How To Hide A Washer & Dryer In A Kitchen – Info & Advice
Living in a home with no space for a separate laundry or utility room to hide your washer & dryer? You’re not alone! Many homeowners find themselves needing to place their washer and dryer in the kitchen.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to compromise on aesthetics or functionality. In fact, you can effectively hide your washer and dryer in the kitchen, creating a space that’s both practical and pleasing to the eye.
In this post, I’ll talk through the considerations of integrating and hiding a washer and dryer into your kitchen without disrupting its look or feel and give some ways to conceal these appliances.
Let’s get into it!
Should washing machines and Tumble Dryers be in kitchens?
Let’s get this out the way first.
The placement of appliances like washing machines and tumble dryers in kitchens is often a topic of lively discussion among homeowners and interior design enthusiasts (looking at you Kirstie Allsopp 😉).
In truth, the answer to the question, “Should these laundry appliances be in kitchens?” is the classic, it depends on your individual circumstances. Sure, we’d all love a separate dedicated laundry room or closet but for so many of us, that’s simply not possible.
One of the primary reasons washing machines and tumble dryers end up in the kitchen is due to space constraints. In many homes, particularly smaller apartments, townhouses, or older homes, a dedicated laundry room simply isn’t an option. The kitchen, therefore, becomes the most logical location for these appliances due to its size and existing infrastructure. (the bathroom can also be an option).
The kitchen can be a convenient location for your washing machine and tumble dryer as it’s already set up with the necessary plumbing for water supply and drainage thanks to your sink, and you also have other household appliances within the same space. This can make the installation process much simpler and less expensive than setting up a new laundry area.
Interestingly, it’s also a cultural norm in some countries. In the UK, for instance, it’s quite common to find the washing machine in the kitchen. So, there’s no need to feel odd about it – you’re actually in good company!
What’s more, with the right planning and design, washing machines and tumble dryers can be seamlessly integrated into your kitchen setup. They can be integrated, fitted within custom cabinets or under countertops, blending in with your kitchen units. This is an excellent solution for those who prefer their appliances not to be seen.
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Considerations Before Hiding a Washer & Dryer in the Kitchen
While incorporating a washer and dryer into your kitchen design can be both aesthetically pleasing and practical, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind before embarking on this project.
First and foremost, you’ll need to think about the amount of space your washer and dryer will require. The exact dimensions will depend on the type and size of the appliances you choose.
For instance, freestanding machines will require a greater width and depth if housed in a cabinet compared with an integrated machine which is designed to fit alongside standard-sized kitchen cabinets.
With freestanding dryers, don’t forget to account for ventilation space around the appliance, as well as room for any doors or curtains you plan to use to conceal them. Moreover, remember to leave sufficient space to comfortably load and unload your laundry within the kitchen area itself.
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Relocating or installing a washer and dryer in your kitchen means you’ll need access to both a water supply and drainage. If your kitchen wasn’t originally designed with laundry appliances in mind, you might need to factor in some plumbing modifications.
Remember that washers require a cold water supply, as well as a drain. You’ll also need to factor in the space required for these hoses and pipes. Dryers also require venting to the outside, unless you opt for a ventless, condenser or heat pump model.
Noise and Vibration
Laundry machines can be noisy and cause vibrations, which might not be ideal when you’re trying to enjoy a quiet meal or conversation in your kitchen. To mitigate this, you might want to look for appliances specifically designed with noise reduction technology. When purchasing an appliance, check the dB level. The lower, the quieter the machine will be.
Additionally, consider using anti-vibration pads under your machines, and ensure the appliances are level to minimize noise. When planning your kitchen layout, try to place your appliances away from areas where noise could be disruptive, like the dining area or a home office nook within the kitchen.
How To Hide A Washing Machine In The Kitchen
There are various ways to hide your washing machine and tumble dryer in the kitchen, whether you’re working with integrated or freestanding appliances. Here’s how you can make these laundry essentials vanish into your kitchen decor.
Integrated Washing Machine and Tumble Dryer
Integrated appliances are designed to be fitted with a cabinet door attached, allowing them to blend seamlessly into your kitchen design. This option can be ideal for a unified and streamlined look.
For example, you might position your integrated washing machine next to your dishwasher, both hidden behind matching cabinet doors. This creates a uniform, unbroken line of cabinetry that makes your kitchen look neat and well-coordinated.
It also has the benefit of being able to utilise the nearby water supply and waste pipes.
Freestanding Washing Machine and Tumble Dryer in Kitchen Units
If you’re working with freestanding appliances, consider a deeper and wider cabinet to accommodate them. They can either be placed side-by-side under a countertop within a base unit or stacked on top of each other in a tall unit pantry cabinet.
For the stackable washer approach, ensure that the upper machine (typically the dryer) is safely secured to avoid any mishaps. You may need to purchase a stacker kit to connect the two appliances securely.
Your cabinet could have a single, wider door or two individual doors to hide the appliances. When closed, these units will blend with your other cabinets, creating a clean and cohesive aesthetic.
Freestanding Appliances Behind Folding Doors
Another creative approach is to hide your freestanding washer and dryer behind folding or bifold doors. Bifold doors are hinged, allowing them to fold back onto themselves and provide easy access to your appliances.
This option can be particularly helpful if you are tight on space, as a folding door will have a smaller opening footprint than a single wider door. Perfect for narrow galley kitchens.
Freestanding Appliances Behind Pocket Doors
Pocket doors are another excellent solution for concealing your washer and dryer. These doors slide into a compartment in the cabinet, disappearing completely when open.
If you have a full-height cabinet with a stacked washer and dryer set, a pocket door can make access very straightforward while ensuring your kitchen maintains a sleek look when the appliances are not in use.
Who doesn’t love a good pocket door!? 😃
Curtain to Hide A Washer and Dryer
A simpler and more economical option is using a curtain (sometimes called a ‘skirt’) to hide your freestanding appliances. This can add a soft, homely touch to your kitchen. Choose a curtain rod and some fabric that complements your kitchen décor, and ensure it’s easy to move aside for access to your machines.
This is a great solution for those seeking the quickest and easiest way to conceal their laundry appliances creating a hidden washing machine cabinet.
Not my personal favourite option, but you do you!
Save Space with a Washer-Dryer (2-in-1) Appliance
If space is particularly tight, consider investing in a washer-dryer. This two-in-one appliance can be a real space-saver. It can be integrated with a cabinet door like an ordinary integrated washing machine or hidden behind doors or curtains if it’s a freestanding model.
While they might not have the capacity of separate machines, for smaller households, this could be the perfect solution.
So, no matter how much space you have or what your aesthetic preferences are, there’s a way to hide your washing machine and tumble dryer in your kitchen.
By integrating these appliances into your décor, you can maintain the beauty of your kitchen while enjoying the convenience of having your laundry appliances within easy reach.
Can you hide a top-loading washing machine in a kitchen cabinet?
Yes! While integrating a top-loading washing machine into a kitchen design might be a bit tricky, it’s far from impossible. In fact, with thoughtful design, you can not only hide these appliances but also make the surrounding space functional.
While front load washers are certainly easier to hide, a well-designed tall cabinet can serve as the perfect hideaway for your top-load appliances. The cabinet will need to allow enough overhead space for the machine’s lid to open and close comfortably.
You can turn this ‘dead space’ into a valuable utility zone. You could install a rail for hanging clothes, creating a convenient spot for air-drying or removing wrinkles. Alternatively, you can set up shelves for storing laundry supplies, from detergents and fabric softeners to ironing accessories.
If you plan to use this cabinet area for airing clothes too, don’t forget about ventilation. A cabinet that’s constantly closed might hinder the drying process and lead to dampness or even mildew. To counter this, consider designs with sliding or retracting doors that can be left open for necessary air circulation.
You could even get ventilation holes cut or drilled into the doors, in a lovely pattern, of course. This way, even when the doors are closed, air can still circulate.
Can you put a washing machine in a kitchen cupboard?
Yes, you can put a washing machine in a kitchen cupboard. It’s a common practice to hide appliances like washing machines and dryers in cupboards or cabinets to maintain a streamlined kitchen aesthetic.
However, it’s important to ensure that there’s adequate space for the appliance, proper ventilation, and accessible plumbing. Moreover, the machine should be easy to use without any hindrance from the cupboard structure. For this reason, front-loading machines are typically preferred for this setup.
There you have it! How to hide a washer and dryer in your kitchen.
Whether you’re constrained by space or simply prefer the convenience of having your laundry appliances in the kitchen, there are myriad ways to elegantly and efficiently hide your washer and dryer.
Keep in mind the key considerations like space requirements, plumbing, and noise control to ensure seamless integration of these appliances into your kitchen. With careful planning and a touch of creativity, you can maintain a harmonious kitchen aesthetic without compromising on functionality.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.