Selecting the Perfect Dishwasher
In the United States today, just over 75 percent of households have a dishwasher in their kitchen. While they are not quite as prevalent as microwaves or refrigerators, they are still a very common kitchen appliance. If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen, one of the things on your to-do list may be choosing and buying a new dishwasher. With so many different types of dishwashers on the market, all at a variety of price points, it can be hard to narrow it down and pick the best one. Use this guide to find out how to select the perfect dishwasher for your needs, your space and your budget.
Physical Limitations and Kitchen Size
When buying any kitchen appliance, the first thing you should consider is size. If you already have a specific layout in mind for your remodeled kitchen, then all you will need to do is measure the space to ensure that a standard dishwasher replacement will fit in properly.
If you’re creating a new layout in the kitchen as part of the remodel, however, you may have more leeway with the sizing.
Keep in mind that the majority of home dishwashers come in a standard size, which is 24 inches wide, 34 inches high and 24 inches deep. However, there are some dishwashers that don't measure in at that specific size.
Some dishwashers are slightly lower, designed to appeal to those in wheelchairs, and also popular in apartments are miniature dishwashers that only hold about half of a typical load.
You may also want to upgrade to dishwasher drawers, a trend in kitchen appliances that looks very contemporary.
Consider Your Dishwashing Habits
You can find basic dishwashers with limited settings, and you can also find dishwashers with a dozen or more setting varieties to handle pre-washing treatments, quick dry, automatic sensing and heavy-duty scrubbing for pots and pans.
While you may automatically think that the high-end dishwashers with the most settings are the best choice, there is no point in overpaying for an appliance if you don't need to.
Think carefully about how often you actually use your existing dishwasher as well as your habits when it comes to cleaning in the kitchen. If you already soak your dishes and rinse them off before putting them in the dishwasher, then a pre-treatment cycle probably isn't necessary.
If you always run a small load because you rarely cook or you live alone, then a heavy duty dishwasher is not really necessary.
Rack Layout and Adjustable Designs
Standard dishwashers have two racks for dishes and often a removable container for cutlery and utensils. How those racks are arranged, and even how many there are, can play a role in whether a particular dishwasher is the right choice in your newly remodeled kitchen.
Having three racks is a new concept, but it can be great if you are more likely to be washing mugs and glasses than large plates. A smaller top rack can also be used to lay down cutlery and utensils, which tends to ensure that they get completely clean and don't stick together.
If you often load up your dishwasher daily and struggle to make everything fit after a big family meal, then adjustable racks can give you greater flexibility and make it possible to fit in more with each load.
Sound of the Dishwasher
One of the biggest considerations for consumers today is the sound of the dishwasher. In years past, when the kitchen wasn't considered a hub of the home, the noise from a running dishwasher wasn't a big concern.
Today, however, homeowners often like to entertain in an open layout home, which means that a noisy dishwasher can put a damper on the whole evening.
The quietest dishwashers on the market tend to run at noise levels of 37 decibels, or dB, which is considered just about the sound of a whisper. A more average noise for a dishwasher might be roughly 50 dB, which should still be below the sound of a normal conversation.
Extra Interior Features
If you’re looking for a top of the line dishwasher, then you can expect to find a few extra interior features that make it easier than ever to do the dishes.
An interior light, for instance, turns on when you open the dishwasher door and helps you spot exactly what you're looking for. You might also want to get an upgraded dishwasher with a stainless steel rather than plastic tub, which tends to last longer.
A food grinding filter on the lower drain of the dishwasher can make the cycle a little louder at times, but it eliminates the need to manually pull out and clean a filter within the dishwasher.
Aesthetic Appeal of Your Dream Dishwasher
The look of your dishwasher is an important factor to consider. Typically, dishwashers come in black and white at the budget end of prices as well as stainless steel as you move up in price.
There is also the option of hiding your dishwasher behind cabinet panels that match the rest of your cabinetry. This is very popular in upscale kitchens.
You can also choose to have a bar handle that sticks out from the front of the dishwasher's panel or a recessed handle for a sleeker look. The button controls can also be hidden, at the top of the dishwasher's door, or located right on the front of the panel.
Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Considerations
For some homeowners, the right dishwasher is one that uses as little energy as possible. This help to keep utility bills down, and it is also better for the environment.
As you pick out your kitchen appliances, look for the energy star label if eco-friendliness is a priority for you. These dishwashers use less energy and consume less water.
To find and purchase the perfect dishwasher for your kitchen remodel, don't forget to consider the noise level, interior layout, extra features, energy efficiency, cleaning cycles and aesthetic look.