What to look out for when buying a built-in dishwasher?
A built-in dishwasher does have some advantages over a free-standing one, but there are also additional things to consider. There are also a number of other things to consider, however:
Dimensions of the niche
The cabinet into which you want to fit the dishwasher must be big enough for the dishwasher to slide. Most dishwashers are 60cm wide, but there are also extra narrow 45cm dishwashers for smaller niches, which will fit into a small kitchen.
With a standard 45cm wide dishwasher you should bear in mind that you will not be able to fit as many dirty dishes into it. The number of place settings for a large dishwasher is often 12, 14 or 16 and for a smaller model 9 or 10. With a small dishwasher, always check whether you can adjust the upper basket to create more space for large dishes.
When looking for a new dishwasher, measure the height, width and depth of your niche. For the height you measure from the floor to the bottom of the countertop, and for the depth you also need to take into account that the floor in front of your dishwasher is often a bit higher.
The Connections Behind the Niche
To make your new dishwasher work properly you will need a connection for electricity and a water supply and drainage system. Ideally, these should be directly behind the recess, but you can also branch off from the existing connections.
The electrical outlet and water supply should not be too close together. Make sure they are at least 30 centimetres apart, both in height and width. With a built-in dishwasher, you can choose between a fully integrated dishwasher or a semi-integrated dishwasher. A fully integrated model has the control panel on the inside, so the front panel can cover the entire exterior. The dishwasher won’t be noticeable at all as the finished exterior matches your kitchen cabinets. The dishwasher will blend in with the design of your kitchen, which is one of the biggest advantages over a freestanding dishwasher.
When you buy a dishwasher that is semi-integrated, the control panel is visible. This means that you can see that there is a dishwasher between your kitchen cabinets, as you don’t have a fully finished exterior. The advantage is that you can easily operate the dishwasher from the outside, so you never have to open it. This is useful if you have a delayed start, for example, as you can see the settings screen at all times.
Most fully integrated dishwashers stop their programme immediately if you pull them open to change a setting. You then often have to run the program all over again from the beginning, which is a shame. Even the most efficient dishwasher wastes a lot of water.
The noise level of your built-in dishwasher
Most dishwashers have a noise level between 43 and 47 dB which is considered normal. This is very important, as a dishwasher with a higher noise level can be very distracting in small and open kitchens.
Efficient dishwashers often have a lower noise level, while a cheap dishwasher often has a slightly higher noise level.
As with a freestanding dishwasher, you should also pay attention to the extra features offered with a built-in dishwasher. For example, a half load option can be very useful if you often have only a few dishes to wash, as it uses far fewer litres of water than a full load. There are also more practical features that automatically shut off the water supply when the dishwasher is about to overflow, for example. Do you often have dishes with stubborn dirt? Then a dishwasher with an intensive programme may be a good choice, as it gets all the dishes clean.
A final consideration when buying a dishwasher is the layout. A cutlery drawer means you don’t have to bend over as much, and if you can fold racks in and out you can make space more easily. The best dishwasher for you will take into account your needs and wishes.