Where should a dishwasher be placed? Expert advice on the perfect position


Deciding where to place your dishwasher is an important consideration when designing or remodeling your kitchen. The location of the dishwasher can impact the efficiency of your workflow, noise levels, and even energy costs. As experts in kitchen design and appliance placement, we’ve outlined the key factors to take into account when determining the optimal dishwasher placement in your home.

Where should a dishwasher be placed? Expert advice on the perfect position

The ideal location for a dishwasher is directly next to the kitchen sink. This allows for a smooth transition of dirty dishes from the countertop into the dishwasher. Having the two workstations side-by-side minimizes drips and spills as you transfer dishes. It also enables you to easily connect the dishwasher to the hot water line beneath the sink.

When positioning the dishwasher next to the sink, allow for a minimum of 2 inches between the two appliances. This provides clearance for water lines and improves access for repairs. If your cabinetry or space restrictions don’t allow for side-by-side installation, the next best option is to place the dishwasher within one to two feet of the sink.

Connectivity Considerations

Installing the dishwasher close to the kitchen sink also simplifies the process of connecting the appliance to water and drainage lines. Most dishwashers use a hot water supply line that connects to the faucet line beneath the sink. Positioning the dishwasher right next cabinetry that houses the sink minimizes the length of supply tubing needed.

In addition to the hot water line, you’ll also need to connect the dishwasher drain hose. This typically routes into the sink drain pipe or garbage disposal. Again, keeping the dishwasher close to the sink will help keep the drain hose as short as possible for optimum drainage. Allow enough slack in the drain hose so that you can fully open the dishwasher door without putting tension on the hose.

Impact on Workflow

Placing the dishwasher directly adjacent to the sink improves workflow efficiency in a few key ways. First, it minimizes the distance you need to walk between the countertop and dishwasher while cleaning up after meals. This saves time and makes cleanup less of a chore.

The proximity also enables you to easily rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Rinsing removes larger food particles that could otherwise clog the dishwasher filter. Some dishwashers even have a connection for a direct water feed from the sink to facilitate pre-rinsing.

Noise Considerations

Dishwashers tend to be louder than most other kitchen appliances. Their motors, pumps, and drainage sounds can be disruptive, especially if the dishwasher is run at night. Mounting the dishwasher close to the sink positions it away from entertainment areas like living rooms. Tucking it around a corner into an alcove is ideal for muffling noise.

Undermounting the dishwasher also helps dampen the operational sounds. Avoid placing the dishwasher directly next to rooms where you don’t want to hear noises like the bedroom or home office.

Energy Efficiency

Locating the dishwasher close to the kitchen sink improves energy efficiency in two ways. First, it minimizes the distance that hot water needs to travel from the water heater to the appliance. This equates to less heat loss during transport through the supply pipes.

Secondly, a shorter drain hose run decreases the amount of water that remains in the hose after each cycle. This lowers the amount of water you need to purge from the hose before the dishwasher can fill with fresh water. Less water usage per cycle increases the dishwasher’s energy efficiency.

Installation Considerations

When installing your dishwasher next to the kitchen sink, there are a few measurements you’ll need to take to ensure proper clearance. Most standard dishwashers are 24 inches wide. Make sure you have an open cabinet or space that can accommodate this width.

You’ll also need to account for the dishwasher door when opened. Measure how far the door extends when fully open – this is how much space you need to allow for in front of the dishwasher. Standard clearance is about 2 feet, but refer to your manual for specific requirements.

Undercounter dishwashers should have a minimum of 32 inches of height clearance for loading. Make sure overhead cabinets won’t obstruct the dishwasher. For drainage, keep the dishwasher port within 39 inches of the floor.

Tips for Optimizing Your Dishwasher Placement

  • Install as close to the kitchen sink as possible for ease of use and connections.
  • Allow for a 2 inch gap between the dishwasher and adjacent walls or appliances.
  • Position away from entertainment areas or bedrooms to dampen operational noise.
  • Undermounting can help reduce vibrational sounds.
  • Keep hot water and drain lines as short as possible.
  • Ensure adequate clearance in front for opening the door fully.
  • Verify sufficient height clearance for ergonomic access.
  • Check for leaks after connecting water lines before sliding into place.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dishwasher Placement

Should I put my dishwasher next to the fridge or sink?

The ideal spot for a dishwasher is directly adjacent to the kitchen sink. This proximity makes connections easier, improves workflow efficiency, and minimizes noise transfer.

How close can a dishwasher be to the sink?

Most experts recommend installing the dishwasher within 12-24 inches of the sink for the most convenient placement. Leave a 2 inch gap between the appliances.

Can I put my dishwasher on the other side of the kitchen?

It’s best not to position your dishwasher too far from the sink if possible. This will increase water line and drain hose length, spreading out your workstations, and make operating the dishwasher less convenient.

What is the standard height for a dishwasher?

Most dishwashers are designed to fit under a standard 34-36 inch kitchen counter. Standard heights range from 32-35 inches tall.

Should my dishwasher be flush with the cabinets?

For a streamlined, aligned look, install your dishwasher flush with adjacent cabinetry. If accessibility is a concern, allow the dishwasher to stick out some from the cabinets for easier access.

How far should the dishwasher be from an oven?

If installing next to a radiant oven or cooktop, allow for a minimum of 2 inches of clearance between the appliances. Make sure the dishwasher is properly heat-insulated from the oven.


Optimizing your dishwasher placement requires balancing several factors like ease of installation, workflow efficiency, noise, and aesthetics. For most kitchens, locating your dishwasher directly adjacent to the sink provides the best solution. This position simplifies utility connections, allows for ergonomic loading, increases energy efficiency, and contains noise. With proper clearance for opening the dishwasher door and adequate heat insulation, you can gain all the benefits of the sink-adjacent installation. Use the tips above to determine the ideal dishwasher position specific to your kitchen layout and needs. With some planning, you can create a dish zone that maximizes convenience and productivity.