Can A Dishwasher Go Under The Sink?

A dishwasher is an important component of any kitchen. If you're planning a remodel or building a new home, you may start to think about the dishwasher location. Can it go under the sink? We have researched all about where is best to place a dishwasher.

A dishwasher can go under the sink if you so choose. If you decide having your dishwasher under the sink is best, you will need to purchase one specifically made for installing under sinks.

Continue reading to learn more about the best placement for your dishwasher, reasons why you may or may not want to place yours under your sink, how long it takes to install a dishwasher, the average cost of installing a dishwasher from scratch, and more.

Interior of a rustic inspired kitchen with wooden furnitures, white cupboards and white painted walls, Can A Dishwasher Go Under The Sink?

Dishwasher Placement in a Kitchen

Where you decide to place your dishwasher depends on various factors. Some people prefer to use the space under their kitchen sink for storage. In this case, you can either keep a trash can under the sink and/or kitchen sink necessities such as sponges, dish soap, cleaners, dishwasher liquid, or pods.

If you prefer a deeper sink, you probably should not install your dishwasher under the kitchen sink. It isn't really plausible to have both unless you don't mind losing out on that space for storage.

A narrow rustic kitchen with wooden cabinetry and modern appliances

Sometimes installing a dishwasher below the kitchen sink is the best choice in a small kitchen. One benefit of installing a dishwasher under your sink is the extra cabinet space you will have elsewhere.

If your kitchen is small, then a portable dishwasher is not practical. In this case, an under-the-sink dishwasher would be ideal.

Under Sink Dishwashers

If you want to have a dishwasher under your sink, you will need to make a few adjustments. You also have to be sure to buy the correct dishwasher that is designed for under-the-sink installation.

The only dishwasher that has been crafted with the intention of installing it under your sink is made by General Electric. These models are referred to as the "GE Spacemaker."

There are three choices available. The dimensions of each model are the same:

  • 35" tall (with the legs extended, otherwise 34")
  • 24" wide
  • 25-3/4" deep

They are also quiet and have a two-stage filtration system.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Sizing Dishwasher Underneath the Sink

In order to accommodate a dishwasher under your sink, you will need to purchase a shallow sink. The height of the GE Spacemaker is 35 inches. The recommended depth for a sink that will suffice varies depending on how tall the counters in your kitchen are, assuming your kitchen sink is flush with the countertops.

The sink you choose can be wider than 24 inches but not beyond the depth of about six to eight inches to fit the under-the-sink dishwasher. One benefit of having a shallow sink is that they are less expensive than deeper options.

Can you fit a dishwasher anywhere in a kitchen?

Hypothetically you can fit a dishwasher anywhere in the kitchen. Be aware of blocking walkways when your dishwasher door is open, though. You also need a separate 20-amp circuit available for your dishwasher alone.

Where you place your dishwasher in relation to the cabinets depends on two other main factors: the position of the dishwasher's door and the location of plumbing in your kitchen.

Ideally, you want to install your dishwasher near your sink so that it is more convenient for loading and unloading dishes. If you have a trash can under the sink or nearby for scraping leftover food into, even better.

When searching for the right dishwasher for you, you will see the GE Spacemaker dishwashers advertised as "under the sink." If the dishwasher is not labeled or advertised that it is designed for under the sink, do not try to install it under your sink.

If you decide to install your dishwasher somewhere other than directly under your sink it is still a good idea to install your dishwasher near the kitchen sink. This is for the purpose of easy access to the plumbing or against a wall where there is a washing machine or bathroom sink on the other side of the wall.

How close should the top of a dishwasher be to the countertop?

Most dishwashers have half of an inch to three-quarters of an inch of space between the top of them and the bottom of the countertop. This is to have a little extra space for the humidity that releases from the dishwasher to dissipate.

Should a dishwasher be flush with the cabinet door?

A modern dishwasher under the kitchen sink

If you look at your dishwasher when the door is open, that part should be flush with the cabinet door. It is important to install it this way rather than the dishwasher door closed being flush with the cabinet door.

The main reason for this is ventilation. Usually, the ventilation system built into your dishwasher is in the front near the door's latch or inside the dishwasher door where you cannot see it.

The correct positioning of your dishwasher door is important because you want to prevent the steam from venting inside of your cabinets. Be sure your dishwasher door sticks out about one inch from the cabinets to prevent the steam from going where you do not want it to.

Gap Between Dishwasher and Cabinet

For a standard dishwasher, you will need a two-foot wide opening. As for installing your dishwasher under your sink, the best choice is to remove the cabinet from below the dishwasher altogether.

The average height of a dishwasher is 35 inches and they are typically 24 inches deep. They are typically 24 inches wide as well, which is why you need at least a 24-inch gap of space for your dishwasher to go under your counter.

The GE Spacemaker is 24 inches wide, so it goes along with the same answer. You will need a gap of at least 24 inches in order to install your GE Spacemaker underneath your kitchen sink.

How do you fill the gap between kitchen cabinets and a dishwasher?

If you have additional space between your dishwasher and cabinets, you will want to first center your dishwasher. Then you have to buy filler strips that are the appropriate size to fill the space you need. You can cut the filler strips to the height that you need before installing them.

How long does it take to install a dishwasher?

The answer to this question is dependent on a few factors. Dishwashers, like other large kitchen appliances, need their own circuit running to the breaker box. It is also required to connect a hot water source to the dishwasher with a drain for that water to travel.

The installation process is easier when you place your dishwasher close to your sink. Doing so allows you to have easy access to the plumbing.

How long this process takes varies based on a few factors, such as whether or not you are hiring someone or doing the installation yourself. As long as you have a separate circuit available and the space for it, installation should only take about one hour total.

How much does it cost to install a dishwasher from scratch?

An opened dishwasher with lots of kitchen utensils under kitchen sink

The average cost to install a dishwasher from scratch is about $200 for labor. The total cost varies though. If you have to make any modifications to install your dishwasher, you will also need to factor in those costs.

It will not cost as much if you do the labor yourself. Usually, you can only install it yourself if you already have access to the necessary circuit that you will need and if you understand how the plumbing is connected.

The cost to install a dishwasher from scratch varies depending on the price of a plumber, the price of an electrician for installing a required 20-amp circuit, and how comfortable you are to DIY this job instead.

In situations where the electrical hookups, drain lines, and water hookups are already available, it costs less to install a dishwasher. You will have to pay up to $100 if the necessary hookups exist. If they do not, expect to pay about double that price.


All in all, it is not recommended that you install your dishwasher under your sink because you need to allow for space for the plumbing. If you do, you will need to purchase a dishwasher designed to go under the sink. You should install your dishwasher close to a sink so that the plumbing is easier to connect. It is imperative that your dishwasher is connected to its own circuit.

Before you go, check out the following links related to dishwashers:

Should You Keep A Dishwasher Door Open When You’re Away?

Can A Dishwasher Leak When Not Running?

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