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How to Install a Laundry Chute

You'll love the convenience of a laundry chute. It'll save you time and energy with fewer trips up and down stairs. We show you how to find a wall location and install one.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

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    Figure on about 4 hours. But you'll have to spread it over several days because you have to cut open and then repair a wall.

How to Install a Laundry Chute

You'll love the convenience of a laundry chute. It'll save you time and energy with fewer trips up and down stairs. We show you how to find a wall location and install one.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Step 1: Find a suitable wall without obstructions

If you live in a house without a clothes chute, you're probably sick and tired of running up and down the stairs from your bedrooms and bathrooms to your laundry room, toting baskets of dirty clothes and towels. If you can find a suitable location, consider a laundry chute!

Installing a laundry chute can be a breeze if you have an unobstructed path between the two floors—or impossible if you encounter wires, plumbing or other obstacles.

The best place for a chute is often a hallway. The job is easier if the wall runs parallel to the floor joists or the studs in the wall are “stacked” directly on top of the floor joists below. Use a stud finder to locate two studs, then bore a small exploratory hole to check for obstructions.

Step 2: Install the metal duct

To make the chute, use ordinary 3-1/4 in. x 12- or 14-in. galvanized heating duct. You'll also need a 90-degree elbow with a 6-in. register opening and a preassembled laundry chute door. These materials are available in the plumbing and heating sections at most lumberyards and home centers.

Caution!

Some communities have strict fire codes that prohibit or limit the installation of laundry chutes, especially those that are two stories tall and present an unobstructed pathway for smoke and fire to spread. Check with a local building inspector before starting the project.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Tape measure
    • 4-in-1 screwdriver
    • Drill/driver, cordless
    • Drill bit set
    • Drywall saw
    • Reciprocating saw
    • Utility knife
    • Tin snips
    • Taping knife

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Metal duct
    • Laundry chute door
    • Duct tape
    • Sheet metal screws
    • Drywall
    • Drywall tape
    • Drywall compound
    • Sandpaper
    • Primer
    • Paint

Comments from DIY Community Members

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1 - 5 of 5 comments
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July 06, 10:25 PM [GMT -5]

My House has a laundry Chute that was installed when the 1929 house was built.
It is great because you don't have to carry laundry up and down stairs. it is about the length and width of a kleenex box but still fully functional. just make sure you don't stuff
cloths down like there is no tomorrow. if your community doesn't have anything against it, get a laundry chute

March 22, 10:34 PM [GMT -5]

I did not install one but my house was made with it. I LOVE IT. there are no fire codes against it in my community because the houses were built with them! :) if you can, install a laundry chute!

July 24, 4:50 PM [GMT -5]

Can you use a medicine cabinet door?

February 05, 8:26 PM [GMT -5]

Be prepared to assemble and install your own door. We live in a large city and couldn't locate a single place that sold a "pre-assembled laundry chute door." You can find some on the internet, but the cost is very high. Also, the instructions aren't very helpful on an easy way to cut out the subfloor. We ended up drilling large pilot holes on all 4 corners of the chute floor (after removing the drywall), then using a reciprocating saw from the basement to cut out the hole. In the end, this project will have taken us about 10 hours of work! And we're both fairly handy folks...

April 26, 6:08 PM [GMT -5]

This might be what I get my wife for Mother's Day! Big Smile

 

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