A mudroom is a space that solves a particular set of problems. The most obvious one, of course, is avoiding mud and dirt (or sand, if you live in a beach area) from being tracked into the rest of the house. The members of your family need a place to remove boots or outdoor shoes and transition to their indoor footwear. Since it is difficult (and even dangerous) to try to tug off boots from a standing position, your mudroom will need a bench.
Not all houses are blessed with large entryways or back door spaces, so mudroom is a term that means different things to different homeowners: yours may consist of anything from a simple bench and some coat hooks to a separate room with a family sink and dedicated lockers and shelves for each member of the family.
In an ideal world, you would include the following features:
- A tiled or vinyl-covered floor that is easy to sweep and mop
- Hooks at various heights to accommodate jackets, baseball caps, or keys on lanyards
- A bench to sit on and change shoes that also doubles as a convenient place to set grocery bags or heavy packages as you enter and exit the house
- Boot trays or shoe compartments that fit neatly under the bench
- Cubby holes or shelves large enough to store rubber bins or woven baskets. These will give each family member an individual space for miscellaneous items. They also keep the clutter out of sight
- Floor mats (more practical than rugs)
- A bulletin board or whiteboard for family communications and reminders
If you are making a wall or walls within another room to create your mudroom, you will want to read our blog, Essential Tools to Hang Drywall Beautifully.
If you are tearing down a wall to create space for a closet or part of your mudroom, make sure to check that it isn’t a load-bearing wall before you do anything. You will also want to check for plumbing, gas, electric, or HVAC lines. Knock through the drywall with a sledgehammer and remove it from the studs. You can then use a Reciprocating Sawzall to remove the studs.
- To save floor room, mount your shelves or racks on the walls. You can buy premade shelves and use metal brackets to support them, or you can use purchased or salvaged wood. As always, measure twice (or five times!) and cut once.
- Plywood can be ripped to length (cut to size) with a table saw, or if you don’t have access to that tool, a handheld circular saw with a straight edge guide will work as well. Lumber (depending on the size of your space, you may need 1X12, 1X8, or another size) can be cross-cut (across the grain) or rip cut lengthwise with a miter saw or rip cut lengthwise with the table saw.
- To join the wood pieces, you could use a clamp and pocket hole jig to make pocket holes. Remember the stepped drill bit for the drill – it’s necessary for the pocket holes. Also, remember to use ready-made wood plugs that are specifically designed for use with pocket holes, as well as wood filler after the pocket screws are in if you don’t want the holes to show.
- A nail gun plus good old dependable wood glue is another option for joining the wood. Finish nailers are better for thick lumber; brad nailers will do the job on thin wood. Some people even use heavy-duty staple guns.
- You can paint the shelves and the wall – semi-gloss is best. Since the mudroom is a space halfway between your outdoor and indoor worlds, with humidity and condensation in the air and wet jackets being tossed around, go with washable surfaces wherever possible.
Do your research before you begin your project. There are a wealth of helpful videos available on YouTube, such as this one from This Old House: How to Build a Mudroom Storage Wall.
If you don’t have the right tools you need to build your mudroom, Northside Tool Rental has everything you need for the big job. Contact one of our experts today to discuss what tools you need and how we can fully equip you to get the job done. We have convenient locations in Marietta, Gwinnett, Doraville, and Buckhead. Call us at 404-233-6722 to get your project started.