Dishwasher/cabinet height mismatch blues

fabnavigatorFebruary 13, 2013

I bought Thomasville cabinets and a GE Monogram panel ready dishwasher. Little did I know that they are not compatible.

I had the panel for the dishwasher made to GE's specifications, 30 1/16" to 30 1/4" high. The dishwasher door is 30" high, and they want me to leave a 1/2" gap between the top of the door and the bottom of the countertop.

That means that the bottom of the dishwasher door will be 30 1/2" down from the bottom of the countertop. But, the face frame of my Thomasville cabinets is only 30" high because there is a 4 1/2" high toe kick.

So, the bottom of the dishwasher panel is going to end up 1/2+" below the bottom of the surrounding cabinets.


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when you get into increments of an inch regarding appliance panels, there are so many different variations.

Most of the time, if I want a truly custom look, I wait until all the components are in place, and secured, then measure the panel, making sure that it falls within the installation guidelines.

the actual size of the dishwasher panel is subject to whatever overlay you have on your cabinets, and the elevation of the actual dishwasher (adjustable legs), if you want a nearly perfect look..

Is there a reason that you cannot mount the door higher than specified? I dont think that their dimensions are truly cast in stone, possibly only suggestions..

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:27AM
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The dishwasher panel isn't the problem, I wouldn't mind ordering another one if that solved the problem.

It's that the actual dishwasher door is 30" high. Then they want a 1/2" space above it for steam to vent out of the dishwasher. If I got a smaller panel, it wouldn't completely cover the door.

I just looked at my old cabinets, and the face frame is 30 1/2" high with a 4" toe kick. If the new cabinets had a 30 1/2" face frame I'd be okay.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Umm, I guess I understand what the problem is better now. Ive never heard of a 4 1/2 in toe space..

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:55PM
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A 4-1/2" toe space is not uncommon (off the top of my head Merrilat, Showplace, Brookhaven). Many frameless brands have it- 30" wall cabinet, 30" base on 4 1/2" toe.
I've done panels for those, BUT I strongly encourage European dishwashers if you want a panel. Else take your chances in which case I'm with rolle, get the DW first. (really wish the American mfg's would get this right)

I looked at the Monogram specs and don't see an answer for you unfortunately. It might be possible to work it out but on site. Does it vent out the top? or are they just worried? Can that be cheated? likely voids the warranty but whatever you can get out of the top would help.

I think if I had to do this- I'd make the front edges of the door align with the rest of the cabinets, add a very thin strip at the bottom to cover the dishwasher face, and cut a rabbet into the top behind the face to increase the clearance to what they are asking for. Likely the Thomasville won't do the rabbet so it has to be done on site. IF they don't offer self stick veneer or similar the thin strip can be cut from a piece of solid material by someone who knows what they are doing- needs to be a decent thickness piece to do that, and it will curl coming off the saw.

We have to go over the DW (not the panel) specs with a careful eye to make sure we can get the correct look, to see if what they recommend works or if we can change safely.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Sophie Wheeler

A top venting DW is unsuited to having a wood panel anyway. It will warp with all of the steam being put out.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:12PM
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I looked at the specks and not clear but it is not necessarily top venting, which is why I asked. Says something about the controls on the top and condensation, sounded like a CYA for folks who insist on opening the DW while it's running. At least I can't imagine why anyone would make a top vent that also had electronic controls on the top. Asking for trouble.

Have never done a top vent (or seen one) not sure it would be more prone to warping because of steam than a bottom vent- steam rises.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:21PM
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