Knowing how to space the appliances throughout your home can sometimes feel impossible. Are you currently planning out the laundry room but have no idea how much space needs to be between the washer and dryer? Is it bad to have them be too close or too far?
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Lucky for you, we've done some digging and have the answer to share below. Let's discuss!
In general, you want to leave about an inch of space between the washer and dryer. Of course, this applies to side-by-side units, as stacked appliances don't need to have any distance between them.
On top of the one-inch side clearance, you also want to leave roughly six inches in the back of a washer and dryer to ensure proper ventilation.
Not giving your appliances enough side and back-end room can increase the chances of fire, so this is imperative.
As we begin, we will cover all things washer-dryer spacing and discuss how to place them in your house. Whether you recently purchased a new washer, dryer, or both, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive head first into this topic!
Do You Have To Leave Space Between The Washer And Dryer?
Yes. You will need to leave about an inch of room between a washer and dryer. As we mentioned, doing this prevents poor ventilation, which will, in turn, prevent fire.
Since a washer and dryer typically measure 27 inches across, wherever you plan to put them must be at least 54 inches wide.
Luckily, many apartments and homes have big enough spaces for a washer and dryer, so this shouldn't be a major concern. However, if you're in an especially tiny place, you might want to try stacking instead.
According to Whirlpool, leaving an inch of clearance between a washer and dryer will prevent them from overheating. Even if you wash and dry them in cooler temperatures, these appliances will get warm.
Like a refrigerator or dishwasher, a washer and dryer release hot air through a hose out their back-end. That is why we suggest giving six or more inches of space behind your laundry appliances to ensure nothing sets on fire.
What If My Washer And Dryer Are Too Close?
It can be tempting to save as much space as possible for anyone in a smaller apartment or home. Although moving your washer and dryer super close together may seem easy to add more room to an area, this can be dangerous.
Besides increasing the chances of an electrical fire, having a washer and dryer too close to one another can decrease their efficiency and overall performance.
As we covered above, both washers and dryers produce heat while they are on. If you have both running, this will create a super hot, humid environment near your appliances.
Not only will this heat up the laundry room, but it can also cause your systems to overheat and set on fire. Imagine placing two refrigerators directly next to each other with no space in between.
Over time, the heat from both appliances would cause the other to "max out" and eventually fail altogether. The same applies to a washer and dryer.
Without the proper ventilation, your laundry machines can become fire hazards and even break. That is an expensive mistake to make, so keep the two an inch or more apart if possible.
How Much Space Do I Need In Front Of My Washer And Dryer?
Now that you know how much space needs to be between your washer and dryer, it's important to consider the front end. You generally want to give your appliances about 48 inches (four feet) in the front.
We say this because some washers and dryers will have front doors, which need to be able to be opened. Also, leaving space for yourself to do your laundry comfortably is essential.
That said, some people leave closer to six feet in the front of their appliances, so the more, the merrier.
Again, if you're somewhere that is lacking square footage, it's not the end of the world if you only have a few feet of front-end clearance.
As long as your washer and dryer can release air and ventilate, they will be fine. The most critical spacing you need to consider is the back and sides, so the front isn't the priority.
How Far Does A Washer/Dryer Need To Be Away From The Wall?
As we mentioned above, leaving at least six inches behind a washer and dryer is ideal. Considering that a dryer and washer will have back-end hoses, giving the two enough room is crucial.
For example, if your appliance is too close to the wall, this can break its rear parts. Your dryer could have a broken lint/hot air pipe, which can cause a fire.
The same goes for your washing machine, which will need to pump water safely. Without leaving plenty of space for each system, you risk water damage, fire damage, and two broken appliances.
Furthermore, it's imperative to do this so your two appliances can ventilate adequately.
Is It Safe To Stack My Washer And Dryer?
As long as the washer and dryer you stack are meant to, they will be safe. A common misconception about stacking laundry machines is that you can do this with any model.
Unfortunately, that is untrue. When you try to stack a standard washer/dryer, this can break them and pose a safety hazard to you and your home.
Therefore, if you want to try a vertical laundry room layout, you'll need to purchase a set of stackable appliances. Additionally, stackable washers and dryers will have front-end doors, so you'll need to leave plenty of space.
A positive here is that these appliances tend to be a little cheaper than stand-alone options, so that's something to think about.
According to Maytag, even if you purchase your washer and dryer from the same manufacturer, that doesn't always ensure you can stack them.
Do You Have To Vent A Stackable Dryer?
Remember to vent the dryer if you're ready to stack your appliances. Even though it may feel unnecessary, running a vent out the back of your machine or the top is essential.
Even though most stackable dryers are designed to save space, they will still have a vent that should lead outside. However, if you live somewhere that isn't possible, you will need to get creative.
An example of this would be to find a vent-less dryer. Using one like this will erase the need for an external leading ventilation system, which can save you time and money.
With that said, you need to continue leaving space behind, to the side, and in front of a stackable washer/dryer. Just because the two are smaller and on top of each other doesn't mean that safety protocol flies out the window.
Moreover, you should ensure the ceilings in your laundry space are high enough to support a stacked idea, so try to measure before making any expensive purchases.
How Wide Should A Laundry Room Be?
If you're planning a new laundry room, measurements are everything. In general, you want your laundry space to be around nine feet wide by 11 feet long.
As we said, the more room, you can have in your laundry room, the better. Not only will leaving more open space improve ventilation, but it will also keep the humidity and temperature down.
Have you ever been in a small laundry room and felt like the air was thick? This claustrophobic feeling is because whoever designed that space didn't leave enough empty square footage.
In addition, you want to ensure the ceilings are high enough in a laundry room. Ideally, try to have yours be at least 8-10 feet, and go higher if you can.
The worst thing to have is a low-ceiling, small laundry space, which is bound to become your least favorite spot in the house.
If you're adamant about not creating an in-home swamp, you might also want to consider adding a ceiling vent, which can suck any excess heat and moisture to the exterior of your home.
Do The Washer And Dryer Need To Be Together?
Although separating your washer and dryer can save space, we don't recommend it. Besides being inconvenient, what would separating your two clothing cleaning appliances do in your home?
Imagine if you had your oven in the kitchen and your refrigerator in the garage. Yes, this would open up room in the kitchen area, but at what cost?
Typically, you want to keep the same genre of appliances together. As we mentioned, you can try purchasing a stackable washer and dryer instead if you want to save floor space.
You can also buy smaller appliances if your square footage is a problem, so we recommend following those avenues instead of separating anything.
At the end of the day, your house needs to be convenient, safe and designed to fit your lifestyle.
Frigidaire FFLE3900UW 27 Laundry Center
This two-in-one washer and dryer have a stacked design, features a 3.9 cubic feet washer, a 5.5 cubic feet capacity dryer, ten different wash cycles, six electric dry cycles, and has good online customer reviews.
To Finish Up
Whether you want to renovate your existing laundry room or build one, it's essential to plan out your appliance spacing. We found that a washer and dryer need at least one inch of space between them.
On top of that, you should leave six or more inches behind the two appliances and roughly four feet in front. Good ventilation will not only prevent an electrical fire but can also help your machines run more efficiently.
Regardless, follow these guidelines when designing your laundry space, and don't be afraid to try a stackable option instead to save floor space!
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