The laundry room is often quite cramped, and it is difficult to place household appliances there so that it is convenient to use. To save space, many install the dryer on top of the washer using the stacking technique. In this article, you will read why it is worth considering other placement options very well before building two-level structures.
Stacking household appliances has a number of disadvantages, the most obvious of which is the danger of the dryer falling. There are other disadvantages associated with additional costs for fasteners and rubber mats.
If you want to stack your washer and dryer on top of each other, you’ll need to hire professionals to make sure the structure is solid. It is impossible to do this alone, because the dryer needs to be lifted up, and it weighs about 50 kg. From the point of view of additional costs, such structures do not make sense if there are other location options. The following describes the main disadvantages associated with the two-level placement of the washer and dryer.
Inconvenience of use and problem with height
A two-tier design is not the best choice for those who can hardly reach the top shelf in the kitchen. Yes, stacking your washer and dryer saves space and may seem like the perfect solution. But it is very inconvenient for a person with short stature to use such a design.
Difficulties will arise when you need to get the laundry out of the washing machine and throw it into the dryer, and then also set the required mode on the dryer. The difference will be especially felt if there has already been experience in using household appliances installed side by side.
Just imagine having to use a chair/ladder to fill and activate the dryer every time you go to the laundry room or bathroom. This can be dangerous, especially if the floor is wet and slippery.
Along with these shortcomings, another disadvantage appears – the limited choice. You will have to buy front-loading models only.
Possibility of structure falling
The very first question that you should ask yourself, giving preference to installation in a column, is the reliability of the fasteners. You need to buy special fixing systems and make sure that the wall can withstand the load. Thin walls made of plasterboard or other fragile materials cannot provide reliable fastening.
If you do not fix the dryer, there is almost a 100% chance that it will fall. During operation, the equipment vibrates and shifts from its place. If the dryer falls, it will damage itself and ruin the washing machine and floor.
Still decided that you can not do without a two-level design? Invite professional installers. They will assess how much load the wall can withstand and properly mount the fasteners.
At first glance, it might seem like a good idea to stack cars on top of each other. So there will be additional space for placing furniture, plumbing or other items. But in reality, two-level structures are not so practical, and during operation there are still such disadvantages:
- damage to the top of the washing machine from constant friction;
- impossibility to use two machines at the same time;
- the likelihood of cracks on the wall in the area of fastenings (from frequent vibration);
- faster breakage of some parts due to strong vibration from a nearby appliance.
Washer and dryer dimensions
Each manufacturer produces models of different dimensions, but the size of most of them reaches 100 cm in height, 75 cm in width and 85 cm in depth. And if you put the devices on top of each other, then almost 2 meters of vertical space will be occupied.
To see the best options for the location of equipment, you can visit the city laundries. There, the appliances are installed by professionals who know how to place the machines so that they can be used safely and efficiently.
To create a two-level design, it is better to buy household appliances from one manufacturer. Models will have maximum compatibility in size. The washer and dryer must be the same size, or the former must be larger. The option when the dryer is larger than the washer is completely unacceptable, this leads to additional risks.
Stacking Safety Considerations
To install a dryer on a washing machine, a fixing system is required, which is usually sold separately. With its help, you will secure the structure and the surrounding objects around. The fastening system evenly distributes the weight of the dryer over the washing machine and fixes it in the air so that when the lower one shifts, the upper one does not fall.
There are fixing kits that simply connect two cars together and keep them from moving away from the wall. More advanced systems are also sold, for example, with a pull-out shelf for folding clothes. They look good, but increase the overall height of the structure, which requires unnecessary movements with a stool or stepladder.
Mounting systems must match your washer and dryer models. When buying, be sure to check the compatibility of devices with clamps.
In addition to the mounting system, you will need rubber mats. They absorb noise and any vibrations that the machine creates.
Is it possible to use stands for household appliances
On sale there are so-called stands designed to create a column from a washing machine and a dryer. They look like shelves. This stand is located between two devices.
According to studies, placing the dryer on top of such a stand is unsafe and makes it difficult to access the control panel of the device, as it further increases the height of the structure. A pedestal with a pull-out shelf is a good option when appliances are placed side by side. In this case, you will lift the washer and dryer, and you will not have to bend over much to carry out the necessary actions with the laundry.
Perhaps you have already tuned in to a two-level design and thought that this is the best layout option, and this article sowed a seed of doubt in your beliefs. But there are other ways to arrange appliances so that you have a convenient and functional laundry room. Here are some options:
- Parallel installation. If space permits, this is the best option. Here you will have a huge choice: top / front loading machines, models of different sizes and manufacturers. This will provide more chances for saving money, plus no need to spend money on fastening systems.
- Hanging the dryer. This is also a two-level design, but the difference is that the dryer will not rest on the washing machine, but will stand on a shelf that is securely fixed to the wall. And if you wish, you can hang the dryer anywhere in the laundry room, not necessarily above the washing machine.
- In different rooms. If your wall can’t support a tumble dryer and the size of the room doesn’t allow for side-by-side appliances, you’ll need to put them in separate rooms. Yes, it can be uncomfortable and lead to unnecessary body movements, but you will be sure of your safety.
- Combined washer and dryer 2 in 1. This is the best space saving option when one appliance does both functions. Such a model will fit into almost any laundry room. In terms of characteristics, it is in no way inferior to mono models, but the only drawback is that such a device is quite expensive. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy two separate cars than one combo.
Before installation, you need to make sure that household appliances have all the necessary communications: electricity, water, sewerage and access to ventilation. There should be at least 3 cm from the wall to the appliances. If you still settled on a two-level placement of equipment, remember that the dryer should always be on top, and not vice versa. The washing machine is heavier than the dryer and generates more vibrations during operation.
You can start installing household appliances in the column on your own only if you are sure that you will do everything correctly and securely fasten the fixing structure.