Should The Dishwasher Be Flush With Cabinets? (My Honest Take)

In the modern world of ever-evolving kitchen designs, homeowners frequently faces many dilemma especially with high cost items like dishwasher etc.

Even in my initial days I used to wonder whether my dishwasher can be easily flushed with the cabinets. I searched a lot for the accurate information, and even talked with many experts as well.

So, should the dishwasher be flush with cabinets?

This article will thoroughly explore the different perspectives and factors to consider when making this decision.

Among these factors are the aesthetics, functionality, and accessibility of the kitchen space.

Should the dishwasher be flush with cabinets

By the end of this article, you will be well-informed and better equipped to make the right choice for your kitchen. So, let’s dive into the sea of possibilities!

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Should the dishwasher be flush with cabinets? 

Ultimately, choosing to flush a dishwasher with cabinets largely depends on individual preferences and specific kitchen layouts. A flush installation creates a seamless, streamlined appearance that contributes to a cohesive and visually appealing design.

However, it may slightly reduce the dishwasher’s door clearance and hinder accessibility for certain users.

When choosing between flush or non-flush installation, homeowners should consider personal aesthetics, functionality, and the spatial constraints of their kitchen to achieve a suitable balance between appearance and practicality.

 How much space should be between the dishwasher and the cabinet?

The recommended space between a dishwasher and cabinet is 1 to 1.5 inches on both sides. This space allows room for the dishwasher door to open fully without hitting the cabinet and provides ventilation to prevent overheating.

Most dishwashers require at least 1 inch of clearance on the sides and 0.5 inches in the rear for proper ventilation. 

 How much space should be between the dishwasher and the cabinet

Some manufacturers recommend up to 1.5 inches of space on both sides for installation adjustments and door alignment. The space also makes it easier to access the dishwasher for maintenance and repairs. 

Without enough space, the dishwasher door may rub against the cabinet when opening and closing, which could damage the door or cabinet over time.

So when installing a new dishwasher or replacing an old one, measure the space and leave at least 1 to 1.5 inches between the dishwasher and surrounding cabinets.

Do top control dishwashers stick out? 

Yes, top control dishwashers stick out more than front control dishwashers due to their design. Specifically, if they have an external handlebar, top control dishwashers usually stick out further compared to models with a pocket handle that tucks into the exterior of the dishwasher door.

However, the extent to which a dishwasher sticks out can also depend on the specific brand and model, apart from the type of control. On average, a dishwasher can stick out from 1.5″ to around 3″.

Therefore, while choosing between a top control and a front control dishwasher, aside from considering personal preferences, functionality, and kitchen layout, one should also consider the implications for the dishwasher’s protrusion from the cabinetry.

How far should the dishwasher stick out? 

The conventional rule is that dishwashers should stick out approximately 3 centimeters or around 1.5 inches from your cabinets. This distance is deemed appropriate as it allows enough space for easy access without using too much space in the kitchen.

How far should the dishwasher stick out

In the case of a top control dishwasher, it may stick out about 2-3 inches from the counter. Thus, the actual measurement can also depend on the specific type of appliances, their positioning, and the method used for installation.

To summarize, while specific measurements may vary based on the type of dishwasher and individual kitchen designs, the recommended distance that a dishwasher should stick out ranges from 1.5 to 3 inches.

What is the best placement for a dishwasher?

The best placement for a dishwasher in your kitchen depends on personal preferences and specific kitchen layouts. However, experts suggest two critical factors when deciding on dishwasher placement: proximity to the sink and the user’s dominant hand 

First, the dishwasher should be located next to the sink, making it easier to scrape and rinse plates before loading them into the appliance. 

Second, consider the user’s dominant hand: a right-handed person may find it more convenient to place the dishwasher to the left of the sink, while a left-handed person may prefer the opposite.

Adhering to these guidelines balances functionality and efficiency while maximizing available kitchen space. 


Whether a dishwasher should be flush with cabinets depends on an individual’s preference, specific kitchen layout, and design style.

While it may be appealing to have a dishwasher flush with the cabinets aesthetically, the ideal scenario is to allow for a 1.5 to 3-inch protrusion to facilitate easy access and accommodate different dishwasher control types.

It is important to consider individual factors such as usability, performance, safety, and overall kitchen aesthetics when selecting the apt installation method.

Striking the right balance between beauty and functionality will result in a sleek, stylish, and efficient kitchen space, with a dishwasher setup that optimizes daily tasks and seamlessly integrates into your home’s design.

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