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Dishwashers – help in choosing yours

The dishwasher is one of the most valued appliances in any home. Who wants to stand over the sink for 45 minutes after cooking a lovely meal for the family? Put the marigolds away and read through this handy guide to finding the right dishwasher for your new kitchen.

Size and application

Dishwashers for residential kitchens come in two widths, 60cm (Full Size) and 45cm (Slimline).

Full size dishwashers have the capacity for 12 – 14 place settings, depending on the model, whilst slimleline solutions can accommodate 8 – 10 place settings.

Full size dishwasher
Full size dishwasher
Slimline dishwasher
Slimline dishwasher

There are different types of application for dishwashers, freestanding, semi-integrated, fully-integrated and drawers style.

Freestanding dishwashers

Free standing dishwasherFreestanding dishwashers fit into a recess under the worktop, this recess should be a little wider than the appliance to allow space to move it in or out. With a freestanding solution, pipes and services behind do not have to be chased into the wall but the appliance may sit proud of adjacent units if this is the case.

Fully-integrated dishwashers

Fully integrated dishwasher

Fully integrated dishwashers sit flush to the front of cabinetry and have a matching kitchen door fixed to the fascia to keep the appliance completely hidden. This is the best solution for use in a handle-less kitchen. For fully integrated solutions, the space behind should be kept clear in order for the appliance to sit back fully against the wall, all pipes and services should be chased into the wall behind.

Semi-integrated dishwashers

Semi integrated dishwasher

Semi-integrated, just like fully integrated are set between units or panels and finished with a furniture door. The difference here is that the control panel is visible at the top with the door panel at 575mm high. Again, like fully integrated solutions, the space behind should be cler and services should be chased into the wall behind so that the appliance door is flush to the adjacent units.

Double drawer dishwashers

Double drawer dishwasher

Less common and very different to a conventional drop-down door solution, these dishwashers have pull out drawers instead.

Each drawer can hold 6/7 place settings and some models have a half load or dual mode function which allows the user to save water and energy or operate different cycles in each drawer.

There are down sides to this type of dishwasher, they cannot accommodate large trays and they cannot be fitted with matching furniture doors.

Internal configuration

There are different solutions for dishwasher internals, and these vary from model to model. Basic dishwashers will have two baskets with fixed racking, others will have variable heights and moving parts within the rack that offer flexibility for different types of crockery and cookware.

Special spray heads

With certain brands, the middle basket can be removed so that large pots and trays can be washed in the bottom basket. For this, a special spray head replaces the rotating arm that connects to the inlet, this spray head spins and distributes water throughout.

Image of a spray head for cleaning trays
Spray head for cleaning trays


Cutlery trays vs baskets

Most dishwashers have a loose basket or a flap for which to stack cutlery in, others have a tray at the top which allows cutlery to be separated neatly for a more effective clean. The amount of flexibility and adjustment will be relative to the price you pay for your appliance.

Dishwasher with top cutlery tray
Dishwasher with top cutlery tray
Dishwasher without cutlery tray
Dishwasher without cutlery tray

Additional features to consider

Every brand and every model will be different in many ways. The type of seals, liners, insulation, baskets, no. of programmes, drying method, dosing and controls will all have an affect on the cost of your dishwasher. Check with your salesperson for further information on the ranges and the features that they have available.

Here are a few great additional features that may be available to you.

Assisted door opening – A push to open solution for integrated appliances, a must have if you are considering true-handless kitchen doors

Zeolith Dry – Zeolith is a natural mineral that converts moisture to heat. Stored in a reservoir within the machine, zeolith absorbs moisture in the cavity and the heat generated is used in the drying cycle with no additional energy required. Helps achieve a brilliant shine on glassware.  

Dosage Assist – Dishwasher tablets are quickly and evenly dissolved through the entire machine, leaving no mess at the end of the cycle

Info Light – A great feature for fully integrated machines, the status of your wash cycle is projected on to the floor, no more opening the door mid-cycle.Siemens timelight

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