Thread Number: 16642
How much space needed for new front loaders?
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Post# 275174   4/15/2008 at 00:48 (3,810 days old) by mattl (Flushing, MI)        

In my ongoing renovation saga, my focus group indicated I need a second floor laundry to make the property more attractive to my target market. Question is how much, or how little space do I need?

I have what I think is the perfect solution, a 30"x30" closet adjacent to the master bath so plumbing is within 24". From what I've seen most of the units are 27"-28" wide and about that deep. Is there a "typical" location for the dryer vent? Lower, mid or top of the unit? Obviously they would have to be stacked, attic is directly above so venting would be relatively easy, as would wiring. Just wish I had thought of it sooner.

About halfway thought the remodel I kind of kicked myself for not removing this hall closet and incorporating the space in the redone master bath, but the bath turned out quite well without the extra space. The upstairs hall has two nice sized closets within a few feet of each other, so the possible loss of one is not that crucial, of course it can still be used as a closet if the buyer opted not to use it as a laundry.

In this tight housing market I need to throw everything I can at this project to make it as attractive as possible. I do have a full finished laundry room on the fully finished lower basement level.

Post# 275185 , Reply# 1   4/15/2008 at 04:01 (3,810 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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You realy need to measure your depth from front to back.the Whirlpool line as well as Maytag and Kenmore models made by Whirlpool are over 30 inches deep.The LG and FRIGIDAIREs are not as deep and more versitile when it comes to tight spaces.LG just came out with a new green color.It's like a forest green.very refreshing.Best Buy has the washer for $999 and dryer(electric)for $899.

Post# 275191 , Reply# 2   4/15/2008 at 06:09 (3,810 days old) by toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        
Dryer box.

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IIRC most dryers now vent near the bottom of the rear. (As shown in the linkie).

And yes please do watch the depth allowed. Sometimes the connection to a dryer vent consumes another 4" (10cm).

The linkie shows one of the space-savers that allows the dryer to be pushed further back against the wall.


CLICK HERE TO GO TO toggleswitch's LINK

Post# 275201 , Reply# 3   4/15/2008 at 08:36 (3,810 days old) by passatdoc (Orange County, California)        

The Duet/Epic washers are as much as five inches deeper than the "standard" 27 inches. They stay within the traditional 27 inch width, but are also 2-4 inches taller than the "standard" 36 inches...which means the top of the dryer when stacked can be 6'8" off the ground (allow an inch for the stacking bracket), so a short person cannot reach the controls.

Frigidaire stays within the standard 27 x 27 inch footprint, though some people here have posted that the Affinity series, with its heavier round door, is 28 inches deep to the front of the door frame. The 2140 and 2940 (square door) models have a thinner profile and are 27 inches deep. At 3.5 cu feet, I believe they are the largest models that fit on the "standard" 27 x 27 footprint.

I have a 2140 with dryer that are stacked. Not because of a closet, but because the laundry area is along the back wall of the garage (it doesn't freeze here in California) and building code mandates a concrete-filled steel tube, called a bollard, in front of any appliances to protect them from a wayward car. The pipe is 32" high and right smack in front of the washer space...but for 18 years I had owned only toploaders which were not affected by the pipe.

To make the transition to a frontloader, I elected to stack a pair of Frigidaires. Since depth isn't an issue, I could have stacked a Duet pair, but the top of the stack would have been 6'8". I'm 5'10" and could reach the controls, but I would constantly be reaching up into the dryer drum. I think this is why you rarely see the largest 4.0 cu ft machines in a stack configuration.

In the photo, you can see the stack in what had been the dryer space. The dreaded bollard sits in front of what had been the washer space. The vent from the dryer snakes along the wall and connects to a vent that runs under the garage slab to the outside. Where the washer used to sit is now a folding table, or in my case, two of those beechwood tv tray tables pushed together (perfect height and width, plus I already owned four of them and never used them). To the right of the table is a sliver of the furnace. To the left of the stack is a sliver of the hot water heater. Three gas burning appliances are clustered together along the back wall of the garage (in an alcove, so they don't stick out), and that's why the bollard is required, to prevent a runaway car from taking out three gas lines.

The white cabinet on the wall came from Lowe's and cost $80. Stores detergent, OxyClean, dryer sheets (unscented of course), 20 Mule Team Borax, and shop towels. It looks goofy because it's taller than the top of the stack, but the location of the water faucets and electric outlet precluded placing it so the top with be flush with the top of the stack. Besides, there is a ton of unused wall space in the garage. To the left of the two water faucets is a partially-hidden 240V outlet, which has never been used since the house was built (20 years), since I have always owned a gas dryer.

The stacking bracket, which you can see between the two machines, cost about $20 from Frigidaire. The machine is not two-toned gray and white, but appears to be so because the control panels have a plastic face while the rest of the machine is steel, but in good lighting the white is identical on both surfaces. It's just an artifact from using a flash.

Post# 275202 , Reply# 4   4/15/2008 at 08:39 (3,810 days old) by passatdoc (Orange County, California)        

ps at my height (5-10, 178 cm) and with this stack arrangement, my shoulders are about at the center of the drum axis, so loading and unloading the dryer is very comfortable. I don't have to reach up or stoop down. A stacked pair of Duets would be 5-7" higher so I would always be reaching up to remove the laundry. For a shorter person, a stacked pair of Duets would be out of the question. For someone 6'4" or taller, it might on the other hand be very convenient.

Post# 275204 , Reply# 5   4/15/2008 at 08:48 (3,810 days old) by passatdoc (Orange County, California)        
ps re: venting

My dryer has venting cutouts on both sides and the rear. I use the rear outlet. All three locations are along the bottom, but it appears as if it could be used with a side vent if needed to conserve space. Most hardware stores sell a thin vent exhaust (aluminum) for use in tight spaces where a 4" vent hose would not fit.


Post# 275210 , Reply# 6   4/15/2008 at 09:10 (3,810 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
You might have

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to go with the European spec. washers - Mieles have such clean designs, that even a 15 year old stacked Euronorm washer/dryer would look very expensive and value-addition (gods, I just love the bullshit English words).
Each unit would be:
60cmx60cmx82= 23.62"x23.62"x32.28" That would put the stacked height at roughly 65" or so.
And Mieles which condense can go right up against the wall.
(Given the tight limits, I took the actual *installed, up and running* dimensions, not the 59.5x56.3...blahblahblah of the true Euronorm for free-standing, uninstalled units.)

Post# 275213 , Reply# 7   4/15/2008 at 09:34 (3,810 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

On the second floor of an older home, you may want to consider putting down a cement floor in the laundry closet and a floor drain if possible. Our second floor laundry has a pan under the washer with an overflow drain that consists of one-inch plastic pipe that runs directly outside through the wall.

Post# 275377 , Reply# 8   4/16/2008 at 00:32 (3,809 days old) by mattl (Flushing, MI)        

Wow, thanks for all the informative responses! Toggle I really like the vent box option, I see it comes in an oval vent which would work well for me. I did a quick look at Home Depot and it looks like there are a number of washers and dryers that would fit the space, so I'm encouraged.

golittlesport, I had thought about a tray, cement is not an option at this point, I will look and see if I can find something that might work since this is a plaster house and it would be a pain to repair if it got damaged, something with a side discharge would be easiest to accommodate. If I was going to live here I'd opt for one of those water sensors that kills everything if it gets wet.

panthera, the Mieles sound perfect, I could slide them right into the existing opening, but I'm not planning on providing the equipment. As it is I have an 30" door that was a swinging door between the kitchen and dining room that I removed and plan of reusing in this situation. The house was built in 1951 and the doors are somewhat unique and difficult to match so I feel lucky to have an extra one. The closet has a 24" door now so some surgery is required.

Thanks for all the great comments!

Post# 275406 , Reply# 9   4/16/2008 at 07:21 (3,809 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I have

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used the Electrolux built FriGEMores in a similarly narrow space, work fine. But service is a pain.
Your and golittlesport's idea of a drip pan is excellent. Actually, nearly all stainless braided neoprene hoses in the US today are equiped with some level of water protection. Better than nothing and since no-one ever turns faucets off anyway, some decent guarantee.
Good luck!

Post# 275510 , Reply# 10   4/16/2008 at 19:06 (3,808 days old) by toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        

toggleswitch's profile picture
Now THAT is a washer........

CLICK HERE TO GO TO toggleswitch's LINK

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