suggestions for building this please!

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Forum topic by rg33 posted 03-05-2014 01:25 AM 1372 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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83 posts in 2512 days

03-05-2014 01:25 AM

So the mrs. has tasked me with redoing the laundry room. Ive already tore out the wall and am redoing the plumbing but wanted to get input from the experts on how best to tackle this next part. She wants me to make something just like what is pictured here to cover the washing machine and dryer. She’s already picked out the black countertop but wants me to make the base. My questions are:
1)What is the best (cheap) material that can be painted, end up with a good finish and can take a bit of water splashing (from sink) from time to time? Baltic Birch ply? MDF? I hear that MDO is on the expensive side.
2)This thing needs to be sturdy for her to put laundry on top and maybe some heavier items from time to time too. Should I build a skeleton out of construction lumber, say 2X4’s and then wrap it with 1/2 ply, and solid lumber in the front or do I try building the carcass as I would for kitchen cabinets? Please help
thank you!
Oh I should add mine will be in the middle of the wall not a corner so has to be finished on three sides

13 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2277 days

#1 posted 03-05-2014 01:32 AM

Whatever you put on top of those machines will more likely create mold due to the humidity form both the washer and the dryer; unless you live somewhere very dry all year long.


View rg33's profile


83 posts in 2512 days

#2 posted 03-05-2014 01:45 AM

I hadnt thought about that but I think Im ok. Its southern california where our problem is mainly droughts and never humidity. Also the washer and dryer will be about 6 feet from the door to the back yard and the dryer will vent out the wall.

View AandCstyle's profile


3219 posts in 2767 days

#3 posted 03-05-2014 01:57 AM

If you have front loaders, you might consider putting them on a platform to ease bending over to load and unload them, but that would eliminate the need for a shelf over them. In this configuration I would use poplar to make the cabinet. It takes paint well and isn’t as susceptible to water damage as MDF.

-- Art

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 2075 days

#4 posted 03-05-2014 01:58 AM

I would frame it in 2×4’s and wrap it in baltic birch face framed just like you would a kitchen cabinet. beef up the top with 2×4 cross members ever 6 inches on center. I would anchor it to the back wall and the far wall with a french cleat in case you ever need to get behind it. Repair man or what ever, can be simply lifted off.

Paint and poly(a few coats) should be sufficient to protect it from water.


View bigblockyeti's profile


5976 posts in 2231 days

#5 posted 03-05-2014 02:06 AM

+1 to the construction lumber carcass and wrapping it with something nicer, MDO would be my recommendation if you’re painting, but for something cheaper, probably Baltic birch. I would definitely stay away from MDF, the tiniest nick in the paint and it would act like a sponge sucking up any and all water/vapor it could. I have mine on pedestals and sometimes it would be nice to have something over them despite the height, enough different chemicals are stored in the vicinity that when something does spill, a solid surface would make it much easier to clean.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Rb12's profile


80 posts in 2738 days

#6 posted 03-05-2014 02:09 AM

Recently did a similar renovation in our mud room for my wife. I used plywood for the supports painted white with a cleat screwed into the wall. I could not justify granite in the laundry room but it flowed into the kitchen; so I found a laminate that matched the granite well. Laminate is over partial board. The top sits on the cleats and can be removed for washer/dryer service.

View firefighterontheside's profile


20581 posts in 2367 days

#7 posted 03-05-2014 02:11 AM

Here’s what I would do. Lowes sells glued up panels in various sizes. Choose whatever size will work for your end panels. These will take paint well. Then make a face frame out of poplar. Make your top rail about 3” wide like in the picture to provide some strength to keep the front from bowing from the weight. Put a cleat on the wall for the top to rest on. Probably also need a cleat on the inside of the end panels on the floor to be able to anchor the panels to the floor. With a 2 – 2 1/2” front stile you will not see that cleat. Hope that helps.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 2238 days

#8 posted 03-05-2014 02:11 AM

3/4” shop birch plywood with a poplar face frame is what I would use.

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2277 days

#9 posted 03-05-2014 02:35 AM

California droughts are recent; but normal conditions there during Spring, Fall and winter is usually humid. Plan for the long run not the short term events.


View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2277 days

#10 posted 03-05-2014 02:41 AM

Also, make sure to create easy access to remove/replace these appliances. They don’t have the shelf-life appliances used to have 30 years ago. That means a few inches of play from the top so they can easily be jacked up and removed. The back side is just as important for plumbing maintenance as well. It might be a good idea to come up with a design in which the shelves themselves can be removed should the appliances need repair or replacement.


View SuperCubber's profile


1080 posts in 2794 days

#11 posted 03-05-2014 05:38 AM

I’m with Kevin.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4158 days

#12 posted 03-05-2014 07:00 AM

Face frame like Kevin said. I suggest ply instead of MDF for
the side because it will shrink back when it gets wet better.
Paint the bottom. Best approach would be to space
it off the floor 1/4” with glides, imo.

View rg33's profile


83 posts in 2512 days

#13 posted 03-05-2014 07:23 PM

Wow, thanks to all for the great input! RB12, our setup is going to be quite similar, I like the idea of being able to remove the top to get to the back of the washer and dryer. Kevin thanks for the illustration

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