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Need some advice on installing a dishwasher.

photo of current cabinets

  • Cabinet on the left measures 24" in width exactly. 34.5" height below the counter and 24" depth.
  • Cabinet on the right is the sink. There is electrical and garbage disposal already installed underneath.

Questions:

  • Is it going to be too tight for a 24" built-in dishwasher? Bosch seems to have the most narrow options (23.5") but instructions state it needs 6" clearance if placed against a wall. Other brands say 2" clearance against the wall. I'm not sure why clearance is needed. Is this just for humidity reasons? Since you can't see the wall, would using a sealant work?
  • Another possible clearance issue: If we do a 24", is supporting the countertop going to be impossible or is there a solution there? There's not much space to add 1x4 or 2x4 brace.
  • Or should we opt for an 18" built-in and add a 6" base cabinet box at the end with a cabinet filler at the front? Would this support the countertop? And would this be easy to DIY as I'm not finding many pre-made 6" boxes?
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  • it could be some feature of the dishwasher drawers that folds out when open.
    – Jasen
    Commented May 23 at 0:34
  • The dishwasher will not support the counter. You'd need some sort of ledger, at least, under there and that will eat into part of the space you want to put the dishwasher into. Might be better to sacrifice s different cabinet even if that requires doing some real plumbing.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 23 at 1:15
  • Observation - if the washer's door is open flat or drawers are open, it could be a hard-to-spot trip hazard for people approaching from the left.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 23 at 22:05
  • Another issue is you're going to get food and water stains on the wall due to spills from handling dishes.
    – user71659
    Commented May 23 at 23:05

2 Answers 2

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I looked at the Bosch installation manual, the 24" width would fit their dishwasher. The clearance from the wall ensures that nothing interferes with opening the door. Walls are not always square, there could be a thick baseboard, or there could be an electrical outlet that when something is plugged in, it might stop the door from opening... there could be many other things. I don't know why they chose 6" but it would eliminate almost all conflicts. You will need to ensure that nothing conflicts with the door in your situation. It would be best to go and see the model you want in person to help with this.

Supporting the countertop can be achieved by installing a long angle against the wall and under the countertop. Be sure that it is secured to studs (you should be able to hit two in your location). You can buy angle with holes already in it like this example:

enter image description here

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  • Excellent answer. When redoing my kitchen, one of the dishwashers ended up with sink on one side and no cabinet on the other side. I put in an "end piece" which is really just a piece of cabinet wall material with a couple of brackets to support the counter. That won't work here - no space at all - but a bracket into studs as you describe is a perfect solution. Commented May 23 at 3:13
  • Good answer. I have this exact angle piece installed twice on a bar niche above a mini-fridge.
    – DMoore
    Commented May 23 at 3:19
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    And do both walls!
    – Huesmann
    Commented May 23 at 12:10
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    Also important to note that when securing the dishwasher, the relevant line to match is the side wall, not the counter. If the wall/counter angle is even slightly acute, the door can scrape when opening. It might be worth deliberately skewing the dishwasher a degree or two towards the sink to ensure clearance.
    – Jay McEh
    Commented May 23 at 13:22
  • Great answer by pdd, but instead of angle iron which could easily bend, I'd suggest using a Cabinet Suspension Rail that are made to attach cabinets to walls. If you have an IKEA in your area, they make a couple of different ones that could be useful.
    – Earl
    Commented May 29 at 19:59
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Clearance might be so the door doesn't hit the baseboard or so steam doesn't ruin the wall when you open the door.

Hopefully you can make a 24" work but if you decide to go with an 18", don't use a filler front. 6 inch base cabinets do exist and you can use it for baking trays or get a 6 inch pullout spice rack.

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