A kitchen must-have
With today's busy lifestyle, a dishwasher is almost a necessity to keep up on kitchen cleanup. But finding the best dishwasher for your needs can be a bit of a challenge if you don't know where to start.
The most practical first step is to think about how often you would use a dishwasher and how much room you can spare in your kitchen. Size does matter when it comes to choosing a dishwasher!
Large dishwashers are perfect for bigger families or for those who cook and eat-in most of the time. Tall tub models allow for more space between the top and bottom racks, which means you can easily find room for large pots and pans along with your regular dishes. Some tall tub designs even incorporate a third shelf, which can help you better organize your dishes as well as increase your cleaning capacity.
If you're going large, a built-in dishwasher model is the most practical choice. Recessed into your counter, built-in dishwashers conserve space and are pleasing to the eye, blending seamlessly into your decor. Just be sure you leave room between the unit and your kitchen table for easy access.
If your dishwashing demands are few, a small dishwasher is probably adequate for your needs. There are a couple of different options you can choose in small dishwashers, including:
- Countertop dishwashers. A countertop dishwasher is just what it sounds like – a small unit, about the size of a microwave oven, designed to sit on the countertop. Typically, it will only have one rack and will hold enough dishes for one person.
- Compact dishwashers. These dishwashers are often built-in, and though they can be fairly small – only 18 inches wide – they are able to hold up to eight place settings. A compact dishwasher is perfect for tight spaces; just remember that pots and pans may still need to be done by hand!
If you're a renter or you move around a lot, a portable dishwasher is a smart decision. Rather than being plumbed into your water line permanently, these models have a water hose that connects to your faucet when you're ready to start a wash cycle. The washers themselves are on castors so you can move the dishwasher to and from your sink as needed.
Portable dishwashers are available in both small and large sizes, and you don't have to compromise on quality or features, as most have all the bells and whistles of built-in dishwashers.
Dishwasher Dos and Don'ts
Do put in the legwork when you go to buy. You'll want to know the dishwasher ratings for each model you're considering, and be sure to look into consumer reviews to spot bad apples.
Don't be sucked in by a cheap dishwasher – a great sale is one thing, but often a cheap dishwasher means cheap dishwasher parts. If you're on a budget, look for a basic model that satisfies your needs and make as much of an initial investment as you can. You'll save on dishwasher repair in the end.
Do think about your installation options before you buy a dishwasher. As a selling point, the right sales company may offer professional dishwasher installation with your purchase. If you're tackling the project yourself, be sure to read up on how to install a dishwasher or hire an outside professional.