With the majority of kitchen appliances, they can come in different shapes, colors, styles, and more. But it would surprise you to know that the vast majority of them come in pretty standard sizes. Like the dishwasher, for instance.
Most standard openings for dishwashers pertain to the type that are installed in the home. There are other types – like portable dishwashers – that may be smaller. The most common dimensions for dishwashers are 24” wide, 24” deep, and 34-36” high. Portable or custom dishwashers may be a different size, so know the dimensions before installation.
Table of Contents
- Standard Dishwasher Sizes
- How Do You Measure the Opening Width?
- How to Measure Depth and Height
- What About Oversized Dishwashers?
- Portable and Space-Saver Dishwashers
- Make Sure the Dishwasher is Level
- Other Considerations
- How Long Should a Dishwasher Last?
Standard Dishwasher Sizes
The most consistent measurements that you will find are for standard dishwashers. The vast majority are installed underneath the countertop, generally right next to the sink. There are custom options available, but the vast majority of dishwashers out there should have pretty similar dimensions.
You can safely assume that the average dishwasher will be 24” wide, 34-36” in height, and 24” deep. That would mean the cabinet openings should be of the same dimensions. The dishwasher itself will be roughly 3/8” smaller to allow for a proper fit.
Remember that we need to hook the water up to the dishwasher, too. A little wiggle room is better than a tight fit, so leaving a few extra tenths of an inch is a good idea.
A Few More Things About Standard Dishwashers
- Slightly Smaller. The thing to keep in mind about standard dishwashers is that they are actually slightly smaller than the above dimensions. They can be about 3/8-1/2” smaller to allow for some wiggle room.
- Depths Include the Door. It is important to know what that depth entails. We tend to think it is just the interior of the dishwasher, but it actually includes the door as well. That means the complete depth will be just a bit larger compared to the opening depth.
- Adjustable Feet. For the most part, modern dishwashers come with adjustable feet. Those feet are great if you need to add a little bit of height for custom cabinets in particular.
How Do You Measure the Opening Width?
If you’re looking to purchase a dishwasher – either replacing an old one or installing a new dishwasher in a new build – it’s important to know how to measure the opening. Thankfully, there’s a pretty simple way to get your measurements.
Keep in mind that while most dishwasher dimensions are fairly standard, there can be variations. For instance, if the cabinet was built around a model that had some dimensions that were out of the ordinary.
- Inside Edge. To start, measure the opening from one inside edge to the other. Make sure that you take the depth, width, and height down.
- Ignore Trim. Depending on the setup, there may be decorative trim or some other type of overlay. These are generally used in the event that the opening is too big or the dishwasher is too small for the opening. The good news is that you can take them off if you no longer want them over the opening.
How to Measure Depth and Height
Width is generally the most important measurement as this is the size that changes in the cabinets. For custom installations or builds, however, having the depth and height is important, too. There is nothing worse than making an assumption on a dimension only to find out that it’s incorrect.
- Measuring Height. Measuring height is the easy part. Simply measure from the floor to the lowest part of the countertop. Some people make the mistake of measuring all the way to the countertop surface; don’t bother because it isn’t needed.
- Measuring Depth. Start from the back of the opening where the dishwasher will go, measuring to the front of the cabinets. Remember that the door of the dishwasher will go past the cabinets. Just make sure that you leave at least 27” of open space at the front of the dishwasher to account for loading and unloading.
What About Oversized Dishwashers?
The interesting thing about oversized washer is that they are fairly recent. There are instances where standard dishwashers just won’t cut it. So, the need for a larger dishwasher arises and requires custom sizing.
What instances would require an oversized dishwasher? They are becoming more common than you think.
- Larger Families. It only makes sense that having larger families creates larger dishwasher loads. With a standard model, it could take multiple loads to clean up a family gathering of this kind. But with an oversized dishwasher, they can typically handle it all at once.
- Modern Kitchens. Those who value their cooking space typically like to have the best modern amenities. The same goes with oversized dishwashers. Meant to handle larger loads, they are perfect for the modern chef or baker that makes huge messes in the kitchen.
- Larger Kitchens. Thanks to technology, people are able to run their own culinary businesses out of their homes. When the workload is larger, so too is the mess. Having an oversized dishwasher makes it far easier to keep the mess at bay.
What are Oversized Dishwasher Dimensions?
The thing about oversized dishwashers is that they typically have the same depth (24”) and height (34-36”) as a standard dishwasher. The difference is the width of the opening tends to be a bit larger than your standard dishwasher.
The most common width for oversized dishwashers is right around 30”, though they are commonly available in widths of up to 24”. Keep in mind that the average oversized dishwasher has to be specified when the cabinets are ordered to take that extra width into account.
Portable and Space-Saver Dishwashers
Of course, not all kitchens skew larger. There are plenty of kitchens out there looking to save space, not add to it. These are generally apartment kitchens but can also encompass kitchens that are being retrofitted and adding dishwasher space in for the first time.
Portable dishwashers can be stored in a storage closet to save on space. When it comes time to put them into use, they can be attached to a faucet or hose and run when needed. Portable dishwashers are great for mobile homes in particular and have even found use in tiny homes.
What are Common Dimensions for Space-Saver Dishwashers?
The interesting thing about space-saver dishwashers is that they too, like the oversized dishwashers, have the same depth and height dimensions as your standard dishwashers. That’s because the height (34-36”) and depth (24’’) do not impact the space that you use in the kitchen.
And like the oversized dishwashers, it is the width that really changes. For the most part, space-saver dishwashers measure about 18” wide. The cool thing about space-saver dishwashers is that the measurements don’t need to be quite so precise. They can fit into 20-22” spaces with no problem.
Make Sure the Dishwasher is Level
One of the most important things about proper dishwasher installation is ensuring that the dishwasher is level even if the floor is not. Be certain to check the levelness of the floor before performing your installation.
When the dishwasher isn’t level, the water may not properly drain. The great thing about most modern dishwashers is that they have legs that can adjust at either the front or back. So, if the dishwasher isn’t sitting level with the floor, you can simply adjust the legs or even put shims beneath them.
While most dishwasher installations are pretty straightforward, not everyone has the same setup. That said, there are a few things that you may want to keep in mind for any out-of-the-norm dishwasher installations.
- Corner Locations. If you plan on installing your dishwasher at a corner location, leave at least another 2 inches worth of space between the wall or cabinet and the side of the dishwasher door when it’s open. Far too often, corner installations lead to doors that can’t completely open.
- The Motor. Under no circumstances should the motor ever touch the floor. Look for any obstructions that could potentially lead to the motor touching the floor of the opening. You’re generally looking for either loose, uneven tile or even carpeting depending on the setup. You can find the location of the motor in the user manual or in an online guide.
- Consider the Flooring. Depending on the situation – current setup or new installation – there may or may not be flooring under the dishwasher area. There may or may not be flooring beneath. In either event, the flooring can either add or reduce height and impact the installation of the dishwasher.
How Long Should a Dishwasher Last?
The average lifespan for most modern dishwashers should be in the 6-10-year range. Keep in mind that conditions and general wear and tear can impact the life of the model. General maintenance is also a great way to extend the life of the appliance, so keep that in mind.
Over time, some of the more important components like the pump or motor can wear out. Warranties will cover most of these things but some out-of-warranty repairs can cost in the $400-$600 mark when fees, labor, and parts are all taken into account.