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Edition 07

How to design an efficient laundry room

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Designing an ideal laundry room that will run smoothly and efficiently requires the input of a local laundry equipment distributor, writes MARY ANNE ZITA.

The laundry room is an important room, however, and probably one that can benefit from a good design. Whether you are thinking about building a new laundry room or renovating an existing one, your job can be made easier if you work hand in hand with a local equipment distributor.  He will be able to share ideas on how to properly design the laundry room with the right amount of space and the proper equipment mix, tailoring the work flow to your facility’s unique needs. This will save both time and money because your  laundry will run more efficiently. 

Get the right supplier

Whenever you start a new project, always find a good distributor, whether you are designing the kitchen or, as in this case, the laundry room.  Several factors must be considered before selecting a distributor, including what kind of service they will provide after the sale, what type of service agreements they offer, how long the company has been in business and more.  A good distributor will be there for you after the sale, not just when its representatives are trying to sell you its products.

How much space?

The size of your laundry room will affect everything else in your laundry operation. To make sure your laundry room will be large enough, the first step is to determine the amount of laundry that you’ll be processing in a day. Based on that number, the laundry room floor plan should include 1.2 sq. ft. of floor space per pound of dirty laundry processed per day. Fifty percent of the total square footage should be dedicated to equipment, 20 percent to soiled clothes, 20 percent to space for folding and carts, and 10 percent to clean linen.  Allowing 1.2 sq. ft. for laundry processed daily may seem like a lot, but bigger is definitely better when it comes to the laundry room.

Selecting the right equipment mix

Choosing the right equipment mix will play a large role in controlling the labor costs of your laundry. An essential factor to consider is the size of the machines. As with determining the square footage needed for the laundry room, you must base your equipment selection on how much laundry your facility will process in a day, as well as how many hours each day you want to operate the laundry room.

There are various styles of washing machines in the industry. Features that affect operating costs are extraction speed, number of fill valves, rinse types, and programmable wash cycles. Your supplier can help you choose the right size machine for your facility, as well as one that is best suited for your linen and fabric requirements. A washer-extractor with a higher extraction speed, or g-force, will leave less water in the clothes at the end of the wash cycle, thus requiring less drying time and decreasing your costs for electricity.