How to Install a Laundry Chute

You'll love the convenience of 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

TIME

Weekend

COMPLEXITY

Simple

COST

$20 - $100

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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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