To panel or not to panel - dishwasher ed.

jalsy6January 5, 2012

So my reno is moving along (at a snail's pace I might add)...but I'm at the doorstep of deciding whether to panel my d/w or just get stainless like the fridge. The issue is that my fridge and d/w sit next to each other, with 3" of spacer between...seems like a lot of stainless, no? My gut wants to panel, but it will be significantly more costly because my cabs are partial overlay and will require some sort of backing behind the door panel. Not sure what that means yet $$ wise, but sounds like a lot to me.

Anyone with pics of stainless fridge and d/w next to each other?

Here's a pic (sorry so big) of the space in question (filled with recycling at the moment...):

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Hi - your kitchen looks great! Without taking cost into consideration, my opinion is to panel. I never like to see to pieces of stainless flanked next to one another. Also, I have found with my previous stainless DW, it is so so hard to keep it clean. I know miele panels well since it is smaller in depth and the door has a better chance of sitting flush with the rest of your cabs. Just my 2 cents...hope it helps. Sorry, I don't have any pix.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 10:52AM
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I probably wouldn't panel the dw in my kitchen again, but in looking at your photo, you seem to have a period type of look. In this case, I agree that the 2 pieces of stainless next to each other would be a lot, and the hidden dw would go more with the room style you have going.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 11:15AM
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From the looks of your kitchen, I too think a panelled DW would look better. There's not alot of cabs on that wall and I think that area would look more contiguous with a non-obvious DW.

I did a panelled DW in my previous house's kitchen for this reason and it turned out great. I had partial overlay cabs like you that I had refinished and wanted the DW to blend in when we replaced the old one. I took the dimensions specified by the DW mfgr and had a local cab maker do a thin piece of plywood (luan?) and then make matching drawer and door fronts to put on it. I thought it was fairly obvious that it was a DW but visitors often asked how I did without a DW! Obviously not TKO like us lol.

Sorry but I don't have a pic.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Thanks for the input! That has been my instinct...but my DH is starting to think that I just want to spend spend spend!

@kpowers - thanks! I did worry about cleaning the stainless. While I like my fridge, it's a PITA to keep looking good, and there isn't even water involved.

@rhome, so complimented that you used the 'period' description - it's just what I was going for, but have felt without inset cabs, might not be achieved.

@mtn - glad to hear about your partial cabs experience. I feel pretty much like odd woman out on GW with all the gorgeous inset and full overlay kitchens!

If anyone else has pictures to share, I'd love it.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 11:56AM
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My dishwasher is not next to my refrigerator but I paneled it so it would blend in with the the cabinetry of my island. I thought it would "stick out like a sore thumb" otherwise. I think in your space you should panel the dishwasher. It will make your base cabinet run look longer and more continuous. Also the stainless panel may be a slightly different color than the refrigerators stainless. I did use a Bosch panel ready dishwasher because like the Miele mentioned in a previous post, it is a little less deep than other models and it does not stick out past the cabinets when the panel is added.
Here is a picture of mine:

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 11:59AM
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I think it should get a panel. I like the top on your island, what kind of wood is it?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 12:07PM
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@badger - love your kitchen, the curves are amazing. The Bosch is the one I have my eye on. Which model do you have and how do you like it so far?

@cabinet - the island top is the birch butcherblock from IKEA, believe it or not. I stained it and finished it with waterlox. It was a labor of love, let me tell you. My long term vision for the kitchen is a marble topped island...but we're on a budget here!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 1:28PM
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I panelled everything that didn't get too hot (inc. the warming drawer which only gets a little hot), so if I vote for panelled, it probably doesn't mean much.

A panel ready dishwasher costs more, however, plus having a a decent carpenter to make you a nice panel if you want it to look like a cabinet, not just like from the same company. Someone in a similar situation used a white DW and it looked good, but I'd probably just go with stainless at that point.

If you want the panel to look like a cabinet (or drawers or whatever), your carpenter can make a frame that looks like the cabinet frames, and you can put fronts within it to match your doors/drawers. Or you could just buy the frame and fronts from the cabinet company. The carpenter might have to thin the frame a bit to make everything line up. Do check the specs as well, to make sure how much thickness the DW will take and still match up with your already installed cabinets.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 4:11PM
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jalsy6, the model # for my Bosch dishwasher is SHV65PO3UC. To save a little money, we bought the floor display ( it was not a working display). I think it was for sale because there was a new model coming out. We love the Bosch dishwasher because it is so quiet. We have had good experiences with Bosch.. This dishwasher replaced an 8 year old white Bosch that was still going strong. We gave the old Bosch to a friend who installed it and couldn't believe how quiet it was. We also had a Bosch at the house we owned before our current one. I hope my good luck with Bosch dishwashers continues.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Agree with paneling. Not necessary in every kitchen, but in yours I think it helps maintain the traditional flow and symmetry around the sink.

Also, btw--your partial overlay cabinets are very authentically period. As far as the drawers go, they're even more authentic than inset.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 4:52PM
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pllog-thanks! cabinets went in last winter and are semi custom I'm planning to order all the necessary pieces including whatever skin is required plus a door panel hopefully minimizing the carpentry. I'm probably going to have to save my pennies for a bit. But all this feedback is helpful, and confirms what I was leaning toward.

badger- The Bosch seems to be the way to go on a variety of fronts...especially the depth thing with the panel. Glad you're liking it! I feel like every d/w gets mixed reviews if you look hard enough (at least the ones under 1K).

marcolo - I'm happy that it reads even remotely 'authentic'... I would hate for it to seem like I was 'trying too hard' but missed the mark creating a period-esque kitchen. There have been so many challenges with this 1935 house!

Gotta love the GW wisdom! Panel it is.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 5:22PM
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I like to point out that you can often get a scratch-and-dent DW at Sears Outlet for small money -- and it won't matter because you will put a panel in front! I got a $1400 MSRP panelled DW for $400, and there were others to choose from.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 1:02AM
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Circus Peanut

I think the aesthetics of stainless vs panel are a personal choice, depending on the style of the house and kitchen, but I would add that from a functional standpoint I'm never getting a stainless-front DW again. Mine streaked terribly and NEVER looked clean. It always had dark drip marks down the front from the steam, no matter how often I scrubbed it with special stainless cleaners made from elf's wings, etc.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 8:58AM
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another vote for paneling. pasted below is my kitchen, had the exact same layout! i went with a miele dishwasher. i have full inset cabs but the look would be similar.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 9:34PM
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Angie- I have a sears outlet not too far away. I'm going to check it out and see what's there...I can be patient if it means super savings!

circus- Totally agree on the aesthetics. It's not that I mind the stainless. I'm not sure I'd be doubting as much if it were on the opposite wall from the fridge. But alas, a small-ish kitchen means appliances close together. I have wondered about fridge is kind of annoying that way.

babushka- love the bit of your kitchen I can see...have you posted finished pics yet? I definitely regret not getting the single door fridge. I was a fool. I really am not a super duper fan of the french door. Yours looks like an Amana...should have gone that way for sure.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 10:02PM
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thanks jalsy6. i hsve not yet posted finished pics, stuck on backsplash, need to find breakfast nook furnishings and finish electric. took a break over the holidays, was burnt out on making decisions. need to get back out to look at tiles again this weekend. mine is an amana. my house is a 1942 house, sounds like we are dealing with similar projects!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:03PM
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I don't like stainless personally, but my range & hood are. I like panel ready to balance out stainless.

I also got a floor model panel ready dishwasher from the Sears Outlet for 55% off. You have to go often and stalk things. I stalked my dw for about four months and kept watching the price go down. Most people look at the shiny things and don't notice the panel ready appliances ... so I just wait while the price goes down.

I did the same thing with my panel ready fridge and professional range - both were floor models and I got them for 70% off.

Oh, and you CAN bargain with them - at least it worked for me!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:10PM
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