How to Get a Washer & Dryer Closer to the Wall

Washers and dryers are great to have in the home, but they can get in the way. The distance between the back of your washer and dryer and the wall constitutes wasted space in your home. Most of this wasted space stems from washer draining needs and dryer vent requirements. Amending your draining and venting situation may help save you considerable space. Always check with local building codes on washer and dryer installation before changing your setup.

Washing machine and dryer
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Avoid dragging a washer or dryer, because it can damage your floor.

Clearance Considerations

Getting your washer and dryer closer to your wall is a great idea in theory, but you should always check with manufacturer clearance specifications before undertaking such a job. Your washer and dryer installation manuals should contain exact clearance requirements for your appliances. While providing clearance between the wall and your washer and dryer can prove a frustrating use of space, clearance requirements ultimately exist to protect you from fire hazards and protect your walls and home frame from impact damage from vibrating appliances.

Washers

Washers usually require distance from the wall because they attach to inlet hoses and possess outlet hoses that extend from the back of the unit. The easiest way to get a washer closer to the wall entails cutting into the wall. For instance, you can install a recessed wall box to mount your washer water supply lines, which allows you to move the washer closer to the wall. You can also cut a hole in the wall, feed the outlet hose through and connect it directly to a plumbing drainage system within the wall. This allows you to push the unit closer to the wall.

Dryers

Almost all dryers need vents. The vents help remove lint and other potentially flammable items from the dryer, and take away hot air as the dryer cools during or after a drying cycle. Getting your dryer closer to the wall requires modifying your venting system. For instance, you can purchase recessed wall boxes designed to hold dryer vents within the wall at steep angles, allowing you to push your dryer as close to the wall as clearance specifications allow. Various similar methods of vent modification exist. Or, you can purchase a ventless dryer, capable of sitting much closer to the wall than a standard dryer.

Strategies

When considering modifications to get your washer or dryer closer to the wall, it's worth considering the costs -- and aggravation -- of making the change compared to purchasing new, more suitable appliances, such as a ventless dryer. A professional contractor or appliance vendor may be able to assist you with this. Professionals can also point out the potential hazards of your situation and explain to you how best to avoid those hazards. In the case of new construction, planning the space with in-wall washer and dryer connections in advance will forestall the need to later move the appliances.