Friday, October 5, 2012

Second Floor Laundry, who knew?

It's me again.
I know, you missed me and my pearls of wisdom. 
Today, I want to talk second floor laundry rooms and even remind you about something.

First, the reminder.  It seems fitting that if we are talking laundry rooms, I should remind you that having your PM install the dryer vent higher on the wall so that the dryer hose can be attached AFTER it's moved into place is a fantastic idea.  One that I wish I would have thought of BEFORE I moved in.  But, hind sight is 20/20 and I didn't discover this morsel of ingeniousness until I had to hook up my dryer.  What a pain in the .... any way.  Some have heeded my warning and had the vent moved up.  Lucky.

Moving on.  The Ravenna has a second floor laundry.  My wife enjoys the proximity and I like not having to lug several baskets overflowing down two flights of stairs to the laundry dungeon.
BUT, did you know that you COULD deal with house shakes when the washer is on it's spin cycle?  I should preface by saying this seems to limited to certain front loaders.  Do you know one of the worst offenders of high speed shakes?  The LG Trom series.  Wanna take a bet which I own?  Winner winner chicken dinner.
So we move in, hook up the washer and start a load.  When it gets to the high speed cycle, it sounds like a helicopter is hovering over the house, and everything is shaking just a bit.  A little research and it's not uncommon for second floor laundries to have this issue.
I blogged a recommendation to have your PM nail in some cross bracing under the washer during the build as a precaution.  Again, wish I would have known during my build.  Hindsight gets me again.

I took it off the pedistal, added anti-vibe feet, shoved swimming noodles between the washer and wall/dryer.  We got some improvement, but left something to be desired.

The current solution.
We had two choices.  Buy a new washer ($700 +) or buy a 0Vibe washer stand.
The 0vibe stand costs $200.  I called and talked to the designer/engineer.  According to a test they ran on a 2008 LG Trom Washer, they realized a 85% improvement in shaking transferred to the floor.
We decided the stand was worth the cost.

We received it last weekend and have done several loads.  It's not perfect but there is enough improvement to believe it's worth keeping and not returning.

We will go through another round of laundry this weekend and make our final mind.

Cliff Notes:
move dryer vent up
some washers cause shaking houses more then others
LG Trom is evil
0Vibe stands are expensive and do not make a good birthday gift for your wife.
the couch is comfortable


  1. Love your cliff notes!!! I'll have to be sure the hubby reads them!! Anyways, this is good information that perhaps we will look into....nothing worse than trying to decide if a storm is coming, a helicopter is flying by, an earth quake is happening, or just your washer is on the spin cycle..... it is quite the experience for us Ravenna owners.

  2. Yes, the cliff notes were pretty cool! I have to admit we had the option to install the laundry upstairs or downstairs and I am so happy I decided to keep my laundry in the basement the ole school way! I thought the laundry upstairs was very cute, but I am a laundry girl and I need my space. So I opted from the beginning to keep it in the basement. DH was trying his best to get me to switch but it wasn't happening because he doesn't do laundry. This is an excellent post and will be of great value to those who chose to keep their laundry rooms upstairs. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I like the upstairs-ness of the laundry, but am also dealing with the helicopter in the house sensation a lot. That's an expensive mat... I need to ask a family member if their foam factory has anything that can help me out with this. If he does and it's less than $200 I will fill you in.

  4. When you said LG, my heart sank. When you said Tromm, I slowly turned around and confirmed that, indeed, we also have an LG Tromm that we were planning on taking with us to the new house. Would you happen to know what brands are a better choice, so we can research whether to buy a new one instead? We will have to leave something in this house when we rent it out, but were planning to buy low-level appliances to leave.

  5. I follow your blog, but have never posted... but I wanted to share...

    We recently built an Oakmont with a laundry room attached to the kitchen (not 2nd floor, but also in an area where shaking could occur). I picked up these anit-vibe pads for under our front loader and they work pretty good. I'm not sure how they compare to the stand, but for under $30 it might be worth a try:

  6. I talked to our PM about this before we bought our new washer/dryer. His main suggestion was to not buy pedestals because the raised height causes a lot of the problem. When we shopped we also asked about what the quietest washer/dryers were. We decided on the Samsung front loaders. I'm really happy with our decision. Having upstairs laundry is soooo convenient. Every morning when I wake up I just throw a load in and it's so much easier to stay caught up on laundry. We haven't had any issues with shaking or vibration with the washer/dryer. It has a fast spin cycle like most front loaders so does get a little louder then but there's no way we would hear it downstairs and we have no problem sleeping right next to the laundry room with laundry going. Oh and our old house we also had the dreaded LG tromms-they really do shake like crazy!

    1. we removed the pedestal early on. It seems to make a small difference.
      I plan to buy some 2x10's and nail in some cross bracing under the first floor. Since I have an unfinished basement, I have access to the joists. I think it will make a difference, reducing the transference of the "shake".

  7. In our current home, we had laundry on main level and I hated it... Always wanted it on the same level as the bedrooms so, we are buying this beautiful one-story (the Springbrook model) where the laundry is on same level....and what did I do? Ask for additional hookups in the basement so I could use the laundry room solely as a mud/school bag/ organizing room. I swear I am a glutton! But, my question is if I have my laundry on main level, with a finished basement, will I have the same shaking freight train issue? We planned to move laundry back up in a few years.

    1. it seems to have everything to do with the brand/style of washer. My LG Trom has what is described as an "aggresive" spin cycle. There is a more detailed explanation that involves the direct drive blah blah blah mechanics of the machine.
      My recommendation is to spend some time researching low to no vibe machines.

  8. We have the Samsung front load washer & dryer installed in our second floor laundry in the Venice. We have noticed some shaking and loud "helicopter" like noises during the spin cycle on some (heavier) loads. They are on the pedestals and I considered taking them off but since it doesn't happen with every load I decided instead to set my spin cycle to medium and that seems to have taken care of it. The dryer vent idea would have been great to know before we were done :)