Standard laundry spaces and clearances



European laundry 

A European laundry (i.e. a laundry in a cupboard) lets you 'borrow' space from living areas when it's needed.

There’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ size for laundries, any more than there is for any other room. Laundry rooms come in all shapes and sizes, but regardless of how big they are (or even if they're integrated into a different space like a kitchen or bathroom), there's always a need to ensure that there's enough space for:

  1. Washing machines, dryers, sinks, benches and laundry storage, and
  2. Moving around and working safely.

There are all kinds of ways to provision for both of these requirements - even in smaller spaces.


Typical space required for washers and dryers

Ideally, your building designer, architect or builder will decide what's best, and should know with a good amount of confidence how much room's required for your laundry appliances, storage and workspaces.

Washers and dryers are usually designed to fit into small spaces, but they'll still need a small amount of clearance to ensure that they're properly ventilated, and that they don't ruin your cabinetry when they vibrate. If you're not sure if yours has enough space, check your owner's manual to find out how much clearance the manufacturer recommends.

Below is a rough idea of the space required for different things in your laundry. If you plan on installing an unusually big machine, this is definitely something you'll need to tell your builder or designer about.


Standard spaces for front loading washing machines / dryers:

  • Width: 800mm (average machine is 600-700mm wide)
  • Depth: 800mm (average machine is 600-700mm deep)
  • Height: Average machine is 800mm to 900mm tall.


Standard space for top loading washing machines:

  • Width: 800mm (average machine is 500mm to 700mm wide)
  • Depth: 800mm (average machine is 500mm to 700mm deep)
  • Height: Average machine is 800mm to 1100mm tall


Stacking a front loading washer and dryer (or mounting the dryer on the wall with a purpose-built bracket) can help to halve the amount of floorspace they occupy.


Laundry design tip 
  • If you're going with a front-loading washer and/or dryer, talk to your designer about the possibility of mounting your washing machine at about 40-50cm above floor level - either in raised cabinetry with a drawer or void underneath for your laundry basket, or on a freestanding pedestal or bracket. This helps to save a bit of precious space, makes it far easier to load and empty your washer and dryer, and makes things easier to access should you or anyone else ever have a back problem or a mobility issue.


Laundry trough dimensions and volumes

Again, there's a bit of freedom in terms of what you want from a laundry trough. If you're installing a workbench and cabinetry, you may want to use a drop-in or under-mount style sink for your laundry basin.

If not, you can also opt for a one piece, free-standing 'laundry-trough-and-cabinet' type setup. Laundry troughs are typically made of stainless steel (which is quite durable).

Laundry troughs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and may feature:

  • Side drain boards
  • Double tub configurations
  • Various different shapes
  • Basket wastes


Typical laundry trough volumes:

  • 30L
  • 45L (the most common size)
  • 70L

While these sizes are generally the more common options, laundry troughs do come in all shapes, sizes and volumes.

The 'depth' of laundry troughs (i.e. the distance from the front of the trough back to the wall) can be anywhere between about 350mm and 600mm - for practical reasons (i.e. to ensure they fit most benches, and to ensure they're not difficult to reach over) they're rarely 'deeper' than this.


Standard laundry bench sizes

Bench height

As with kitchen benches, laundry benches are typically about 900mm high. This height suits most people, but if you're more comfortable with a higher or lower bench this can be set at anywhere between 850mm and 1050mm.

Bench depth

The average nominal 'depth' of benches is about 600mm, although this can vary depending on space constraints, materials being used and other design considerations.



Ideal clearances

For reasons of convenience and safety, there are some basic recommendations in terms of the amount of space you should ideally have in front of your bench, trough and appliances. Designing with these distances in mind will also help to ensure that your house is usable for people with mobility issues.

The recommendations made in Livable Housing Australia's design guidelines are intended to act as a guide to what's likely to be best for those with mobility issues or disabilities - and given that Australia's got a rapidly ageing population, it's always a good idea to take them into account. Livable Housing Australia provides two different clearance recommendations, based on their gold and platinum performance levels:

  • Gold level: at least 1200mm clearance provided in front of fixed benches and appliances
  • Platinum level: at least 1550mm clearance in front of fixed benches and appliances


European laundries (i.e. compact laundries built into cupboards) are a great way to ensure there's plenty of clearance available without having to allocate dedicated floor space. These typically also use pocket doors which slide into the wall cavity, or a set of bifold doors, to further reduce the amount of space that’s needed.