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R V Dunai 07-05-2010 01:33 PM

How to install countertop over washer and dryer
Hello. I am new to this site and am trying to DIY on a project in the laundry room. We have a front loading washer and dryer set. I want to install a countertop over the set.
THe layout of the room is as follows: The W/D units are right next to each other. There is a wall to the right side of one of the units and behind both units but NOT on the other (left) side of the units. Instead of a wall, there are base cabinets and a counter top which is about two inches shorter than the height of the W/D set.

We measured and decided that we need a countertop of 60 5/8 inches in length and 31 inches deep. How do we attach the countertop to the wall? We don't know if we are supposed to attach the countertop to the wall or if we are supposed to attach it to wood legs? I have run into a few problems:

Problem: there is a pocket door on the side wall of the dryer and also behind the dryer so I don't think I can nail a board to the wall to support the countertop.
Problem: Problem: the countertop on the W/D set will not be the same height as the adjacent countertop that rests on cabinets (just to the left of the W/D set). The existing countertop will be two inches shorter, as the W/D units are taller than the base cabinets. What to do with the two inch gap on the side where the new counter top will not meet flush with the existing countertop.

Any input would be AWESOME!!!

Ron6519 07-05-2010 04:07 PM

Try posting a picture.

R V Dunai 07-05-2010 05:48 PM

picture posted of laundry room
2 Attachment(s)
attached pictures. hope they come through :)

nap 07-05-2010 06:01 PM

60 5/8" wide and 31 deep? You need to have support at the front of that counter and you hopefully have room to set a support between the washer and the dryer because a 5' long counter will bow from it's own weight in short order let alone when you put something on the counter.

So how much space total do you have between the counter in place and the wall and how much space do the washer and dryer take up in that space?

and what is the distance from the back wall to the moulding around that door to the right of the units?

R V Dunai 07-05-2010 07:02 PM

more measurements
In response to request for more measurements:

The space total is what I measured for the countertop. The units are 54" wide total. So there is at least 6 inches extra in width. And they are 31" deep from the front panel to the wall, including room for hoses.

The side cabinet to the left of the washer does not measure up with the units, bummer. It is 25 1/2 deep and so it has always been set back farther than the units.

The trim at the door is 31 3/4" to the back corner of the space.

Thanks for any input! :)

Ron6519 07-05-2010 07:07 PM

Cut 3 pieces of 3/4 " plywood the size you would need if you were building a cabinet. You would place them at the ends and one in between the appliances. Screw in "L" brackets into the sides to attach to the countertop. Attach "L" brackets at the bottoms to screw into the floor. Place the counter on top and attach the sides to the top through the "L" brackets.
Take the side cabinet and build up the base so it's even with the counter top.

sausagefingers 07-05-2010 09:40 PM

2 Attachment(s)
You could always do something like this. The homeowners wanted to use this room as an office and bar, so I enclosed the washer and dryer.

nap 07-05-2010 10:33 PM

nice looking work sausagefingers.

nap 07-08-2010 09:33 PM

man, if that doesn't read like a spam post, I don't know what does.

Shelf brackets are not going to hold up a 30" deep countertop. The leverage applied to the brackets would most likely overwhelm the brackets and unless the bracket came out to near the front of the shelf/countertop, the leverage applied to the screws holding the countertop to the brackets would likely not withstand the forces applied, at least for long.

something like sausagefingers posted is a great solution but it can be installed without the doors if you would choose to leave it open faced.

nap 07-09-2010 12:43 PM

didn't mean to offend you but with it being your first post and there was a specific vendor to supply brackets, well, maybe I have become a bit jaded but if you hang around for awhile, you will see what I mean. Then realize that what any one of the members typically sees is only a small percentage of what the mod and admin have already removed.

again, my apologies.

anyway, a 30 inch counter is extremely deep. Since it is above the washer and dryer, you can expect (even if the owner claims it won't happen) that baskets full of clothes will get dropped onto the counter. Gallon, or even larger jugs of laundry chemicals will get set on it. It is a large area with a lot of room for "stuff"

Heck, if they have children, I would seriously expect to see a teenager hop up there as they fold clothes or for whatever.

as such, unless the brace/bracket/ whatever you use comes out to the front of the shelf/counter, there could possibly be a great amount of leverage (the front point of the bracket/brace) is the fulcrum point. Ever hear of Archimedes? He is credited with the statement (obviously he didn't say it in English)
"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world."

If you use a 10 inch bracket on a 30 inch counter, 10 pounds on the front of the counter will cause 20 pounds of lift at the wall,. 5 inches away from the wall, it will cause 60 pounds of lift. It increases in such a ratio the further you get away from the wall all the way up to the fulcrum. The screws will have to be able to overcome this, for many years to come.

Even if you used an L bracket type system, you still have the force of the weight trying to bend that bracket. Leverage is a great means to apply a lot of force in one place using much less force in another.

If you place a support all the way to the front, 10 pounds of weight on the front causes no up lift and it produces 10 pounds of pressure, spread out along the length of the support, on the floor.

When designing a project, you must consider all of the realistic possibilities and engineer your system to meet those possibilities.

and, welcome to the forums. Sorry for the rude initial welcome.

Cmudr1 07-13-2010 02:03 PM

R V Dunai, It looks to me from your pictures that there should be enough room to evenly space out the washer dryer with an equal gap in the middle and use the ends and middle as a support. You asked what to do with the edge that is going to be showing next to the existing cabinet, this is where I would essentially frame out a cabinet and use to set the countertop onto.

Use a nice sheet of 3/4 plywood (not particleboard, you want a nice smooth finish) on each side with possible 1x6 supports(or larger boards depending on the gap sizes) between the washer dryer. Since it is already going to be above the existing counter, I would use an inch or more of height to frame a box all the way around (such as a cabinet for stability) to rest the counter on utilizing the center and edge supports.

So in theory, you'll need to measure to be sure, your going to build a cabinet to put the W/D into. If you have a built in dishwasher this could serve as an illustration.

Edit* The second pic Sausagefingers shows a good illustration of what I was meaning, with or without doors your call :P But first try and see how much space is available on each side of the w/d.

socalwm 08-20-2011 10:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I want to thank sausagefingers for his photos. Your enclosure looks exactly like what I envisioned for my front loading washer and dryer. Then I saw the diagram for clearences in the owners manual. It says that the gas dryer needs at least 18" of space above it.

It does not say why. Can I safely ignore this specification?

Thanks for your help.

m1951mm 08-21-2011 11:59 AM

The original posting here was over a year ago. I can see why you like the look of the enclosure, very nice. Not sure if the same authors are still around or not. I am by far no expert on this, but I am thinking that since you have a gas dryer, gas is hard piped to the appliance vs. electric which uses a cord so the dryer can be pulled out to work on. The gas hard piping makes it harder to move. That could be the reason for the clearance, as if any plumber can fit in a 18" space above and dryer and work on it:laughing:. Cheek Crack Time:laughing:.

I am hoping that my post will help bring this back to the top and the list so that more current viewers might jump in. If you do not see answers for your question you might consider starting a new thread with link back to this one for the pics of that great coverup!!!!!!!

Best to you

Ron6519 08-21-2011 02:07 PM


Originally Posted by socalwm (Post 711890)
I want to thank sausagefingers for his photos. Your enclosure looks exactly like what I envisioned for my front loading washer and dryer. Then I saw the diagram for clearences in the owners manual. It says that the gas dryer needs at least 18" of space above it.

It does not say why. Can I safely ignore this specification?

Thanks for your help.

I would think the manufacturer would know best about the dryer and the needed clearances. Call them up and ask them the reasoning behind it.
Ignoring them flat out, would not seem wise.
For Mickey, the dryer has a corrugated flex pipe going from the shutoff to the dryer. This way you can pull the dryer out into the room to work on it.

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