How to Install a Laundry Chute in Your Home: A StepbyStep Guide

How to Install a Laundry Chute?

To install a laundry chute, first determine the type of chute you want: lateral or multi-story.

The in-wall chute is the most common and space-saving option.

Locate the chute above or adjacent to the laundry room, preferably in an interior wall parallel to the floor joists.

During the framing phase of a remodel or construction, install the chute before drywall is installed.

Consider any building codes and permit requirements, especially for fire-resistance ratings.

To ensure safety, follow staircase building codes for minimum guardrail height and place the access door no lower than 36 inches above the floor.

Use a child-safe lock for added safety.

An exposed chute is an alternative, but consider covering it to blend with room decor.

Key Points:

  • Choose between a lateral or multi-story laundry chute
  • In-wall chute is the most common and space-saving option
  • Install the chute above or adjacent to the laundry room
  • Install the chute during the framing phase before drywall is installed
  • Consider building codes and permits, especially for fire-resistance ratings
  • Ensure safety by following staircase building codes and using a child-safe lock


Did You Know?

1. Before laundry chutes became popular in homes, they were commonly used in large hotels in the late 1800s to early 1900s. This convenient feature saved staff members from carrying heavy loads of dirty linens down countless flights of stairs.

2. Did you know that the first patent for a laundry chute was granted to a woman? In 1882, New York resident Elizabeth Lloyd Jones patented her design for a “Sheet Delivery Apparatus,” which essentially laid the groundwork for modern laundry chutes.

3. The longest laundry chute in the world can be found in the luxurious hotel Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai. Spanning across 27 floors, this chute ensures that guests’ laundry is efficiently transported to the hotel’s laundry facilities.

4. While laundry chutes are commonly associated with homes and hotels, there are some unique locations where they are installed. For example, the Empire State Building in New York City features a laundry chute system to transport linens from the hotel floors to the basement laundry facilities.

5. In the classic film “Home Alone,” Kevin McCallister creatively uses a laundry chute to thwart the burglars attempting to break into his house. This memorable scene showcases an unconventional application of a laundry chute, proving its versatility beyond its intended purpose.

Types Of Laundry Chutes

When it comes to installing a laundry chute, there are two main types to consider: the lateral laundry chute and the multi-story laundry chute.

The lateral laundry chute is designed to move laundry sideways between rooms, making it a suitable choice for homes with laundry rooms located on the same level as the bedrooms.

On the other hand, the multi-story laundry chute is designed to pass laundry vertically between floors, allowing for a more convenient way to transport laundry from different levels of the house.

Of these two types, the in-wall chute is the most common and popular choice. This sleek and space-saving design is built directly into the walls of the house, providing a seamless and hidden laundry chute. It is typically constructed during the framing phase of a remodel or construction project, before the drywall is installed.

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Alternatively, an exposed laundry chute is another option to consider. This type of chute drops laundry through a hole in the floor, creating a visible and accessible laundry chute. However, it does take up valuable floor space and should be covered when not in use to blend in with the room decor.

  • The lateral laundry chute is suitable for homes with same-level laundry rooms and bedrooms.
  • The multi-story laundry chute allows for vertical transportation of laundry between floors.
  • The in-wall chute is the most common and popular choice, as it is sleek and space-saving.
  • The exposed laundry chute drops laundry through a hole in the floor, but takes up floor space and should be covered when not in use.

Overall, laundry chutes provide a convenient and efficient way to transport laundry within the house, and the choice between the different types depends on personal preference and the specific layout of the home.

In-Wall Chutes Vs. Exposed Chutes

When deciding between in-wall chutes and exposed chutes, there are several factors to consider:

  • In-wall chutes offer a sleek design and take up minimal space. They are perfect for homeowners who prefer a more seamless and hidden laundry chute that doesn’t interfere with the room’s layout. However, it’s important to note that in-wall chutes have narrower dimensions and can only accommodate smaller clothing items and bedding.

  • Exposed chutes can accommodate larger laundry items and are easier to access. They allow laundry to be dropped directly through a hole in the floor, providing a more visible route for transporting laundry. However, exposed chutes will take up valuable floor space and may not be suitable for all room layouts. To maintain a cohesive aesthetic, it is recommended to cover exposed chutes when not in use so that they blend seamlessly with the room’s decor.

  • In summary:

  • In-wall chutes offer a sleek design and minimal space usage, but have narrower dimensions.
  • Exposed chutes can accommodate larger laundry items, but take up floor space and may not be suitable for all room layouts.
  • Covering exposed chutes when not in use helps maintain a cohesive aesthetic.

I hope this information helps you make an informed decision on which type of chute is best suited for your needs.

Placement Of The Laundry Chute

When considering the placement of a laundry chute, it is important to prioritize convenience and accessibility. The laundry chute should ideally be located above or adjacent to the laundry room, allowing for easy and direct access to the primary area where laundry is processed. Placing the chute in a central hallway or near a bedroom can also be a practical choice, as it ensures that the laundry chute is easily reachable from multiple areas of the house.

For in-wall chutes, it is advisable to locate them in an interior wall that runs parallel to the floor joists. This positioning helps ensure structural stability and ease of installation. Additionally, it’s worth noting that during the framing phase of a remodel or construction project, the laundry chute can be incorporated into the floorplan more seamlessly, making it easier to integrate into the overall design of the house.

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To summarize, consider the following points when placing a laundry chute:

  • Ideally, place it above or adjacent to the laundry room
  • Consider placing it in a central hallway or near a bedroom for easy access from multiple areas of the house
  • For in-wall chutes, locate them in an interior wall that runs parallel to the floor joists
  • During the framing phase, integrate the laundry chute into the floorplan for a seamless design.

Installing A Laundry Chute In The Framing Phase

The best time to install a laundry chute is during the framing phase of a remodel or construction project, before the drywall is installed. By doing so, the laundry chute can be seamlessly integrated into the walls, creating a sleek and space-saving addition to the home. During the framing phase, the chute’s position can be carefully planned and implemented, ensuring optimal accessibility and functionality.

Prior to installing a laundry chute, it’s important to check local building codes and obtain any necessary permits. The International Building Code may have specific requirements regarding fire-resistance ratings for the construction and access doors of the laundry chute. Adhering to these standards ensures the safety and compliance of the installation.

Safety Considerations For Children

Laundry Chutes: Ensuring Safety for Small Children

Laundry chutes are known for their convenience and efficiency, but it’s essential to recognize the safety risks they can pose, particularly for small children. To safeguard the well-being of children within the household, certain precautions should be taken during the installation process.

Follow Staircase Building Codes

First and foremost, it is highly recommended to adhere to the minimum guardrail height guidelines specified in staircase building codes. By doing so, the opening of the laundry chute is adequately protected, significantly reducing the potential for accidental falls. This precaution is crucial in ensuring the safety of small children who may be more prone to such mishaps.

Place Access Door at a Safe Height

In addition to following guardrail height guidelines, the access door to the laundry chute should be positioned no lower than 36 inches above the floor. By setting it at this height, the risk of children gaining access to the chute is further minimized. This precautionary measure adds an extra layer of safety, ensuring the well-being of children within the household.

Implement a Child-Safe Lock

Using a child-safe lock for the access door is strongly advised to enhance safety. By employing such a lock, only authorized individuals can open the door, effectively preventing unsupervised access to the laundry chute. This measure provides parents with the assurance that their children are shielded from potential hazards while still enjoying the convenience offered by a laundry chute.

By taking these essential safety measures during the installation process, parents can provide a secure environment for their children while benefiting from the convenience of a laundry chute.

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Codes And Permits For Laundry Chute Installation

When considering the installation of a laundry chute, it’s important to be aware of any applicable building codes and permit requirements. Depending on the location and design of the laundry chute, there may be specific fire-resistance ratings that must be met for both the construction of the chute and the access doors.

To ensure compliance with these codes and regulations, it is advisable to consult with local building authorities or acquire the services of a professional contractor. They will be familiar with the specific requirements for laundry chute installations in your area and can guide you through the process of obtaining any necessary permits.

Taking the time to understand and adhere to these regulations not only ensures the safety of the household but also ensures that the laundry chute installation is done in a legal and compliant manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it easy to install a laundry chute?

Installing a laundry chute can vary in difficulty depending on the existing layout of the house. If you are building a new home or addition, incorporating a laundry chute is relatively straightforward. However, adding one to an already existing house can pose some challenges. The main hurdle is finding a suitable stud bay that conveniently drops to the basement without any obstructions such as wiring or plumbing. Once this is identified, the installation process becomes more manageable.

How much does it cost to add a laundry chute?

The cost of adding a laundry chute can vary depending on whether you opt for a DIY approach or hire professionals. DIY materials for a laundry chute typically range from $100 to $200, providing a cost-effective option for those who are handy. On the other hand, professional installation of a laundry chute begins at around $800, ensuring a seamless addition to your home. It is important to keep in mind that laundry chutes should ideally be strategically located above the laundry room for easy access and convenience.

Is a laundry chute a good idea?

Adding a laundry chute to your home can be a smart choice. Not only does it offer a convenient solution for households with multiple residents and significant laundry loads, but it can also help streamline daily routines. With a laundry chute, there’s no need to carry heavy baskets up and down stairs, as clothes and linens effortlessly make their way to the laundry room. This time-saving feature allows you to focus on other tasks, making your life more efficient and organized.

What materials are used for laundry chutes?

When constructing laundry chutes, it is important to prioritize a direct and efficient design. This can be achieved by using materials such as wood, melamine, drywall, or sheet metal for the chute itself. Regardless of the material chosen, the key factor lies in ensuring that the joints are tightly sealed to allow clothes to smoothly pass through the chute without any obstructions or snags. This, in turn, guarantees a hassle-free and effective laundry management system within the home.

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