Is it worth getting an integrated dishwasher? Must Know

The answer is yes, if you have the space and budget for it. An integrated dishwasher can offer many benefits, such as saving energy, water, time, and enhancing the look of your kitchen. However, there are also some drawbacks, such as higher installation costs, lower capacity, and limited options. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of integrated dishwashers, and help you decide if they are worth getting for your home.

What is an integrated dishwasher?

An integrated dishwasher is a type of dishwasher that is built into your kitchen cabinets, and hidden behind a matching door panel. This creates a seamless and uniform appearance, as the dishwasher blends in with the rest of your kitchen design. There are two main types of integrated dishwashers: fully integrated and semi-integrated.

  • A fully integrated dishwasher is completely concealed behind a cabinet door, and has no visible controls or display on the front. You can only access the controls when you open the door, and the display is usually located on the top edge of the door. This gives a very sleek and minimalist look, but it also means that you cannot see the status or progress of the wash cycle without opening the door.
  • A semi-integrated dishwasher has a partial door panel that covers the lower part of the dishwasher, but leaves the controls and display exposed on the upper part. This allows you to see and operate the dishwasher without opening the door, and also gives you some flexibility to choose a different color or style for the door panel. However, this also means that the dishwasher is not as discreet or harmonious as a fully integrated one.
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What are the benefits of an integrated dishwasher?

An integrated dishwasher can offer several advantages over a freestanding or countertop dishwasher, such as:

  • Saving energy and water. Integrated dishwashers are usually more energy-efficient and water-efficient than other types of dishwashers, as they are designed to fit snugly into your cabinets and use less space. They also have more advanced features and settings, such as sensors, timers, and eco-modes, that can optimize the wash cycle and reduce the consumption of electricity and water. According to the Energy Star website, an integrated dishwasher can save you up to $35 per year on your utility bills, and up to 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime, compared to a standard dishwasher.
  • Saving time and effort. Integrated dishwashers can also save you time and effort, as they can wash more dishes in one load, and do a better job of cleaning and drying them. They have more spray arms, jets, and racks, that can accommodate different sizes and shapes of dishes, and ensure that they are thoroughly washed and rinsed. They also have more drying options, such as heated dry, fan dry, or steam dry, that can speed up the drying process and prevent water spots or streaks. This means that you can spend less time loading, unloading, and wiping your dishes, and more time doing other things.
  • Enhancing the look of your kitchen. Integrated dishwashers can also enhance the look of your kitchen, as they can create a more streamlined and modern aesthetic. They can match your existing cabinets and countertops, and hide any unsightly wires, hoses, or vents. They can also reduce the noise level in your kitchen, as they are insulated by the cabinet doors and have quieter motors and pumps. This can make your kitchen more pleasant and comfortable to use, and increase the value of your home.
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What are the drawbacks of an integrated dishwasher?

An integrated dishwasher can also have some disadvantages over a freestanding or countertop dishwasher, such as:

  • Higher installation costs. Integrated dishwashers are usually more expensive to buy and install than other types of dishwashers, as they require more labor and materials. You need to hire a professional plumber and electrician to connect the dishwasher to the water and power supply, and a carpenter or cabinet maker to fit the dishwasher into your cabinets and attach the door panel. You also need to measure your space carefully and buy a dishwasher that is compatible with your cabinet dimensions and door hinges. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installing an integrated dishwasher ranges from $185 to $600, depending on the type, size, and complexity of the installation.
  • Lower capacity and flexibility. Integrated dishwashers are usually smaller and narrower than freestanding dishwashers, as they have to fit within the standard cabinet width of 24 inches. This means that they have less capacity and flexibility to hold large or odd-shaped dishes, such as baking sheets, pots, pans, or wine glasses. They also have fewer options and features, such as adjustable racks, foldable tines, or third racks, that can help you customize the space and layout of your dishwasher. According to Consumer Reports, the average capacity of an integrated dishwasher is 12 to 16 place settings, while the average capacity of a freestanding dishwasher is 14 to 16 place settings.
  • Limited options and availability. Integrated dishwashers are also less common and less available than freestanding dishwashers, as they are not as popular or widely sold in the US market. They are more prevalent in Europe and Asia, where space is more limited and kitchens are more compact. This means that you have fewer options and choices when it comes to the brand, model, style, color, or price of your integrated dishwasher. You may also have more difficulty finding parts, accessories, or service for your integrated dishwasher, if you need to repair or replace it in the future.
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An integrated dishwasher can be worth getting if you have the space and budget for it, and if you value the benefits of saving energy, water, time, and enhancing the look of your kitchen. However, you should also consider the drawbacks of higher installation costs, lower capacity, and limited options, and weigh them against your needs and preferences. Ultimately, the decision depends on your personal situation and what you are looking for in a dishwasher. We hope this article has helped you make an informed choice. Thank you for reading!