Stacking a dryer on top of a washer is an ideal way of saving space in your laundry area. Not only does it reduce the overall footprint of your laundry appliances, but it also allows you to hide them away in a closet. But wait, will a stackable washer and dryer even fit in a closet?
Yes, a stackable washer and dryer can fit in a closet. These appliances will take up at least 2×2 feet of space on the floor. However, there must be sufficient space on the sides and the back for electrical, water, and ventilation hose connections. Space is also important for optimal airflow into the dryer. To optimize the space, use a swinging or sliding closet door, or none at all.
In the following sections, you’ll learn just how much space you need to fit a stackable washer and dryer into a laundry closet.
How Small Can A Laundry Closet Be?
At a bare minimum, the laundry closet must have just enough width to fit the stackable washer and dryer combination. As long as the laundry closet is wide enough, you’ll have no problems accessing the washer and dryer doors to load and unload your laundry.
The smallest footprint possible is 2×2 feet, though that does not include a little extra space for any water, power, and ventilation connections.
Here, the most important thing to bear in mind is that the size of washers and dryers is not standardized. The size differences will depend on the brands and also where those brands come from.
- American brands have an average width of 27-29 inches (e.g. Whirlpool and GE)
- European brands have an average width of 59 centimeters or 23 inches (e.g. Bosch and Zanussi)
Suppose you have an existing closet you’d like to occupy with a stackable washer and dryer. If that’s the case, then you should first measure how much space that closet has and use that to select models that can fit that space.
However, if you already have the appliances and wish to build a closet for them, then there are more things to consider.
Besides the footprint of the stacked appliances, you’ll also want to allocate more space for the connections (e.g. power, water, and ventilation).
Plus, you might want to allocate additional space to store laundry supplies like detergents as well.
What Size Closet Do I Need For A Stackable Washer And Dryer?
Regardless of whether you’re using American or European appliances, a practical size for a laundry closet is at least 5 feet wide and 8 feet tall.
At a width of 5 feet, you’ll have plenty of space to fit the washer and dryer comfortably. Plus, you’ll also have lots of leftover space in the unused width for storage, like keeping laundry detergents and other cleaning supplies.
Depth is also an important measurement to consider. For example, your laundry closet should be deep enough for the appliances to maintain a 5-inch gap between the back wall and the appliance’s rear. At the same time, the closet must also be deep enough so that the closet door can close without any problems.
The 5-inch gap in the rear is crucial to allow space for all the necessary connections. That includes the
- Power supply to both of the appliances,
- The water supply for the washer (and the dryer, if you have a steam model)
- Ventilation hose for the dryer.
The additional width of the laundry closet will also come in handy for maintenance purposes. For example, should you ever need to inspect the rear of the appliances, you won’t have to pull them all the way out of the closet just to gain access to the rear.
Closet Door Types
Besides the height, width, and depth of the closet itself, another important consideration is the closet door. Although it might not seem evident at first, choosing the wrong door type can eat into the limited space inside the laundry closet, space that should be reserved for your stackable washer and dryer.
The ideal types of doors for your laundry closet are sliding or swinging doors, as they don’t affect the space inside the laundry closet. That is, of course, unless you decide to hang items behind your swinging door.
Here are a few considerations related to the type of closet door and how each affects your stackable washer and dryer’s ability to fit in the laundry closet:
- Swinging Doors: Swinging doors are the most practical solution. The reason for this is that the door itself won’t take up any space inside the laundry closet, leaving more of it available for your washer and dryer.
Still, this type of door offers you the option of hanging items behind the door itself. Sure, that will take up some free space, but you’ll also enjoy better organization inside the laundry closet in exchange.
- Sliding Doors: Sliding doors are another practical option, as they don’t take up any space inside the laundry closet. The downside to this option is that you will not be able to hang anything behind those doors.
- Folding Doors: Folding doors are undoubtedly the type that you’ll want to avoid in this case. For starters, folding doors will use up more of the laundry space when you open them. Second, they offer no benefit in terms of hanging storage. For both these reasons, it’s best not to use folding doors for your laundry closet.
- Open Face / No Door: Another easier option would be to have an open-faced laundry closet with no door at all. That would allow the stackable washer and dryer to become part of your home decor since it’s not hidden away in a closet. However, there will be no additional hanging space that you would otherwise have with a swinging door.
Other Considerations When Planning Your Laundry Closet
Earlier, we explored the space requirements to fit a stackable washer and dryer inside a laundry closet. Now, let’s look at a few additional considerations for how to make the most of that limited closet space.
Space On Other Sides Of The Appliances
Inside the laundry closet, there should be at least a one-inch gap between the sides of the appliances and the walls of the closet. As you might already know, washers and dryers are prone to swinging slightly, mainly when there’s an unbalanced load inside.
Allotting just a little bit of side space will prevent the washer and dryer from hitting the closet walls if there ever was an unbalanced load inside those appliances.
In simpler terms, it’s best not to place the washer and dryer too close to either wall inside the closet. A little bit of a gap, or even placing it right in the centre, is much better.
Space Above The Dryer
When it comes to dryers, it’s essential to have extra space around the appliance to help maximize airflow into the appliance. Seeing as how dryers are typically stacked on top of washers, that means a one-inch gap between the dryer and the top of the closet would go a very long way towards ensuring optimal airflow.
Door Gap for Airflow
Speaking of airflow for the dryer, if your laundry closet has a door, it’s best to ensure that the door also has gaps at its top and bottom. That will contribute to optimal airflow, as air can enter the laundry closet smoothly when the dryer is in operation.