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.
Resources – where to get it
- Fisher & Paykel dishwasher
- 12″ appliance pulls from D.Lawless Hardware
We love the larger pulls. It helps to keep your messy hands off the cabinet.
Yes it keeps hands away from the doors!
Cami Bohn says
A friend of mine bought a house with the double dishwasher drawers (with the three buttons on the outside). And she can’t get it to start! Any chance you can walk me through how to start a load? Thank you!!!
I’m not sure if they are the same brand. I just pushed the center button.
Janet Zaritsky says
I LOVE my Fischer Paykel drawer dishwashers!!! So quiet and easy to load. Over the holidays we’ll use the bottom drawer, but rarely other times. I’ll run it through the rinse cycle once a month just to keep the parts moving. I wish I’d put panels on mine, but the stainless steel is ok.
Well, the panels are a pain to install so stainless may be the way to go. Install the dishwasher and be done.
Very cool. In the final picture, is that a small electrical outlet that you have right under the countertop? Do you put many of those in your cabinets?
Yes I have a power strip like that on both ends of both sides of the island. Very useful!
Any kind of heat barrier between wood and front of machine
No it’s not necessary. These dishwashers are made to accept a wood panel. You do need to finish both sides of the panel to protect against moisture and humidity.
Charisse Andrews says
I loved my Fischer Paykel. I hardly used the small drawer because it was small and low. I also would get two singles and mount on either side next time.. Mine finally gave in after 14 years and one repair we did ourselves. I replaced with a Bosch this time but I still miss my drawers. Looks great with the drawer fronts, and I love those handles!
verb [ T ] also zhoozh, zhoosh
to make something more interesting or attractive:
The stylist said he would zhuzh up the outfit with some jewellery.
to make something fit a Hole!
I must admit I didnt believe that was a real word!!!! you do like to make us think!
I will be buying the single units one for each side of the Island , getting old sucks why have to bend over to get the that little drawer!!!
you continue to amaze !!!! will the house ever be done? I think not!!! You Rock Girl
not sure why its asking me to subscribe since I have been since like forever
Gail Gemberling says
Great Job! Lovely Kitchen!
Did you use the Fisher Paykel instructions for measuring for the drawer panels? I find them difficult to use as it looks like they are only for inset panels. Mine are overlay Shaker doors and drawers and so I think I am doing that zhuzhing thing you mentioned.
Did you leave a space for ventilation between the drawers like they suggest (a minimum of 5/16 of an inch)?
I also wondered why it said they recommended 0″ extension on top of the top drawer panel “except where required.” I did not know what that exception meant but I think it means in the case where you have overlay doors like mine. If I leave no extension my panel won’t overlap the opening like all of my other drawers do. So this is very confusing.
What is your spacing between your adjacent cabinet and your panel? My range is next to my DW separated only by a spacer of about 3/4 of an inch. So I need to have a small overlap in order to be consistent with my cabinetry but also to not hit my range when I open the drawer.
Maybe I should wait and order the panels after I get the appliances installed. It looks like that is what you did. My cabinet boxes were built custom about 7 years ago and the doors and drawer fronts were ordered from a local fabricator here in town. Do I need to ask for anything special on my drawer panels for the dishwasher?
Any advice would be helpful. Wish I had your skills. If I did this would not be so stressful. I did not realize there are no controls anywhere available with the panels. Can you get a remote for these?
The newer versions have controls on the top, inside of the drawers (plus a remote control). I have one older version that has the controls on the outside. I would definitely wait until you have the units installed to order your panels. Then you’re basically just measuring for drawer panels as you would for any other drawer set. Basically. Good luck!
Liz L says
I just installed a single deep Fisher Paykel dish drawer, panel ready, and it did not come with a remote. I has a “knock sensor” and to pause/stop the dish washer to add a dish, or stop for some other reason, you knock twice on the door. I just received the panel from my cabinet company and will be installing the panel as soon as my pulls are delivered. It’s May 2021, and Covid is causing huge delays on everything that I’m ordering for my new kitchen. But this dish drawer is such a highlight of the remodel. I’m looking forward to it!
Interesting feature on the new ones. I’m ordering one for the kitchen in my B&B and am trying to decide on all the other appliances too. Availability is definitely a factor in my choices. (Causing me to spend more too.)
Hi What size is the cabinet you used for the single dish drawer? I have an Ikea 24″ and it won’t fit..!!! The inside width is less than 23″. Or at least it doesnt seem like it will- are your cabinets custom? What do you suggest for a cabinet that will fit the single dishdrawer?
I built all my kitchen cabinets, including the one to fit that dishwasher drawer.
Shelagh Ryan says
I love my Fisher Paykel dishwasher…but I guess mine is much older because my two drawers are the same size. I have had the unit 12 years and still going strong!
They have two double drawer options. One allows the top drawer to be “tall”. I don’t think they’ve changed much in 12 years (that’s about when I purchased my double drawer one).
What were your dimensions for your panels? I have the same washer/single drawer unit but have never had panels made like that.
Each model has specs for custom panel sizing. It’s in your planning or installation manual (or look online for your specific make/model). Pay close attention to if it’s the Tall or regular drawer. I wouldn’t rely on anything else as they are constantly changing the models slightly.
Tricia O'Connor says
Hi. I have a paykel single drawer dishwasher that I need to install and modify some cabinets. I was hoping to have the dishwasher drawer on the bottom and add some regular drawers on top (including my silverware). Based on your experience with this dishwasher is that possible? Or does it need to be on the top?
I don’t see why it couldn’t go on the bottom. I wanted it at the top because it makes it more comfortable to load and unload. I had a double drawer on one side of the island and a single on the other. We rarely used the bottom drawer on the double because it was so inconvenient compared to the top drawer.
But it that’s how you want to install it, I don’t see why not. You would just have to make sure that the top side of the inside of the dishwasher cavity is fully sealed. (So steam/moisture doesn’t warp or ruin the divider – separating the dishwasher compartment from the silverware drawer.
Bernard Hines says
The kitchen cabinets (white w/silver handles) pictured in the video are they available through D Lawless or is that another vendor?
I’m not sure which video was playing for you so I don’t know which handles you saw.