Laundry Accessibility:

The Accessible Laundry Space:

All too often, where and how the laundry is done is an afterthought in the planning of a home. Most laundry systems are not located on the ground floor but instead in a basement or bathroom that requires stairs to get to. Laundry areas should always be located on the ground floor and should be easily accessible. Although potential leaks and spills are seen as a reason to not have these units near living spaces, waterproofing and spill containment systems can and should be installed in the new laundry area.

Space Utilization
Washers and dryers are large appliances that can take up a lot of living space. Some units in today’s market can be stacked on top of each other to save space and can oftentimes fit in a space no bigger than a common broom closet. When possible, it is best to create a spacious, accessible laundry area that an individual using a wheelchair or walker can easily navigate. Doing laundry can often take a considerable amount of time so adding a sitting area with workspace is a good safety consideration. Installing accessible shelving and drawers is another space saving, safety adaptation.

Doing the laundry can sometimes get messy so it is best to have flooring that can handle this. Most importantly, the flooring must be non-skid since the potential for spills is high in this area. The flooring should also have some form of water proofing or drainage system in case of prolonged leaks. Make sure when choosing flooring, a person using a wheelchair/walker can safely and easily maneuver on it.







Top Recommendations: 

  • Make sure the washer/dryer unit is on the ground floor to minimize dangerous stair usage.
  • Consider creating a separate laundry area with safety in mind.
  • Always use non-skid flooring material in potentially wet areas.
  • Be sure flooring in laundry area is waterproof and has an adequate drainage system.
  • Look into stackable washer/dryer units with large, bright and easily usable controls.
  • Add a roll-under/sitting workstation in area to help ease fatigue while doing laundry.
  • Consider accessible shelving and storage systems throughout.   


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