Apartment laundry rooms should have one washer and dryer per 10 units


An apartment laundry room is one of the most valuable amenities you can offer to your residents. Most American families wash up to 300 loads of laundry a year — that’s a ton of demand! Multiply that by the number of residents in your building, and you’ll quickly see why your building needs a laundry room.

Apartment laundry rooms are easy to install but are much more difficult to manage effectively. In this guide, we’ll go over what it takes to set up a laundry room in your building. Next, we’ll explore the benefits of a laundry room in your building. Finally, we’ll provide six simple tips that will make your laundry room more satisfying for residents.

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How big is an apartment laundry room supposed to be?

The answer to this question depends on how big your property is. A laundry and dryer next to each other equals about five feet horizontally across. However, you can also stack washers and dryers on top of each other. The number of washers and dryers you’ll need depends on how many units are in your building.

You’ll need to install dryers in your laundry room first so you can line them up for proper ventage. Ventage should lead outside through windows or piping.

Additionally, you’ll want space for a sink, tables for folding laundry, and comfy chairs for people to sit in. You may also want to install a floor drain and choose a location with concrete floors. Thus, apartment laundry rooms are usually located in basements for this reason.

These parameters are true no matter what type of multiunit property you have, including student housing.


Watch to learn the top 8 amenities for apartments:


How many washers and dryers are in an apartment building?

There should be a washer and dryer for every 10 units in your building, with two washers and dryers minimum.


Does a laundry room need a sink?

Yes, and we recommend a utility sink. Some clothing, whether it’s muddy or covered in food, needs to be hand-washed before being placed in a washing machine. You don’t want the drainage systems in your washing machines to get clogged, so it’s a good idea to provide residents with a cleaning station.

Also, utility sinks can come in handy for cleaning more than simply clothing. From pets to shoes to sports equipment and even grill racks, providing your residents with a space to clean is important. Otherwise, they’ll track messes throughout your building.


How much is it to put in a laundry room?

Installing a laundry room can range wildly from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $50,000. However, that high end of the cost would only apply if you need to do major renovations on your building in order to fit a laundry room.

Most likely, there’s already space in your building’s basement for a communal laundry room. In this case, all you’ll need to purchase are laundry machines and their installation fees.

Washers cost between $300 and $2,000. Dryers run between $300 and $1,700. Installation for each can be between $300 and $700.


An apartment laundry room can make your residents' lives easier


What are the benefits of an apartment laundry room?

Laundry rooms in apartment buildings are not only vital for your residents, they benefit you in several key ways.

The benefits of apartment laundry rooms are:

  • Access to laundry machines can be a deciding factor when it comes to residents choosing where they want to live.
  • As with all amenities, you can use it as a valid reason to charge more rent.
  • Convenience. Many people only have time to do laundry after work, so having access to a communal laundry room saves residents time. Additionally, it allows them to be closer to their living spaces and is especially convenient if they have small children.
  • Amenity fees. It’s okay to charge residents a fair fee to use your laundry machines. In addition to the cost of replacing machines, they use a hefty amount of water and electricity.
  • More room for tenants. In-unit laundry machines can take up a ton of space that your residents may be grateful to have back.
  • As opposed to in-unit laundry machines for every resident, a laundry room saves you on water costs and maintenance fees.


6 ways to improve your apartment laundry room

The vast majority of ways to improve your laundry room require a little creativity as opposed to a lot of money. The suggestions below are relatively easy to apply and will be sure to improve your residents’ lives.

Here are 6 effective apartment laundry room ideas:

  1. Establish rules
  2. Upgrade to smart laundry machines
  3. Maintain security
  4. Install proper lighting
  5. Offer convenient payment methods
  6. Provide supplies


1. Establish rules

Apartment laundry room etiquette doesn’t always come naturally to people, so it’s important to make the room’s rules visible to residents. We recommend signage throughout the room. If possible, a big poster-sized list of community laundry room rules would be perfect.

You should also send a laundry room letter to residents at least once so you can say the rules have been clearly communicated.

Rules should include:

  • Cleaning etiquette
  • A reminder to pick up after oneself (including specific examples of wiping up detergent)
  • A time limit on how long laundry can remain unattended
  • Rules against stealing or touching someone else’s laundry (this may seem obvious, but it should be stated)

Your rules can also include your apartment laundry room hours. However, we recommend that your laundry room be accessible 24/7. Many people work odd hours and have limited opportunities to do laundry. And if you install smart lights, you won’t have to worry about the room wasting electricity anyway.


apartment laundry room with washers, dryers, and a sink


2. Upgrade to smart laundry machines

Smart laundry machines are the future. They make it easier than ever for residents to do laundry — and they can also save you a ton of money. Just make sure that your building’s WiFi can reach your apartment laundry room.

The best features of smart laundry machines are:

  • App functionality. Residents can see when their laundry is done through a laundry management software app on their phones. Laundry can be scheduled remotely. Residents can also change the settings on a specific machine. This eliminates the conflict of residents being late to retrieve their laundry.
  • Diagnostic checks. Smart laundry machines can better tell you what’s wrong with them when something breaks.
  • User friendly. Smart washing machines provide on-screen instructions for users to operate their different settings.
  • Accessibility. Smart laundry machines can also be used with voice commands.


Watch how to use the ButterflyMX keypad:


3. Maintain security

Stolen or vandalized laundry is a big concern among residents. So in addition to security cameras, you should also install an access control system such as the ButterflyMX keypad at the door to your laundry room.

The ButterflyMX keypad:

  • Allows residents to conveniently access the laundry room through their smartphone or a personalized PIN code.
  • Takes a photo each time someone enters the room. Staff can review this audit trail at any time.
  • Empowers staff to remotely unlock the laundry room door, which can be helpful when granting access to maintenance workers.
  • Integrates with other systems in your building such as your video intercom.


4. Install proper lighting

Installing proper lighting is especially important if your laundry room is located in the basement. Basements are typically dark and dingy, which is the exact opposite of what your communal laundry room should be. This is a common mistake that many property managers make, so don’t let it happen to you!

Install bright fluorescent lights or smart bulbs throughout your laundry room. In addition to providing enough light so that residents won’t lose any of their darker clothing in the shadows of your room, this will help with cleanliness. Many stains and spills can be hard to see without sufficient lighting.


5. Offer convenient payment methods

Nobody should have to go digging through the center console of their car for laundry room quarters in today’s digital age. Instead of coin-operated machines, you should offer easier forms of payment.

Alternative options to coins are:

  • Readers that scan debit and credit cards.
  • Payment cards that can be refilled from a nearby payment card station that accepts cash.
  • App-based payments. Apps such as Coinomatic link up to your machines and allow residents to pay through their phones.

All three of the above options aren’t a bad idea. At the end of the day, the more options residents have to pay can only help you profit.


Providing detergent in your apartment laundry room can keep your machines running efficiently


6. Provide supplies

Take advantage of your apartment laundry room as a community space. You should provide vending machines that carry detergent and snacks/drinks (just don’t put them in the same machine!)

You can provide residents with convenient treats and supplies while profiting off of fair prices. Additionally, a major benefit of providing detergent for residents is that you can ensure that the detergent works with your machines. Off-brand detergent can destroy some washing machines or make a mess.



  • Your laundry room should reflect the size of your building, with a washer and dryer for every 10 units.
  • An apartment laundry room will likely cost a few thousand dollars but can cost as much as $50,000 if renovations are required.
  • The benefits of a laundry room are that it will attract and retain residents and make you money through increased rent and amenity fees.
  • Our tips for managing a successful laundry room include establishing rules, providing smart laundry machines, and offering multiple payment methods.
  • We also recommend controlling access to the room with a cloud-based keypad, installing adequate lighting, and providing supplies and snacks through vending machines.


if you need a keypad door entry system, try ButterflyMX

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Nick Manzolillo

I'm a Rhode Island-based writer fascinated with real estate development, the inner workings of the real estate industry, and how real estate and technology blend together.

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