Learn how to add a wooden countertop for laundry room and utilize the space above your washer and dryer with this step-by-step tutorial.
When I decided to give my laundry room a makeover, one of the main features I knew was a must-have was a countertop.
Adding a countertop over the washer and dryer helps utilize the space above the washer and dryer by adding a lot of storage and function. It adds cohesiveness to your laundry room, making it a great spot to fold your clothes.
Material for Laundry Room Countertop
Picking the material for the laundry room countertop can seem very confusing. The countertops can be anything that fits your budget – from marble, Quartz, Laminate, Butcher Block to Plywood.
Originally I planned to use Butcher Block for the countertop because I love the 2″ thickness and the color of the butcher block. Even though it was pretty expensive, I went ahead and bought it. But when it came, I realized it was VERY heavy, and I knew I would have to pick it up and pull it down multiple times during installation.
Finally, I decided to use plywood. It was light enough for me to manage and move around. Plus, it is budget-friendly as well. Plus, it was easy to give it the thick and bulky look, as you will see below.
Laundry Room Countertop Supports
The first challenge that comes to mind when building the countertops is – how do you support them over the washer and dryer.
There can be various situations with your laundry room or laundry area:
- Three walls around the washer and dryer
- A freestanding laundry area with only one wall behind the washer and dryer
- Two Walls and one open side.
It doesn’t matter how many walls you have.
My laundry room had a cabinet on one side and a wall at the back. I will show you how to attach the countertops to cabinets and walls and add extra support on the open side so you can easily adapt the technique to your situation.
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- Countertop material. I am using birch plywood.
- 2×2 boards as supports. The cheapest option is to rip 2×4 boards lengthwise to create 2×2 boards.
- 3″ screws (for attaching to the wall)
- 2″ screws (for attaching to the cabinet)
- Toggle bolts (for attaching to the wall where you don’t have studs)
- Plywood for side support
- 2″ plywood edgebanding for countertop.
- 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- Stain in the color of your choice.
- Varathane spar urethane or Total Boat Halcyon finish.
How to Build Countertop for Laundry Room
There are two key steps to building the countertop for the laundry room :
- Adding countertop supports
- Cutting the countertop.
Step 1: Measure for the Countertop
There are a few measurements you need for the countertop.
- The size of the countertop itself. This will depend on the washer and dryer size and/or the available space you need to cover. Having it at least an inch deeper than you need is best. This is because the walls are not straight, and it will give you enough buffer to cut off the countertop to conform to the wall.
- The height of the countertop. The washer and dryer height and the space you want between the counter and the appliances will determine this.
Step 2: Attach the Supports
The supports are 2×2 boards. I ripped them out of 2×4 boards to stay budget-friendly.
Once you have the location of the countertop determined,
- Mark straight lines along the wall using a level.
- Mark the locations of the stud.
To attach to the cabinets, it was straightforward. I used 2″ wood screws to attach the supports to the cabinet walls.
To attach to the wall – you should have at least two studs on each support. If you do not have two studs for each countertop support, you must use toggle bolts to attach them to the wall.
In my case, one of the supports only hit one of the studs, so I added two toggle bolts to ensure the supports were well attached to the wall.
Step 3: Cut the Countertop
Remember, it is best to cut about an inch deeper than needed to account for the variations in the wall.
Once the counter is cut, place it on the supports to check for fit. Chances are that it will not fit well because of the variations in the wall.
There are two ways to deal with the variations in the wall:
- scribing – you run a pencil to trace the outline of the wall on the plywood
- Measure and cut – if there is a simple, measurable difference, you can measure and cut accordingly.
In my case, I saw almost a 4mm gap on one end and no gap on the other. I decided to try the measure and cut option and cut off the excess using a jigsaw.
This worked well for my case.
Once the countertop fit well, I also measured and cut off the space needed to fit around the drain cover.
Step 4: Finish the Countertop
Once the countertop size is final, it is time to add the finishing touches.
- Add faux thickness
I wanted the plywood to look thick. So, I cut strips of scrap plywood and attached them to the edges of the countertop using wood glue and clamps.
- Apply edgebanding
- Apply the final finish to the countertop.
Stain the plywood in the color of your choice and seal it well using a good quality sealer.
I wanted a light yellowish tone, so I applied spar urethane. I liked the color but wasn’t quite happy with the finish, so I switched to Halcyon, which was much easier to apply and very rugged.
Step 5: Attach the Side Support
In my case, there was no third wall or support. To support the countertop on that side, I added a sheet of plywood cut to size.
To attach this plywood in place, I attached a 1×3 board to the plywood using pocket hole screws.
Then I attached this to the wall by adding screws through the 1×3 brace into the studs.
Once again, the floor wasn’t even, and I had to use shims to ensure the side support and the countertop stayed level.
You can also attach the countertop to the side support using braces or screws, but I decided to skip that. I want to be able to move the countertop as needed in case we need to access the backs of the washer and dryer.
We have a removable countertop for washer and dryer, and it was so easy to put together. I have been using it for the last few weeks, and I can tell you that I am very, very glad I did this. Having a spot to fold clothes or keep the laundry basket is nice.
It was super easy to build. The only major cost of the project was the plywood, and one sheet of plywood was about $60.
I love having this countertop, and I highly recommend you build one, too if you don’t have one yet.
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Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"