If the laundry room is located on a different level from the sleeping and dressing area of the home, lugging heavy laundry baskets is a way of life. A laundry chute eliminates this annoyance, allowing you to place laundry into a hole upstairs so it can travel to the laundry room downstairs. By taking advantage of gravity, homeowners save themselves time and effort transferring laundry.
You will need:
• Stud finder
• Tape measure
• Cordless drill or driver
• Drill bit set
• 4-in-1 screwdriver
• Reciprocating saw
• Drywall saw
• Tin snips
• Utility knife
• Taping knife
• Preassembled laundry chute door
• 3.25 x12 or 14-inch galvanized heating duct
• 90-degree elbow containing 6-inch register opening
• Sheet metal screws
• 2×4 wood
• Duct tape
• Drywall compound
Step 1: Before beginning this project, check with the local building inspector to ensure the chute is permitted under fire codes. Some communities limit or prohibit laundry chutes, especially the type that are at least two stories tall and offer an unobstructed path for fire and smoke to spread.
Step 2: The best place to install a chute is in a hallway that offers an unobstructed path between floors. Walls that run parallel to floor joists or contain studs stacked directly on floor joists underneath are best. Locate two studs with the stud finder and bore an exploratory hole to verify whether obstructions are present. If not, proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Open the wall where the chute will be placed by removing the baseboard carefully and cutting the drywall with the utility knife. The opening should be 42 inches high down the center of two studs.
Step 4: Use a handsaw or reciprocating saw to carefully cut out the base plate between these studs. Work the base plate out carefully because trim and drywall may be nailed to it.
Step 5: Cut a hole in the plywood flooring to insert the duct. Insert a 2×4 section of blocking at the top of the cutout between the studs. This serves as a surface for nailing the laundry chute doorframe.
Step 6: Cut an opening in the laundry room ceiling with the reciprocating saw.
Step 7: Snap the pieces of rectangular duct together. Expand the opening on the 90-degree elbow to make it just a bit smaller than the laundry cute door opening, using the tin snips.
Step 8: Trim and fold the opening flap and install the chute. Attach the duct to the top blocking and studs on both sides with sheet metal screws.
Step 9: To prevent clothes from snagging on the edges of the opening, duct tape the joint between the two inside pieces and tape the edges of each opening.