Do You Need a Sink in the Laundry Room?

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A sink is a great addition to any laundry room, and can even help you save on water and detergent. But is it necessary?

While a sink in the laundry room is nice to have, it’s not necessary as long as you have a plumbing fixture that allows for your washer’s water to drain into the sewage line.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of having a sink in your laundry space, as well as some helpful tips for installing one.

Why Do You Need a Sink in the Laundry Room?

What is a utility sink used for? The purpose of having a sink in the laundry room is to allow you to have a larger basin where you can treat heavily soiled clothing, soak clothes, and wash household items that won’t fit in a regular kitchen or bathroom sink.

Many people call this sink a “slop sink” because it’s ideal for dirty jobs like emptying the cat litter box, cleaning dirty pet dishes, and washing out paintbrushes.

In order to decide whether or not a utility sink in your laundry room is necessary, take a look at this list of pros and cons:

Pros of Having a Sink in the Laundry Room

Here are some of the benefits and conveniences of having a utility sink in your laundry room:

It Makes It Easier to Hand Wash Clothing

When you have a utility sink next to your washing machine, it is easy to hand wash your clothing while you run the washer.

This is great for when you need to hand wash delicate clothing such as undergarments and hosiery. You can easily hang dry your clothes in the utility room, too. Just set up a small clothes drying rack near or in your sink.

It Saves on Water and Detergent

You can use the sink to pre-rinse especially dirty clothing before putting them in the washer. This will help save on detergent and water usage because your clothes won’t need as much agitation during the wash cycle.

It Makes It Easier to Sort Clothes

When it’s time for laundry day, a utility sink makes it much easier to sort your dirty clothes into dark, light, and colored piles. While we don’t normally think of a sink as an organizing container, this is precisely what you can use your utility sink for!

It’s easier than creating piles of dirty or clean clothes on top of your washer or dryer, which makes it hard to access your machine’s buttons. This also makes it more likely that a sneaky sock or two will fall behind the machine.

You Can Water Your Plants In a Utility Sink

It can be nice to water your houseplants directly with tap water, but this can be challenging if your plants are too large for your kitchen or bathroom sink.

The solution? Just use the utility sink, which has more space. You can also let the plants sit there for a while so the dirty water can drain out.

Related: Does a Laundry Room Need a Floor Drain?

It Makes It Easier to Mix and Apply Cleaners Like Bleach

If you’re treating different clothing items with different solutions, such as vinegar, ammonia, or bleach, it’s very important to keep them separate.

When these cleaners are combined together, they produce very toxic gases.

Mixing and applying these cleaners in a utility sink is much safer, especially if you have two separate basins in the sink.

It helps to make sure that there isn’t cross-contamination while allowing you to work on several different treatments at once.

It Makes Washing Pets Easier

If you’ve ever tried to give your dog or cat a bath indoors, you know how messy things can get.

A large sink is a perfect place to give your furry friend a bath. Since this area is separated from other living spaces in the home, you don’t have to worry as much about getting soap, dirt, and water all over.

You can also use this area for other messy jobs, such as giving them their monthly flea treatment or trimming their nails.

You Can Clean Larger Items Easier

If you want to wash larger items such as buckets, mop heads, or other bulky cleaning supplies, you’ll need more space than your kitchen or bathroom sink provides.

A utility sink can provide this extra space for large items that won’t fit in a regular sink, such as long-handled tools and gardening supplies like shovels and hoes.

It’s also easier to clean this sink out afterward without having to worry about the debris getting onto your dishes or kitchen countertops.

It can serve as a mud room 

If your kids are anything like mine they run through the laundry room from the garden covered in mud to get to the bathroom to clean their hands.

A laundry sink with handwashing facilities reduces the chance of them trampling mud all through the house.

Also, if you decide to add a toilet to your laundry room, this is a must-have for hygiene reasons.

Cons of Having a Sink in the Laundry Room

Here are some reasons why you might not want to have a sink in your laundry room:

It Adds One More Thing You’ll Have to Clean

A utility sink will need more regular cleaning, especially if it’s being used for messy jobs like cleaning pets or mixing chemicals for washing.

You’ll want to make sure you’re regularly cleaning it so that there isn’t buildup, which can cause mold or bacteria to grow.

It Adds Another Drain to Your Home’s Plumbing System

If you already have drain problems in your home, then you might not want to add one more drain that could potentially cause issues with the rest of your plumbing system in the future.

You Might Not Have Adequate Space

If you don’t have a place in your laundry room for this sink, then it might not be worth installing one. You’ll want to make sure that there’s ample space so the sink doesn’t get crowded out by other items or appliances.

It Adds Extra Cost

Utility sinks are expensive, and if you’re already on a tight budget, then you might not want to spend more on this feature.

It Can Look Messy

If things aren’t contained within the sink and instead are just piled up around it, it can look messy and unorganized.

You’ll need to consider whether or not you have space in your laundry room for this area of clutter before installing this option.

Can You Have a Washing Machine Without a Sink?

Having a sink in the laundry room isn’t necessarily required, but it can make life much easier if you have one.

If you have a smaller home or laundry room, you can definitely get by without one. Here are some other things to consider:

You Can Use Your Kitchen Sink for Some Laundry Tasks

Though it might not be the best idea in terms of cross-contamination, you can use your kitchen sink if there’s nothing else available. If you’re just doing laundry or washing clothes with regular soaps and detergents, this is an okay option.

You Might Need to Use a Portable Sink

If you need some extra space for washing and rinsing things like mop heads or buckets of water, then using a portable sink might be your best bet.

These can easily be stored away when not in use and don’t require as much set up as a permanent sink.

It’s Easier to Wash Pets in the Shower

If you have a pet that you bathe at home, then it might be easier to use your shower for cleaning them instead of a utility sink.

This is especially true for larger breeds. You can also simply wash them outside with a hose if you want to avoid making a big mess in the bathroom.

Placing down a tarp and several towels outside can help reduce any mud or debris from being tracked inside after the process.

It Might Be Easier to Hand Wash Your Laundry Elsewhere

Since utility sinks can get pretty dirty, you may prefer to clean hand-wash-only clothes separately from your regular laundry.

You may choose to use another sink in your house, or your shower. Both are capable of soaking your clothes as well.

Many laundry machines now have a setting for hand-wash-only clothes, and you can definitely experiment with this option to try to save time and effort overall.

Can I Put a Utility Sink In My Laundry Room?

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to install a utility sink in your laundry room, then you’ll need to consider a few things before going forward.

Here are some questions that will help guide your decision:

Do You Have the Space?

You’ll want to make sure there’s enough space for this sink so it doesn’t get crowded out by other appliances and items in the laundry room or house overall.

You’ll also want to make sure that the sink doesn’t get in the way of the doors of your washer and dryer or any nearby cabinets.

Does the Laundry Room Have Drain Problems?

If you already have drain problems in your home, then you might not want to add one more drain that could potentially cause issues with the rest of your plumbing system in the future.

What Codes and Regulations Exist?

Local building codes and regulations will determine whether or not you can install a new sink in your laundry room. You’ll want to consider this before moving forward and check with your local permit agency to see if you’ll need any approval for changes made in this room.

Are There Any Safety Concerns To Be Aware Of?

If you have children or pets, then you’ll want to make sure that the utility sink is properly secured and high enough from the ground so they can’t get hurt by it.

You’ll also want to take great caution when installing the sink itself. Make sure to turn off your home’s water supply line. You should also turn off any circuit breakers providing electricity to your laundry room.

Should I Install the Sink Myself?

Utility sinks are fairly straightforward to install, but you may want to consider hiring a professional.

This is especially true if your laundry room has existing plumbing or electrical issues that will need more effort on the part of an experienced plumber and electrician.

How Much Does It Cost?

You can expect to spend anywhere from $350 to $500 for a professional to install a sink in laundry room. If you’re doing it yourself, you may be able to get the cost of materials down to $80 to $150.

This may vary depending on where you live and the specific brand of sink that you choose to install in your laundry room.

You can generally expect prices to be cheaper if you’re able to do some of the work yourself, but not all plumbing experiences are created equal, so it’s wise to hire someone who knows what they’re doing.

How Long Will It Take To Install?

You can expect to take anywhere from five hours to a full day depending on the type of sink you’re installing and whether or not you choose to do it yourself.

If you have a professional doing the installation, then it shouldn’t take them more than 6 to 8 hours.

How To Install a Utility Sink In the Laundry Room

While this is by no means an exhaustive how-to guide, here are the steps that you’ll be taking during the installation process. This can help you get a sense of the scope of the job, so you can decide whether or not you want to do it yourself.

1. Purchase Your Sink

You’ll need to make sure you have a sink that’s appropriate for your laundry room before getting started.

Most utility sinks are deep in design and can either be installed on top of a counter or they can be recessed in the floor with only an overflow drain line showing above ground level when it’s completed.

2. Assess The Layout

Before you get started, it’s wise to take a look at the layout of your laundry room and study how it may affect where you can place the utility sink.

You’ll want to see if there are any laundry room doors that will cause problems with installation or moving appliances in and out of the room. You’ll also need to know whether or not there’s enough room to work around the sink.

It’s also important that you consider where your home’s existing plumbing lines are located since they’ll need to be connected during installation.

3. Remove Your Drywall

If you’re recessing your sink on the floor, then you’ll need to remove all of the drywall and any existing tiles or linoleum. You can use a circular saw with a masonry blade for this task.

4. Drill Into the Studs

You’ll need to drill into the studs in your laundry room floor or wall. You should be able to attach a flange from underneath that can hold up the sink basin as well as install any faucets and drains you may want at this stage as well.

If you’re installing on top of a counter, then you won’t have to drill into the studs since it will be supported by the cabinet underneath.

5. Tap Into the Drain Line

In order to get rid of excess water from the sink, you’ll need to tap into your home’s drain line. This can be done with a P-trap and tailpiece that are connected by flexible tubing.

If you’re installing your sink on top of a counter, then your laundry room sink will likely have its own built-in pump.

6. Attach Your Copper Stubs

The last step is to attach your copper stubs so that you can run the water supply lines. You’ll also want to make sure that any air gaps are filled before installing it on top of a counter or sinking into the flooring. If this isn’t done correctly, then it could lead to leaks later down the line which will cause extensive damage.

7. Assemble Your Tubing

Before you can connect your sink to the water supply, you’ll first want to assemble all of your tubing. This includes attaching a P-trap below the drain line and putting some Teflon tape onto any threaded connectors that will be used for connecting faucets or valves.

8. Add the Trap and Faucet

Now you can attach the P-trap to your laundry room sink and put on any faucets or valves that you want. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when doing this.

9. Reinstall the Drywall

Once your sink is in place and you’re satisfied with the layout, then it’s time to reinstall drywall or tiles where necessary.

And You’re Done!

The last thing you’ll need to do is attach the water supply lines and turn on your home’s main shutoff valve in order to test everything out for leaks.

Final Thoughts

This should give you an idea of what goes into installing a utility sink in the laundry room! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then go ahead and hire a plumber to do the work for you.

What’s the biggest benefit of having a laundry sink in your home? Let us know in the comments!


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.

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