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How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

roshanrn
Getting Established

How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

I recently bought and moved into a house, where the previous owner has renovated certain portions of the property. 

One of the issues that I currently have is that my washing machine (+dryer) (height: 850mm) does not fit under the countertop in the laundry area.

I just need an additional clearance of 5mm. I had considered 3 options: 

1. remove the top cover of the washing machine to slide it under the countertop 95% of the way. 

2. remove the legs of the washing machine to achieve clearance

3. remove tiles from the floor or cut through the countertop? 

 

Option 2 did not seem feasible because I need the legs to stabilise the load when the machine is running - see picture 

I am currently employing option 1 - (I do not like this, as the internal wiring are exposed)

I am not sure how to go about employing Option 3. 

 

Would you have any other options that I could use? Something that does not cost a lot of money? 

 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @roshanrn. It's terrific to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about fitting a washing machine.
 

Could you please provide some images of the countertop so our members can better understand what you're working with?


Is there a sink in the countertop? Could you raise the countertop slightly to accommodate the washing machine?

 

How thick is the countertop, and what material is it made from? If it is quite thick and made from timber, it could be possible to remove timber from the underside.

 

Are you using the feet to level the machine? If the surface is quite flat then there might be no need for the adjustable feet, as they are only need for un-even surfaces. Be aware that if you do remove them entirely, you should protect your tiles from any metal component on the underside of the machine. Perhaps a sheet of MDF would be sufficient.

 

Modifying the flooring is also an option. You could carefully remove just enough flooring under the washing machine to gain the required clearance. To remove tiles with a grout saw and chisel, first clear the area and wear safety gear, including safety glasses, a face mask and gloves. Use the grout saw to cut through the grout lines around the tile. Position the chisel at the edge of the tile and gently tap it with a hammer to pry the tile loose, working around the edges. Continue until the tile lifts off. Finally, use the chisel to remove any remaining adhesive or mortar, ensuring the surface is clean. 

 

I'm not a huge fan of this option, as it modifies a surface to accommodate an appliance. Before you start removing tiles, I would consider the cost of replacing the appliances with some that fit the space.

Removing the top cover, which would expose wiring, would be a safety risk, so I don't suggest you go that route.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Mitchell
 

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Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Hi @MitchellMc , Thank you for your response. 

From what I understand, the most convenient option seems to be removing the feet and placing the washing machine on an MDF sheet.

I am attaching a few more pictures. Would there be any other suggestions that I could employ without altering anything on the washing machine?

 

Thanks again!

 

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Hi @roshanrn 

 

I'm afraid Mitchell has covered all the bases in regards to possible solutions, that includes exchanging your washing machine for something that is much shorter. One other option that comes to mind is to increase the height of your cabinets by modifying its feet. 

 

If your cabinets use a screw type footing, it might be possible to lift everything to allow the washing machine to slide in. Just keep in mind that lifting the cabinetry will affect the benchtop and the plumbing associated with it.

 

Let me call on our experienced members @Dave-1, @Nailbag, @TedBear and @JoeAzza for their recommendations.  

 

If you have any other questions we can help with, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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Nailbag
Becoming a Leader

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Hi @roshanrn I have had to deal with this issue on a couple of occasions helping others out.

Raising the bench top is not an option as that opens a large can of worms, from above bench wall tiles, plumbing for both sink and mixer and the obvious aesthetics to fill above doors and drawers.

 

Removing the feet will mean you lose any way to level the machine, which will cause major vibrations if unbalanced being a front loader. It also means resting the machine on sections underneath that are not designed to take the weight during operation, hence any issues caused will void any warranty. But you could try just removing the lock nuts which will allow the feet to screw lower, just as long as there is some clearance from any other part of the underside of the machine. Using Loctite on the thread will prevent it from winding once levelled.

 

You could also try sourcing a replacement machine that fits, but since you're trying to do this cost effectively, thats probably out, but might be worth the research. Plus machines tend to be of very similar standard dimensions.

Two other cost-effective options to consider would be:
1/ Remove the tiles and underlay back to the slab/timber floor as @MitchellMc described. This will give you a min 12mm clearance. A straight cut using a thin continuous rim diamond wheel on an angle grinder along a straight edge, then lift the tiles and underlay from within the cavity. The machine and floor integrity will be fine as long as the floor is clear of all debris.

2/ Providing you have been able to confirm there are no electrical or structural issues, you maybe able to trim the top of the front facia (as per images) as it appears to be cosmetic at the top and you have some clearance available from that front facia to the actual top of the machine behind?

I have done both of the above.


Hope this helps. Nailbag

 

 

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TedBear
Kind of a Big Deal

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Hi @roshanrn ,

I am with @Nailbag on this one.... try removing those locknuts first up.

if that doesn't work, consider just removing the tiles that are in line with the feet, so that the machine has two tile-free grooves to slide in and tiles could be reinstalled (i.e. replaced) later if required.   (Given that machines are usually standard height, chances are any new machine will have the same issue, so I can't imagine needing to put any tiles back though. Judging from the hole size error, it looks like the d-i-y cabinet maker may have forgotten to allow for the fact that tiles would going under that area when designing the cabinets.)

Dave-1
Home Improvement Guru

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Morning @roshanrn 

The removal of the lock nuts was where I went first, pretty much what everyone is suggesting. Looking at your Benchtop is it an engineered stone or a solid surface type one? I was just looking at underneath the bench and can see some MDF. Could that be modified (Routed or cut out) to allow you to get the washing machine with lid underneath? You may need to strengthen the underside with steel as it looks like its supporting the actual bench. You would also nee to route the edge of the bench at least a little.

 

I dont like breaking the lino? flooring as it will allow water to get under the edge if possible. 

 

A pain in the neck solution - Dont put the washing machine there, can it be moved to the end of the cabinetry? 

 

Mmmm the more I think about effort verse return I would prob go the route of raising the whole cabinetry, not just for this issue but for replacement down the track. No point in putting effort into it  and then have to revisit it when/if that washing machine breaks. Some issues with the bench being raised as @Nailbag points out are tile positions, feet themselves if they are already at max height, drain pipe and water pipe connections. This is a hard call for a project. Hopefully there are few suggestions in these posts that help you out.

 

Dave

Nailbag
Becoming a Leader

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Do you recall if there was actually a washing machine in that space during the purchasing process?

 

it might be worth checking the Section 32 for the previous owners contact details. It might be worth emailing them and ask what brand and model in case you consider a replacement. Maybe a swap is possible?

 

regards Nailbag

JoeAzza
Kind of a Big Deal

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Hi @roshanrn I agree with all the great ideas, if possible I would raise the countertop and insert a filler spacer in between the the countertop and top of the cupboards that matches the cupboard doors

roshanrn
Getting Established

Re: How to make washing machine fit under countertop?

Hi all,

Firstly - thank you all for the overwhelming support to address this concern of mine. 

Second - to answer a few follow up questions

1. @Dave-1 - I see that cutting to reduce the thickness of the MDF would not help as the stone has a lip underneath which would prevent the top cover from being put back on (unless I cut through the stone as well (not confident enough to do that)). Also, I did consider not putting the washing machine in its current location - but it creates other space issues in a fairly small laundry footprint. The end of the cabinetry is the wall. 

 

2. @Nailbag - the whole laundry space was recently renovated prior to sale and as @TedBear did correctly point out - "it looks like the d-i-y cabinet maker may have forgotten to allow for the fact that tiles would going under that area when designing the cabinets." This is exactly what has happened. I say that because the kitchen floor was renovated as well and there was a brand-new dishwasher in the kitchen cabinetry. 

 

Assessing all the ideas put forth; I see that removing the lock nuts from the feet may give me the clearance I need to put the top cover back on. Will try that first. If it doesn't work, I'll look to work on the floor tiles. 

 

Thank you again!

Grateful that this community exists! 

Cheers

 

 

 

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