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Clothes drying cupboard

Growing in Experience
Growing in Experience


A laundry cupboard converted into a clothes dryer using with vents and Kaboodle cabinetry. 





The project


This project was undertaken as part of a much larger complete laundry renovation (which is of course still underway).


We wanted a clothes drying solution for the cold and wet weather which did not involve having clothes horses scattered around the house over heater vents. The house was built in 1989 and has heater vents in the floor.


With three kids and two adults, we can produce a fair amount of washing very quickly, which is hard to get dry through the winter months. We have the heater on anyway, so we may as well use it.


The solution was pretty simple - a large cupboard with a heater vent. We installed Kaboodle cabinets and drawers in the new laundry design. For the drying cupboard, we used a double-door pantry, which gave us a useable interior width of about 870mm.



Even with a cupboard this wide in a relatively constrained space, we have ample storage space through drawers and overhead cupboards. The laundry is roughly 2.6 x 2.4m - not tiny but not huge either, so the drying cupboard represents about one third of the space on one wall.


We had to cut a hole in the floor and relocate the heater vent, bringing the duct through the floor and up into the base of cupboard. The Kaboodle kick panel hid this - we also sealed around the duct to avoid drafts.




As the cupboard had an end panel, and the laundry bench with under bench drawers to fix to on one side and the wall on the other, there was more than enough rigidity provided that we could leave out the fixed centre shelf.


As the heater vent is in the base of the cupboard, we were able to vent into the ceiling, using natural air movement to vent rather than an exhaust fan. We debated the need for an exhaust fan, however, we thought we'd see how we went without it. We've been using it for two winters with no humidity or mildew issues (excuse the lint in the picture). 


The vent into the ceiling was achieved with a standard grill vent and flexi duct through a hole into the ceiling space, just as any exhaust fan or range hood. We built a bulkhead between the top of the cupboard and the ceiling to hide the ducting. We debated whether to use the duct or simply leave it as a plenum with a hole into the ceiling, but this may have led to some condensation issues, so we went with the duct.



We just cut a circular hole in the flooring under the cupboard and aligned a rectangular hole above it in the floor panel of the cupboard. We made sure we allowed for the position of the cupboard feet, so that the hole in the floor did not encroach on where the feet land (we were very close in the centre front).




We installed an adjustable rack system that gave us two levels and put a standard wardrobe/towel rail across the top to hang items from. The best approach is anything that can be hung, like shirts and hoodies, can go on hangers and pants etc. can go on the racks. We still use the clothes dryer for socks and undies etc. There is a small gap between the racks and the cupboard wall on one side which allows a long item such as a dress or coat to be hung - this was more good luck than good planning.


We have a 10kg washer and the cupboard takes the full load easily. Generally, the washing is dry within a day or so, depending on how much is in there and how much the heater is on. Wet shoes can go on the floor or on the racks, depending on the space available.


We sealed the predrilled holes for the pantry shelves with small plastic caps, which gives it a nice finish.


We had one small issue with one of the doors warping due to overheating - this was when the heater was in there cranked up as high as it could go. This was a concern for me as I had heard of other similar projects where the doors had warped. As long as the heater is kept on a low setting, this issue is avoided and once everything had cooled down the door returned to normal. The normal ducted heating presents no problems.


And before you ask - the dryer and washing machine are not side by side as there had to be a cavity under the other bench to allow access to a hatch through to under the house, so that is where the dryer has gone.


The drying cupboard on its own was a relatively easy project, especially as it was done within a larger laundry renovation so there was ease of access to install and cut holes in the floor and the ceiling etc.


One final note - the picture below shows the as yet incomplete laundry with the cupboard on the right-hand side. We use a Kaboodle twin side mount pull-out bin for the dirty clothes basket (whites in one, colours in the other). This was my wife's idea, and I must admit I was sceptical, however it works a treat and is right next to the washer. All the cupboards and benches are Kaboodle.




Home Improvement Guru

Good afternoon @John916 

Loving that drying cabinet and the thought that has gone into it! Much better then running a dryer and associated power bills :smile: I havnt come across heated vents/heater centraly before. But really like the idea of using heat that is already being produced. Nice way of thinking.



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