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Stacking Washer - Dryer Combinations

Stackable Washer Dryer

Whether you are remodeling or just replacing appliances, space utilization is an important consideration. A space saving laundry center might be a good choice for your home or you may want to add a second washer and dryer to serve as a helpful back up laundry. Consider a primary laundry room in one part of your home for the bulk of the laundry and a stackable washer and dryer for sheets and towels in another part of the house; it may be just the thing to simplify doing laundry. For large families, instead of a single washer and dryer side by side, consider placing two washing machines side by side with a dryer stacked on each for some heavy duty laundry capability. Like a side by side washer and dryer, laundry centers are available in gas or electric models.

There are two options for washer dryer combos, laundry centers and stackables. The "Laundry Center" is the all-in-one option, it combines the washing machine and the dryer into a single appliance in one large housing. The advantages include the obvious space-saving benefit of taking up half of the space of side by side washer/dryers. They are available in the 27" width of a standard washer or in even more space saving 24" width, making them quite compact and enabling them to fit in very tight quarters. The disadvantages include: Laundry centers tend to have a smaller load capacity, fewer cycles and features, they tend to be noisier and there is some evidence of reliability issues. In our sampling, laundry centers tended to be roughly 1 to 1 1/2 inches deeper than side by side models. Using a stacked appliance requires you to lift wet laundry up into the dryer; it also eliminates the space on top of the appliances as a folding table or space to store supplies. A stacked appliance also eliminates the possibility of having cabinets above the washer and dryer.

The second option is the use of standard freestanding, front loading washing machine with a matching stacking dryer. Choose appliances that are designed to be stacked, either as-is or with the addition of a stacking device. The washer always goes on the bottom, because of its weight and thus only front-loading washers can be used. This option has all the same advantages as laundry centers, but they also give you the advantage of a larger selection, more models with better reliability ratings, potentially quieter operation, more features and cycles and larger load capacities. They do not share all the disadvantages of a laundry center although you do still lose the appliance tops as a work surface, you have to lift wet laundry up to the dryer and then a washer dryer pair will tend to be a little more expensive than a laundry center, although for the added benefits, the additional expensive may be worthwhile.

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