Laundry Room {shelf behind washer and dryer}

By Pinktoesandpowertools | Home Improvement Projects

Are you tired of seeing those ugly washer and dryer hookups in your laundry room?  This beginner woodworking tutorial walks you step-by-step through how to hide washer and dryer hookups.

This is an easy solution for hiding your laundry room hookups that lets you flex your beginner woodworking muscles.  But don’t let this easy DIY project fool you–it has big impact once you are done!

Here is a picture of my laundry room before I hid the hookups:

This has driven me nuts since we moved in and I finally had a first floor laundry room.  I discovered that all the hookups behind the washer and dryer were not covered up by the washer and dryer.  I never thought about it when my laundry room was in the basement.

And it looks gross–I don’t know what sprayed in that box back there, but that is NOT water.  And I refuse to clean that.  I don’t like cleaning my kitchen sink, much less climbing back there and cleaning that out.  Nope.  Not doing it.  Now I don’t have to!

This simple woodworking project really makes a big impact!  This shelf not only hides the laundry hookups, it also adds a place for some storage or a space for some decorating.

how to hide washer and dryer hookups

How to hide the hookups behind a washer and dryer

Step one: Attach a cleat

easy diy project to hide washer and dryer hook upsAttach a cleat in the recess under the cabinet with pocket holes using a Kreg Jig (more info on what that is here).  The Kreg Jig makes it so easy, but you could attach this with wood screws.  The downside is that it will be harder to hide the screws.  Also, make sure you use plenty.  The shelf is pretty heavy and this cleat is holding it up.

The cleat needs to come out far enough that the washer and dryer hoses and cords have room behind the shelf you are going to attach to the cleat.

You will be building a box around the laundry hookups to hide them.  This cleat is the top of the box.

Step 2: Build an L-shaped shelf

organize laundry room while hiding washer and dryer hose and cords

Make an L shaped shelf out of 1/2″ or 3/4″ plywood.  This shelf is the front of the box you are building around the laundry hookups.

Warning: it will be heavy if you use 3/4″ plywood.

I used 3/4″ ply rather than 1/2″ (which would have been ideal) because I was already buying 3/4″ ply for the built-in bookcases in my daughter’s room. Rather than buy additional sheet goods, I used the scrap from the bookcases.

simple diy project to hide ugly washer and dryer hookups

Attach the shelf to the back with the Kreg Jig pocket holes.

Use glue and pocket hole screws.  The length of the screws will depend on which plywood you chose to use.

Use glue and wood screws through the back into the shelf if you don’t have a Kreg Jig.

Glue and nail a 1×2 on the face of the shelf.

This covers the edge of the raw plywood for a nice finish.  It also gives your shelf a lip so that anything you put on there won’t shimmy off if the spin cycle on your washer isn’t balanced!

Attach a piece of wood to each side of the cleat

Attach a piece of wood to each side of the cleat that you already attached to the bottom of the cabinet.   You want the front edge to be even with the cleat you attached to the bottom of the cabinet.

The shelf rests against this so you want it straight and even.

The sides you just attached are the sides of the box you are building to hide the laundry hookups.  The wall is the back.  The bottom is open for the hoses and cords to your washer and dryer.

Step 4: Finish the shelf and the sides

Fill any holes with wood filler, sand, and paint or stain your project.  This is easier to do now rather than once you have it installed.

I primed, painted, and attached some board and batten to my laundry room shelf to mimic the board and batten in the rest of the room.

Step 5:  Attach the piano hinge to your shelf

I used a piano hinge (also called a continuous hinge) to allow us to still access the power and valves behind there without moving the washer and dryer.

Step 6:  Attach the shelf to the cleat

Finally, you attach the shelf to the front edge of the cleat under the cabinet by screwing in the piano hinge.

I needed help for this part!  It was heavy and you are using your drill while trying to hold it up.

Tips for hiding your washer and dryer hookups

You might want to modify your plan from mine in one way.  When I swing the shelf up to get behind it, the very right and left corners hit the existing cabinet.

This problem might not affect you depending on how your cabinets have been built.

Right now we can only open it enough to awkwardly get under there and turn off the water when we leave for a few days.  But we don’t get in there all that often, so we don’t mind this problem.

step by step tutorial on how to hide washer and dryer hookups

So much better than before!
Thanks for all the suggestions in the comments section of one of my laundry room posts to solve this problem!  Especially to Julie at Follow Your Heart Woodworking whose idea was the one I made work in my space 🙂
Linking this to:
Build{Hers} Club at Sawdust and Paperscraps
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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