Steam damage to dishwasher cabinet panel?

achauerFebruary 2, 2014

Has anyone ever experienced damaged to the finish or paint on their dishwasher cabinetry panel? My cabinet maker was encouraging me to stay away from a panel-front dishwasher for that reason, but it may be that his information is inaccurate or outdated. Is it true for some models/styles but not others?

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Our cabinet place tried to convince us not to get a panel, but we ignored her. So far we haven't had a problem, but we haven't had it installed long either. We don't notice steam coming out of the top, which is what she was concerned about, so maybe it is model-dependent?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:35PM
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I think that was a problem - years ago. These guys are way behind the times. If a DW takes a finished panel - then install a finished panel.

If you're worried - check out the DW model, and see where the steam vents.

Our Miele (7 yrs old) has a small vent ( 1.5 x 3 inches) on the front panel which is stainless. It's probably 3" above the panel.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking - I certainly hadn't heard of that problem from anyone else!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:40PM
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My experience --- They look great, gorgeous, beautiful, but .....

our house already had the custom cabinet panel on the front of the DW and it looked very nice, matching the cabinets and all. Previous owner chose all that.

When it came time to replace the DW, it was going to be very expensive-to-impossible to find a cabinet maker who could make us a custom panel for the new DW, especially a panel that matched the exact wood grain and stain color including the yellowing that comes with age, etc. (paint color changes with time, also).

For that reason, we did not get a custom cabinet panel for our DW when we completely remodeled our kitchen last year. DWs rarely last beyond 7 - 10 years anymore and we decided to spend the money elsewhere.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:48AM
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One model of KA seemed to be doing that and it may have been corrected.

Panel on my Miele is 10 y.o. and I love the look and convenience. Since appliances tend to date a kitchen I also feel it helps on that issue.

If the cabinets are new it's easier. In our other place, with a retrofit, I went with the SS panel on the Miele.

The cabinet maker may not be sure of how to do it but the spec sheets for the various dishwashers solve the issue.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:23AM
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I don't know about panel front dishwasher, but I just renovated my kitchen with all new ikea cabinets and panels last year, also bought a brand new stainless steel frigidaire gallery dishwasher. the dishwasher is at the end of my counter so there is a panel that stands beside it. that panel is now swollen and the paint has cracked blistered, falling off. on the left side of the dishwasher (when looking at it head on) there is a hose that connects thru a vent that fills the tub when starting. well when it runs, steam can also escape thru this vent which caused the panel to swell and blister. I called both companies ikea and frigidaire, they blame each other.

solution i bought a new panel and painted the inside with a oil based paint, hopefully that will work.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:30PM
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I bought an Ikea kitchen and integrated dishwasher and its not that old. The dishwasher has cracked all the cabinets surrounding the dishwasher including the top of the panel of the dishwasher.

Just had Whirpool come out and inspect and they can not see any fault with the dishwasher. (Typical) so now in the process of sending the same email to Ikea as they said I had to call Whirpool first. So much fun. Its pretty bad.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2015 at 12:49AM
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Laminated pressboard or foil wrapped cabinet panels do not do well around dishwashers. If you have these type cabinets do not install an integrated dishwasher. These panels seem to be the most likely to blister and swell.
Real wood panels hold up much better in these situations but you still need to make sure you take care of your wood with cabinet polish..
    Bookmark   March 23, 2015 at 8:55AM
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You are not entirely correct Jakvis . Lamanite cabinets will do just fine around integrated DWs ! Europe and Germany in particular are full of them. I that setup at one of my places that's 10 years old with zero trouble.

The REAL issue is when folks try to do this on the cheap or without the requisite knowledge.

If you use a DW from Miele, Bosch, or Asko that was designed from the start to be fully integrated and accept a 3/4" panel - then you will have no problem . These units start at $1000 though , so most people have a hard time stomaching the ticket price and look for a cheaper alternative which causes the problems.

Those cheaper units are just regular metal door DWs hastily converted to hold a panel by all to willing appliances companies wanting your money rather than a ground up design intended to be fully integrated.

You also must follow the directions of the unit ! You can't open the door to "help" drying. It must remain closed to allow the steam to condense because it's that warm moist air that is ruining the cabinets whether they be particle board, plywood , or solid cherry.

1 Like    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 4:21AM
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