Whether you're considering a top-and-bottom washer/dryer arrangement to save floor space or you prefer the all-in-one-place efficiency of stacked appliances, you can choose full-sized, efficient laundry performance and still set up your equipment in a combo layout. How you integrate stacked appliances into your laundry room depends on the look you want to present, the style of your decor and the overall purpose of the room into which you place them.
Appliance manufacturers designate stackable machines as such in their product descriptions. Stacking a washer and dryer requires front-loading appliances with front-mounted controls. Casework designs allow for or prevent stackability, which typically requires a matched washer and dryer from the same manufacturer and model line. Because front-loading washers typically offer high-efficiency performance, the move to a stacked appliance configuration also can net you energy-saving advantages and cleaner clothes. Unlike top-loading equipment with a center-post agitator that oscillates to slosh clothes back and forth through a tubful of water infused with dissolved laundry products, HE equipment sprays water through clothes as it washes, using less water.
On the Floor
Laundry equipment poses multiple challenges to the room in which you place it. Unlike any other appliances in your home, washers and dryers generate centrifugal forces when their drums spin. They require a level floor that can assist in maintaining their stationary position when they vibrate. When you locate your laundry room in a basement, placing these heavy pieces of equipment on the foundation of your house means you don't need to worry about adding their weight to a floor that can't accommodate it.
A second-floor laundry station adjacent to a master suite offers convenience, but it requires a floor with load-bearing capabilities to match the combined heft of two large machines in one footprint. Additionally, you want flooring that can handle the prospect of water and a location that provides the gas or 220-volt electric service necessary to power your equipment.
Whether you leave your washer and dryer visible or hide them depends on whether you want your laundry room to signal its function or hide it away. You can build your stacked appliances into a closet, cupboard, cabinet or alcove, closed off behind pocket, bifold or traditionally hinged doors.
Simpler designs screen the equipment behind curtains that add the decorative look of designer fabric to their concealing function. Suit the materials you use to cover up your appliances to the look of your room and your overall decor scheme. At the same time, build in shelves, cupboards and niches for laundry products, hideaway folding space, a hidden and retractable clothesline for air-drying, and ample light to make your workspace pleasant. In a basement location or interior room that lacks abundant natural light, fit your light fixtures with energy-efficient, cool-running LED bulbs or add LED strip lighting to provide illumination where a lamp won't fit.
In some home designs, laundry equipment pairs up with the functionality of another room, including full and half baths, kitchens and multipurpose spaces that encourage you to linger for reasons other than adding detergent and pairing socks. These arrangements can take advantage of the existing presence of utility lines to avoid the often-expensive retrofits required to bring water service to a location that never previously required it. In small homes or condos, shared-space arrangements and stacked appliances can become the only means of incorporating full-sized laundry equipment. If you choose a washer and dryer that can integrate into your home's wireless networking, you can receive cycle-completion alerts through a smartphone app and use it to start, stop or pause appliance cycles.
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