I had a bad leak under my dishwasher, and it looks like the parts will be a fairly substantial cost, and I'd like to upgrade to a quieter model. However a wood floor was installed after the dishwasher and has effectively locked it into place (see photos). The adjusting feet cannot be reached to retract them, and there is no room to push it back first.

What type of tools or techniques can be used to get the dishwasher out and a new one installed? I'm thinking a chisel is about all that could work, and add some quarter round afterwards as needed to cover it up. Power routers require some circumferential clearance to work.

View under dishwasher Closeup

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    What is the countertop made of? Can it be loosened and raised a little with shims? – Jack Feb 21 '18 at 21:53
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    Get a picture of the top, it would be handy. Otherwise a multimaster would make the cuts you need. But you need room to raise the dishwasher. And IMHO, it doesn't look like you really need to cut the floor. Perhaps more like removing it if there is no room at the top and the countertop cannot be raised maybe 1/2"- 3/4".... – Jack Feb 21 '18 at 21:59
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    The sink is easy to work with, remove the trap and the supply lines should flex enough to let the front edge raise up enough, depending on how they are made, to lift the dishwasher at an angle getting it over the edge of the flooring. The back edge does not have to be raised – Jack Feb 21 '18 at 23:42
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    I just read over the comment I left, and it sounded a bit like I was only referring to lifting the sink. To clarify I was meaning to have you lift up the edge of the counter after loosening the trap. – Jack Feb 22 '18 at 7:13
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    Have you considered how you'll get a new unit back in there? Lifting the top may be necessary. – isherwood Feb 22 '18 at 15:31

You'll need to cut the flooring, and you should swear at your flooring installer the whole time you are doing that. If need be, yes, that means swear at yourself. This was part of doing a proper flooring job, and someone didn't.

Options include, but are not limited to, the chisel you thought of (a good sharp one and a mallet can do wonders) a hand saw, an oscillating saw. For the middle section even a small-diameter circular saw might work, but you need to get fussy to cut the ends, so don't go buy one if you don't have one, as the tools you'll do the ends with can do the whole thing with only moderate perseverance.

Cutting up the dishwasher might help get this one out, but does nothing for getting the next one in. Don't bother.


I would get a sawsall type of tool and cut it out with metal cutting blades. Be sure if you take this route to turn the power and water off in case you cut the lines.

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    Take extra precaution to protect the floor. Freshly-cut sheet metal will do a real number on it. Lay down 1/4" plywood or similar and tape it in place. – isherwood Feb 22 '18 at 15:30

I was able to get to the adjusting feet by cutting access with a chisel, but that didn't solve the problem. The countertop was in a corner, so it was geometrically secured even after loosening all the holding screws. I removed the plumbing, electrical outlets, and backsplash panels, but still had to cut the countertop to get the dishwasher out.

The final repair was to add 3/4" spacers to the cabinet tops with molding to hide the spacers, replace the countertops, and add 3/4" plywood under the dishwasher to simplify future dishwasher service.

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