If your home kitchen doesn't already have a built-in dishwasher, you might be considering adding one. Doing so will require the right amount of space. You might be wondering if it's possible to become set on a particular model dishwasher, only to have it be too tall to fit under your counter. In this post, we'll focus on several important pieces of information that a prospective dishwasher-buyer might need, beginning with how tall these appliances are.
The typical height of a built-in dishwasher is 35 inches. The exact measurement will of course vary by model and whether or not you are looking at a dishwasher that is compliant with ADA standards. ADA dishwashers are, on average, 3 inches shorter, with most models being 32 inches tall. The height of portable floor and portable countertop dishwashers will also vary by model. The average portable floor dishwasher is 37 inches tall while the countertop models average 17.5 inches in height.
For this post, we'll be breaking down the relevant dimensions of popular dishwasher models. We've also done the research so that we can help you understand what exactly makes a dishwasher ADA compliant, how you might go about measuring a dishwasher, and what the differences are between a standard dishwasher and a "tall tub" model. Continue reading to find out more.
Dishwasher heights by brand and style
As we noted above, the exact dimensions of your dishwasher will depend upon the model and the style. Here, we've taken several popular models and compared these dimensions, so that you will know exactly how much room each one will take up in your kitchen. We've included standard built-ins, both types of portable dishwashers, and ones that are ADA compliant.
Standard built-in residential dishwashers
- Frigidaire Gallery is 35 inches tall
- Whirlpool tall tub is 34.5 inches tall
- Bosch 500 series is 33.8 inches tall
- KitchenAid tall tub is 34.5 inches tall
- Electrolux IQ-Touch tall tub is 34.7 inches tall
- Cafe Smart tall tub is 34 inches tall
- Amana tall tub is 34.5 inches tall
Portable floor dishwashers
- Whirlpool portable is 37 inches tall
- SPT portable is 35.6 inches tall
- GE portable is 36 inches tall
- Danby portable is 35.6 inches tall
Portable countertop dishwashers
- RCA Electronic is 19.8 inches tall
- Magic Chef is 17.2 inches tall
- SPT is 17.2 inches tall
- Danby is 17.2 inches tall
- Farberware is 17.3 inches tall
ADA compliant dishwashers
- Frigidaire is 32 inches tall
- GE GLDT is 32 inches tall
- Bosch is 32 inches tall
How do you measure a dishwasher?
Getting an accurate measurement for a dishwasher is easy and only requires a measuring tape. You'll be taking three measurements with the tape. When you're finished, you'll be able to record the dishwasher's height, width, and depth.
Begin with the height of the dishwasher. Prior to installation, you should place the dishwasher upright on the floor, just as it would be positioned when you slide it into the installation opening under your counter. Setting the start of the measuring tape at the bottom of the base, run the measuring tape all the way up to the top of the front of the dishwasher. Where the tape stops at the top is the height of the dishwasher.
Next, you'll measure the width. Using the measuring tape, set the start of the tape on the left side, in the middle. Run the tape across the front of the dishwasher in a straight line, left to right. The number you see when the tape reaches the far right side is the dishwasher's width.
Finally, you'll record the depth of the dishwasher. It's easiest to begin at the top, and run the measuring tape across the top of the dishwasher, until you've reached the outside edge of the back of the unit. The number on the tape is the depth.
These numbers should match what is on the dishwasher's box if you've got a new unit.
All of these numbers should be a little less than the measurements of the slot it will slide into under your counter. Ideally, you want the unit to fit snugly, but not tight. Having a little less than a half an inch wiggle room from the sides of the dishwasher to the cabinet side walls is best.
What makes a dishwasher ADA compliant?
First, we should discuss what ADA means exactly. ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that was passed in 1990. While this law more deals with accessibility and public accommodations, the abbreviation "ADA compliant" when it's referring to dishwashers means that the design is meant to be easier for someone to operate from a wheelchair.
The ADA compliant models are shorter in height, averaging 32 inches instead of 35. This makes it easier to load and unload from the chair. It also makes the controllers sit lower so that they are more accessible. If a dishwasher is truly ADA compliant, it will be branded as such.
Click here to view this ADA compliant dishwasher on Amazon.
How tall is a compact dishwasher?
The height of a compact dishwasher will be roughly the same as that of the standard built-in model. What makes a dishwasher "compact" is its width. While a standard dishwasher will be an estimated 24 inches wide, the compact models are substantially more narrow, usually measuring 18 inches across.
Compact models are excellent units for those with smaller kitchens and have been a favorite of apartment complex developers and hotel chains that choose to equip their extended-stay rooms with dishwashing units.
Keep in mind that because the exact height of dishwasher units will vary from model to model, it's certainly possible that the compact unit you're looking at could be slightly shorter than the standard unit.
Click here to see this compact dishwasher on Amazon.
What is a super-capacity (tall tub) dishwasher vs. standard?
While the tall tub dishwashers and the standard size dishwashers take up the same amount of space, the tall tub units have a much larger capacity. This extra space makes it much more conducive for larger families and bigger home-cooked meals.
The standard models will typically come equipped with twelve racks for dishes. With the tall tub units, they have 25% more capacity, with 16 racks.
But if they take up the same amount of room, how can the tall tub units hold that many more dishes? The reason is the difference in the design between the two types. Standard units have a kick plate at the bottom, which diminishes the amount of room for dishes. The tall tubs do not have this kick plate, thus providing a greater capacity for dirty dishes.
Click here to see this tall tub dishwasher on Amazon.
Dishwashers are a terrific convenience and are pretty standard in the modern kitchen. Thankfully, even if the space does not allow for a standard model, consumers have several options for portable models. Countertop and rolling floor portable units have been a great luxury for those in crowded kitchens.
We also learned a little about what it means to have an ADA compliant dishwasher, and how different units and brands will have slightly different dimensions. With this information, you should be several steps closer to determining if your kitchen can spare the room for a dishwasher unit, and which ones might fit that available space.
If you'd like to learn more about dishwashers, we believe you might find the following posts helpful and informative:
Are Plastic Food Containers Dishwasher Safe?
Can You Put a Pasta Maker in the Dishwasher?
Are Casserole Dishes Dishwasher Safe? [Here’s Which Ones Are]