The Ultimate Mudroom Checklist

The Ultimate Mudroom Checklist

Floor drainage and a bath can help a mudroom clean up its dull image.

A great mudroom can be much more than an entryway closet and some coat hooks. It can include anything the client wants, and even offer the chance to sell and install plumbing fixtures and features.

For instance, a couple with two dogs might want a floor sink for a pet-washing station, a cupboard for dog food, and enough floor space for dishes and crates. The family with school-age children might appreciate an attached bathroom where everyone can clean up before tracking dirt into the house.

"When people have lived in a home for awhile and understand how it works, they see how a mudroom can help organize their lives," says Stephanie Bryant, CKD, with Hinsdale, Ill.-based design/build remodeling firm Normandy Builders. The opportunity for designers, builders and plumbers, she says, is to help homeowners customize their mudrooms to truly suit their individual lifestyles.

Image courtesy of Christian Brothers Cabinets

A mudroom makes for an excellent addition to any home

Today's consumers are recognizing that the right mudroom, with the right features, can be a tremendous lifestyle enhancement to their homes. And if homeowners ask your advice on making the most of their mudrooms, here's a checklist that covers the most comment elements -- plus some of the latest ideas and trends.

Plumbing. Many families appreciate a bathroom located just inside the outside door, especially if there's a pool in the yard. A utility sink can be a very handy feature for washing off everything from muddy boots to freshly picked vegetables from the garden. And given that many laundry rooms today are located near the bedrooms, a stacking washer/dryer combination offers a convenient, compact way to deal with sweaty sports uniforms and wet towels without dragging them through the house.

Image courtesy of Christian Brothers Cabinets

Utility faucet and sink

Storage. Infinite arrays of choices are available, from lockers, closets and cabinets to cubbies and wall hooks. Roswell, Ga.-based architect Johnna Barrett says storage system design should be based on the specific needs of the client. At her house, each family member has an enclosed cabinet so everything is inside, which keeps the space tidy.

Lighting. Since this is a space that's designed to organize stuff, you need good lighting. Mark Conroy, an interior designer based in Atlanta, Georgia says his goal for every mudroom is to include as many windows as possible. He tries to locate the mudroom on an outside wall or in a breezeway. "We work hard on getting natural light into the space," Conroy says. "That really makes a difference."

Upgrade lighting and storage in a mudroom

Flooring

"Flooring needs to be able to take abuse," Bryant says. "Things will be thrown down on the floor, so natural stone and tile are good choices. Depending on how much muddy traffic comes through, consider a stained concrete floor with a floor drain so you can hose it down."

Ventilation

As a transition space from the outdoors, mudrooms can attract a host of unpleasant smells, including soiled shoes, gardening and workout clothes, and pets. That makes good ventilation imperative. "Make sure you have supply and return air registers in there," Barrett says. "Put supply registers up high and the return down low so that odors in the room will be pulled down and out."