We all want to make the most of the available space in our homes and one way to do this in the laundry room or kitchen is by stacking your washer and dryer. These bulky appliances can get in the way but this is one of the best ways you can regain space in your home without losing out on an important appliance.
When you install a stackable washer and dryer in a tight place it can transform the available space in your home. Stacking these appliances is not only simple, it also makes the most of the floor space and gives you more freedom to decide on the location of your laundry.
Installing a Stackable Washer and Dryer (Step by Step Guide)
Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools for the job. As washers and dryers are large and heavy it is best to get someone to help you stack them.
- Measuring tape
- Spirit level
- Stacking kit
- Someone to help you lift
- Adjustable wrench
Now you have all the tools you need and the right stacking kit, you can get to work and install the stackable washer and dryer. As you can see, the process is relatively straightforward so won’t take long to carry out.
Step 1. Measure the Area
The first thing to do is measure your appliances as well as the tight space you want to install them in. The machines need to be smaller than the space with at least a couple of inches of space at the sides for safety and easy installation of hoses and cords. In addition to this, the washer and dryer should not be pushed all the way to the back wall so make sure there will be a few inches of extra space behind them too.
Don’t forget to compare the height of the space with the height of both machines together. Before you move anything make sure there is a water tap or water line in the place you are planning to put the washer. Without a water line, you won’t be able to hook up the washer.
Step 2. Move the Washer into Position
Start by moving the washer to where you want it. Get someone else to help you with this as these machines are large and heavy. The washing machine always goes at the bottom of the stack as it is so much heavier than the drier when in use. Remember the washing machine fills up with water. Even if there isn’t a big weight difference now, there will be when the machine is on.
When you position the washer in a tight place make sure you still have access to the back of the machine as you still need to hook it up. Use the level to check if the appliance is straight. If it is not, you can adjust the feet until it is. It’s very important that the washer is level. The dryer is going to be sitting on it so if the washer isn’t level it will shake and wobble during cycles. This instability may cause the dryer to move around and fall.
Step 3. Position the Stacking Kit on Top of the Washing Machine
This is a quick and easy step. Place the stacking kit on the washer making sure it is properly lined up. If the kit includes an inbuilt shelf make sure the front is slightly overhanging so you are able to pull the shelf out. Check the manufacturer’s instructions if you are unsure.
Step 4. Remove the Feet From the Dryer
Now that the washer is in position we can prepare the dryer. Before stacking the dryer ontop of the washer remove the feet of the dryer. This is so the dryer can slot into the stacking bracket. Store the dryer feet somewhere safe so you have them on hand if you need them in the future.
Step 5. Place the Dryer onto the Washer
With help from someone else to lift the dryer, position it ontop of the washing machine. Make sure the dryer is properly placed onto the machine. Don’t let go until you are sure it won’t wobble or move as the last thing you want is for the dryer to fall.
Step 6. Make Sure the Washer and Dryer Don’t Shake
With the dryer slotted into the stacking bracket, you want to make sure they are straight before securing them into position. When you gently nudge the stack does it shake? If the washer and dryer stack does not seem to be fully secure, for example it shakes or wobbles slightly then it could be because the washer is not level. Take another look at the washer and adjust the washer feet to fix the problem.
Step 7. Secure the Machines Together
Now you know the stack is straight you can begin securing them together. Check the instructions of the specific stacking kit you have bought on how to secure the machines. Tighten the bolts and lock the brackets so the appliances are safely held together. Use the adjustable wrench to do this.
Step 8. Attach the Hose and Cords
The washer and dryer are now safely stacked so you can reattach the cords, drain hose and vent lines. Start by attaching the vent lines to the dryer and drain hose to the washer, ensuring you follow the instructions from the manufacturer if needed. The dryer vent will probably be a periscope vent as this can fit in a tight place. When you connect the vent you will also need to seal off any gaps using foil tape.
Once these are in position, you can plug the machines in. You can now push the appliances back as you want them. Remember a couple of inches of space is needed between the appliance and the back wall.
Step 9. Final Test Run
You’re all done. Before you pack up, run a test load. This is to make sure there is no rocking of the machines when they are in use. It’s best to test it now rather than when your first load of washing is in. If there is shaking, make sure the washer is level.
Do You Need a Stacking Kit for Washer and Dryer?
A stacking kit is important as it ensures the two appliances are safe and stable. The bracket makes sure the weight of the dryer is evenly spread across the top of the washer so the machines are held in place during use. It also prevents the top machine from getting damaged or falling. There are lots of different stacking kits available so check the kit is suitable for your machines before buying.
It is recommended you only stack your washer and dryer if they are from the same manufacturer. Always use the correct kit to support them otherwise the bracket will not hold the machines in position properly. If you have a washer and dryer from different manufacturers you could use a universal stacking kit but this will depend on the size and shape of your appliances. Generally speaking, a washing machine with rounded edges won’t work with a universal stacking kit as the bracket won’t lock into place as it should.
If you don’t have a stacking kit and you don’t have the budget for one, some people may suggest creating a homemade one but we don’t recommend this. The downside to a homemade kit is that it doesn’t offer the same safety features or support as a professionally made kit. A homemade kit may be the cheaper option now but it could cost you more overall as it may cause damage to your machines, void your warranty and create a safety hazard. This is why we recommend investing in a stacking kit.
If you have questions about having a stacked washer and dryer, check out the FAQs below:
How to move a stacked washer and dryer?
Fully disconnect the units and drain any water that’s in the hose into a bucket. You could dismantle a stacked washer and dryer to make it easier to move. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this as the process varies between models. If you cannot dismantle it, you may want to use a dolly to help you move the stacked unit safely. If you are only moving the machines within the house you can place some cardboard or a furniture mover pad under the washer’s feet. You can then gently push the unit to the new location.
Can you put a stackable washer and dryer in a closet?
Yes, but for it to be safe you need to make sure you leave a couple of inches between the back of the appliances and the wall. Installing a stackable washer and dryer in a closet may also require a licensed electrician (if the machines are connected).
It’s as simple as that! You still have both machines but now they are taking up half of the floor space. This is a quick and easy trick that can really streamline your laundry room. Stacking these appliances helps you make the most of the space in your home. The most important things to remember when you install a stackable washer and dryer in a tight place is to leave a couple of inches of clearance for ventilation and use the right stacking kit for your machines.