Dishwasher Too Tall For Countertop

May 26, 2022
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What to Do if Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Fit

While rare, you could possibly run into a situation where your dishwasher is too tall for your countertop. This can be a problem if you have a small kitchen with a non-standard kitchen countertop height. While most kitchen appliances are built to standard dimensions, it is possible that your dishwasher height could be higher than your countertop.

The dishwasher standing taller than the countertop creates a problem because it won't fit properly into the dishwasher opening - which typically has kitchen cabinet storage space on each side. Dishwasher dimensions vary based on type and brand, but are generally about 34 inches tall, while most kitchen countertops are only about 36 inches tall. This typically leaves the right amount of room for standard size undercounter dishwashers to fit perfectly within your kitchen layout.

However, some dishwashers are shorter or taller than this. It is essential to measure the countertop height prior to buying a dishwasher so that you can get one that is the right size for your kitchen.

Having a dishwasher makes life easier. It saves families time and water. According to EnergyStar, it only costs $34 per year to run a dishwasher. It is a necessary kitchen appliance in their home because of its ability to kill more bacteria. This article will give you many options that could solve the problem of a dishwasher that is too tall for the countertop.

Dishwasher Too Tall For Countertop Solutions

Below you will find the best solutions for a dishwasher that's too tall for your counter height.

Buy a Shorter Dishwasher

Some dishwashers are only 24 inches tall. This will give you the extra two inches you need to store the dishwasher under your countertop. Not to mention, it may be an easier option if you can return the dishwasher you have now.

Photo of an open dishwasher

A dishwasher should fit in snugly underneath the countertop

Reasons You May Not Be Able To Return the Dishwasher

The dilemma gets worse when you can't effortlessly replace the dishwasher. Below are some reasons replacing your dishwasher purchase may not work.

  • If you bought the dishwasher on sale, the store might not take it back
  • Used dishwasher purchases may not be covered under the store's return policy.
  • Online purchases may warrant a hefty shipping price.
  • If you bought the dishwasher from a private seller, they might not return it.
  • Depending on the store, not having a receipt can prevent you from making the return.

Do not automatically think that these causes will prevent you from returning your dishwasher. Talking to the manager may give you the lead way in solving the problem even if you don't have a receipt, for example.

Countertop Extension Kit

Buy a countertop extension kit. The kit will extend the countertop. This kit will extend the countertop by two inches, giving you the extra space you need to store the dishwasher under the cabinets.

Photo of dishwasher underneath granite countertop

Photo of a compact dishwasher perfectly flush with countertop

It is a good option if you don't want to buy a new dishwasher or if you can't return the dishwasher you have now.

Adjust the Legs

Level the dishwasher with the countertop. The option is only available on dishwashers that have adjustable legs. The legs can be screwed in to lower the appliance enough to fit under the counter.

Combining the adjustment with the countertop extension kit will do the trick. However, some dishwashers don't have adjustable legs.

Shave Down the Counter Space

Cut out the counter space where the dishwasher is too tall. Shave down the counter space from the inside without removing the whole slab. It will take some time and effort. However, the lip of the dishwasher would hide the cutout.

To do this:

  1. Measure the space and then cut out a section of the countertop.
  2. After cutting out a section, check to see that the dishwasher will fit into the area.
  3. If it doesn't, continue cutting out the section.

If not, remeasure the area and proceed again. It may not be a difficult task, but it is something that you should only do if you are comfortable with tools.

Reposition the Dishwasher

Move the dishwasher (to another room). It is a more drastic solution, but it may be the only option for some people. Moving the dishwasher is a good option, especially if it can be placed in a nearby room with taller cabinets.

Replace the Countertop

Replacing the countertop is a more expensive option. There is nothing wrong with a project to enhance the home's aesthetics. The only problem is that this option will be the most time-consuming and expensive.

For example, if this project becomes a DIY project, the price will increase. It can also be challenging if you do not have the proper tools or knowledge.

Hiring a professional to do this work for you is recommended if you are uncomfortable with the previous two options. However, this can come with a hefty price tag as well.

Can You Put a Dishwasher on a Countertop?

No, a full-size dishwasher cannot sit on a countertop. Dishwashers tend to be big and heavy and need to sit on the floor. However, compact countertop dishwashers are available.

These dishwashers are usually smaller and have less capacity than a full-size dishwasher. But they get the job done if you don't have a lot of space or if you want to save some money.

These are ideal for small apartments or RVs. Not to mention since they are portable dishwashers, they come in handy if you want to take them with you when you travel.

No matter the situation, a countertop dishwasher is a great option to have. Washing dishes is time-consuming, and nobody wants to do it. With a countertop dishwasher, you can save time, effort, and water.

These dishwashers are also very affordable and easy to find. So, if you're in the market for a new dishwasher, don't forget to check out the countertop dishwashers. You might be surprised at how well they work.

Prevent the Dilemma

The best thing you can do is prevent this problem from happening in the first place. Measure the height of the cabinets in your kitchen. It will ensure that you buy a dishwasher that is the right size for your kitchen.

Also, remember you have options. You can solve this problem in several different ways. Choose the solution that is best for you and your kitchen.

Don't be afraid to talk to store managers to see if together you can create a solution that works out for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about dishwashers that end up being too tall for the countertop.

Can you lower the height of a dishwasher?

Standard dishwashers are made to a height of about 34 inches and usually don't come with lowering options. However, some dishwashers have adjustable legs that allow room for about two inches of lowering. Remember to keep the dishwasher level. If it's not level, it may vibrate and make noise when in use.

What do you do if your dishwasher is too short?

If your dishwasher is too short, adjust the legs to raise the height if you have that option. Another option is building up the floor under the dishwasher by adding layers of plywood. Do this by measuring the space and cutting the plywood to get a perfect fit. Keep adding layers until the ideal fit gets accomplished. The great thing about this option is that it's easy and can be reversed in the case that another dishwasher gets purchased later on.

Should the dishwasher be flush with the countertop?

No, the dishwasher should not be flush with the countertop. There has to be a gap of about 1/4 inch between the dishwasher and the countertop. The gap allows water to drain properly and prevents the dishwasher from wobbling.

How do you fill the gap between countertops and dishwashers?

There are a few ways to fill the gap between countertops and dishwashers. You can use caulk, silicone, or putty. Caulking is the best option for filling gaps between countertops and dishwashers because it lasts long-term. Silicone and putty are great options, but it is not as durable as caulk. You can also use dishwasher trim to cover the gap. It is another good option, but it is not as durable as caulk. Dishwasher trim is available in a variety of colors and materials, making it a good choice for aesthetically pleasing finishes. Choose the trim that best matches your kitchen design.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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