A stackable washer and dryer can save an incredible amount of space, making them suitable for small living spaces. But do you have to put them in a dedicated laundry room, or can you put a stackable washer and dryer anywhere you want?
Yes, you can put a stackable washer and dryer anywhere as long as the spot has three critical traits: a nearby wall socket, a connected water line, and a place for the dryer vent to terminate outside the building. Besides that, there must also be sufficient space behind and beside the appliances to make room for their connections and maximize airflow to the dryer.
Finding the best place to put your stackable washer and dryer isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first. Keep on reading and you’ll know what part of your home will be ideal to place those appliances.
What Is Needed For A Stackable Washer And Dryer?
Generally, you can put a stackable washer and dryer anywhere in your home or apartment. The only condition is that they must have access to three things: power supply, water supply, and venting hose. As a highly recommended extra, you’ll also want to get a stacking kit as well.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those needs.
First and foremost, you must place your stackable washer and dryer somewhere close to a power source. To be precise, you’ll need two power sources, as the stackable washer and dryer are two separate appliances.
Here, it’s important to note that you should be using a wall socket or direct wiring to the circuit breaker. It’s never a good idea to use extension cords or trailing sockets for appliances like washers, dryers, or even fridges, as they draw far more power than a trailing socket can sustain.
Besides a dedicated laundry room, some homes and apartments are designed to accommodate laundry-related appliances in the kitchen or even the bathroom.
As long as you have a reliable power source for these appliances, then it’s a viable place to put your washer and dryer.
Water Supply and Drain
Next, you can only place your stackable washer and dryer wherever there’s a connected water supply. That’s primarily to connect to your washer, as water is the most important supply it requires to wash your clothes.
However, dryer models that have steam functions might also need to piggyback on the same water supply as well. While some steam dryers have on-board water reservoirs, others will instead share the washing machine’s water line.
Besides the incoming water supply, washers also require a place to drain out all used water. So, again, besides a dedicated laundry room or area, some locations are designed with these features in the kitchen (along with the regular sink drain) or the bathroom (which also has a drain by default).
Dryers will typically stack on top of the washer, and these appliances will also require a venting hose leading to the outside. As you might already know, all of the hot air generated and used by the dryer must flow through a venting hose and terminate on the outside of the building.
Although not a critical requirement, it’s also recommended that you use a stacking kit for your washer and dryer. These kits make it much easier to stack the dryer on top while keeping both appliances secured and attached to each other.
Some stacking kits also come with hide-away tables that you can use when transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer.
Of course, one of the most critical things you need for a stackable washer and dryer is sufficient space to place the appliance. Read through the following section to find out more.
How Much Room Is Needed For A Stackable Washer And Dryer?
Stackable washers and dryers offer one crucial benefit: space savings. Yes, they use up less floor space. However, there are many more considerations regarding the use of that space than you’d typically experience with appliances placed side by side.
Let’s take a closer look at what they are.
Minimum Space Requirements
Wherever you choose to put your stackable washer and dryer, there must be a bare minimum amount of floor space available. The challenge here is that washer and dryer brands do not have standardized sizes, so you’ll have to do a bit of extra homework to find brands and models that fit in the space you have available.
At the very minimum, you’ll be able to find a stackable washer and dryer that only has a 2 ft x 2 ft footprint. While there are brands that make larger machines than that, 2 ft x 2 ft is the smallest footprint you’ll be able to find on the market for a stackable washer and dryer.
American Brands vs European Brands
When shopping for a stackable washer and dryer, it’s crucial to understand that sizes don’t just differ between brands. The average sizes of these appliances also differ between those originating in the US and those from Europe or elsewhere.
Here’s what that means:
- American brands like GE and Whirlpool: The average width of American-made stackable washers and dryers is between 27 and 29 inches.
- European brands like Zanussi and Bosch: The average width of European-made stackable washers and dryers is 23 inches.
By understanding these averages, you’ll have a much better idea of which brands and models to choose from when you shop around for a stackable washer and dryer.
Space For Connections
Once you’ve allocated room for the size of the stackable washer and dryer, you’ll also need to allocate space for their connections.
Earlier, we mentioned that a stackable washer and dryer requires a power supply, water supply and drainage, and venting hose. All of these connections attach to the outside of the washer and dryer, so you’ll need to ensure that there’s enough space for them.
Here are general rules of thumb for space you must allocate around the stackable washer and dryer:
- From the rear wall: There must be at least a 5-inch gap from the back wall, as many connections come out the back of the washer and dryer.
- From the side walls: There must be at least a 1-inch gap so that the machines won’t hit the side walls even if they swing a little mid-cycle.
Does A Stackable Washer And Dryer Need To Be Vented?
Yes, a stackable washer and dryer need to be vented, and there are three things to consider in this regard.
Firstly, your dryer will have a vent hose that must terminate outside of the building. If not, the lint and heat from the dryer will simply fill up your living space, which is not a practical way to use a dryer.
Secondly, no matter where you choose to place your stackable washer and dryer, there must be at least a 1-inch gap between the dryer and the nearest surface or object. This gap is crucial as it maximizes airflow to the dryer, maximising the air being through and out from the dryer.
Lastly, if you’re putting the stackable washer and dryer in an enclosed space like a closet, the door of that enclosure must also be vented. You can build louvres into the door or ensure that the door has gaps at the top or the bottom.