My dryer died on me a month ago. It came with the house I bought back in March. I didn’t really like the set that was here, but they worked and so I left them to run their course. I really hadn’t counted on the course being so short. In my long term plans, I envision a shower expansion to my powder room. That would be exactly where the washer was sitting. That being said, I opted to purchase a stacking washer & dryer and have the plumbing moved to accommodate the new set up. Now, at least, if I win the lottery, I can easily fit my new shower where my current project is now located. (I don’t play the lottery, so this will be a long, long time from now.)
Time: 1 Days Cost: $50 Difficulty: Medium
I had about a week to prepare for the new set up. My plumber came out ASAP and move the water lines. He also removed the two wall cabinets to the right to make room for the new washer / dryer. They patched up the wall, but because it was wallpapered, some painting was going to be needed. I went out to the garage and picked up my can of dark grey semi-gloss that I used in my kitchen. A. It cost me nothing and B. It was semi-gloss, which is perfect for a laundry area. I slapped two coats of it over the new drywall and old wallpaper. When I say slapped, I mean it. There was nothing pretty or meticulous about this application – I had a lot to do in very little time.
I decided to reuse the two extra upper cabinets as base cabinets. To do this effectively, I bought a 2x4 and had it cut in 4 pieces to make the base for the cabinets. I slapped some gray on that too!
I cut out the base board on the wall that the cabinets would butt into so that they would line up nicely with the upper cabinets. This was tedious since I really didn’t know what I was doing and only had a little hand saw to work with. No matter…it was done and out of the way quickly.
I set the 2x4 base in place so that I would have a 1” overhang once the count top was installed. I placed the cabinets on the base and attached them with flat metal brackets. I moved the whole piece out of the way so that I could attach a 2x4 to the wall to hold the counter top in place.
I installed brackets to run a shelf over the washer/dryer before it was delivered. If I hadn’t, I never would have been able to reach the wall to do it later.
Next, I began to adhere self-adhesive vinyl planks horizontally to the wall in a random pattern. It looked beautiful, but the planks wouldn’t stay in place. I finally took carpet tacks and nailed them in place. At this point, the washer had been delivered so I ran the planks as far behind the appliance as I could reach. You can’t tell that the whole wall isn’t planked.
There was a lot of space between the top of the dryer and the shelf, so I decided to attach another shelf to the cabinets with little “L” brackets. The other end just sits on the dryer. Thankfully I leveled it properly the first time…I was getting tired of this part of the project.
I reset the cabinets in place, making sure they were parallel to the wall. I purchased a ½” piece of plywood and had it cut to size (30” x 40”). This gave me an overhang to the right of about 4”, but it still left some space to move the washer/dryer if we ever have to. I used wood screws and attached the counter top to the cabinets and to the 2x4 on the back wall.
Using the same vinyl planks, I covered the counter top. No tacks necessary. I finished the edges with ¾” trim that I painted with my trusty gray paint (not done in this photo). (Also, those are just plastic tubes sitting on the counter - something I forgot to move before taking the photo)
That’s it. All in all, I think I spent about $50 on this project by using what I had on hand and only purchasing a few basics and some storage bins. I love having a counter and the fact that I didn’t lose the storage space of my two wall cabinets. Look for my other project, "Vintage Laundry Center" to see what I did to the cabinets!
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