In this buying guide, we’re learning about dishwashers. By the end of this guide, you’ll become more familiar with the different types and styles of dishwashers. The first type we’ll discuss are portable. Portable dishwashers are ideal for renters or someone looking for the ability to have a dishwasher but may not have available cabinet space. They come in two sizes: 18 inch and 24 inches in width, and have interiors that are large enough to accommodate anywhere from 5 to 12 plate settings. Portable dishwashers have finished sides with butcher block tops and roll around on casters. They connect to most existing faucets using an included tap adapter with two hoses. One retrieves the water that cycles into your dishwasher, the other funnels out waste water.
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The advantages of having a portable dishwasher are:
– they don’t require a dedicated space or water line
– they can be used almost anywhere there’s a working faucet
– the butcher block tops double as additional counter workspace
– they can be taken with you if you change locations
– and they can be stored away when not in use
The disadvantages are:
– they have to connect to a faucet which will limit access to your sink while the dishwasher is running
– you will need a place to store the unit when not in use
– they don’t come with many options
– they are not customizable
– and they tend to run a little louder than most built-in traditional models. The decibel ratings on a portable dishwasher usually range between 64 and 55.
Under counter dishwashers are the most traditional type of dishwasher. They have unfinished side, are designed to be installed under a countertop, and can be ordered two ways: traditional style, which comes in two sizes, 24 inch full size and 18 inch compact, and dishdrawer, which can be purchased as a 24 inch by double or single unit. The double drawer models can be used independently or together, offer an ultimate flexibility, and can be installed into a standard dishwasher opening. The single drawer models give you the ability to have a dishwasher without losing full cabinet space. These single drawer models are fully functional and are large enough to accommodate long-stemmed wine glasses or 13-inch dinner plates. But the biggest advantage of a single dishdrawer model is, because they are only about 18 inches tall, you can install them higher in cabinets so that loading requires minimal bending.
Both types, standard and dishdrawer, require a designated waterline and designated cabinet space to work. They have interiors that are large enough to accommodate anywhere from 5 to 12 plate settings, with decibel ratings anywhere between 35 and 60. The lower the decimal numbers, the quieter the dishwasher.
The main advantage of an under counter dishwasher is convenience. It’s always there ready to use when you need it. And other than the fact that they do require a permanent installation, so you will lose some cabinet space and they usually cannot be taken with you if you change locations, there are very little disadvantages of an under counter dishwasher.
Here are some things to consider when buying a dishwasher:
– cabinet dimensions, dishwashers require a standard cabinet opening of 24 wide by 24 deep by 34,5 inches high. Some of today’s dishwashers can be as deep as 25,5 inches, which will stick out past your cabinets. So keep this in mind when shopping for a dishwasher.
– interior space and rack flexibility, think about the number of people in your family. You’ll want to select a dishwasher that can accommodate your dishwashing needs, as well as hard to fit dishes like bowls, pans, and extra-long stemmed glasses.
– sound level, if your dishwasher is near a family room or office, it’s best to select a unit with the low decibel rating to ensure the noise level isn’t disturbing.
Today’s dishwashers are more energy efficient, use less water, and come loaded with all sorts of features. The more popular features are height adjustable racks, which give you the ability to place taller items on the top or bottom level, and third row racks or cutlery trays that allow extra space for oversized utensils like whisks, ladles, or spatulas, without taking up extra space in the lower racks. There’s also the ability to add a custom panel and hardware depending on the model you choose.