Install a Mud Room Shower and Keep Your Carpets Clean
Tracking in mud and leaves after a long walk or outdoor work can cause a constant battle against cleanliness for keen gardeners, people living in the countryside, or those who are keen on getting outdoors in all weather.
Hours spent on keeping living areas clean and tidy can be quickly lost with disorder caused by a muddy boot. At best, this creates more cleaning tasks – at worst the stains can be permanent, requiring a costly professional clean or even replacement furnishings. This problem is further compounded when youngsters are thrown into the mix. Often cold after winter or autumnal walks, children can be very keen to get back into the warm, bringing the outdoors in with them. This is complicated further with a dog’s muddy paws!
The ideal solution? A shower before coming back into the house.
Farmhouses have always had mud rooms or boot rooms because there is no other way to keep farmyard muck out of the kitchen. Many people are considering the introduction of a mud room – a dedicated area, inside the house and away from the elements but designed for the removal of muddy gardening and sports clothes, storage of outdoor equipment and incorporating a small shower area to provide the opportunity to get warm and clean before entering the house.
Mud rooms come in all shapes and sizes, and here we consider some of the designs and fixtures that may be included in a mud room.
Cleaning and Showering
The main purpose of the mud room is to get everyone clean before entering the house, and to keep muddy clothing and equipment from getting into the house.
With this in mind, the ideal mud room has a small, private shower area that can be used by all members of the family (even the dog). As discussed later, tiled or concrete flooring is ideal as it can be washed quickly when messy. This provides options around drainage – meaning that a separate drain for the shower may not be required.
Those with a mud room may also want to consider a sink, for those who need a wash rather than a full shower. The sink may also be used for cleaning some smaller items of kit.
Flooring and Surfaces
The mud room and mud-room shower has to be easy to clean, and not suffer any long lasting effects when subjected to mud and other grime brought in from the outdoors. Tiled or concrete floors and walls should be seriously considered. These can easily cleaned, with mud and leaves being swept away, and any remaining dirt washed with a traditional mop and bucket approach.
The owner of the mud room should not be too precious about the fixtures and fittings – they will get dirty! For example, it is best to tile the walls so they can just be wiped down rather than wall paper or paint that will constantly need repair and replacement.
Many mudrooms incorporate benches as a place to sit and remove boots. The benches are often a durable, easily cleaned hardwood, longer lasting than other options such as fibreboard which can be damaged easily.
The mud room shower should have its own storage area with a large supply of towels, soaps and shampoos. A change of clothes should also be to hand, or at least dressing gowns – to save the temptation of getting back into muddy clothes before entering the house.
Ideally, the mud room should have all of the clothing needed. In addition, cupboard space for outdoor equipment – boots, sports gear, rucksacks – can be built in to avoid the need for them to be taken into the house.
Many use the mudroom as the location of a washing machine. This makes a lot of sense – it saves room in the house, and allows dirty clothes to go straight into the wash before threatening carpets and furnishings in the house. There is, however, the danger of clean washing being taken from the machine and landing on a dirty mud room floor – rather removing all the benefits!
Now take a look at these …
Phil Turner spent a long time looking at walk-in shower enclosures when he was refurbishing his bathroom recently.