How to Build a Laundry Chute

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Build a Laundry Chute. No one likes lugging heavy laundry baskets up and down stairs. In multi-level homes, laundry chutes can save a tremendous amount of effort by eliminating the downstairs trek entirely. You can build a simple laundry chute with minimal work involved in the project. All you need is a cabinet, a circular saw and talent with a measuring tape.

Measure the exact distance between the walls and the location you want the laundry to drop on both floors. Triple check yourself for accuracy-cutting a hole into the kitchen ceiling by mistake is likely to ruin your day.

Purchase or build a small cabinet to cover the hole. A good pre-fab unit is a small bathroom cabinet. A laundry hamper can also work, but often they're not strong enough to withstand long-term use.

Put the laundry chute-covering cabinet in place on the top floor and be certain you're happy with the location. If the placement doesn't work for you, you must repeat Step 1 until you find a location you can live with. If you like the placement, mark it, remove the cabinet and then go downstairs.

Cut a hole through the ceiling; between the joists of the floor above. You can create the access point as cylindrical, square or rectangular; use what works best with your particular space constraints. However, it must measure at least 12 inches at the narrowest point. (Wider is better.) Make certain it isn't too large for the cabinet to cover. Go back upstairs.

Make a hole through the bottom of the cabinet to match the hole in the floor. If the shape is odd, put the cabinet into place and trace the cut from underneath; reaching through the hole in the first floor ceiling.

Line the cabinet with aluminum flashing for cleaning ease. This also prevents wet clothing and towels from damaging the cabinet's interior. Custom fit the flashing around the access hole to keep edge damage from occurring and small items from sliding between the cabinet and the floor.

Finish by securing the cabinet to the floor and adding a childproof latch to the door. For safety, it must not be accessible to small children. Place a large laundry basket beneath your new laundry chute and it's ready for use.

Tips

  • By making a ceiling/floor laundry chute, rather than running one through the walls, there is only one easy-access point where the laundry can get stuck. Wall units are more costly and labor intensive, and trapped clothing can become a problem.

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