A question our team are often asked is what is the difference between hard-mount and soft-mount washers and which is better? It’s a good question because on the outside they appear to be the same. Inside the machine however, they are engineered quite differently.
The hard-mount, also known as a rigid-mount, is the original “industrial” washing machine design. They tend to cost moderately less than their soft-mount counterparts and have a proven record of dependability with premium wash results. However, there are some drawbacks to a hard-mount washer. They require a thick concrete floor for their installation (see manufacturers specifications), to which they are then securely bolted onto and reinforced with grouting. These requirements are necessary to be able to absorb the full force of the machine’s dynamic load transfer during extraction. This makes for a more complex and timely installation which can drive up the total cost, also making it hard to move the machine to another location if needed.
Soft-mount washers on the other hand, have a cradle-like structure holds the drum away from the machine’s frame and a multi-directional spring system that absorbs up to 97% of all vibrations during the wash process. The soft-mount washers’ shock-absorbing engineering means that they are not required to be bolted to the ground and can produce a much higher g-force than a hard-mount washer. A higher g-force equals a faster spin, and a faster spin means the linen will be dryer, reducing the drying time required and shortening the overall laundering process. Reduced time in the dryer doesn’t just save on time, it saves on utility bills too. Although soft-mount washers can be around 25% more expensive than their hard-mount equivalents, the initial investment can be recouped through savings on installation, utilities and efficiencies.
Hard-Mount Washer Extractors
- Lower upfront costs
- Suitable for laundromats – Because they have a lower spin, more time is required in the dryer, which is a cost that can be passed onto the customer. As well, a hard-mount won’t get out of balance unlike a soft-mount. This is an issue often caused by under-loading, which is likely to occur frequently in a laundromat.
- Suitable for aged care – Sluice washers, often found in aged care facilities, require a slower spin as to not damage the linen. Therefore, they are most suitable as a hard-mount.
- Harder to install (and therefore more costly), requiring the machine to be anchored to the floor through drilling and grouting
- Require a thicker than usual concrete floor – up to 45cm (18 inches) thick to help absorb some of the vibrations of the machine during the wash process, and can only be installed on the ground floor of a building.
Soft-Mount Washer Extractors
- Higher G force (better water extraction which means less time required in the dryer, saving on costs and time)
- Simpler installation (costing less) – free-standing.
- Not restricted to thick concrete flooring for installation; can be on any floor of the building.
- More expensive upfront – around 25% more.