Before you head out the door to shop for a new dishwasher for your kitchen, one of the first things you should ask yourself is, "How much space do I have for installation?" This is especially important if you have an older home or custom kitchen that may have unusual dimensions. Most brands make standard-size models, but there are some specialty sizes that are available to fit into spaces that are non-standard.
For more help buying a new dishwasher, check out our dishwasher buying guide!
Table of Contents
- Standard Measurements
- Solutions: Opening Too Short
- Solution: Opening Too Shallow
- Solutions: Opening Too Narrow
- Solutions: Opening Too Tall or Too Wide
- Other Factors to Watch Out For
- Next Steps
Standard Dishwasher Dimensions & Opening
The rough opening size for a dishwasher, in a perfect world, is:
Width: 24 inches
Depth: 24 inches
Height: 34 inches
And the standard dishwasher dimensions are designed to fit in this cutout. The typical dishwasher dimensions are:
Depth to the front of the door: 23.5-24.5"
Older homes won't always have that ideal opening size for a dishwasher. Make sure to measure the interior space of the cavity you have available for your new dishwasher - from the floor to the bottom of the counter, from the front of the cavity to the back, and side to side.
If you have installed new flooring or had any cabinetry work done around your current dishwasher since the last time you replaced it, it's worth double-checking the measurements to make sure a standard size dishwasher will still fit!
Solutions: Opening Too Short
ADA compliant models are a good choice for raised sub-floors that don't leave enough room for a 34" tall dishwasher and of course for wheelchair-accessible kitchens. They're made for ADA compliant countertops that are typically just 34" high (meaning the opening for a dishwasher is between 32-33"). If you've moved into a home and discovered that the previous owners layered new flooring on top of old flooring, this can also result in a dishwasher opening that's too short for a standard dishwasher.
GE has a model that will fit shorter openings: the GE GDT225SSLSS has an overall height of just 32.25".
Bosch also makes some ADA compliant dishwashers that will fit in openings as low as 32 1/8" (32.125"), such as the Bosch SGE53X56UC.
18" wide dishwashers also tend to be between 32-33" tall.
Solution: Opening Too Shallow
What if your counters are too shallow for a dishwasher?
Fisher & Paykel drawer dishwashers will fit an opening that is only 23 inches deep if your counters are shallower than the typical 24".
Another option: Bosch dishwashers are mostly EuroTub designs that are made to install flush with 24" deep countertops rather than having the door stick out. They are typically around 22.75" deep. You could install these models with the door sticking out slightly if you have countertops that are closer to 22" deep.
Some 18" dishwashers also tend to be shallower, such as the GE Profile PDT145SSLSS, which is 23 1/8" deep including the door.
The Samsung DW60R2014US ADA compliant model will fit in openings as shallow as 22.75".
In other cases your only option may be to choose a portable dishwasher that hooks up to your kitchen faucet.
Solutions: Opening Too Narrow
If your opening is slightly too narrow for the typical dishwasher width, some dishwashers will install in slightly narrower openings, such as the Samsung DW60R2014US which can fit in a minimum opening of 23.75". Some Bosch dishwashers can fit in openings as narrow as 23.625" (23 5/8"), such as the ADA compliant Bosch SGE53X56UC.
Many manufacturers, including Bosch, Frigidaire, and GE, make compact dishwashers that are 18 inches wide to fit into small kitchens. Most dishwashers have leveling legs so they can be adjusted to sit flush under a countertop. However, having the standard opening will give you a lot more brands to choose from!
Explore our reviews of the best 18 inch dishwashers for more info. Note that these dishwashers tend to be between 32-33" tall, so there may be a gap between the dishwasher and countertop depending on the size of the opening and the dishwasher's height adjustability.
If you're not sure what type of dishwasher would fit in your space, your knowledgeable local appliance salesperson should be able to help!
(Pictured below: the ADA compliant GE GDT225SSLSS dishwasher. You can see that it looks a little more square than a typical dishwasher due to the shorter height.)
Solutions: Opening Too Tall or Wide
If you're concerned about the opening being too tall, double-check the height adjustability of the dishwasher. Dishwasher toe panels or toe kicks are designed to slot in underneath the dishwasher door to hide the leveling legs. Some can adjust up to 34.75" tall while others max out at 34" tall.
If the width of the cavity is wider than it needs to be, you can make DIY gap fillers for the sides of the cavity by staining wood cut to the appropriate length to match the surrounding cabinetry. Or have an expert do it for you.
Other Factors to Watch Out For
Changes to the cavity height due to new flooring, especially if it was laid down on top of the old flooring - this could also make it difficult to remove an existing dishwasher
Granite or marble countertops require side brackets for dishwasher installation
If you've just installed new cabinets, the rough opening for the dishwasher may be slightly different than before
- Dishwasher insulation blankets can also impact the space available in the cavity - although today's quieter dishwashers make these products less of a necessity
That first point is especially important and is easy to overlook when doing renovations or exploring a new home! Even a change of 1/4 of an inch can result in a cavity that's too short for most dishwashers.
If you're having trouble finding a dishwasher to suit your size requirements, we recommend reaching out to your local appliance store and talking to their knowledgeable sales team.
You may also want to look into dishwasher tub materials, the decibel levels, top vs front controls, and dishwasher rack types and materials. Or, just check out our free Dishwasher Buyer's Guide, linked below!
You can also explore our reviews of the best dishwashers of the year!
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in October of 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.