Installing Mudroom Cubbies in the Walls

  • 40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 350
What You'll Need
Plywood
Circular saw
Drill
Drill bits
Screwdriver bits
Screws
Shelf bracket
Coat hooks

Built-in mudroom cubbies will help keep seasonal mud, sand, and rain from getting any farther into your house. The ideal mudroom has a place for everyone's things to be kept off the floor. Consult these hints and tips for installing built-in mudroom cubbies in the walls of your mudroom.

A Cubby for Every Person

When planning the layout of your cubbies, ensure each person in the family is assigned a cubby, even the tiniest toddler. Having a place now for their coats, boots, and necessity bags will save time as you get them ready to go out. When they head off to school, you can enlarge their cubby space as needed.

The flexibility of Cubby Size

Design the cubbies with adjustable shelves and a seat that can be raised as the user grows taller. Use wall panels that have pre-drilled, measured shelf bracket holes for each cubby so adjusting the shelf and seat placement is a breeze.

Depth of Each Cubby

When installing the cubbies into the walls, allow a minimum depth from front to rear of 15 inches. This will provide room for padded seating for children to put on and remove their boots and shoes safely and comfortably.

Width of Each Cubby

Each cubby should be 15 inches wide, whether for adults or children. If there are four people in the family you will therefore need at least 60 inches of wall space for cubbies. Vertical partitions between cubbies should be at least 1/2 inch thick for stability, so add another 2 inches of width for a 4-column arrangement.

Height of Each Cubby

Make the cubby wall with the base of its top-shelf 6 feet above the floor. Use this shelf for out-of-season storage, such as winter accessories or beach towels.

Shelf Levels

The most visually pleasing mudroom has all the shelves at the same levels within all the cubbies. However, for family members of varying ages, it is more practical to set seating at 12 inches above the floor for the smallest members and hang their coat hooks at 3 feet off the floor. Put a shelf 3 inches above the coat hooks to allow for the hanging of bulky ski jackets and hooded parkas. If you use shelf braces to support the seating and shelves, you can adjust these upward as your littlest ones grow.

More than Four People Using the Mudroom

If you have more than four family members, add more cubbies beside the existing ones if your wall width permits. Otherwise, divide a vertical cubby into two sections at the middle, with the younger child getting the bottom section, and an older child using the upper one. These two children will need to share boot storage for a few years. If possible, add more cubbies on the opposite wall of the mudroom, or on the wall at right angles to the main cubby wall.

Materials

Build your mudroom cubbies out of sturdy materials that are water and stain-resistant. Use scrubbable oil-based paint on the cubby walls, and moppable vinyl, rubber, or ceramic tile on the floor. Removable, washable cushion covers on cubby seats will keep your mudroom cubbies looking and smelling fresh all year round.