Which is worse...DW on prep side or inconvenient DW unloading?

homebuyer23April 30, 2013

In the layout I am working on, I have my dishwasher placed out of the prep zone to the right of the sink (one sink kitchen, prep zone to left). However, its the last thing on that run before a corner which turns to a peninsula with seating on other side. Therefore the upper cabinet above the DW & to the right a bit, which would be ideal for glassware or dishes, is totally inaccessible while unloading. Plus, more than half of drawer space on that side of the peninsula is inaccessible while unloading. That leaves me with having to use a 25" drawer bank for dishes and glasses, if I want them close to all eating/table setting (dining table is behind the peninsula seats)...Im thinking 25" isn't quite wide enough for convenient dish storage...I do have large dinner plates.
I have several other places I could store dishes if I must but theyre not as ideal to me as right at the peninsula, and I really struggle with where to store everyday drinking glasses, most likely Id have to walk them to the other side of the kitchen. (Its NOT a huge space so maybe not a big deal, but just seems like a pain.) Or unload set on counter, then close up dw & put away.

If I just put my DW to the left of my sink, Id have a nice place to stand and quickly put everything away...something I value...we run the DW a lot!

But I know a big rule is no DW in prep space!!
If you had to compromise which way would you go?

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I have a similar dilemma. I was sure that I was going to put my dishwasher to the left of my sink in my u-shaped kitchen. The prep zone is to the right. But then when I looked at it, the dishwasher ended up being in the way of anyone wanting to use the refrigerator. This is a second home that will be used a lot in the summer. My feeling is that that area of the kitchen will be in use way more than the prep area. All of the snack items, beverage items and sandwich making items will be on the refrigerator side of the kitchen. It's not ideal, but I think the choice is the best for this situation.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:32AM
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We have a similar situation, but there are high cupboards above the peninsula. I know, most people take those down. The glasses go in the cupboard closest to the wall, but we can't reach, so it's either "Hey, dear son, put these up for me" or just unload them to the counter, then put away.

My DH unloads the entire dishwasher to the counter, THEN puts everything away. But he's always done this, even in other configurations.

Our biggest issue is, the trash drawer is in the peninsula opening into the DW space. Aargh.

As Gigibozo says, think about how is the space used most often? Unloading the dishwasher is a short, defined activity, done how many times a day? (Once, maybe twice, in my house)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:46AM
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I also unload bottom rack, put away, then top rack, put away.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:55AM
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Personally, DW placement would take precedence. Our dw is run everyday and its opened many times each day to load. When my dw is open, I cannot access my lazy Susan corner cabinet. This has been an annoyance only 2-3 times in the year I've had my new kitchen (a year already and still far from the ABB stage! Ugh).

Also consider that if you place your DW to the right of your sink, just before peninsula, the person loading and unloading the dw is going to stand at the sink. Then, not only will your cabinetry access be limited, but also your sink access.

I guess its just a matter of selecting the lesser of two evils. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 8:12AM
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I never understood the no DW in prep area rule. I've been prepping in front of a DW for 10 years and it's no different than prepping in front of a cabinet. I kept the same arrangement in my new kitchen. Just don't get a DW with a handle.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:08AM
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It's difficult to follow every single rule! Sometimes we have to adjust for our own spaces.

The DW in my upcoming remodel will not be next to the sink - in fact, I'm moving it further away from the sink than it is now. It is a small U kitchen, with the sink centered on the enclosed end. Since the room is only 10' wide, if I were to put the DW next to the sink, I would lose the base cabinet storage that I worked very hard to achieve in my new layout.

So the DW will be in the cab run perpendicular to the sink, next to the garbage pullout (which is between sink and DW), and to the left of the upper cab where we keep most of the dishes. Having used this kitchen for 24 years, we have a pretty good idea what currently works for us and what doesn't, and the dishwasher location is as good as it can get in our space.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:28AM
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I have a small u shaped kitchen, too. I put my dishwasher on the left side--in the peninsula. That is where I do my prep. It was on the other side, but the uppers are there and I hated how I had to put everything on the counter, then close the dishwasher to put them away. Moving the dishwasher was one of my top priorities in the remodel.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Now, I never understood how there could be rules to follow. :) We're just fortunate to have guidelines on what tends to work better than other choices for more people in more situations than otherwise.

From the two options you believe you have, it sounds as if you'd rather work in front of the dishwasher. Just note that although most discussion has been on the occasional unloading, in my kitchen at least loading takes place all day long and especially during food prep/cooking. I might also want to work while the DW's operating and cooling down.

Another option to check out before deciding might be dish storage "outside the (nearest) box." Good delivery points would be close to the dishwasher, but also to the point of first use. Thus, dishes might go by the stove if you dish there, farther out (a back-step/swivel) on the peninsula (if there is a farther out), if the destination is the dining area.

Just for instance, I had to rethink all this for myself because I decided on no upper cabinets and DW on the end of an L-shape counter opposite the drawerless end of an island. (Yes, I did this all on purpose!)

Turned out, though, that from the left/counter-end side of the DW I could set glasses and cups directly into the island's outside cabinets, glasses still close to the sink and cups right opposite the coffee niche on the wall opposite the island.

From the right/sink side of the DW, I could set silverware and plastics, etc., directly into drawers on the other side of the sink. Pots and pans and dishes have to be stacked on the island corner inches across from the open DW so they can then be delivered in organized stacks to their drawers flanking the stove on the L-counter.

Note that my one priority was to keep the little items that cause most of the bother close to the DW, so repeated handsful could be delivered without moving, although carrying the silverware holder to a drawer would have been an option if needed. It's not 100% the most efficient of any layout, but actually works quite well. We spend very little time and energy unloading, and the DW is completely outside my work area.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:44AM
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For some reason I HATE unloading the dishwasher. So, for me, I would put it at the most convenient place for unloading. Since it's only open when I'm loading or unloading it, in front of the prep space would not be a problem for me. It sounds like you really prefer it to the left, and that makes sense to me, too.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:48AM
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LOL. Both posts about moving the DW came while I was talking about moving storage. Also an excellent option to examine as a solution to the problem. There is going to be a way out of your dilemma!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:50AM
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I prep in front of my DW and I've never considered that a problem. I'm just not constantly in and out of the DW as I prep as I let stuff accumulate in the sink until I need to start cleaning up. Other than silverware which goes right into an adjacent drawer, I unload my DW onto the counter before putting it away. It takes maybe 2 minutes to put it all away into an upper cab. None of this seems weird or time-wasting to me, but I'm the only person actually working in this kitchen, so there are no traffic issues.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:54AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I prep over the DW--I didn't want to move plumbing when I moved the range from one side of the kitchen to the other. The DW is between my large sink and the trash pull-out, which is ideal for my small kitchen. Dirty dishes and utensils go in the sink, and crumbs and wrappers get swept into to trash. Scraps are put in a bowl to await a trip to the compost bucket (kept in the mudroom).

The DW is not normally running until after the meal, so it's no different than if I were prepping over a cabinet. The dish storage has always been in that corner--if someone needs a bowl or plate, I have to reach up, take it out of the cabinet and pass it over, but that's no big deal.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:30AM
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One of my major goals was to improve DW function. In my old kitchen, plates were to the left of the DW, glasses across the kitchen and silver to the right (sink to the right as well)
My new kitchen - sink to right and plates, glasses, and silver is also to the right - no longer have to run around the kitchen.
I get enough exercise outside of the kitchen!!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:26PM
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I prep mostly over the DW too. It's to the left of my sink. Never been a problem. Actually preped over the DW in a few places I've lived in over the years.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:55PM
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I used to have to prep over the DW over half the time in our old kitchen b/c there wasn't enough room b/w the range and sink. I am so happy that DW is out of my way now!!!

I hated prepping over a DW! Inevitably, someone wanted to get into the DW (put in or take out) while I was working there - and I had to move every time! OR the DW was running and I hated the heat/steam that emanated from it. No one could cleanup while I was there either...

One thing, in my old kitchen the DW was next to a corner and it was never an issue putting dishes away - the 12" b/w the DW and corner were plenty to stand in when unloading. Our dish storage was to the right (in an upper cab) and glasses directly above the DW - never an issue! It was so easy to take a dish or glass out and just reach up and put it into the cabinet. Our pots & pans were in the corner susan and they were very easy to put away as well. No moving our feet for the majority of items (the silverware was in a drawer to the right of the DW....under the dish cabinet.)

I don't understand why it's an issue for so many people....but quite a few people seem to have an issue with just 12" (no, we're not small people). So I guess it's a matter of which is more important: not having the DW in the way while prepping or having a lot of space to stand in when unloading the DW.

But...keep in mind that prepping is 70% of the work done in the kitchen while cleaning up is only 20%. That 20% is mostly the cleaning part, not the putting away part. If you're someone who unloads the DW at one time - then you're only doing it once each day while you're prepping several times a day with, possibly, others trying to put items in the DW b/c they're dirty. If you don't unload all at once, then do you have people trying to get into the DW to get a clean dish or glass throughout the day?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:40AM
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