You may think there’s not much to it, but purchasing a new dishwasher entails careful deliberation. Beyond determining which dishwasher features, cycles, and options are essential for your household and lifestyle, it is important to consider dishwasher dimensions.
Luckily, there is little variation in width, depth, and height across most models, as these dimensions are standardized to fit most homes. But we are here to remind you that a misstep in calculation can render your purchase null and void. In other words, your built-in dishwasher is virtually useless if it’s too large to fit in the preexisting cabinet opening or if it’s too small to hold a dinner’s worth of dirty plates, glasses, and silverware.
To help you narrow down your selection, our experts at Aztec Appliance came up with a guide to help you measure the available space you hope to fill with your new appliance. In addition, we are giving you a rundown of installation types to help you decide which one is most compatible with your home.
Related Article: Aztec’s Dishwasher Buying Guide [Features, Aesthetic, and Price]
Measure the Width
To determine the maximum width of your prospective dishwasher, use a tape measure to record the dishwasher dimension in inches. From left to right, measure the width from the top of the opening and do the same at the bottom of the opening. If both dimensions differ slightly, rely on the smaller dimension when assessing your options.
For standard dishwasher dimensions (including depth and height), refer to the “Dishwasher Types and Dimensions” section of this blog.
Measure the Depth
You can determine how deep your dishwasher can fit within your cabinet opening by measuring the depth from the back wall toward the front of your cabinets.
When narrowing down your dishwasher purchase, be sure to mind any protruding handles (namely bar handles), as these should extend beyond the front of your cabinets. In the same vein, if a dishwasher’s product specifications sheet lists a depth that is deeper than that of your cabinet opening, the dishwasher panel will stick out, disavowing the intended flush-inset look of built-in models.
Measure the Height
To determine the height of your cabinet opening, simply measure from the floor to the underside of the cabinet space on both the right side and the left side. If both dimensions differ slightly, rely on the smaller dimension when assessing your options.
Check out this instructional video for a visual step-by-step guide:
Dishwasher Types and Dimensions
Now that you’ve got a handle on measuring for dishwashers, here are our most popular installation types along with their standard dishwasher dimensions.
Considered the standard style, typical built-in dishwashers are about 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches tall to fit most cabinet openings in residential kitchens. That said, it should be noted if your dishwasher is described to have a bar handle, it will likely stick out further than surrounding cabinetry, adding to the overall dishwasher depth.
More likely than not, an oversized built-in dishwasher will require you to modify your cabinetry, as these models are between 30 to 42 inches wide while retaining a depth and height of 24 inches and 35 inches, respectively.
Or, if your home is on the compact side, an 18-inch built-in dishwasher is considered a no-brainer for small residential kitchens. Like its standard and oversized counterparts, these dishwashers are often 24 inches deep and 35 inches tall.
Related Articles: Aztec’s Dishwasher Brand Guide [Product vs. Product] and Bosch Dishwasher Reviews [Buying Guide]
Pictured: Café™ 23.75" Stainless Steel Built In Dishwasher (CDT845P2NS1)
So long as you have the clearance for it, a portable dishwasher can be placed in the same cabinet opening that would house a built-in model (except this wheeled version can be rolled into a more convenient area when not in use).
Like built-in dishwashers, portable dishwashers are typically 24 inches wide, but for them to clear most cabinet openings, they are often built to be about 21 inches deep and 34 inches tall.
Bonus: Countertop Dishwashers
Straying from tradition, select entry-level brands offer countertop dishwashers that you can move from counter to counter and display or hide as you please.
As far as standard dishwasher dimensions go, most countertop units are 22 inches wide, 20 inches deep, and 17 inches tall.
Pictured: Danby® 21.65" Stainless Steel Countertop Dishwasher (DDW631SDB)
What Dishwasher Size is Best For Me?
As you might have already intuited, the size of your new dishwasher will entirely depend on the size of three things: your cabinet opening, your overall kitchen, and your budget.
For reference, 24-inch built-in dishwashers—which typically hold up to 14 place settings—are considered the standard for families of three or more people, as most new-home kitchens are designed with a cabinet opening that would accommodate this mid-sized appliance.
Of course, if your kitchen space and budget afford your ambitions for more (and the size of your household exceeds five people), you can get more dishes cleaned in fewer loads with an oversized dishwasher. Just keep in mind that you may need to shell out some extra bucks to make modifications to your preexisting cabinets.
Compact built-in dishwashers are typically evaluated at 18 inches, making them a suitable option for smaller kitchens—or two- and three-person families, seeing that they have an estimated capacity of six to eight place settings.
Offering mid-sized and compact-sized models, portable dishwashers are favored by consumers who are looking for a budget-friendly option, value flexibility, and crave space-efficiency. So long as there is a water hookup nearby, these appliances can be operated in other rooms, like the garage or entertainment room, to keep your messes out-of-sight and out-of-mind when you’re busy elsewhere.
Lastly, countertop dishwashers are the most space-efficient and lowest-budget option on the market. Since they take up considerable counter space when in use, they are considered a suitable option for L-shaped or G-shaped modular kitchens that maximize counter space without sacrificing too much floor space.
Related Article: 10 Dishwasher Features to Look Out For in 2021
Let Us Help You
To learn how you can ensure a safe, successful dishwasher delivery and installation, check out the video below!
Be sure to reach out to our friendly staff at Aztec Appliance if you have any questions about any of our top-tier products. Whether you call us at (858) 987-5777 or visit us at our San Diego location, we are always happy to help. More accessible than ever, our experts are also available via chat!