Cabinets can be a great way to disguise a washer and dryer. While this technique can certainly be used in a laundry room, it can be especially useful when you don’t have a dedicated laundry. For example, if you keep your washer and dryer in a spare bathroom or an area adjoining the kitchen, cabinets can help blend the laundry appliances in with the surrounding area. You can build cabinets for any style of washer and dryer, although the technique works best with front-loading machines. You’ll need some basic construction and wood-working skills to make your own cabinets. If you’re not able to make them yourself, you could consider hiring a carpenter to make them for you.
Planning the Cabinets
First, measure the overall dimensions of the washer and dryer. You’ll want to allow at least four extra inches of width, as well as at least eight extra inches of depth. Make sure to allow enough space between the washer and dryer and the back wall. You should also allow a couple of extra inches of height. Using graph paper to sketch the dimensions can help you plan the pieces you’ll need. If you have a stacked washer and dryer set, design your cabinet to cover both of them, with one large door that can be opened to reveal the front of both. For a side-by-side front loading washer and dryer set, two separate doors work best. If you have a top-loading washer, you can still build cabinets, but you’ll need to design them so that the top countertop is hinged, at least over the washer.
Build the Framing
Building a cabinet frame with 2×4 framing lumber is the first step. Using your finished dimensions as a guide, create a frame that will accommodate the washer and dryer, using screw fasteners. If the countertop surface needs to lift up, create a separate frame for it. You’ll also need frames for the front doors. Use thinner lumber to frame the doors and top, to make them lightweight and easy to use.
Adding the Cabinet Walls
Once the frame has been constructed, cut 3/4 inch plywood to cover each side of the frame. Screws are the best fasteners to use, because they provide greater strength. However, screws should be countersunk and covered to create a neat exterior appearance. When constructing the top lid, using a laminate surface on the top will create a useful countertop area. Attach the doors using hinge hardware. When designing a top countertop lid for a top-loading washer, design it in a way that will allow it to be fastened against the back wall when in the open position, to prevent it from falling down while in use. Keep the lid as light as possible to make it easy to open and close.
These cabinets can be either stained and varnished, or painted if desired. A gloss or semi-gloss enamel paint in a light shade will make the cabinets bright, cheerful and very durable. If using stain and varnish, be sure to use a water-resistant product, such as an interior polyurethane varnish. Let dry, add door handles, and enjoy your newly disguised washer and dryer.