When you purchase a washing machine and tumble dryer, you will most likely want to stack them on top of each other in order to save some space. The question you may find yourself asking is can you put the washing machine on top of the dryer.
I was asking myself the same question a while back, so I did a bit of research to find out. Here’s what I learned:
No, you can’t stack a washing machine on top of a dryer. Washing machines are very heavy, especially when they are full of water and wet clothing, and their weight can damage the tumble dryer. They also vibrate, which can cause them to fall down and break.
You will have to settle for stacking your tumble dryer on top of the washing machine – but this is still a very space-saving option you should certainly consider.
Why Can’t I Put a Washing Machine on Top of a Dryer?
Washing machines are one of the heaviest household appliances, and can weigh anywhere between 70 kilograms for your average top-loading model, up to 90 kilograms for the more popular front-loading washers.
This weight is mostly down to the concrete stabiliser most models are fitted with, which can weigh around 25 kilograms. The stabilizer is there to centre the machine during a spin cycle, and without it, your washer would literally hop around the room every time you used it.
This cumbersome weight is part of the reason why you can’t put a washing machine on top of a dryer. Tumble dryers weigh 50 kilograms on average, with the largest models coming in at 75 kilograms. However, they were not designed to hold any additional weight on top, and their frame is not as powerful as that of a washing machine. They have no stabilizers, and the top surface can crack from the 70+ kilogram strain.
The other reason you should always put your dryer up top has to do with the wobbling of the washer. Despite its concrete stabilizer, a washing machine will always move around and vibrate, and if it were placed on an unstable surface (like said dryer), there is a high risk of it falling off mid-cycle.
This can not only completely ruin your washing machine, it can also cause significant damage to the dryer, your bathroom or kitchen floor, and any other elements that happen to find themselves nearby.
How to Stack a Washing Machine and Dryer?
In order to stack a washer and dryer safely and securely, you will need a stacking kit.
But first, you need to make sure that the two appliances you want to stack are in fact – stackable. Most models will sit on top of each other, but do make sure one is not inordinately larger than the other. Ideally, you want to stack models made by the same brand, and also get their stacking kit.
This is not saying you won’t be able to stack a Bosch on top of an LG – but there is a chance the two might just not be a good match.
You should then purchase a stacking kit. There are some universal models available, but again, you want to make sure your appliances will be a good fit, so check the kit’s specifics before placing your order.
Assemble your stacking kit and secure it to the washing machine – you will most likely need to screw it in place.
All you then have to do is remove the legs of your tumble dryer and lift it into place. This will most likely be a two-person job at least, so make sure you have an extra pair of hands on hand when stacking your washer and dryer, to avoid the unpleasant frustration of a job half-done.
Once the dryer is in place, make sure it is level and not wobbling, and secure it to the kit – this will most likely mean fastening a few more screws.
Finally, make sure both appliances are stable and that they don’t rock. You can then push them into your desired spot, and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Do you Need a Stacking Kit for Washer and Dryer?
Yes, you do need a stacking kit for mounting your dryer on top of your washing machine. While you can also use a rubber mat, it will be far less secure, and could lead to accidents and unit damage.
Stacking kits are the safest and most secure way to ensure no harm comes to either your appliances, their surroundings, or a member of your household.
Were you not to use a kit, the vibrations of the dryer could cause it to fall off. And yes, dryers also vibrate – certainly not as much as the washing machine, but they are still liable to moving around a fair bit.
You could also inadvertently crash the dryer yourself when opening its door. You may use a bit more force than necessary, you may not open the door properly or it might just be stuck, and if the dryer is not secured to the washer, you might pull it towards yourself, or even on top of yourself.
You should also be aware of the fact that fall damage is most likely not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. That stacking kit isn’t looking so bad now, is it?
Is There a Downside to Stacking Washer and Dryer?
While stacking your washer and dryer is certainly the most horizontal-space-saving option, and can be ideal for smaller homes, there are a couple of downsides you should consider.
First, don’t forget that a stacked dryer remains a dryer, and that it will need outside ventilation. You won’t be able to put it just anywhere, and you will need to consider your placement options carefully.
Dryers should have at least 3m² of space around them and easy access to fresh air. This could be an open door to a neighbouring room or an open window – as long as it’s available, you are good to go.
You should also consider the height the dryer control panel will be placed at. Will you be able to reach it easily? Chances are this won’t pose an issue, but if you need the kids to be able to operate the dryer too, you may want to consider a step ladder.
Finally, there is the simple question of comfort and ease. In order to move your clothing from the washer to the dryer, you may need to do a lot of bending and reaching, which may not be the most comfortable exercise.
However, you can always just remove all the items from the washer first, and pop the ones that can be tumble dried up top. This will also ensure you don’t accidentally shrink one of your partner’s favourite shirts.
Wrapping It Up
If you are the proud owner of a new washer and dryer, consider your stacking options carefully, and decide whether you wouldn’t perhaps rather place your appliances side-to-side.
If you do go for the stacking option, make sure to invest in a sturdy and fitting stacking kit and assemble it carefully, in order to prevent any accidents and potential damage.