Selecting equipment, deciding on a floor plan, and analyzing the workflow are all important tasks when it comes to designing a hotel laundry room. Whether you are starting from scratch or remodeling an existing space, taking time early in the planning process will pay off with an efficient, well-appointed facility. While it's essential that you work with your building planner or engineer, we also recommend consulting a trusted local commercial laundry equipment distributor with demonstrable experience in hotel laundry design. Their expertise will help to avoid overlooking important design factors that contribute to maximum operational efficiency. The following overview is meant to guide your initial planning. 

1. Consider Your Hotel Laundry Goals

A crucial first step in hotel laundry design is defining the goal of the space. This will inform almost all factors of your laundry room, from the equipment selection to the physical area needed for staging, sorting, and other tasks. Ask yourself these questions when determining an accurate capacity requirement and goal for the space: 
  • What capacity do you need to process? 
  • What linen types will be washed and dried? 
  • Is finishing equipment needed? 
  • How many run hours per day/week will you aim for? 
  • What other functions does this room need to serve (valet service, housekeeping, etc.)? 

2. Assess the Laundry Room Size

Design your hotel laundry room or select an existing space with a footprint large enough to accommodate all equipment, supplies, and tasks, but not so large that transporting linen from one machine to another is difficult or time-consuming. Get input from laundry operators to make a list of the ancillary supplies that will require storage or operational space as well. This might include wash tubs, detergents and stain removers, maintenance parts and tools, and shelving and tables. Also, if your hotel will offer valet laundry services, include a service counter or organization space in your measurements. 

3. Select Your Commercial Laundry Equipment

Starting with your estimated volume and frequency of usage, you’ll need to determine which equipment is best for your operations. There may be more than one solution for your washers, dryers, and finishing equipment that will fit into your budget and room layout. Reach out to your distributor for ideas or to help maximize your space and efficiency. Use these points to help narrow your decision:
  • Gas vs. electric power
  • Structural requirements (e.g. hard- or soft-mount washers)
  • Standalone or stacked machines
  • Technology & controls
  • Finishing equipment

4. Determine the Layout

Design the laundry room layout to create an efficient, logical workflow. An intuitive floor plan will reinforce best-practices for safety and laundry guidelines and help keep linens organized, from collection and sorting to folding and transporting. Use these tips to help structure your room design: 
  • Sequence the equipment in use-order to prevent unnecessary transport and extra steps. 
  • Locate additional fixtures, including sinks for handwashing and soaking tubs, where they are most efficient for operation. This means you may require more than one location.
  • Avoid back-tracking in your process that would cause clean linens to come into contact with soiled ones. 
  • Ensure that walkways will allow carts and staff to pass through safely, without impeding your workflow—especially in areas with pillars or other structural barriers. 
  • Remember to account for door openings, tilt machine operations, and other clearances.
  • Position valet laundry and management offices in locations that will not bring unnecessary traffic through active laundry areas.

5. Review Commercial Laundry Room Building Regulations

Appoint someone on your team or hire a knowledgeable subcontractor to review the design for compliance with local laws and safety regulations. Keeping these top-of-mind while designing the laundry room can provide foresight to avoid permit delays and rework later. It is likely you’ll find regulations from your state, city, and county, plus federal regulations, for many building codes, including: 
  • Fire safety suppression equipment storage, ceiling sprinklers, evacuation paths
  • Utility regulations for wastewater discharge and air exhaust systems
  • Labor safety and OSHA regulations (e.g. signage, physical limits, personal protective equipment)

6. Schedule Professional Commercial Laundry Installation

To achieve the best operation and ensure safety of your workers, commercial laundry for hotels must be installed according to the manufacturer recommendations. Work with your mechanical, plumbing, and electrical team—and look to WSD for machine expertise—to ensure proper installation. You may need to make concessions in your layout plans to adhere to required machine clearances or for utility needs, especially if using existing lines. 
Achieving a laundry room that’s efficient and effective is not only beneficial, but necessary in the competitive hospitality industry. Western State Design offers development and construction services with years of experience to help you through each step of the process.