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wiz561 04-02-2011 07:30 AM

Building a Washing Machine Drain Pan

We just moved into our newly built house and the washer and dryer are on the 2nd floor. The house did come with one of those plastic drain pans for the washer, but it's a piece of junk. It sometimes moves around with the washer and causes the drain pipe to come out of the floor drain. We just had the washer repaired, and the repairman forgot to put the drain hose back in the drain. When my wife did the washer, guess what happened. It was raining in our kitchen.

I love the idea of having the washer on the 2nd floor, but I'm always uneasy about it because of accidents like this. I then started thinking thismorning of maybe building a tray area myself. I was thinking of squaring the area off with 2x4's, put a flange in the floor drain, put some of that waterproof membrane they use on holmes on homes (dikstra, dykstra?), then tiling over it. This way, if it leaks, all the water will be directed to the floor drain, there's no plastic drip tray anymore, and it will look a lot nicer.

I was wondering if anybody has any opinions about my idea. Has anybody done this before? Any tips? Any reason not to do this? Any codes I should watch out for?


Stephen S. 04-02-2011 07:48 AM

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My friend just got this house and her 2nd floor laundry room has exactly what you are planning to do.

wiz561 04-02-2011 08:10 AM

Yes, that is EXACTLY what I want to do!!

Did she do it herself or was it already there? I'm trying to figure out the details.... Some questions would be...

- I would have to cut the linoleum and take it down to the subfloor. Not really a question, more like a confirmation.
- Should I use fiber board, cement board, or that bright orange dykstra stuff?
- If I tile the walls half way up, should I put the tiles on the wall, use fiber, cement, or dykstra?

I know I'm calling it dykstra but dykstra doesn't turn anything up in google. It's a bright orange waterproof membrane that has little squares in it.


Willie T 04-02-2011 08:11 AM

It's Schliiter-Ditra, I believe. And it is supposed to resist transmitting movement and vibration. Probably a good thing where a washing machine is running.

Stephen S. 04-02-2011 08:22 AM

Wiz561: It was already there when she got the place ... Yes the orange waterproof membrane with squares is Schulter-Ditra but you may need Kerdi instead since Ditra is used on flat flooring. You'll need to build the base like a shower pan with sloped flooring, then Kerdi membrane for the base/ Kerdi band for wall/floor transition and corners then tile over the Kerdi.

You can use cement board for the wall as you're not really building a shower so water should never get on to the wall so waterproof membrane is not needed.

wiz561 04-02-2011 08:24 AM

Yes, Willie, you are 100% correct. That is what I was trying to think of for the name.

Since I don't want it attached directly to the subfloor by way of a thinset, I think I might lay 1/4" OSB or fibercement board down first. If I ever have to take it up, I'd rather not have to cut through the subfloor.

Thurman 04-02-2011 11:15 AM

FWIW department: In my area there are very few 2-story homes, but I have had to repair many floors rotted out by washing machines which have leaked. Some with, and some without the owner's knowledge of the leakage. One idea I try very hard to talk the homeowner into is a sheet metal pan which the washing machine is placed into, and a suitable drain is attached to running under the home and to the outside. Or is a slab home, draining out of one side to an outside wall. These are readily available at a local sheet metal shop and they generally cost in the $38 range. They are galvanized and soldered at the lapped seams. Just another idea.

wiz561 04-02-2011 11:48 AM

thanks for the sheet metal idea. I think that would work, but I think it would be hard to get everything lined up. That's the problem I'm having now with the washer pan and the drain. There's a pvc pipe with a few elbows running out of the side to reach the drain, and it just makes it. If the washer wiggles the pan, the pipe pops out. I've tried to redo this, but the hole in the plastic pan is a little too big. Bottom line is that I wrestled with this thing for awhile and I think I would rather make something more permanent.

Nonetheless, thanks for letting me know about the sheet metal option. It's a good idea and hopefully it will give somebody else other options.

HarknessConst 04-03-2011 02:51 PM

+1 on the sheet metal pan. The sheet metal shop can come out and measure for it or you can make a wood template for them. That tile pan just looks like a lot of maintenance and cleaning to me, it is a laundry room after all.

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