These days no kitchen is considered complete without a dishwasher. Fortunately, there are sizes and styles of dishwashers to suit any kitchen layout. Here we will explore how to find the right dishwasher for your kitchen.
Styles and Sizes
The standard size for dishwashers is 24 inches wide, but there are narrower units if you have limited space. If you have less than 34 inches in height, due to new flooring being laid over old flooring or if you have lowered countertops for greater handicap accessibility, you will need to look for a “short tub” style dishwasher.
You can also choose a more streamlined style with a model with hidden controls. Many dishwashers now have the controls integrated into the top of the door rather than on the front of the appliance for a sleek aesthetic. If you want a fully integrated look, you will need to opt for a model with an unfinished door that can accept a custom panel.
Basic dishwasher models tend to be equipped with one or two spray arms, but there are many models that offer three or more arms, so the top, bottom, and middle of the tub are covered. The spray arms tend to have a direct water feed, but some appliances have specialized cleaning systems that offer alternate arm action and more concentrated cleaning.
Traditionally, the silverware basket is located at the front, center of the lower rack, but some manufacturers have increased flexibility and load capacity by offering a longer basket that can be split, removed or relocated. The conventional place setting capacity for a standard 24” dishwasher is 12, but some models can accommodate 15 or 16 place settings due to adjustable racks and additional shelves. This provides more space for cups, longer items, and larger crockery. If you tend to use larger platters or trays frequently, it is a good idea to look for a dishwasher that provides a more flexible load capacity.
Many dishwasher models offer additional features to improve the performance and effectiveness of the appliance. This includes measures such as anti-leak protection to prevent damage to hardwood floors in the event of an internal leak. A sensor in the pan shuts down operation and water is contained in the pan to prevent any external damage.
If you live in a hard water area, you may want to consider a model with an integrated water softener. Hard water causes glassware etching or fogging and can reduce detergent cleaning power. The hard water minerals can also accumulate reducing energy efficiency and leading to break down issues.
Features such as a hard food disposer can be particularly beneficial in a busy kitchen. These models grind up any food particles and flush them from the appliance to avoid the clogs and mess that result from failing to rinse dishes before they are loaded.
If you are concerned about stains or odors, you may prefer a stainless steel interior. Stainless steel is less prone to absorb stains or odors compared to plastic and offers a quicker drying time.
Finally, if you like to keep track of what your appliance is doing, you may like to have an LED electronic control panel. These models tend to show cycle remaining time and other settings, so you can tailor your wash cycle to suit your preferences.
No modern kitchen is complete if you don’t have the right dishwasher, and today, there are a wide variety of appliances to satisfy your unique needs.