Washing machines are, for the most part, an everyday staple of British kitchens. Therefore, it’s not usually a surprise to see them installed next to the sink, the fridge or below a set of cupboards.
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However, you don’t always need to install a washing machine to stand alone! Many people are getting into integrated washing machine solutions, which can offer a cleaner, more refined look. Not everyone wants their laundry on display?
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Integrated Washing Machines: A Buying Guide For 2021
What exactly is an integrated washing machine, and what should you be looking for when it comes to buying one of your own? In this buying guide, we aim to cover all angles and answer some of the most frequently asked questions shoppers pose.
What is an Integrated Washing Machine?
Plenty of people may assume that an integrated washing machine is a white good which is stored behind a cupboard door. Often, this is the case! However, there are a few different types of integrated machine which are worth comparing and contrasting.
Fully Integrated Washing Machines
Fully integrated machines, as the name suggests, are those which are completely built into your kitchen’s design. You won’t see these machine on display, and a door traditionally hides them. These are very adjustable, and will often spin slower than standard models to reduce vibration. Installation can be tricky, so do make sure you seek advice.
Semi-Integrated Washing Machines
These machines are fairly similar to full integrations. However, in this case, you’ll still be able to access the machine control panel from the outside of the cupboard. This means you will only ever have to open the cupboard panel to load and remove washing!
Built-In Washing Machines
These are slightly different from full integrations as they are built into your kitchen units to be flush with your interior design. They’re not hidden behind cupboard doors but are rather installed so that the general design of your kitchen can appear streamlined.
Things to Look For
Of course, once you’ve worked out which type of washing machine you’d like to install, you should start thinking about the different features that they may come fitted with. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the factors and facilities you may wish to compare and contrast.
Size of Drum
As with all washing machines, you should be thinking carefully about how much you’re going to use the unit on a regular basis. For families and for regular heavy loads, you should always be looking for larger drums. A big drum will also allow you to take on less frequent loads, too.
Cycles and Washes
There seems to be a wash and a cycle for every purpose these days. It can get a bit confusing! However, these are all designed to cope with different types of fabric and what you need to clean. For example, you may wish to buy a machine which can cope with heavy staining. Don’t be put off by lots and lots of cycle options – the more there are, the more capable your machine will be.
Ease of Control
User-friendliness is always something you are going to be shopping for as a priority. The best-integrated washing machines are those which let you take instant and staggered control of your wash loads. Therefore, you can choose to either set your washing going right away, or you can choose to set it going at a set time. This is a great option if you’re likely to forget to set your washing going!
Measuring up is absolutely crucial, especially when it comes to integrated solutions. Consult a kitchen installer for specialist support here – but in all cases, make sure you measure and check two or three times before you go shopping around. The last thing you’re going to need is a washing machine which won’t fit your kitchen space.
Washing machines are notoriously noisy! That’s why there are now more than a few models which have noise reduction built-in. It’s not too common, particularly as washing machines need to spin heavy loads for hours at a time. If noise is a problem for you, look for machines with slow speed cycles, or fully integrated models.
Frequently Asked Questions
If it’s your first time buy an integrated washing machine, you’re going to have a few questions while shopping around. Here are some of the most common queries posed by shoppers.
Can I Buy an Integrated Washer and Dryer?
Yes! There are some models which offer both functionalities for integration as you see fit. However, do be aware that washer dryers consume more electricity, and may create more noise. It’s worth keeping a balance in mind.
How Much Should I Pay for an Integrated Washing Machine?
This depends, generally, on the features available – as well as the manufacturer. However, there’s nothing to say you won’t be able to find yourself a great deal. You should really be spending between £300-£400 on a good model; however, there’s nothing to say you can’t find them cheaper.
Why Should I Buy an Integrated Washing Machine?
Freestanding washing machines serve their purpose, but not everyone wants the look of a bulky washing unit sticking out like a sore thumb. Integrated washing machine solutions allow kitchen owners to set up washing units which can be hidden flush to their interior design, or behind a door. In many cases, it just looks cleaner! If keeping things hidden or in line with your interior design plan is important to you, it may be worth you taking a closer look.
Integrated washing machines are nothing new; however, they are sometimes seen as s modern solution. They do the same job, generally, as freestanding models. However, there are a few different designs and functional choices you can make when it comes to integrating your washers and dryers.
Do make sure you read verified purchase reviews and take time to measure up your kitchen or utility room. There are lots of big brands with lots of affordable options available.