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Tips To Consider Before You Buy An Integrated Washing Machine

Updated on August 4, 2010

Basic Info About Integrated Washing Machines

When it comes to buying a washing machine for your home, you have many selections to choose from, but if you are short on space and are looking to incorporate a washing machine into your home in a way that doesn’t make it stand out, then you should consider buying an integrated washing machine. These appliances can be conveniently kept out of sight, so integrated washing machines can provide you with the laundry function you need without detracting from your home’s décor.

A fully integrated washing machine is one that is fully integrated into the design of your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room so that you don’t even know it is there. In most cases, the washing machine is installed within a cabinet with a door closing it up so that when the machine is not in use, you don’t see it and it remains out of the way. There is usually a counter above it as well. By choosing to install an integrated washing machine in this way, you can tuck the machine away when not in use so that you do not even know it is there.

Another option is an integrated washing machine and dryer, which works a little differently. In these models, the washer and dryer are stacked on top of one another and are sold as a single unit. These integrated models generally offer smaller capacity washers and dryers, but since they are stackable, they are made to fit in small spaces, such as in apartment settings.

Integrated washing machines are not as popular as freestanding washing machines in the US, but in the UK, integrated washing machines are a more popular purchase.

Integrated Washing Machine Styles

Most integrated washing machine styles include a front loading design.  Since the machines are generally installed within a cabinet, this allows easy access to using the machine when the cabinet door is opened.  When it comes to styles of integrated washing machines, however, they are not very different from any other type of washing machine – they are just installed differently so that they are tucked into an out of the way space, such as in a cabinet or under a counter.  Many integrated washing machines are also placed in spaces such as closets.

Where your machine will be placed will primarily determine the style of integrated washing machine you need to purchase.  For example, the available location you have will help you to determine the size of the appliance that you can buy, as well as the type of machine as well.   If you are tucking your appliance into a small closet area or only have limited space for both a washer and dryer, then you may want to consider getting an integrated washing machine and dryer combo in which one appliance sits on top of the other.  Some of these models have the two appliances attached to one another as one integrated unit, and in others you can purchase two separate units and stack them on top of one another.

Integrated Washing Machine Manufacturers

Not all manufacturers of washing machines offer integrated models, but a number of the more reputable companies do, such as Bosch, Whirlpool, Hoover and LG, among others.  Here are a few different integrated washing machine models to consider:

  • Bosch WVTI2842GB Integrated Washer Dryer
  • Whirlpool AWZ 514D Integrated Washer Dryer
  • Hoover HWB 814D Integrated Washing Machine

Some models are sold as integrated washing machines and dryers, meaning that the washing machine and dryer are attached and are integrated into one unit (generally with these models, the washing machine is a small top loading model that sits on the bottom of the unit and the dryer is a front loading model that sits on top of the washer).  Others are sold specifically as integrated washing machines alone, although in many cases you can use any front loading freestanding washing machine and integrate it into a cabinet, pantry or closet to create the same effect.

Integrated Washing Machine Sizes

The size of the machine you choose to purchase will depend in part on the amount of space you have available.  There is not one set size for this type of appliance, so you will need to shop around to find a size that is right for your home’s specs.  If you are selecting a washing machine to be installed in a cabinet, you can generally buy a full size integrated machine for that purpose.  Combination models, such as integrated washing machines and dryers are generally smaller in size, as well as capacity, and are made to fit more compact spaces.  These are often used in apartments where space is at a premium and are tucked away in closets or pantries.

When it comes to how fast your machine will spin, most integrated washing machines have a spin speed between 800 and 1600 rpm, with many falling in the mid range of 1000 to 1200 rpm.  The speed of the machine will depend in part on the size of the appliance, as well as the manufacturer.

Other Factors to Consider When Buying an Integrated Washing Machine

There are numerous factors to consider when buying an integrated washing machine in addition to those noted here, such as size and style.  You may also want to consider color, although this won’t be as big a factor as in freestanding models since the appliance will be tucked away out of sight.  Cost, of course, is another big factor in your purchasing decision. 

As with many other appliances, there will be varying costs of integrated washing machines available, depending on size, features, warranty and manufacturer.  While you may be tempted to buy the cheapest integrated washing machine you can find, it is recommended that you try to spend a bit more to get a high quality machine that will last.  This is especially true since the machine will be installed within a cabinet or an area that is not easily accessible, so dealing with repairs can get rather cumbersome and costly.

Installing Integrated Washing Machines

The installation of an integrated washing machine can be rather tricky because you are working within a small confined space while installing the appliance.  If you are installing the washing machine in a kitchen within a cabinet or under the countertop, you can generally tap into the water supply lines from the kitchen sink, as well as the drain, in much the same way that a dishwasher does.  If your integrated washing machine will not have its own water supply and drain lines, then the appliance must be installed in close proximity to the sink and the water supply.

Other than making sure that you have the proper water supply and drainage lines available to you, hooking up an integrated washing machine is not really much different than any other type of washing machine.  You must follow the manufacturer’s directions to make sure that all water supply and drainage lines are correctly installed and that the electrical supply is close enough to plug into the machine.  In most cases, installation of integrated washing machines is best handled by a licensed plumber, but if you know what to do, you can do it on your own as well.

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