Ah, the laundry sink. That big, ugly plastic-tub-on-legs that, if you have an older home, is probably lurking somewhere next to your washer and dryer, probably in the creepiest part of your basement. If you know what I’m talking about, it probably comes as no surprise that laundry room remodels are on the rise. But if you’re looking to turn your dank, damp, cobwebby basement laundry corner into a slightly more hospitable place to do your laundry, don’t nix the laundry tub from you new design – these days, they’re more attractive than they used to be, and are still (almost) as useful as they ever were.
The historical precedent for a laundry sink is actually the wash basin, and while I don’t expect anyone out there is going to turn the clock back and start hand scrubbing all their skivvies in a Freestanding Sink, the same usefulness is still there. If you have a few pieces of stained or heavily soiled clothes, pre-soaking them in a laundry tub is much more efficient than filling your washing machine to soak a whole load before you start the wash. As well, it’s a great place to wash your delicates – you can soak and hand scrub your fragile clothing while your regular load is running.
And, really, it’s just nice to have a sink near your washing machine. I invariably get my hands soapy when I’m running a load of wash, and linty when I clean out the dryer trap, and it’s nice to be able to rinse off the gunk and pre-wash spray once I’ve chucked my clothes in the washer. Adding a few accessories, like this Wire Drying Rack and a removable work surface makes it even more useful, giving you a little more work space to scrub stains (especially if your stain remover is solid rather than a spray) and air dry soggy rags or socks that came out of the dryer just a little damp.
But the real revolutions in laundry and utility sinks are throwing out the old, typical, plastic Wash Basins that ultimately are just big tubs with feet and replacing them with much, much more useful and attractive vanities. You see, to make a utility sink earn it’s keep in a day where washing machines have long since overtaken wash boards, they have to be able to do something more than just hold water. Especially if you’re looking to move your laundry setup into a more hospitable place, at the very least the accompanying sink should have a minimum of one storage shelf underneath, like this Kohler Bayview Sink, and not be a complete eyesore.
Even better is something like this Harborview Sink, that can be mounted in a genuine vanity with multiple doors and drawers. This is especially important for a more well-trafficked and visible laundry area, and makes for a more pleasant laundry room vibe overall, as it affords quite a bit of hidden storage. Instead of having a pile of detergent bottles, dryer sheets, and fabric softener balls scattered wherever you can find a place for them, a laundry sink with a closed vanity affords you all the storage space you need to nix the clutter and keep your laundry area looking like it ought to – neat and clean as a folded towel.
If you aren’t planning on on washing a lot of delicates in your laundry sink, but still want to have access to a faucet, you might want to consider a smaller utility sink, like this Tandem Sink. It’s pretty bare bones, and much more compact than most wash basins, but that means you can either install it in a very small vanity which takes up almost no space, or as part of a larger countertop, which not only gives you tons of storage space underneath, but also leaves plenty of extra flat surface space for folding clothes once they make it out of the dryer. This sink also happens to be just the right size to rinse, and, with a strainer, air dry your stockings.
More concerned about floor space than storage space? A wall mounted laundry basin, like this one from Barclay, affords almost no storage, but also takes up hardly any space – it has a smaller footprint and more interior space than the Tandem sink. Because it doesn’t need to be mounted in a vanity, the actual space the sink takes up is all you have to take into consideration – your floor will be completely clear.
A two-legged console laundry sink, like this alternate installation of Kohler’s Harborview Sink is a good alternative if you do need a bigger sink, but want one that looks a little nicer than your standard back-of-the-basement setup. If you need some extra storage, you can wrap a sink skirt around the rim of the sink and store your stuff underneath – which gives you all the space you’d get in a vanity at a significantly lower cost.
Ultimately, a laundry sink is really just something that makes your life that little bit easier. Whether you need a place to soak your sweaters or a nice steady flow of water to help scrub that gob of baby spit off your favorite shirt before you toss it in the wash, having a sink close at hand while you’re doing your laundry can help streamline the whole process, and getting one you love to look at (and that can hide the stuff you’d rather not see!) can really make the chore a little less arduous.
Do you have a sink in your laundry room? Do you love it, hate it, hardly know it’s there? If you have a creepy basement washroom, are you thinking about remodeling, or moving it somewhere more hospitable? Let me know in the comments!