Q. We have a front-load washer in the utility room on the main floor of an 1896 farmhouse with wooden floors. Even at the lowest spin-cycle setting, the vibration is extreme. The entire house shakes violently, and items fall off shelves in the adjoining bathroom. We were told after the fact that front-loading washers should be used only on concrete floors and that there is nothing we can do about this. Is there a solution? The floor is several inches above ground level with little support underneath, other than the original beams and joists.
A. Front-load washers cause more vibration than top-load machines. That’s partly because they spin faster, which helps save energy needed to dry the clothes, and because the direction of the spin adds vibration. Clothes spin to the top of the chamber but then usually drop straight down, over and over.
The ultimate solution might be to reinforce the floor from underneath, so that more joists share the job of supporting the weight of the washer. Options include adding cross-bracing between the floor joists, slipping in an additional joist (known as “sistering”) or nailing a 2-by-4 across the bottom of several joists (a “strongback”). However, before you resort to that, here are some other ideas.