How to Build Cabinets Around a Washer and Dryer

Updated 3/10/2023

Many laundry rooms are nothing more than a bare room with a washer and dryer shoved into a corner. It does not have to be this simple, though.

You can easily turn your space for your washer and dryer into a beautiful and functional area of your home.

Adding cabinets to your laundry area can make your washer and dryer look more attractive.

Even better, it can add functional storage space to keep your detergent fabric softener, and dryer sheets close at hand.

While any DIY project can be a challenge, learning how to build cabinets around a washer and dryer is a manageable task that will reap great rewards.

Since this project is happening in your laundry room, it’s unlikely to be a focal point of your home.

This allows the project to be more forgiving of first time DIY blunders. This makes it a great starting point as you launch larger home renovations.

If you are considering redoing your kitchen yourself, consider redoing your laundry room first.

Learning how to build cabinets around a washer and dryer is much easier than redoing kitchen cabinets.

Unlike your kitchen, your laundry room is generally a private area within your home. This makes it the prime place to try and practice new DIY techniques.

How Do You Build a Cabinet Over a Washer and Dryer?

Adding a cabinet above your washer and dryer is one of the most functional additions to any laundry room.

Before you begin, you will want to ensure that your laundry room walls have appropriately finished drywall.

Painting is easiest to do before adding cabinets as well. Once your area is prepared, you are ready to select your cabinets.

When choosing cabinets for your laundry room, start by measuring the area you wish them to fit into.

Most cabinets will leave space above them, allowing room for any bulkheads or ductwork in your laundry room.

If you prefer to have your cabinets go the entire way to the ceiling, consider a taller, 42- inch, cabinet to fill the space.

Once you know how much space you need to fill, choose the color and finish of the cabinet you would like to add.

Once you have purchased your cabinets, you will need to find the studs using a stud finder.

Be sure to screw cabinets directly into studs so that they will be secured to the wall in a way that will keep them secure even as you pile items like laundry detergent onto the shelves.

When the shelves are correctly screwed in place and carefully leveled, you will be glad to have a beautiful hideaway to store all your laundry room products.

While the entire project can seem scarily large, it can really be broken down into just a few steps.

You can avoid wondering how to build cabinets over a washer and dryer by installing already built and finished cabinets.

This shortcut will make this project quick and easy. You will need two people to complete the job, but the entire thing can be completed in a single weekend.

Just be sure to purchase the cabinets in advance.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Measure the space you wish to fill with cabinets – be sure to consider height, too!

2) Order cabinets in the finish you prefer.

3) Clean and paint the walls in the room.

4) Find and mark the studs using a stud-finder.

5) Use a level and mark a chalk line denoting the base of the cabinets.

6) Have one person hold the 1st cabinet level with the chalk line while the other person screws it into studs.

7) Continue until all cabinets are in place.

What is the Best Wood to Build Cabinets?

While installing premade cabinets is certainly the easiest way to add cabinets to your washer and dryer, it is not the only way.

Some people prefer to build their own custom cabinets to fit their space or even to hide their washer and dryer.

If this is the route you choose to go, plan to keep your design simple.

You will want to measure the total space necessary and decide how to divide it up into different cabinets or shelves.

From there, you can build the box of the cabinet or cabinets.

Add simple doors with decorative hinges and choose handles that work with your design plans.

When building your own cabinet, painting is easier than staining though both create a beautiful finish.

When asking what is the best wood to build cabinets, you will want to carefully consider the type of wood that you choose to use.

Many kinds of wood are too soft to be durable cabinets.

The most common and best wood choices for cabinets in places like the laundry room include:

  • Oak
  • Poplar 
  • Maple 
  • Mahogany
  • Plywood

The right choice for you will depend on how you finish it. Oak and maple both look beautiful when finished with a wide range of stain colors.

Poplar is a better choice when using a lighter stain, and Mahogany works best with darker stain color. While plywood may sound odd, it can look great when painted.

Of course, the overall décor of your laundry room will also dictate your choice of wood. Poplar would be a phenomenal choice for an upscale laundry room that is more accessible or visible to guests, while plywood is best reserved for casual laundry rooms that may double as mudrooms.

Due to their versatility, oak and maple are the two most common cabinet wood choices. They work well in most styles of homes and can complement almost any décor.

Plywood is a great budget-conscious option. Homes that use their laundry room as a mudroom and have kids with tons of sports gear may find that cabinets made of plywood give them the space to store their belongings without having to worry when a door gets pulled loose from a hinge.

Plywood cabinets are a great combination of durable, affordable, and repairable.

Cost to Build Cabinets Per Foot

Determining the cost to build cabinets per foot is a bit complex. Pre-built and already finished cabinets will be more expensive than building them yourself.

However, even that is not that simple.

When building your own cabinets, you will need to consider the expense of any stain or paint used to finish the project period, of course, you will also have to remember to budget for the cost of hinges and handles.

This means that building them yourself can end up costing just as much as pre-built cabinets.

This is especially true if you are not a jigsaw master who can utilize every inch of wood.

Those who choose to purchase ready-to-hang cabinets can estimate their prices a bit more easily.

Generally speaking, standard-height cabinets can be purchased for approximately $100 to $150 per linear foot.

Of course, if you choose higher-end cabinets that are made from wood like Poplar or have specialty finishes, your cost may be a bit higher.

Adding extras like soft cushion clothes may also increase your price.

If you are specifically looking to use the taller, 42-inch cabinets, then you will want to be sure to increase your budget period.

Those taller cabinets are considerably more expensive and will often increase your price to $200 per linear foot.

That said, this option will likely add a level of beauty and class to your laundry room, making it a room you are excited to show guests.

Those who are looking to save money and make this a budget-friendly project should consider building their own plywood cabinets.

Keep them simple; build the cabinet box and affix doors with hinges.

Add some simple hardware for the handles, and you will have a very functional cabinet at a cost you can afford.

Finish them with simple paint, and you will not have to worry about the cost or trouble of staining. This will also ensure they look nice since plywood has a better look when painted.

When you build simple cabinets out of plywood and finish them with paint, you should be able to keep the price down to around $100 per linear foot.

This is likely your cheapest option, but only if you already have the tools and skills that you will need to build the cabinets yourself.

Building Cabinets To Hide Washer and Dryer

Building cabinets to hide your washer and dryer is a pretty simple process. measure the sides of your washer and dryer.

When measuring the width of the sides, include the knobs and any handles that may extend on the front of the machines.

Remember that you will be adding doors to the front that need to be able to close all the way.

These side pieces should be tall enough to come up above the top of the washer and dryer to allow space for a countertop to be added.

Of course, if you have a top-load washer, you will need to leave that cabinet open on top.

Once you have the measurements for the length width and height of these side pieces, be sure to cut three of them.

You want one on each side of the washer and dryer and one to go between them.

From here, you can add a front framework. This may vary depending on your style of washer and dryer.

Assuming that you have two front load machines, you will want to frame around the front edges while leaving enough space that when the cabinet doors are open, you can easily open both the washer and dryer and can reach to control the buttons and knobs attached to the machines.

Once the front part is framed, you can add four doors with matching hardware, like handles or knobs. You will want to use sturdy hinges and ensure the doors open from the front center of both machines.

After that, adding a countertop is a straightforward process that will give you a wonderful space to fold laundry as it comes out of the washer and dryer.

This can also be a good place to store laundry baskets in any other items you may have that do not fit in cabinets.

The ability to close the doors on the front of the washer and dryer will allow them to disappear, making your laundry room look like a basic utility room.

This can add an upscale and luxurious feel to an otherwise purely functional room.

With the right cabinets, your laundry room can transform into a space as gorgeous as your kitchen.

Wrapping it Up

All DIY home renovations and projects are a bit scary at first- there are many horror stories about basic renovations gone horribly wrong.

By starting with your laundry room, you can easily avoid missteps and allow yourself the time and space to practice your skills before moving on to more visible areas of your home like your kitchen.

With so many options for adding cabinets to your laundry room, you can easily choose the look and storage space that fits your home and lifestyle. You will also be able to choose the cabinet layout that best fits your budget too.

Whether you choose to build your own cabinets from scratch or prefer to install premade cabinets, you will be glad to have the organization and clean look in your laundry room.

Adding cabinets to your laundry room will be one of the most useful upgrades you can give to your living space. It will make your laundry area nicer to look at and easier to use.

You will not have to worry about clutter and mess in your laundry room when you can easily tuck things into your new cabinets.

Even your washer and dryer can disappear behind decorative cabinet doors.

Ciao for now!

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