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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    13,029

    Default Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    What's your preference?

    I'm remodeling a laundry room that's about 5' x 7', the setup is with the machines on one 7' wall with cabinets next to/above. If stacking machines are used, the cabinetry can consist of a full-height pantry unit that's more than 4' wide... that's a lotta cabinet space and would be quite useful. If side-by-side machines are used, the full-height section gets a lot narrower, and a less-useful upper cabinet goes on the wall above the machines. The machines would likely be front loaders, so there could be a countertop above them.

    If you were buying laundry machines, what would you choose? Are there any significant differences in the quality and choices available in stacking vs. side-by-side? Don't many/most machines have a stacking option (except for probably the largest ones...)?
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    midwestish
    Posts
    7,207

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    Depends on who's using as to ergonomics and space needs - is having the bigger pantry cab more useful than the large counter area. Many of the current front loaders are stackable. Def front loaders [good solid tight floor under?].
    “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
    ~ Meriwether Lewis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston & Washington Texas
    Posts
    12,076

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    I don't know a lot about stack units except that their capacity seems to have grown to be almost equal to regualr side by side units. We always use undercounter side by sides, with a counter above them. And both machines are now front loaders. One thing I did learn the hard way is when building a counter over a washer-dryer set, make it at least 30" deep, or check with the specs on the units. Also, when putting upper cabinets over this type of set up because of the 30" depth we furr the wall 10" or so toward the front so the upper cabinets are reachable. And make them higher than the standard 54" AFF.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    Posts
    887

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    The wife and I just bought our very first new washer and dryer in our over 40 years of marriage. Having been a Maytag repairman (plus every other make) I usually got all my used appliances for nothing .
    Anyways, because we are on a septic system we decided to buy front load machines because of the lower water usage. The wife read all the consumer reports as to what was the best to buy and it was decided to buy a Samsung which as it happened were on sale at Sears.
    The wife did all the talking and the only thing I asked was whether they could be stacked and the answer was yes.
    I should have asked " can they be stacked AND READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    We got them home and installed them with the appropriate brackets and all was well with the universe.............until we went to use them. Both our units have a display screen where you can change settings etc. The washer worked great but when we loaded the dryer we realized that the slight upper tilt of the dryer display screen plus there was a honkin' great knob in the center meant you couldn't read what was on the screen at that height. I was originally concerned that the wife wouldn't be able to reach the upper dials but that wasn't the case.
    I tried everything, including turning off the laundry room light to see if I could read the display. Nope! It's just at the wrong angle and I'm 6-1.
    Believe it or not, we have to stand on a step stool to be able to read the display. Eventually I'm going to put them side by side which isn't such a bad idea because of the layout of our laundry room.
    So remember, they might be stackable but.....................


    roger

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7,471

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    I like side by side with a counter like Allan. Actually in my own house I don't have a counter. I have front loaders with the controls at the far side, sticking up like some slide-in ranges. I like this arrangement best. I can still use the tops of the machines as a counter to fold laundry, etc.

    A lot of the stackables have the issue Roger described. Would be nice to have an upper with the controls on the bottom.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    Posts
    887

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    Our controls are in the front but almost unreadable for the dryer.
    There used to be a brand of dryer where, when you stacked the dryer you would turn it upside down (then the buttons are lower down) and then the control panel would be popped off and flipped so all the letters and numbers would be right side up.

    roger

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    3,675

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    Quote Originally Posted by David Meiland View Post
    What's your preference?

    I'm remodeling a laundry room that's about 5' x 7', the setup is with the machines on one 7' wall with cabinets next to/above. If stacking machines are used, the cabinetry can consist of a full-height pantry unit that's more than 4' wide... that's a lotta cabinet space and would be quite useful. If side-by-side machines are used, the full-height section gets a lot narrower, and a less-useful upper cabinet goes on the wall above the machines. The machines would likely be front loaders, so there could be a countertop above them.

    If you were buying laundry machines, what would you choose? Are there any significant differences in the quality and choices available in stacking vs. side-by-side? Don't many/most machines have a stacking option (except for probably the largest ones...)?
    I've had the front loaders with the pedestal drawers for a few years. If I recall you're not supposed to stack them if not on ground floors. That dryer will shake the heck out of your house when it winds down

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,184

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    I've used stacking in rental houses because they provide more space for the tenants. In general, if they break I just have them fixed. I've always used Maytags.

    I use side-by-sides for my own use. If one fails and I'm tired of fixing it and want to replace it, I at least have the option of replacing one of the two rather than having to replace both. Maintenance wise, it is easier to pull one unit out and take it apart rather than having to deal with the heavier stacked pair.

    Historically the side-by-sides have had larger capacity.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
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    6,302

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    If you stack, make sure you think about venting. The closest I ever came to dislocating my shoulder was trying to hook up the dryer vent in a staked unit that had walls on 3 sides and a low ceiling.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,184

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    Use a Dryerbox (www.dryerbox.com). If you put it in exactly the right place for your dryer the flexible duct recesses back into the wall cavity (i.e. into the Dryerbox).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    1,366

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Dan View Post
    If you stack, make sure you think about venting. The closest I ever came to dislocating my shoulder was trying to hook up the dryer vent in a staked unit that had walls on 3 sides and a low ceiling.
    Please tell me you fell behind them...I'm generating the imagery in my head and it looks hilarious.

    We have a Bosch that can be either side by side or stacked, ours is stacked because it works best for the space.

    I'm three thumbs up for the Bosch. It's made in USA, the washer spins like crazy to dry out the clothes so the dryer doesn't need much time to dry.
    Portland Renovations, Inc.
    www.portlandrenovations.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    5,832

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    I have a stack from 1994 (maytag) which has been used almost every day since purchased. It was moved from one home to my present house, and fell down the flight of stairs getting it out back in 1995. It still works great.

    Replaced a belt, but for the most part nothing ever done to it.

    MIL bought a new stack. Found out due to "efficiency regs" that new washing machines don't allow hot water into them, and only a luke warm water will enter, due to a mixing valve in the new unit. So don't hope for hot washes, as you won't be able to do them anyway.


    I like the stack over the side by side units. I'll be fixing this one foever, should it need it, otherwise, I have to figure out how to bypass that mixing valve on a new one.
    Chuck

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7,471

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    Chuck, I don't know if my washer allows hot water in, but it has an internal heater. It DOES have a hot cycle regardless of what water comes in. Hot wash AND hot rinse if you choose.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,458

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    David, where are these going to be located? As AndrewR mentioned, the front load will vibrate the house and in my experience stacking increases that vibration.

    If you do side by side, you'll still have plenty of storage there. Just set the upper cabinets with roll out trays so they can use nearly every bit of space. The pedestal bases many units use as an option are very useful for storage of detergent, etc. especially for women because of the weight.

    My personal preference is side by side in any situation but especially if it's on an upper floor.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    13,029

    Default Re: Laundry... stacking vs side-by-side

    Single story house with a framed floor, so yeah the vibration is, or could be, an issue. In our last house we had euro front loaders, in this house we inherited a very boring but highly durable Maytag stacking set. Since I have now budgeted a phenomenal amount of money to buy the range y'all recommended, I am loath to buy new laundry machines and would like to fit the room out around the stacker, but since not one of you has really voted for stackers, I probably need to pony up for side by sides.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
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