounted wood shelves are a great choice. They offer a sturdier alternative to wire shelving and can be designed to fit your specific space and style.

Corner Shelves: To maximise your available space, consider installing corner shelves. This is especially useful if you have a small laundry room or limited wall space.

Repurposed Bookshelf: If your laundry room lacks built-in storage, you can repurpose an unused bookshelf. This is a quick and inexpensive way to add extra shelving without having to build custom shelves.

Laundry Room Cabinets: If you prefer a more streamlined and clutter-free look, cabinets with doors can be a great option. You can install standard kitchen cabinets or custom-built cabinets designed specifically for your space and needs.

By considering your available space, storage requirements, and personal style, you can choose the perfect shelf style to transform your laundry room into a functional and organised space.

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Measuring the space

Firstly, you need to decide on the location of your shelves. Will they be above your washer and dryer, or in a separate area of the laundry room? Once you've decided on the location, use a measuring tape to determine the width of the space you have available. This will help you determine the length of the shelves.

Next, consider the depth of your shelves. If your washer and dryer sit in an alcove, you can build extra-deep floating shelves. If your appliances are against a standard wall, you may want to opt for a shallower shelf. Measure the depth of the area and decide on an ideal depth for your shelves.

Now, consider the height of your shelves. If you plan to have multiple shelves, measure the height of the space and decide how many shelves you want and the ideal height for each. It's important to ensure there is enough vertical space between shelves to accommodate the items you plan to store.

After you've measured the width, depth, and height of your desired shelf space, it's a good idea to measure again for accuracy. Mark the measurements on the wall to help you visualize the shelf placement.

Finally, consider any obstructions or features in the room that may impact your shelf placement. For example, if you have a window in the laundry room, you'll want to ensure your shelves don't block the natural light. Similarly, if there is a vent or pipe in the room, you'll need to plan your shelf layout around these elements.

By carefully measuring your laundry room and considering the placement of appliances and features, you can design shelves that maximize storage space and functionality. Taking the time to measure accurately will ensure your DIY storage shelves fit perfectly and help you create a well-organized laundry area.

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Building the shelf frame

Planning and Materials

Before you begin constructing the shelf frame, it is essential to measure the space you have available in your laundry room. Determine the desired width, height, and depth of your shelf frame to ensure it fits perfectly in the designated area.

The materials you will need for this project include:

  • Pine boards (dimensions can vary based on your measurements)
  • Wood screws (varying lengths)
  • Paintable wood filler or wood glue
  • Sanding tools (optional)
  • Primer and paint (optional)
  • Vintage shelf brackets (optional)

Cutting and Preparing the Boards

Using a circular saw or table saw, cut the pine boards to the desired length and width. If you plan to paint your shelf, sand the boards to smooth out any rough edges and create a clean surface for painting. Apply a coat of primer, especially if your pine boards have knots, to ensure better paint adhesion. Finish with two coats of paint in the colour of your choice.

Assembling the Shelf Frame

Now, it's time to assemble the shelf frame. Using short wood screws, attach the vintage shelf brackets to the boards. Ensure the screws are not too long to avoid them protruding through the wood. This will create a simple yet sturdy shelf frame.

Mounting the Shelf

To mount the shelf securely, use a stud finder to locate the wall studs. Mark the locations of the studs, and use a level to ensure your shelf is straight. Screw the shelf directly into the wall studs using longer wood screws. You can use a regular level or a laser level to ensure the shelf is level both vertically and horizontally.

Finishing Touches

Once your shelf frame is mounted, you can add some finishing touches. Cover any visible screw heads with wood putty or filler, and lightly sand the area before applying touch-up paint to match the rest of the shelf.

Your shelf frame is now ready to use! You can leave it as-is or add additional elements like peg rails or hooks to enhance its functionality and aesthetic.


Hanging the shelves

Once you have decided on a location, use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. You can then mark these spots with a pencil, so you know where to screw the shelves in place. It is best to screw the shelves directly into the wall studs, as this will make them more secure. If you are unable to locate studs, you can use drywall anchors to fasten the shelves to the wall.

Use a level to ensure your shelves are straight and even. You can use a regular level or a laser level for this. If you are hanging multiple shelves, it is best to start with the top shelf and work your way down. This will make it easier to hang each shelf without obstruction.

Screw the shelves into the wall using wood screws. Be sure to use screws that are long enough to go into the studs but not so long that they come out the other side of the wall. Cover the screw heads with wood putty and lightly sand the area for a smooth finish.

If you are adding a peg rail or tension rod to your shelves, you will need to drill holes in the correct locations. Use a spade bit or a Forstner bit to drill holes for the pegs or rod. Apply wood glue to the pegs and gently hammer them into the holes.

Now your shelves are securely hung, and you can begin to organise your laundry supplies!

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Finishing the shelves

Now that the laundry room shelves are built, it's time to finish them. This stage involves painting or staining the shelves, adding any final touches, and installing them. Here's a step-by-step guide to finishing your DIY laundry room shelves:

Sand the Shelves

Use an orbital sander with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surfaces of the shelves and prepare them for painting or staining. Sanding will help to remove any splinters and create a uniform surface.

Prime and Paint the Shelves

If your pine boards have knots, consider using a primer designed to cover them. Apply one coat of primer to each shelf. Once the primer is dry, brush on two coats of paint. You can choose to paint the shelves to match your wall colour or go for a contrasting shade. If you prefer a natural look, you can opt for staining the shelves instead.

Add Decorative Elements

If you want to enhance the appearance of your shelves, consider adding decorative elements such as vintage shelf brackets, peg rails, or other unique features. These details will not only add functionality but also bring character to your laundry room.

Install the Shelves

When installing the shelves, it's essential to locate the wall studs and mark their positions. Use a stud finder and a level to ensure the shelves are installed securely and straight. Screw the shelves directly into the wall studs using appropriate screws, such as 3-inch wood screws. Make sure to level the shelves both vertically and horizontally.

Cover Screw Heads and Touch Up

Use wood putty or wood filler to cover the screw heads and create a seamless look. Lightly sand the filled areas and apply touch-up paint if needed. This step will help to conceal the screws and create a neat finish.

Install Additional Features

If you plan to include additional features, such as a peg rail or hanging rods, now is the time to install them. Measure and mark the locations, drill the necessary holes, and secure the elements with wood glue and/or screws. For example, you can add a row of hooks or a towel bar to the bottom of the shelves for hanging clothes hangers.

Style and Organize Your Shelves

Once your shelves are installed and fully functional, it's time to style and organize them. Add baskets, bins, or jars to store laundry supplies and detergents. You can also include decorative elements, such as plants or artwork, to make the space more inviting. Utilize the shelves to keep laundry essentials within easy reach and keep frequently used items on lower shelves for convenient access.

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Frequently asked questions

Building a storage shelf in the laundry room helps to save space and keep the room well-organised. It also adds a decorative element to the room.

The layout of the space is important to consider when choosing a shelf style. For example, if your washer and dryer are in an alcove, you can build extra-deep floating shelves. If your appliances are against a standard wall, you may want to opt for a standard shelf board with brackets instead.

The materials you will need depend on the type of shelf you are building. However, some common materials include pine boards, plywood, screws, nails, glue, a saw, and paint or stain.

First, measure the space and cut your boards to size. Then, sand and prime the boards before painting or staining them. Next, attach the shelf to the wall using screws and brackets. Finally, add any finishing touches, such as a peg rail or decorative trim.

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