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Stacking Washers And Dryers: Here’s All You Need To Know

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Depending on how your laundry room is set up, you may be able to have your washer and dryer stacked on each other to save room. This is a great way to use extra space for storage, or a table for folding the laundry, however, stacking must be done correctly or it can lead to a lot of issues in the future. 

Stacking your washer and dryers is helpful, but you need to do some research and know what you are doing before attempting it. The biggest things you need to know about stacking your washer and dryer are:

  • Use the stacking kit made for your washer
  • Don’t buy aftermarket products
  • Don’t use two different brands of washer and dryer

Stacking your washer and dryer can be easy, and can be done safely as long as you do your research and do it the correct way. If you follow the instructions for the kit you purchase, preferably the one that matches your brand of appliances, you will have a stacked washer and dryer that are safe and capable of doing their jobs. 

Using A Stacking Kit For Washers and Dryers

If you are wanting to stack your washer and dryer, you need to use a stacking kit. The stacking kit allows for safety and security when it comes to the movement of the machines as they work. You don’t want your dryer falling off and hurting anyone. 

Using a stacking kit is relatively easy since most places will help install it when you purchase a washer or dryer at the same time. However, if you are purchasing a stacking kit after the purchase, you will have to install it yourself. 

The kit comes with a few things, such as:

  • Washer leveling kit
  • Stacking piece that goes between the appliances
  • Brackets or attachment straps that keep the washer and dryer together.

These pieces work together to reduce movement during use and minimize the overall risk of the dryer falling. Now, these safety measures can only be guaranteed when the kit is properly installed and the correct brand is used. 

Whatever brand washer and dryer you have at home, you need to use the same brand stacking kit to ensure the best fit and best safety measures. If your kit doesn’t fit perfectly, you may have movement and noise that could lead to injuries of broken appliances. 

How To Correctly Install A Stacking Kit

The very first thing you should do when deciding to stack your washer and dryer is to ensure they can safely be stacked. Your owner’s manual for both appliances should outline the necessary tools and equipment to stack them. 

You also need to measure to make sure you have room for a stacked washer and dryer. You need at least 1 inch on either side of the appliances as well as 5 inches between the back of the dryer and the wall to allow for airflow. 

Once you know they can be stacked, find the correct stacking kit for your appliances, which should also be in your owner’s manual. If you are unable to find that information, you should be able to find it on the brand website. 

Now, for your safety and others, it is extremely important to ensure you purchase the correct stacking kit for your appliances. Do not purchase an aftermarket kit or one that is a different brand than your appliances. If you have two different appliance brands, you will not be able to stack them together. 

Once you have the correct stacking kit, you can begin the process. The things you will need for this installation are:

  • Washer and dryer stacking kit
  • Cardboard 
  • Phillips Head screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Owners manual for washer and dryer
  • A friend

Using your level, make sure the washer is level and adjust the legs with the wrench to fix any issues. Then you need to lay the dryer on its back, on the cardboard so your floors will not get scratched, and remove the legs. 

Lift the dryer onto the washer and attach all clips, brackets, and stabilizing straps the kit comes with. Once you are done, check everything with a level and make sure measurements are correct, then you are finished. 

How Do You Stack A Washer And Dryer By Yourself?

Stacking a washer and dryer by yourself can be incredibly dangerous. The weight of these appliances on their own is far too much for one person to be moving around, and even more dangerous if you have to pick it up. 

Picking up heavy appliances can do irreparable damage to your back and spine if you aren’t careful. Most of the time, washers and dryers are far too heavy for one person, they also are so large that one person can not reasonably and safely use leverage or safe lifting practices. 

However, if you are stacking your washer and dryer and you have no other option but to do it yourself, there could be a way to do this that can result in little to no injuries, but no promises. If you don’t have a dolly, get one, this is important when moving heavy things on your own. 

Once you have a dolly, you will be able to place your washer and dryer on them and move them around whenever you need to without physically picking them up with your hands. This will reduce the strain on your back and shoulders.

Once you place the washer where you need it and install the stacking kit, you can place a piece of wood on the dryer that angles down to the floor. Make sure it is big enough to use the dolly on, and that it can hold the weight of your dryer. 

Place your dryer on the dolly and use the slow incline of the wood to push the dryer up. Once you bring it all the way up, tip the dolly forward and slowly lay the dryer on top. Finish installing the brackets and stabilizing straps on the stacking kit and you should have a fully functional stacked washer and dryer. 

Now, if that doesn’t work, you can try to lift the dryer onto your washer, but that will most likely end in injuries and possibly broken appliances. You can always call a local appliance center to see if they will come out and help you install and move everything. 

Can You Stack A Dryer On Top Of A Top Load Washer?

In no circumstance can you stack a dryer on top of a top load washer. The function of the top load washer is that the door opens up, and you load the clothes in from the top. With a dryer stacked on top of this, you could no longer open the door. 

Furthermore, the doors on top load washers are not designed to hold the kind of weight that a dryer would be putting on it. Putting your dryer on top could risk cracking, or breaking the door altogether. Once this happens, you have to look at replacing the door and getting it repaired, or purchasing an entirely new washer. 

Can You Stack A Washing Machine On Top Of Dryer?

Unfortunately, no stacking kits will allow you to stack a washer on top of a dryer. The washers spin extremely fast causing quite a bit of movement during the washing process. Putting this on top of another appliance can cause movement by both and injuries if it were to fall or move. 

This can also reduce the ability for the dryer to have adequate ventilation and space to cool down after heating up, only causing a fire hazard in one of the worst areas of your house. If your dryer doesn’t have proper ventilation, the heat can build up in the vent and catch any loose lint on fire.

Once this happens, your dryer can sustain damage, as well as the damage and injuries that can come from a house fire. It is always best to stack the dryer on top of the washer to ensure better movement security and safety over everything. When it comes to you and your family’s safety, it is always better to not take a shortcut. 

Can You Stack A Dishwasher and Washing Machine?

You can absolutely stack a dishwasher and washing machine. Now, the washing machine would need to be on top, and quite a few things would need to be adjusted and built to handle this type of weight. 

The floor that these appliances will be stacked on has to be reinforced to support the weight of both appliances while they have water in them. If you don’t plan for both appliances at their heaviest, they could crack or break the floor. 

You also have to place a counter piece in between the appliances to ensure that it holds some of their weight, so you don’t break the dishwasher with the weight of the washer. As long as you put it on your counter like normal, just reinforce it a bit to help it hold some extra weight. 

Your washer and dishwasher both need to be front loading for this to work as well. The way front loading appliances are built allows them to safely be stacked, with the right kits and tools, without damaging any internal parts. 

It’s also worth mentioning that you will most likely need two separate outlets for both appliances to work simultaneously. Due to the large amount of wattage these appliances need, plugging them into the same outlet can cause them to overload and trip the breaker, or blow a fuse. 

More on stacking kitchen appliances here.

Can You Stack 2 Different Brand Washer and Dryers?

Stacking washers and dryers can be incredibly tedious if you are not purchasing the kit made for your specific brand. While you can buy aftermarket pieces, it could void your warranty and cause your appliances to break, or injuries to happen. 

Furthermore, if you have two different brands of appliances,  it is incredibly hard to find a stacking kit that kits both well enough to provide the safety and security you need. If you find a kit that fits, it will usually only fit one of the appliances securely. 

This means that the appliances will be either top-heavy or not secure enough to stop the shaking that happens when they are being used. This shaking can cause screws and brackets to come loose, and then dryers can fall, or washers can move around and “walk” forward. Depending on where your washer and dryer are placed, this can be a huge issue. 

Stacking two different brands of washers and dryers can also damage the appliances due to their weight load-bearing limits. Usually, when sold as a pair the washer is made to withstand the weight of a dryer if it is able to stack. 

When you use two different brands, they are not rated for anything other than their partner appliance. 

How To Stack Washer And Dryer Without Kit

While it is not recommended in any way, shape, or form, you can try to stack a washer and dryer without a kit. If you were to mount the dryer to the wall above the washer, you could get away with stacking it without buying a stacking kit. 

The only other option you have if you want to get away with not purchasing a stacking kit is to purchase a rubber APL600 mat to place in between the washer and dryer. This rubber mat will help absorb the impact from moving appliances and reduce the shaking that can cause the machines to shift. 

Other than these two options, stacking a washer and dryer without a kit is not a good idea. You can not just place the dryer on top of the washer because there is too much movement and shaking for the appliances to stay where they need to stay. 

You will most likely have issues with the appliances falling, shifting too much, or being uneven enough to affect their ability to work correctly. 

Can You Store Things On Top Of A Washing Machine?

Not only is it common, but it is convenient to store your laundry supplies on top of your washer and dryer. Most people store a lot of things on top of their appliances such as:

  • Laundry baskets
  • Clean or dirty laundry
  • Laundry soap 
  • Dryer supplies
  • Bleach
  • Fabric softener

While it may be convenient, it is not always the safest or best thing for your appliances. Storing certain things on top of your washer and dryer can be fire hazards due to chemicals, or dry clothes that get too hot. 

The other issue is if you are putting too much weight on your washer and dryer, in which case you will run down the lifespan on them, usually by breaking something, and cause yourself to purchase a new one before it’s necessary, 

You can store some things that aren’t chemicals or fire hazards on your appliances, but you need to ensure the weight load that they can handle. 

How Much Weight Can You Put On Top Of A Washing Machine?

Generally, unless it is done correctly with the right tools, you shouldn’t ever put weight on top of your washer. Putting weight on top of your washer can damage a few things depending on what type of washer you have. 

If you have a top load washer, you stand a chance of cracking the lid, or not allowing it to open up the way it is meant to. If you have a front load washer, you can damage parts inside that allow the drum to spin, or water to drain. Both of these options can result in you needing a new washer much sooner than you should. 

Most washers are rated for 7-12lbs of weight on top without a proper stacking kit. You shouldn’t sit anything or anyone on top of your washer for long periods because it could break it. If you need to place something on top for a moment or two, it shouldn’t be an issue, however, over time, those small moments can add up to damage to your washer. 

For more exact weight load handling, your owner’s manual should be able to outline what your washer is rated for. To be on the safe side, you probably shouldn’t stack anything on it, but, it’s also understood that storage space is hard to come by. 

How Much Weight Can You Put On Top Of A Dryer?

Dryers can handle significantly less weight than washers can, but it is actually due to safety reasons more than anything. Putting anything on top of a dryer is a huge fire hazard. Even if you don’t think your dryer gets hot on top, you could risk melting laundry baskets or just catching clothes on fire every time you start it. 

Now, stacking anything or sitting on top of your dryer can only do damage, there are no positives and this can only increase the fire risk. If your dryer is working well, it may not get hot anywhere except inside the drum where it is supposed to. 

However, if you do damage to the top or break something by adding extra weight, the heat from the dryer could travel or leak causing an increased fire hazard wherever the heat is traveling to. Your best option is to install shelves above your washer and dryer, or beside them, to hold everything you need so your appliances don’t get weighed down. 

Your owner’s manual should better outline the weight load capacity and the dangers around overloading the dryer weight-bearing ability. If you follow the recommendations, you should have no issues with storing a few things on top. 

Disadvantages Of Stacking Washer and Dryers (Is It Bad)?

Stacking your washer and dryer has pros and cons, both of which can be fixed or made worse depending on if you are stacking them correctly or not. The biggest thing to be aware of is that you need to follow all instructions for the stacking kit you purchase, as well as any instructions that come with your washer and dryer. 

Stacking your washer and dryers can do a significant amount of damage to your appliances, as well as the part of the floor they are stacked on. A large amount of weight that washer and dryers are can cause significant damage to anything it is stacked on. 

Furthermore, stacking washers and dryers is not foolproof. If anything is done even the slightest bit incorrect the appliances can shift during use and fall. Having an appliance fall, even if no one is right in front of it can still cause significant injuries. 

When the appliances are in use, they will shake and shift which can cause them to shake the stacking kit and make one of the appliances uneven. This can cause issues when loading with clothes, or when the drums start moving again. 

Now, there are ways to stack washers and dryers that allow for utmost safety and preserving the integrity of your appliances. However, this can only happen if all instructions are followed and all safety rules are taken. 

Final Thoughts

Stacking washers and dryers can be extremely helpful in situations where space is limited and you need more storage. Being able to have storage on the side of your laundry room rather than in shelving above it can be a game-changer for some apartments. 

However, stacking your washer and dryer needs to be done with detail and care or you risk breaking an appliance or hurting someone. Only stack a washer and dryer with a stacking kit or don’t do it at all so that you reduce the chance of any issues. 

Read about stacking kitchen appliances next, or learn how to cost-efficiently wash clothes here.

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