How to Make Your Basement Watertight for Your New Utility Room

washing machine and clothes dryer
  • 60-150 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,000-5,000
What You'll Need
Waterproofing sealant
Tape measure
Concrete backer board
Utility knife
Concrete nails
Nail gun
2 X 4 lumber
Sheet rock drywall
Drywall mud and tape
Drywall screws
Carpeting or wood flooring

Constructing a utility room in your basement provides you with the additional space needed to do laundry as well as to fold and iron clothes. For most families, a utility room is a necessity, and a large unfinished basement may provide the perfect area in which to construct one. You will need to address any potential concerns regarding water seepage to make sure that the basement is dry and ready to use. Follow these steps to properly seal your basement and create a utility room.

Step 1 - Waterproof the Basement

Begin the project by checking the foundation walls and flooring your basement to determine if there is any water damage or seepage entering the area. Musty odors, dampness, and any unexplained water pools are all signals that your basement may not be waterproof.

Have a basement waterproofing company seal any area that you suspect may be suffering water damage. If the nature of water seepage or damage is minor, you may apply a waterproofing sealant to the walls and foundation in order to eliminate the problem.

Use floor fans to dry the basement and air out any musty odors that remain. Wash the floors with bleach or ammonia to disinfect the basement and eliminate any mold or fungus.

Step 2 - Build Stud Walls

stairway leading into the basement

Measure the area where the utility room is going to be built. The area that is immediately adjacent to the stairs is usually the best place to build a laundry room. Measure the dimensions and build 2 x 4-inch stud walls for framing.

Step 3 - Hang Drywall

Attach the sheetrock drywall to the stud walls. For the concrete retaining wall and the floor, use a concrete backer board. It will prevent moisture from entering the utility room and contaminating the area. Hang the sheetrock using drywall screws and attach the backer board concrete with nails. Use a utility knife to score and cut the drywall to fit. Make cuts for any utility outlets needed to connect a washer and dryer. An allowance should also be made for the utility sink and any plumbing connections for the washing machine.

Step 4 - Prepare the Walls

drywall on walls

Tape the seams of the drywall and apply drywall mud to the taped joints and screw heads which are used to secure the drywall to the studs. Sand the walls to prepare them to be primed and painted.

Step 5 - Lay Flooring

You can lay a wood floor or carpet in the utility room if desired. Use wood floor panels that can be purchased at a home improvement center and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. Carpeting can be purchased as tiles with an adhesive backing that may be easier to install in a utility room. Once the floor has been set in place, you can install the appliances and make the necessary plumbing connections. You are now ready to use your utility room.