What is an Integrated Dishwasher?

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What is an Integrated Dishwasher

Get Yourself a Lean, Mean Dishwashing Machine

There are few kitchen appliances that spark as much passion as a dishwasher. Those who love them shudder to think of living without them. And those who don’t “get” the dishwasher concept think they are a big waste of space and money. 

We are on team dishwasher over here, big time! A dishwasher can save loads of time otherwise spent hand washing dishes, and a good model will get your dishes squeaky clean while you spend your precious time on other activities of your choice. 

The high temperatures make a quality dishwasher hygienic and aesthetic as well. And for those who value style alongside function, an integrated dishwasher is a real treat. 

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So, what is an integrated dishwasher?

An integrated dishwasher is a master of disguise. Looking on the outside, like just another one of your kitchen cabinets, it opens to reveal a dishwasher that has been paneled to match the design of your kitchen. 

Integrated dishwashers fit beneath your countertop and provide a neat, flush finish to your existing decor. Sometimes they have a fitted, custom cupboard door that conceals the dishwasher when the appliance is fully closed. 

That is called a fully integrated dishwasher. Partially integrated dishwashers will match the rest of your kitchen as well, but the top panel of the dishwasher will still show above the matching cabinetry. 

Unlike freestanding dishwashers, which can be taken with you when you move, integrated dishwashers are more-or-less permanently installed into your dishwasher cavity.

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Choosing an Integrated Dishwasher

Choosing an Integrated Dishwasher

First of all, you will want to choose a dishwasher that fits you, size-wise. If you are building a kitchen from scratch, you can design around the perfect machine. 

Most likely you have a limited and predetermined space in your kitchen for a dishwasher.   So it is crucial to measure that space and buy a unit that will fit. 

It is also possible that your current unit is not a standard size.  It is important to make sure that all the pieces of this puzzle fit. 

If you are working with a predetermined dishwasher spot in your existing kitchen, measure the height, width and depth of the space available, leaving a little extra depth for the electrical and water cables needed to make your washing machine functional.

To have your dishwasher seamlessly match the rest of your kitchen, you will need to get paneling that fits the existing design.  You can plan to have one made along with the rest of your new kitchen. 


A semi-integrated dishwasher can be installed directly into your cupboards, leaving a visible panel of the dishwasher controls showing. The rest of the dishwasher door can be covered with a matching panel that goes with the rest of your kitchen cupboards. 

You also have the option to add a metal panel that generally fits in with the rest of your kitchen. This metal panel is a good option in case you do not have access to the kitchen maker that designed your kitchen, or if the price to match the rest of the kitchen is cost-prohibitive. 

What makes this machine integrated is that it is flush with the rest of your kitchen cabinets.  Instead of jutting out farther, it will blend in with the overall design.

Fully Integrated

Have you ever tried to work in an unfamiliar kitchen, and opened a cabinet drawer looking for something, only to find that you were staring into the belly of a dishwasher completely hidden by the design of the kitchen? This is a fully integrated dishwasher. 

Without opening it, you might never guess it was there. It looks exactly like anyone of the kitchen cabinets, because you won’t even see the top functional panel of the dishwasher exposed to give it away. 

In order to really conceal a dishwasher in this way, you will need to have access to the maker of your kitchen who was involved when you built your new house, and installed an entirely new kitchen in a renovation project. 

That way the panel that houses the dishwasher can be made of precisely the same materials and design as the rest of the kitchen. It will sit completely flush with the rest of your kitchen.  And upon first glance, unless it is open, one would never know it was there. 



Semi and Fully Integrated Dishwashers tend to run more expensive than standard dishwashers. That is because they are generally not produced in large quantities. 

Plus, you will have the added expense of a custom panel that will fit the rest of your kitchen. If you are building a kitchen from scratch, or renovating an existing kitchen, these will probably be a small additional price to pay for the pleasing aesthetic beauty of an integrated, or semi-integrated dishwasher. 

The best time to decide is, of course, at the time you are planning and building your kitchen. That way, you can save yourself time, and money, by purchasing the right-sized dishwasher to fit your space, or, build your kitchen around your dream machine. 

Also, be sure to order the paneling for your built-in dishwasher along with the rest of your kitchen, to make sure it all fits together just so. Once you do the groundwork and research, your dishwasher will become part of your kitchen masterpiece. 

But be prepared, you can’t take it with you. An integrated dishwasher becomes a real part of its surroundings, and is not meant to go with you should you move to another location. 

It’s a great choice if you want to build a kitchen that you will use and enjoy for years to come. Or create a valuable asset to your home should you plan to someday sell your house. 

If you are renting, or plan to move a lot, and you want to take your dishwasher with you, then a regular model is probably a better bet. 

Because if you are like us here at team dishwasher, you won’t want to go one day without your magic machine. Go Team!

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