From standard to small space, this guide can help you measure your cabinet opening, make decisions on interior layout, and ultimately find the right size dishwasher for your family. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:
- What size dishwasher do I need?
- How to find the right width
- How to check depth
- How to choose the right height
- Getting the right layout
What you'll need:
- Measuring tape
- Opening for dishwasher
- This guide
What size dishwasher do I need?
Dimensions of dishwashers are determined by the opening size they’re made to fit, rather than the measurements of the dishwasher. A dishwasher labeled as 24 inches wide might actually be more like 23-1/2 inches wide.
Most cabinet openings are made to fit a standard dishwasher size. Note that certain handles may affect the overall dishwasher depth.
Oversized dishwashers are built wider than the standard opening.
Small space or compact built-in
Designed for apartments, space-conscious homes and entertainment spaces, small space dishwashers have a slimmer width than standard dishwashers.
Portable, in-sink and countertop
Portable, in-sink and countertop dishwashers should not require an opening in your cabinetry, but you’ll still need to measure where they’ll go.
How to find the right width
Standard cabinet opening width vs. small space cabinet opening width
Measure from cabinet to cabinet, making sure that the sides of your dishwasher will be completely enclosed once installed. It’s better to leave a little breathing room on each side than to have it be a tight fit.
You can install close to a wall or cabinet on one side as long as you leave at least two inches between it and the side of the dishwasher door.
Planning Tip: Utility placement can vary by model, so check your installation instructions for the specifics.
How to check depth
Measure from the back of the opening to the front.
Make sure to leave enough room (at least 27 inches) in front of the dishwasher to comfortably load and unload dishes, plus enough room to move around between the open door and any counters and islands.
Installing a dishwasher with a panel may affect depth.
How to choose the right height
Measure from the floor of the opening in which the dishwasher will be installed to the lowest point of the countertop.
- Most dishwashers require a 34 1/2 - 36'' tall opening.
- Additional layers of flooring in the kitchen may impact your installation process.
Getting the right layout
At some point, you'll need to decide whether you want a front control or top control dishwasher. Front control dishwashers let you easily see and select cycles, while top control dishwashers hide controls for a more streamlined look.
You'll also need to think about your dishwasher's interior. The exterior dimensions of a dishwasher rarely affect the interior capacity, but there are other ways to add increased space for dishes. Many dishwashers have two racks, but dishwashers with a third rack give you extra room for hard to fit items.