What Is a Mudroom?

The space helps prevent the outside world—and all of its dirty elements—from getting to far inside your home.

If you have kids or live in an area that is excessively rainy, you likely dream of having a space where the family can kick off their dirty shoes, unload their wet coats, or even stash unsightly necessities like umbrellas and duffel bags. Enter the mudroom. This space is a common area used by homeowners looking to keep more of the outside world from coming inside their home. Ahead, exactly how to make this nook work well for your family.

mudroom storage diy project
Charles Maraia

Utilitarian Entryway

A mudroom is an expanded entryway space that functions as a buffer between the exterior and interior of your home; it's where your family members take off their coats, footwear, and other items, like school backpacks, explains Michael Glenmullen, a Compass real estate agent with the Petrowsky Jones Group. "Think of them as the 'gateway' to the main living area of your house, serving as a first defense against water and dirt being tracked in," he says. Mudrooms always exist in an entryway nook and are typically found off a side or back door; the front door should be saved for a more stylish foyer. "They are usually tiled and have benches, as well as storage areas for bulky clothes, boots, and equipment, like shovels and rakes," Glenmullen says.

Flooring Matters

Consider the fact that mudrooms are more common in areas that experience challenging weather, notes Glenmullen, and it makes sense that flooring type is arguably the most defining element of this space. "It's important to keep in mind that mudrooms will get the most foot traffic in and out of your house. The flooring you choose is very important," he adds. If you're in the process of adding a mudroom to you home, opt for solid flooring, such as ceramic tile, luxury vinyl, or even stone; these options are more durable than hardwood or carpeting when it comes to wet weather.

Mudroom Downsides

Yes, these spaces come with plenty of benefits—like increased organization and weather buffering—but they also have their downsides. "The space can get quite messy if it isn't cleaned regularly," Glenmullen says. "Mudrooms also only have a singular purpose (unlike a living room with a large TV that can double as a media space, for example)." And unless you're going to Pinterest your way to an interior designer-level space, they aren't always attractive—so they definitely don't make the best party entrance.

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