Designing Your Mud Room
Originally a small room off the side or back entrance of a home where people took off their "muddy" boots, mud rooms have evolved into multifunctional rooms families use for storage, laundry and even showering. If you're considering adding a mud room to your home, here's some things to consider for your own mud room.
- The floor needs to be moisture resistant and easy to clean so choosing laminate flooring although it's attractive would not be a good choice. Good economical options would be vinyl flooring or peel and stick vinyl tiles. If you have a larger budget consider ceramic tiles which are great looking, highly resistant to moisture yet will last for years and stay looking good with just some damp mopping.
- Laying rubber mats on the floor during the winter or rainy season will help keep your floors looking good while providing a less slippery surface for people to walk on .
Storage, storage, storage
- You'll need to have lots of places to store boots, jackets, gloves, back packs and kids school books.
- Plastic dish pans (new or recycled) make a good place to store wet boots while keeping the water contained. Hooks on the walls provide convenient hanging spots for all kind of things including jackets and back packs and since they're on hooks things will dry quicker than if they are closed up in a closet.
- As well, umbrellas hung on hooks can "drain and dry" overnight and hooks hung at the appropriate heights provide a good place for kids to hang their school bags where they're easy to get at and the bags (and their homework) won't get lost "somewhere" in the house.
A shelf is a necessity
- Everyone has things in their hands when they come in, so they need a place to put them down where they won't get wet and dirty. A wall mounted shelf 12" to 16" wide can be a good choice, but even better could be some plastic boxes (like milk crates) stacked 3 high and laid on their sides to provide even more functionality. Not only will you end up with a shelf on top, but now you have cubby holes that can act as individual storage lockers. Assigning each family member their own row will allow them to have a place to keep their hats, gloves, and scarves.
You'll need a seat
- It a lot easier to take off wet boots while sitting rather than jumping around on one foot so include a bench of some kind in your mud room. If your mud room doesn't have much space you could include some storage with your seat by choosing a "deacon's bench " with a seat that lifts up and give you space under the seat to store gloves and scarves.
- Don't forget to include a mirror in your mud room since people are not just coming in, they're also going out. The mirror give them a chance for a last minute hair check before going out to face the world.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer whose work has appeared on numerous web sites, as well as in newspapers and books in both the US and Canada. He is often cited as an expert on home related topics and is a regular contributor to DoItYourself.com.