Monday, July 9, 2012

Installing A Full Size Dishwasher In Old Shallow Cabinets

Despite what a lot of people told me, a 22.5" deep Bosch dishwasher will fit under some shallow cabinets that were standard on older houses.



Bosch's specs claim the unit has a 22.5" depth (with door) but everyone I talked to (at Lowe's and even Bosch) told me it needed the standard 24"W x 34"H x 24"D opening because the 22.5" dimension didn't include the door or that it needed room for the waste hose but that's not necessarily true. After checking various engineering drawings and specs I found on Bosch's European sites, I took a gamble (after making sure I could return it if it didn't fit of course) and it paid off. This unit fits quite well in my shallow 1940's 20.5" deep cabinets and it doesn't stick out any more than most other brand dishwashers installed in standard depth cabinets do. 

Keep in mind this older style kitchen doesn't have "drywall" installed behind the cabinets so I had a little bit more depth under the counter than you would measure on top of the counter, if that makes sense. The cabinets were actually installed to the wood studs, then "drywall" was installed around them. But seeing as you've made your way to this page, I'm guessing your cabinets are installed in a similar manner.

So anyways, people with old houses and no cash for new cabinets/counters can rejoice because most Bosch units (with a claimed 22.5" depth) will fit without sticking out too much. Remember to do your homework though and check the technical drawings for your particular model and make sure you can return the unit if it doesn't fit. Also, if you'd like to read my thoughts on the dishwasher itself, you can find my review here.

Update: my model isn't available anymore but Bosch has pretty good drawings on their spec sheets showing the true depths:

http://www.bosch-home.com/us/products/dishwashers/built-in-dishwashers/all-dishwashers.html

Anything with a 22-7/16" depth is the same as mine and can be pushed all the way back as long as your drain hose can exit out the left or right side (under that little overhang) as shown by the arrow:


As you can see it still sticks out a little but I find it looks intentional and not out of place. The top of the control panel is actually a small bit recessed under the counter. Also, since doing this install I've been paying more attention to other peoples' dishwashers and I've noticed even under full size 25" counters, most dishwasher stick out at least as much as mine.




Here are some random pictures showing the install. Sorry for the lack of a real writeup. And if you're a cabinet maker, sorry for all the cringing that will ensue from looking at how I did this...

Pretty freakin' ugly.






Looks like the previous owner was cool with a poorly caulked sink. Thanks, Dick.





Looks like Dick was here...



Here you can see how the cabinets on old houses (well, mine at least) were installed right up against the wall studs. Luckily, this gives you a little bit more room to shove the dishwasher back. 




An oscillating tool (Dremel Multi-Max) is probably the most versatile tool you can own


I put down a piece of laminate that was ever so slightly angle up in the back so that if the dishwasher ever leaks, it'll leak out the front and I'll see it.

Don't laugh at my ghetto cabinet walls.






Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

13 comments:

  1. Hi, sorry for the late reply. It's the Bosch SHE3AR55. Here is a link:

    http://www.bosch-home.com/us/products/built-in-dishwashers/recessed-handle/SHE3AR55UC.html?source=browse

    I've been meaning to update the DW review but unless you need a shallow dishwasher I would go with another brand. Bosch is expensive, has a terrible lower rack design, and has poor dish drying. Although, if you can't fit any other models in your cabinets it's well worth the compromises!

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  2. Thanks for this review! I've been looking for a dishwasher to fit the narrow counters in our 1928 house and it's so tough! It's great to see that this model worked for you- your counters are even more shallow than ours! I think we'll be getting one of these.

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  3. michael, thanks for your post. i bought whirpool dishwasher that was too deep because the sink drain line was in back leaving only 21 inches to work with plus trim so we had to return it. after reading this post, i bought the $499 bosch with the 22.5 inch depth because the 21.5 inch deoth model i found at lowes was 17 days out. it fit perfectly after we reinstalled the trim. and the model number had a /21 at the end of it which propbably meant 21 inches. so i totally made this decision based on your post. i read the reviews, that's why i chose the whirlpool. but if it don't fit, you go with what the few choices out there and bosch 22.5 depth is the way to go

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    Replies
    1. That's so great to hear! Glad it fit!

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    2. Spyrock- what model did you ultimately end up installing. The one from Michael's post is no longer available and I'm looking to install one in my 1939 kitchen. Thanks

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  4. Thanks for posting! What is the height and width? I currently have a (1986) dishwasher that is HxWxD : 33 X 24 X 22.5 All of the 22.5 depth ones that I find are 18" wide. Is that the same are yours? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heather,
      I added some links below as well as some extra info in the "write up" above. Pretty much if the dishwasher states it has a 22.5"ish depth, it's the same size as the one I got. Hope this helps.

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  5. Take a look at Bosch's site (they have dimensional drawings on the spec sheets of all their models) and make sure the depth is shallow enough (I believe mine was listed as 22-7/16 deep). Here's an example of one that is the same size as mine:

    http://www.bosch-home.com/Files/bosch2/us/us_en/Document/Spec_Sheets/SHX9PT75UC.pdf

    Here's one that shows it's 23-3/4" deep so it truly needs a 24" depth cabinet:

    http://www.bosch-home.com/Files/bosch2/us/us_en/Document/Spec_Sheets/SHE7PT55UC.pdf

    Even on the 22-7/16 deep models Bosch still states that a 24" depth is required. That 1.5" is only necessary if your drain hose needs the room back there. If it's a custom install you can have the hose exit out the side like I did, leaving that 1.5" gap unnecessary. As always though, make sure you can return the unit if it doesn't fit (this is kind of the best reason to buy stuff at the big box stores).

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  6. Thanks for your incredibly valuable post Michael. So many of us are dealing with the same issue and your work has made out job tons easier. (Actually, changing out a 1987 DW and trying to decide on a new one, with all the headaches I know we'll face, is no better than having a root canal.)

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  7. Dear Michael,
    My partner and I thoroughly relate to your frustrations and your experiences with Dick. We have our own Dick and we know another one with the same name, he's our contractor who never bothered to make sure the dishwasher would fit into the opening, so it sticks out about 4 inches and he did a Mickey Mouse job of a framing around it. In hindsight I obviously wish I had read your blog first. But I will tell you, you have provided the much comic relief we needed. We are obviously not ever going to work with Dick,the contractor again and we are going to try to figure out our own solution because I know we could do a better job than he did.

    XOXO

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  8. Dear Michael,
    My partner and I thoroughly relate to your frustrations and your experiences with Dick. We have our own Dick and we know another one with the same name, he's our contractor who never bothered to make sure the dishwasher would fit into the opening, so it sticks out about 4 inches and he did a Mickey Mouse job of a framing around it. In hindsight I obviously wish I had read your blog first. But I will tell you, you have provided the much comic relief we needed. We are obviously not ever going to work with Dick,the contractor again and we are going to try to figure out our own solution because I know we could do a better job than he did.

    XOXO

    ReplyDelete