What is a Laundry Chute?

Carrying a basket full of dirty clothes down the stairs to the laundry room sounds like an evident mismatch in modern houses with automatic lights, intelligent devices, and a variety of other high-tech amenities.

A laundry chute is a fantastic addition to any home, specifically in multi-level houses where carrying crates of clothes can be hazardous.

Installing a chute that hauls dirty laundry downstairs or laterally will dramatically reduce the number of unnecessary steps you climb in a day. Plus, you’ll maintain a neater living space because the heap of clothes would be out of sight.

But one question that many people ask “Is it worth the hassle?”. Keep reading to find out more about the laundry chute and decide the answer for yourself.


Do all Laundry Chutes have the same design? 

The exact layout of a laundry chute varies depending on the structure of the building. However, most laundry chutes come with a door to conceal the cavity when not being used.

This door is pivoted at the bottom, allowing the user to effortlessly push or hatch it downwards while putting in dirty clothes before washing.

The hatch of the chute stays hidden and secure behind a wall ensuring that no one tampers with it.


Different Types of Laundry Chutes

  • Lateral styled Laundry Chutes (From one room to another)

A lateral chute transports laundry from one room to another. It is generally built inside the shared wall of the laundry room. 

The laundry is routed laterally through an entrance door (often built in a closet), eventually ending in a disposal bucket or bag on the adjacent side of the wall.


  • Multi-storied Laundry Chute (From one floor to another)

A multi-storied laundry chute transports clothes vertically between floors.

Laundry is dropped through the wall using an in-wall chute. A metal duct (1/4-inches thick) is installed in the wall cavities to facilitate unwashed clothes.

In-wall chutes are streamlined, occupying little space and fitting seamlessly into any area. However, the narrow funnel deters bulkier garments and mattresses from passing through.


Tips for Installing a Laundry Chute

If you plan to install a laundry chute in a commercial residency, prepare to interpret a slew of codes and regulations. 

Within the residential realm, you must adhere to IRC rule 602.8, which deals with fire blocking.

In addition to adhering to the safety codes, all cavities made for the chute’s installation must contain a valve or duct. All constructions have to take place using authorized fire-proof components only.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you begin installing your laundry chute.


  • The ideal time for installing a Laundry Chute

While installing a laundry chute inside a new house is relatively straightforward, building one into an existing structure requires planning and effort. If you install a laundry chute in a pre-existing building, you will need to cut through your walls and flooring. 

If you’re renovating the bedrooms or adding a separate laundry room, installing the laundry chute during the framing process would be a great idea. The wall studs remain exposed during the framing process and can be easily adjusted.


  • Place of installation

While it’s essential to pick a convenient location for the chute conduit, it is even more necessary to choose a place that fits the entire chute structure inside your house.

Two locations that have stood the test of time and are considered the best route from the attic to the basement start from the leading waste lines in your bathroom. For starters, look for a stud rack that descends into the basement without any wiring or piping interference.

Prepare to drill a few tiny experimental holes and check the back of the walls if you have no idea what lurks beyond them.

Hallways are also excellent, mainly if their walls parallel the underlying floor joists. It is important to note that a laundry chute should bend slightly in its path to avoid an impediment and let clothes down without a problem. 

The curve must be gradual, and the architect has to map it according to the structure of your house.


  • Door placement of the Laundry Chute

Although the door’s design depends on the home, experts recommend installing a raised door to prevent children and pets accidentally falling down the chute line. 

State building rules may limit the chute’s size, positioning, and form. They may also necessitate including a backdoor to prevent flames from going up the chute line in case of fire.


  • Fire safety, permits, and codes.

It would be best if you got a building permit before you can begin the construction of a laundry chute. 

Among other regulations, Section 713 of the International Building Code (IBC) mandates laundry chutes to come with a one-hour fire-resistance rating. Additionally, all ports and vents should have a minimum one-hour fire-resistance rating.

Veteran builders from the National Association of Home Builders recommend contacting local building authorities to obtain the latest version of the safety code and any latest amendments.


Not into DIYs? Contact a Professional

If you are hesitant to drill into the walls and floor, contacting a contractor or carpenter would be a great idea. Professionals will be able to help you plan and install your laundry chute without any hassles.

Larger, air-powered laundry chute systems that transport laundry from separate rooms to a central collecting location are also available. These devices will need to be installed by a specialist since the whole process has a lot of intricate details to be taken care of.



After considering everything, it is safe to say that if you do not live in a multi-storied house, taking the pain to install a laundry chute is not worth it. 

If you live in an apartment and your washing machine is next to your living room, going through the hardships of installing a brand new laundry chute is not a good idea.

But if you live in a multi-storied house where walking down the stairs with a basket full of clothes is an everyday problem, getting a laundry chute will help you out.