Possible cure for second or first floor F/L vibration woes

monawJanuary 31, 2010

I'm about to have a Miele washer/dryer installed on second floor of my home and thought I would share this info/idea with anyone who is searching for possible solutions to the vibration hell that some speak of. First of all we have put a 3/4 inch piece of plywood which is screwed and glued down on top of oak flooring. I intend on using the following treatment other than using plywood instead of oak that this gentlemen did: (the following is copied)

"HereÂs what we did to solve the noise and vibration problem. I canÂt take credit for this solution as we read this solution in another review and tried it and it worked for us. I am VERY grateful I found the solution on the Internet. We have a weak floor that vibrated & the washer on spin cycle would travel around the floor due to the vibration. Leveling the washer was NOT enough to stop this problem. We had a local lumberyard cut us three 1"x12" solid oak boards to place on the floor as a solid base for our washer and dryer. We also put a stall mat on top of these boards. A stall mat comes in 4Âx6 dimensions and is ¾ inches thick. ItÂs made of an extremely dense rubber material (one of these mats will weigh 100 pounds or more). The stall mats are available anywhere farm materials are sold. Sometimes they are called cow mats, or horse mats or even barn mats. They are made to cushion the floor for a horse or cow (and can withstand the wear and tear of 1400+ pounds of animal and their hooves and waste each day so theyÂre VERY durable). I bought ours for less than $40 so itÂs NOT an expensive solution. You can cut the mat to size with a common utility knife. Just lift the edge of the mat and cut the proper width. ItÂs not difficult. Once the washer and dryer are placed on this solid base, you wonÂt have ANY problems with vibration or noise. Even an apartment installation would be adequate to dampen vibration to those below the apartment. It works great. The base looks professional too if you make it to the exact size of the washer/dryer combo".

I will post the results after installation.

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Thanks for this. We are putting our laundry room on the second floor in a 100+ year old house and have been wondering what the best way is to keep it from causing a problem. We have a Fisher Paykel washer which we LOVE,(It cuts down on dryer time by about half), but the spin cycle could be too much for our old floor. We will keep this in mind!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:56AM
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monaw, which Miele are you installing?

I'm interested to hear how you like it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 5:00PM
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or you can just buy these:

Here is a link that might be useful: good vibrations pads

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 7:52PM
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crypandrus, I'm getting the 4842 washer with the matching electric dryer.
It'll be installed on Friday this week- I'll come back and post the results. (cross fingers) Hopefully I armed with the right stuff to combat the vibration. :)...(bring it on!)
Kateskouros, I considered those pads, but concerned that feet of washer may vibrate out of them. Plus I think the thick rubber mat may help muffle out some of the humming that drives us nuts from the floor below. We'll see!
I'll report back when I have done the noise test!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:42PM
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I'm happy to report that the 3/4 inch plywood and the 3/4 inch stall mat worked beautifully on the second story. We did, however, already have hardwood floors installed which the plywood was placed on, so that added extra reinforcement. I would recommend going with the one inch oak as the gentleman above used for those do not have that extra support!
I can tell you we are sure glad that we went to the extra expense and trouble to reinforce the floor and put the mat down! The Miele installers were quite impressed with the mat and wanted to know where I got it. They said it was one of the quietest second floor installation that they had ever done! We can feel a slight vibration when we're near the laundry room as it starts to go into it's spin and starts to come down, but it's not bad at all, and lasts a very short time. It is not nearly as loud as our top loader set was. With the old washer there was a constant humming all over the house and especially in the family room below. Other than the spin we can't hear anything at all, no sloshing,...nothing. It's completely quiet. I have to open the laundry room door to see that it is actually running! That's a pleasant surprise!! We also put a the stall mat under the dryer to help muffle the potential hum. (we had enough left to do so) There is a slight hum with the dryer, but again not nearly as loud as the old set. The techs said that the new Miele drier is a lot more quiet than the old one. They installed a "ridged vent" which is supposed to cut the noise of the air, which it did nicely.
So there's my report....I'm doing laundry today :) So far very pleased with the machines! Dirty white socks are coming out perfectly clean on the bottom with Persil detergent and hot water...something ol' toploader couldn't handle!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 11:06AM
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Thanks, monaw.

Glad to hear it's working out so well!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 11:23AM
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i think i'll run out to the feed store and check out these mats! i did buy the good vibrations pads and plan to use them but i wonder if i should/could skip the oak board since i'll be using tile on the floor in a new build? any opinions? TIA, i don't think anything is overkill to avoid a potential problem.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 11:19PM
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umm...I wouldn't skip reinforcement at all if you are placing on second story.

Think of it this way, you will be sorry if you change your mind after the units are placed. It cost us $125 to have a carpenter do it, but it's pretty straight forward for a do-it-your-selfer.
That being said, I could be wrong and it might be fine without reinforcement.

As far as the good vibrations pads go,....there still is a chance that your washer will vibrate off of them with an unbalanced load. That might cause damage to your appliances and laundry room. You don't need those pads if you get a stall mat.

My washer manual tells me not to install on second floor without reinforcing the floor. These are powerful machines! Anyway I'm sure glad I took the extra steps....quiet as can be!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 10:55AM
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the floor will be reinforced with 1.5" plywood by the GC. just wanted to make sure i don't need another 1" of wood over that? thanks.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 7:58PM
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Kateskouros, Good deal! I don't think you'll be sorry! Hopefully!

I wouldn't think you'd need the extra inch.. I think your 1.5 with mat will be fine. That probably brings you close to the thickness that I have (3/4") over my hardwood.
I don't know how thick a subfloor is but that gives you at least probably close to 2-1/2 inches of wood under 3/4 inches of rubber!
If you go higher than that the weight of the extra wood might get too heavy for the floor....you'd have to ask an expert on that one! We decided to stick with 3/4 because our machine weighs I think around 400 lbs. and we already had hard wood base.

Ask if you have any more questions!

Please do come back and post when you get it all installed and let us know how it's working for you!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 10:53PM
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thanks monaw. i'm going to have them use the good vibrations rubber feet as well (i already ordered them and they are here). i'll run a load and make sure all is well. the GC is a personal friend and lives right around the corner so he'll be here in a flash if i need to take them off for any reason.

they will be insulating and putting up sheetrock soon. we're expecting more snow here so can't be sure when we'll finish but i'll post my results ...some day (hopefully) soon. thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 11:00PM
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kateskouros, you're welcome!

Well one thing's for sure, if your washer does fall off those pads, at least it won't walk across the floor! :)
Good luck on your new home!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 1:24PM
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I would like to thank the person who posted this information. We purchased an adjustable bed with a built in massage unit and our bedroom is right above the kitchen. We had an older house and when we turned on the massage unit it about rattled the dishes right out of the kitchen cupboard. We purchased the Stall Matt today and my husband cut 12 inch squares and put them under each leg of the bed. There is 0 vibration downstairs now and also it cut out all the sound of the motor so even when laying on the bed we can barely hear the unit. This is a wonderful material and I will now be cutting the rest of the 6'x4' mat and putting the pieces under everthing that rattles. Well worth the $37.00 cost.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:17PM
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i wanted to revive this thread and thank monaw once again for the tip on the barn mats. i have a set of mieles in our second floor laundry room and they are absolutely solid with no vibration issues at all. no walking, no shaking, perfect! i also have a stacked bosch vision 500 set downstairs in the mudroom, also sitting on a barn matt and there are no issues there either.

i also ordered the hockey puck type rubber feet thinking i would use these as well, but couldn't due to height restrictions (upper cabinetry in the way). i was concerned my seemingly foil proof method had to be abandoned, but i quickly learned there was no need for concern.

seriously. call the feed store and get a barn mat! it's quite possible both units would have been fine without it, but i didn't feel like finding out. a very simple and wonderfully inexpensive solution to what can be a very big problem. i'm also thinking the mats help to absorb sound as well. just so thankful not to have any issues for once!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Two layers of Sturd I floor (1-1/8"), people!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Glad to hear the mats are working. Check under them once in a while for dampness and mold - someone here had mold and rot before they found it. Don't want the washer ending up downstairs in the kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Bump, I have been considering getting a stall mat for my pending Miele installation. Anyone care to comment? I was going to use several layers of plywood with a mass loaded vinyl layer in between. But the MLV is so expensive and I don't need 20 feet of it :) Stall mats are easy to come by for me. and less than $50. The MLV would cost >$100. The Grainger website has heavy machinery vibration feet that I could use. But the stall mat would be easy to access and install.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Bump, I am still waiting for my floor to get finished...hurry up self!

I am trying to decide on the platform to use. I was thinking of a few layers of plywood with, or without stall matt.

Are there concerns with dampening the machine's vibration using a matt? I realize that getting the balance perfect with the feet is the first step.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 11:31AM
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good grief, I already mentioned Sturd-I-floor. much better than simple run of the mill plywood.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Tell me more Charlie Brown :)

edited to include the topic I want more information about i.e. "sturdy" floor

This post was edited by enduring on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 22:23

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 9:12PM
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available at Home Depot. two layers of that stuff, screwed to a second-story floor and you are good to go. Bring some strong dudes with you to the store, as a sheet is crazy-heavy. One sheet will be enough. :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 1:06PM
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I have a FL on the first floor of my home over a basement. Our first FL was so loud, it sounded like a jet plane taking off and vibrated the kitchen, family room and dining room floors. My FL started leaking so got another one (same brand) but the difference is the old machine was belt driven and the new machine is direct drive. Now my direct drive machine is so quiet, you can't even hear it washing and the vibration is almost nil. I believe there are quite a few brands that are direct drive now....no need for mats, rugs or pads under my machine....and it is on a "floating" floor. I am very pleased.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 4:28PM
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Hey Dave1812. Thanks for the information. This is my specific scenario:

My machine will be going on the main floor over a basement. One story house. The machine will be in the corner of 2 perpendicular load bearing walls. the span for the joist in this room is about 8 or 9 feet. the floor's bottom layer has 1x6 old diagonal boards on top of 2x8 doug fir joist 16"oc, then a layer of 3/4 Sturdi floor glued and screwed 6"oc entire area, then 3/8 a-c ply and screwed 6"oc to the Sturdi floor, followed by 1/4" self leveling compound in a plastic mesh (electric heating too), layer of Strata-Mat (Laticrete's Ditra equivalent), and finally tile.

Any thoughts on more support on top of the tile? My Miele set to be stacked will be here Tuesday :) I was thinking that I could put a double layer of Sturdi floor set on top of the tile and put the W/D on top of that. But the ply wouldn't be mounted to anything. Another GW member stated that he used mass loaded vinyl sheet between the 2 layers of ply, glued and screwed together then set on the floor over a rug friction mat. I would do that but I can't find any MLV without buying a ton of it.

Another option is that I could put the stall mat mentioned above by the OP between a couple of layers of Sturdi floor ply, glued and screwed. It will also lift the set up a bit from the floor and ease the need to bend over so far.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 6:26PM
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I presume that if the tile cracks underneath it's not the end of the world, right? I think you are going to need the sturd i floor over the tile as the construction you describe is somewhat typical of what causes 2nd story FL washer woes. If it were me I would screw (NO GLUE) the 2 sheets together and if at all possible, anchor them into the wall plates (removing sheetroock) with metal fasteners at the two adjoining walls. Between the tile and the sturd i floor I'd suggest using the strongest/thinnest bonding agent you can get so as not to have flexing between the tile and sturdi floor.

in other words, if you used something like silicon caulk or construction adhesive, there's really no way to squeeze out the adhesive, no matter how much weight you place on top of the sheets to make really good contact across the tile floor. You want something that isn't resilient. and don't use anything that will crack/flake light the leveling compounds or a thin application of cement products. I'm not sure without Googling, what would be the best product for that purpose, so check it out.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Well I got my Miele washer in place without any platform, and it is sitting directly on my floor. And it pretty much purrs right along. I feel a buzz along the sides as it spins and that is it. After locating it, I leveled it and ran one bath towel to test the balance (told that that is the most unlevel load). No shaking.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:54PM
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I am also getting s 2nd floor laundry closet made and I'm reading about the flood saver pans and barn mats and food stop device. Would I placd the barn mat on the plywood and then the flood saver pan and then the flood stop sensor in the pan or would you place the mat in the pan and then the sensor on the mat? Thanks for your help


    Bookmark   January 4, 2015 at 3:02PM
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bumping because i have the same question as Jams - would the pan go on top of the mat?


    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 12:28PM
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we have a tile floor over the reinforced floor. we laid the barn mat down over the tile and the pan on top of the mat, with the flood stop sensor in the pan. it's been two years and no issues.

good luck!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2015 at 7:14PM
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Thank you Kate for your info. That's really helpful!!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2015 at 6:19PM
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