Return to the Laundry Room Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Stacked vs. side-by-side

Posted by bestefar (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 20, 07 at 2:37

We are buying a new washer and dryer. The primary restriction is depth, so we are looking at the small Miele. We have the option to configure these as stacked or side-by-side. Which is better and why?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

Could depend on how tall you are. I looked at the stacked machines in stores when I first started washer shopping and realized I could never do that, I am too short. I would have to stand on a step stool to easily remove stuff from the dryer. Another friend felt she would have the opposite problem, being 5'11" she felt uncomfortable with the level of the washer. My next door neighbor has hers stacked and is happy enough (her words), she is never thrilled to do laundry anyway and that is how the LG's she bought best fit her laundry room. Hers work just fine.


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

If stacked, know in advance, if repairs are needed, will you be required to unstack them before work can begins?


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

Your stacked dryer will be subjected to the shaking of the washer's spin cycle possibly reducing it's life. You have to weigh that against the space saving of the stacked configuration. I don't think that it would have to be unstacked for service since there is no access panel on the top of the washer.


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

If this is an LG, then the first thing you have to do to get inside the machine for anything is to remove the top panel. I don't know about others. I don't think I'd worry about stacking them. It's not like its an unusual situation, they sell the kits so they can be stacked. I saw a stacked LG unit(s) at Home Depot the other day, and it actually wasn't all that bad. (Of course, no pedestals) The controls for the dryer on top can be moved to the bottom of the dryer very easily, so all the controls for the washer and dryer are in one easily reached place.


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

Miele laundry appliances are serviced from the front so they wouldn't need to be unstacked for normal service. As for shortening the life of the dryer due to vibration, I don't think this is anything to worry about. Miele laundry pairs are engineered to be installed in either configuration. Besides if the Miele washer is properly leveled and balanced with weight equally distributed to all four feet, vibration isn't an issue.

I have Miele laundry appliances in two homes. One set is side-by-side under a countertop, the other set is in a stacked configuration to save space. They work well in both configurations and neither set-up vibrates in the least. I prefer the side-by-side configuration because I have space on top to fold laundry. With the stacked pair, I have to remove the laundry from the dryer and take it to the kitchen for folding.

The Miele stacking kit does include a small pull-out table, but I find it too small for folding anything but very small items.

If you can go either way, I'd recommend side-by-side. Even better is, side-by-side with a counter over the top. That way, nothing can fall behind the appliances.

Hope this helps.

James


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

James,

Thanks for your thoughts. What you say makes good sense to me. Since the space is currently a blank page, I like the idea of implementing your suggestion about the counter over the stacked pair. My wife and I are tall, so we may be able to put the W & D on stands and then have a counter over the top.


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

In my laundry area (can't really call it a room), I have a stacked pair (FridGEmore), which allowed me to add a laundry folding counter to the side of the stacked pair.

As far as servicing goes, if the units are side-by-side under a counter top, you'll have to pull them out for servicing. The front panels come off both my washer and dryer, but if I needed to unstack the dryer, I don't see that it would be a big problem - the dryer is relatively light, the washer is heavy. To me, the concerns about servicing a stacked pair vs. side-by-side under a counter are a wash. (No pun intended.)

I *like* the dryer at eye level because I tend to unload and fold right out of the dryer and I can see everything easily. I have hangers right there in the laundry area. I prefer to not move the laundry someplace else to hang and fold - I wanted to be able to do it all in one place.

That's just my preference, of course. In my case, the stacked pair works well.

CMC


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

Pros and cons to both.

As noted above, a side-by-side configuration allows you to install a countertop over the set for placing laundry and for folding, or you can just use the top of the machines. Downside is that with smaller units, both units will be very low to the ground and you'll end up doing a lot more bending to take laundry in and out. If you're taller, I'd definitely recommend the pedestals to raise the height (of course, that means an additional cost.) Another potential downside is that the side-by-side configuration takes up more wall/floor space that you could have used for other purposes such as storage, shelving, etc. You can install shelving or cabinets over the washer/dryer, but those can be harder to reach - if you're taller, probably won't be a problem for you. The pedestals typically include a drawer for storage, but it will be a floor level, so you'll be bending down everytime you need to retrieve something from it or put it away.

Really comes down to a matter of personal preference and how else you might want to make use of the space in the area where you will have the washer/dryer.
The stacked configuration puts the dryer at eye level - easier to load things in and out and make sure you've removed everything. Downside is that you won't have much space to put things as you taken them out of the washer or dryer (typically a small shelf is built into the stacking unit). Upside is that they take up less floor space, allowing you to make use of the space for storage, clothes hampers, shelving, folding table, vacuum cleaner, etc. This type of storage is generally easier to access than shelving or cabinets above the washer dryer.

Jan


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

James...I'm wondering if you have a stacked unit! I do and my washer DOES vibrate during the spin cycle. Seldom do I get a perfectly balanced load. In a stack situation, the vibration is amplified with the dryer on top and the motion is sometimes quite intense. I believe this is completely normal for my machines. Sure, washers and dryers are engineered to be resistant to problems caused by vibration but it's just common sense that a dryer would be better off not enduring the additional vibrations caused by the washer's spin cycle.


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

twebbs....the only thing I can conclude is that your washer isn't properly leveled, or the weight of the appliances isn't evenly distributed to all four feet, or your floor isn't solid.

My stacked Miele laundry pair are on a solid concrete floor. I had to spend a fair amount of time making numerous adjustments to the leveling feet, checking with a spirit level along the front and the side of the machines to ensure that they were level. Once I got the adjustments right, the machines were rock-solid. I don't get any vibration -- period!

If your machines are vibrating excessivly, they're either not properly leveled, or your floor isn't solid.

Your experience with your machines may lead you to conclude that dryer life might be shortened, but my experience doesn't follow. I can't think of any reason to conclude that my dryer's service life would be any less in a stacked configuration than in a side-by-side setup.


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

I am in the process or remodeling my home and part of that process involves creating and entirely new laundry room. The space available for my new laundry room is relatively small and space considerations favor a stacked washer and dryer (because of its smaller footprint relative to a side by side configuration). I live in the desert where water is a limited and relatively expensive so I have limited my choice to stacked front-loading units (front loading washers use much less water compared to top load washers). After spending many hours online and visiting all my local appliance dealers (over the past 10 months or so) I have some important news to share. Many of you are probably already aware than many of the front load washers and dryers advertised as stackable are not practical because the unit on top (the dryer) puts the dryer controls too high to easily see and use. Furthermore, the bottom unit (the washer) is too low to be convenient (and putting the stacked unit on a pedestal makes the top dryer controls even more unusable).

This is my primary residence so I dont want the typical stacked unit you find in apartment buildings. I came up with two candidates but in the end 2nd place isnt even close (the best choice is much better than the closest runner up). The only runner up is the top of the line LG front load washer and dryer that has a clever control panel that can be located above or below the dryer barrel. Using the LG units side-by-side you leave the dryer controls located above the front-loading door typical of most all front-loading dryers. But when stacking the units, the dryer control panel can be moved underneath the dryer barrel so when stacked on top of the washer the two sets of controls (washer and dryer controls) are adjacent to each other (dryer controls are on top and immediately next to the washer controls). This isnt too bad except both washer and dryer controls are a little low without using a pedestal. One of the disadvantages of stacking is instability when the washer is in a spin cycle given the higher rpm spinning of these higher performance machines. Setting a stacked unit such as this (comprised of two separate pieces of equipment) on a pedestal only aggravates the problem of equipment instability during spin cycles. This problem coupled with the expense of these units (the dual-location dryer control feature is only available in LGs most expensive units) and the lack of a good ergonomic feel (even if you raised these units on a pedestal) make this at best the runner up stackable unit. If nothing better were available I would probably buy the LG or at least wait until they offer dual-location dryer control on their less expensive models.

My only choice is the Maytag Neptune Stacker. It was designed from the ground up as a stackable one-piece unit (there is nothing comparable to this by any manufacturer selling in the USA). The disadvantage of course is that a single unit it more difficult to move in the event service is required (however, Neptune were the first front load washer/dryers and by now they have the bugs worked out not that they have not had problems over the years, more on that later). The advantage of one-piece construction is there is not much of an issue with high rpm spinning and the ergonomics are exceptional. The controls are located at the perfect height and tilted up side-by-side in the mid-section of the unit (the LG controls are on a vertical surface perpendicular to the floor and difficult to see when standing in front of the stacked units). Maytag has been bought by Whirlpool and I have heard that Whirlpool is going to reintroduce the Neptune under the Amana name (if Im not mistaken Maytag had bought Amana before they were acquired by Whirlpool. There has been a class action suit against Maytag for the Neptune series that nearly bankrupt the company because part of the settlement required Maytag to inform everyone who had ever bought a Neptune of a problem some units had with the washer door seal. Of course everyone responded and got a new door seal whether they needed it or not. Another weakness over the years was the electronics was very susceptible to power surges and required the required $400 repair were common. Both these problems have been fixed and I doubt there is a front-loading washer/dryer as reliable (the Neptune series is available as a one piece stacker and side-by-side).

One thing that is unusual about the Neptune is the absence of see-through doors (glass or plastic) typical of almost all front load machines. My initial preference is to see whats going on inside my washer and dryer. But apparently the decision to use double layer metal doors (with insulation between) was made to reduce noise levels and Maytag claims their units run quieter than the competitions for this reason. I got the gas dryer version, and you can plan on spending about $1800.00 for the Neptune Stacker ($500 less than the LG I seriously considered). Because I found this stacker (there is really nothing else like it on the market in terms of being convenient to use and good ergonomic location of controls), I get to have a concrete countertop in my laundry room (that would not have been possible with a side-by-side) providing ample room for a built-in laundry sink and space to fold clothes. If you dont need a stacker for awhile, wait and see what Whirlpool (or in this case Amana) does when they eventually reintroduce the Neptune under its new name.


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

While I'm not normally a Speed Queen FL fan (cycles too short, heater too cool), it should be noted that their stackable FL pair has the washer and dryer controls on the same panel at the top of the washer, and probably has the best combination of ruggedness, build-quality, and convenience of any noncommercial stacked pair in the US. - DR


 o
RE: Stacked vs. side-by-side

James...My Maytag stack is on a concrete tiled floor and is perfectly level. I guess your Miele washer manages it's loads better than my Maytag because I almost alway get some vibration.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Laundry Room Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here