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How Big is a Dishwasher-Installing Cabinets

How you install base cabinets makes a big difference in a kitchen’s appearance when the dishwasher space is correctly framed in. If the opening size is too large, it is difficult to fix after the flooring gets put in. So, make sure you double check the width after the base cabinets or side panel is screwed in place. The opening size for this appliance is very critical because it can ruin the aesthetics of your lower cupboards if it’s not installed correctly.


Appliance size: 24w x 341/2H x 24D

  • Tip: Always make an allowance for the thickness of the flooring. If you don’t, the opening will be too small. Read more on this subject Cabinet Installation Tips.

How high and wide should the dishwasher opening be?

The space for the dishwasher should be thirty four and one half inches high and the width should be twenty four and an eight to a quarter inches wide.

D/W opening size when installing cabinet:
Allow 24W x 34 ½H X 24 D (+or – ¼”)

Do not cheat on the depth; it must be twenty four inches. The width can be a little bigger, not smaller. The height can be adjusted with the leveling feet.

What should you do if the cabinets are not plumb or level in this area and the measurements at the top are different from the bottom?

DO NOT INSTALL THEM. If you do, you will SEE why once the dishwasher gets installed level next to an out of level cabinet.

If the dimension is a small amount, it will not be noticeable, but when base cabinets are way out of plumb, next to a dishwasher, you must level them. Here’s a great article on installing cabinets on out of level floors.   You can also watch this video on how to make a base cabinet level.

Oftentimes, I will cut a spacer board 24 ¼” long and use it as a guide for when I am installing base cabinets around the dishwasher opening size. If the appliance is on the end and you are just having a finished panel next to it, you must attach the D/W panel to the floor with an L-bracket. If you don’t it’s possible that someone will hit it before the flooring gets set and the opening will be too big or small.

  1. ned
    May 14th, 2009 at 20:03 | #1

    hi, i want to install a dishwasher, but my cabinet is smaller than dishwasher standard size. What should i do?

  2. admin
    May 14th, 2009 at 20:40 | #2

    Can you remove the one cabinet and get another one altered so the opening will be large enough?

    What kind of cabinets do you have, Formica, real wood or Thermofoil?

  3. ron smith
    December 22nd, 2009 at 14:49 | #3

    Older house with base cabinets only 33 1/2″ tall. How to fit dishwasher in that is 34 1/2″?

  4. admin
    July 16th, 2010 at 21:32 | #4

    @ron smith
    Ron, you’re going to have to add to the cupboards so they are tall enough. Depending on the style of cupboards, you may be able to just add an inch to the top of the cabinets. Obviously, you must remove the coutnertops first.

  5. September 27th, 2010 at 11:13 | #5

    After I had my kitchen counter tops installed I found out they did not attach the dishwasher to the granite.  I wish I would have know, now I have a dent in the floor where the dishwasher hit the floor when I opened it.

    I later found on http://www.myinstalledcountertops.com that it is a common problem when your getting new counter tops installed.  They said that before you hire a fabricator to ask them how are they going to install your dishwasher.

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