If you’re thinking of adding a washing machine and dryer to your home, you might wonder whether there’s a way to reduce the floor space they take up – wouldn’t it be better to stack them on top of one another?
Fortunately, it is possible to stack a washing machine and dryer on top of one another – but only under certain conditions.
Let’s start with the most obvious limitation – the topmost device will need to be the same size as, or smaller than, the bottom one. Ideally, you’ll want devices from the same manufacturer with identical footprints. This isn’t just desirable from a functional perspective – it’ll look better, too!
Similarly, you’ll want to be sure that the bottom device can bear the weight of the top device.
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If you’re going to be stacking one very large and heavy item on top of another, then be sure that the floor is as level as can be. Check this using a spirit level, and make any adjustments where required. A severe enough incline might, over time, lead to the top machine creeping forward and falling off.
In order to reduce the stress placed on the bottom device, and to ensure that the two are kept locked in place, washing machine manufacturers design and release special ‘stacking kits’ built especially for the purpose. You might even purchase a matching kit as you buy your washer and dryer.
Stacking kits are basically plastic borders which sit around the edges of the two devices in the space they meet. They’ll prevent a dryer from moving around on top of the washer, and effectively transform the two devices into a single cohesive unit.
If you can’t track down a stacking kit to match your devices, you might choose a universal kit designed to fit just about any washer-dryer combination. It’s worth exercising caution here, however; some of these stacking kits are incredibly flimsy. Moreover, you might find that yours blocks the powder draw on your washer, as it hasn’t been built with your machine in mind. The best option is almost always to stump up the extra cash and go for the purpose-built kit.
What else can I do?
An alternative is to ensure that the building itself plays the role of a stacking kit, restricting the movement of your devices. Walls on either side of the machines will work – but adding in walls will cost considerably more than a stacking kit. You might also build a shelf between the washer and dryer, designed to bear the top load.
The vast majority of washer-dryer stacks go through life without encountering the slightest mishap – even if they aren’t equipped with a stacking kit. It’s worth erring on the side of caution, however, especially given that many manufacturer warranties are void if machines are stacked without the required kit!