Design a Utility Room Layout

A utility room is a designated space for services related to the operational task of the household. The space generally include laundering facilities, cleaning equipment & supply storage, ironing area, and sewing area. Depending on the location and size, the water heater and HVAC furnance may also be housed in this room. Because the space is more or less associated with laundering, it is commonly referred to as the laundry room.

Designing a utility room layout is similiar to that of a kitchen design layout. The room is designed around work stations to make the layout functional. These stations include the aforementioned areas that involve cleaning cloths, ironing, sewing, and storage.

Utility Room Function

utility space design
The function of the utility room is to clean, repair, and store. It is an all-purpose room. The laundry area is the anchor of the utility room. When designing a laundry, the appliances and working spaces should be located in the order in which each task occurs. The first step is receiving and preparing where counter space and storage is needed to sort clothing and store laundry products. Washing and drying are the second and third steps which include the appliances, wash sinks (tubs) and indoor drying lines. The last step require space for folding, ironing, and sewing.


The utility room is a service room of the home. The ideal location would be near the kitchen, mudroom, or garage. Having all of these rooms in close proximity to the utility room is the primary goal of designing what is known as the service area of the home. In the case of a two story home, the laundry area of the utility room is somtimes omitted on the first floor in favor of a separate laundry room on the second floor if the master bedroom is located on this level. In this case, the laundry will be a space onto itself.

Space may not always be available for a utility room or laundry room. In situations like this, you will want to design a area to place the washer and dryer. The space can be located in the kitchen, under the staircase (if on a slab foundation), in the basement, or in the garage. While these are not the ideal places to design a laundry room, it is a viable second option when space is limited in the service area of the house floor plan.

Note: In northern states it is general practice to locate the laundry room in the basement.

Size and Shape

Laundry Closet
6 feet wide and 3 feet deep is the absolute smallest dimensions to fit a standard size washer and dryer. Ideal for homes with limited space. Typical locations are in or near the kitchen, tucked along a hallway, or nestled under a straight staircase.

Small Utility Room
Possible dimension arrangements: 6 to 8 feet in width, 6 to 8 feet in length (36 to 64 sf). 6 ft x 6 ft is the smallest walk-in room that you can get away with. It allows for a 32 inch door to access along with cabinets or shelves above the washer and dryer. It is best to use for just washing and drying cloths as the space doesn't allow for much else.

Midsize Utility
Possible dimension arrangements: 8 to 10 feet in width, 8 to 10 feet in length (64 to 100 sf). This is around the typical size and square footage seen in many homes today. This provides enough room for appliances (washer & dryer), counter, cabinets, and wash sink.

Large Utility Room
Above 10 feet in width, above 10 feet in length (over 100 sf). Allows for everything in a midsized room in addition to extras such as a hobby station, arts and crafts work center, small office nook, or whatever you find suitable to blend with the function of the room.