The kitchen is coming and I finally got the custom panels on the dishwasher drawers. We have two of these drawer dishwasher units in the kitchen. One unit has two drawers, the other is a single. The handles are attached to the panels so we’ve been using the dishwashers without handles for five years. Everyone mentions how fun it is to have handles!
I used these 12″ appliance pulls from D.Lawless Hardware and I LOVE them! They are hefty and easy to grab ahold of. I’m actually using them throughout the kitchen, not just on the dishwashers. I love large drawer pulls and these are gorgeous! And well priced for such substantial pulls.
Installing Custom Integrated Dishwasher Panels
I moved away from the kitchen renovation once it was to a stage of “functionality”. Handles on cabinet drawers aren’t necessary but that isn’t the case for dishwasher drawers. It’s 100 times easier to open the dishwashers now that they have panels (and handles). Those panels though, they were NOT easy to install. Not easy at all!
The single drawer dishwasher is a newer model and was a little easier to install for two reasons: One, the controls are all inside the dishwasher. Two, There’s a screw that allows for a slight height adjustment after the panel is installed.
Sizing the dishwasher panels is the same as sizing drawer fronts for any drawer, calculate the clearing you want between the drawer front and the cabinet. I had to do a little zhuzhing here and there to make everything fit acceptably.
Attaching the Panel
The custom panels are attached to the dishwasher’s front metal piece, which has to be removed in order to do the attaching. The instructions weren’t very clear to me so I pretty much made it up as I went. I attached the pull first, then attached the custom panel to the metal thingy -in the spot I thought it needed to be attached. Then went and tried it on.
Adjusting the Panel
On my first try, I ended up putting the metal piece on upside down. Once I fixed that, I tried it on again… I went back and forth from my little work table to the dishwasher about a dozen times to make slight adjustments.
Neither dishwasher has “side to side” adjustment. The newer, single drawer dishwasher does offer a TINY bit of height adjustment once the panel is in place. So there’s just a lot of fiddle factor involved in attaching the panels.
Outside Control Panel
The newer unit has all the controls on the top of the dishwasher drawer that you can only access when the drawer is open. This is a picture of that control panel.
The older model (my double drawer dishwasher) has controls on the outside in addition to the control panel on the inside. So you can start or pause the dishwasher from the outside. I had to cut a hole in the panels to accept that controller. Instead of trecking downstairs to get a palm router, I used a jigsaw. My access hole ended up looking super crappy.
It will be covered by the rim of the control panel so it’s no biggie. Other than the fact that the control panel is apparently supposed to fit snuggly into the hole to keep it in place. Good, clear instructions are such a tremendous help. Not sure why it’s so hard to find them. I ended up using caulk to “glue” them in place. Oiy!
The buttons work so I guess my method’ll do. On the double drawer unit, the top drawer is deep and holds tall plates.
The lower drawer is shallow and because it’s so low, it’s not easy to access. Compared to a regular dishwasher, I guess it’s the same. But the two deep drawer dishwashers, one on each side of the island, are much easier to use. We don’t use the lower one nearly as much.
Single vs Double Drawer
The single drawer unit has room for storage below the dishwasher. It’s a handy place to store odds and ends, including the remote control. That allows you to start or pause the dishwasher just as the outside control panel does on the other model. We hardly ever use the remote.
Julie had a double drawer in one of her previous houses which is how I was exposed to a drawer dishwasher. She suggested I just get a single, when I was purchasing my first one, when we first moved into this house. At that point I was only going to have one dishwasher for a while and I wanted both drawers. If I had purchased specifically for the kitchen I built, I would just do two, single drawer dishwashers. They’re half the price and the lower, shallow drawer really isn’t worth an extra $600.
I have them so I’ll use them. Just saying that I wouldn’t buy the double again. Both dishwasher units look and function a whole lot better with the panels and handles. Also, it’s amazing how quiet they are now. They weren’t loud before but you can hardly hear them at all now.