Please help me with my math!

eleenaFebruary 26, 2013

My tile won't be here as soon as I had hoped.

I understand why I need to tile under the appliances and I am trying to account for it. The best way to do it would be to wait till tiling is done but I cannot (for logistical reasons) wait with the DW area.

The tile guy said I had to plan for an additional 1/2" height but I do not want to take my chances. I am planning on a regular 34.5" height to the bottom of the counter.

Right now, I have a drawer DW which sits well above the floor but I want to avoid any problems if I ever decide to switch back to a full height DW or when we sell the house.

I have looked up specifications for several DWs, both European and domestic, and all of them were no more than 34" high. Many had adjustable height.

If I place a DW on the floor and then tile up to it, it would be difficult to get it out. But if I simply leave a 34.5" high opening, I do not foresee any issues with another DW in the nearest future (till the standard counter height changes drastically).

Am I right?


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Can you tile that alcove with something else of the same height and finish when the real tile comes?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Plywood under the cabinets and DW will work fine, and then you just tile up to the plywood and install the toekick after the tile is done.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Thank you!

The current DW is not a problem, it is a drawer type and its bottom doesn't reach the floor. I am only trying to leave enough height for a future DW, if this one breaks or I sell the house.

Say, the tile will be 1/2" high and the counter starts at 34.5" because there is a sink cabinet already there. Is 34" enough to accommodate a regular DW (with feet)?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:37AM
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All dishwashers are designed for counters 36" above the finished floor, which means you'll be fine as long as your counter is at 36", not any lower. (For example, that could happen if you install the cabinets on the subfloor without raising them to the level of the finished floor, or if your toe kick is shorter than the cabinets are designed for.)

For best futureproofing, I would strongly encourage you to tile under it with the same tile as the rest of the kitchen. If there's ever a leak from the dishwasher, you don't want it to seep into the plywood buildup.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Yes, but the 36" height includes the counter itself, which is normally 1.5" think, so it is only 34.5" under. No, I don't have to use plywood b/c the DW will sit above the floor level in the cabinet.

The current floor is concrete. If there is a leak, the entire cabinet has to be taken out, I am guessing.

Cannot wait for the tile due to time constraints.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:43AM
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Eleena, dishwasher manufacturers have done this math long before you have. Manufacturers that sell their DWs in the US know exactly the standard US counter height and thicknesses of counters (1-3 cm). Of course, if you import one from another market, all bets are off.

Good luck with your build!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:01AM
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I also encourage you to tile under the DW. People I've talk to regret it when they don't.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:46AM
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You need to tile under the DW AND the cabinets. Or else put down plywood of the equivalent height under them both. That is a standard practice and no need to rethink things here when standard practices will work just fine.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:08AM
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