Are 2 dishwashers a waste of space?

redheadeddaughterApril 21, 2014

Or are they a fabulous thing to have with a large family and lots of visitors? I'm trying to weight the benefits of both and hoping some current 2 dishwasher owners might chime in with their thoughts.

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I would think it depends on the size of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Have you ever had a dishwasher's worth of dirty dishes after loading yours? If so, how often? How many times have you thought to yourself "Man, I could really use another dishwasher about now?"

The other consideration is what you would lose by putting in another dishwasher. Can you afford the loss of the base cabinet storage space?

If I entertained that often I might consider putting a second one in another location, a laundry room, maybe. But man, if you are cooking for that many people there ought to be plenty enough hands to clean up. ;o)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:07PM
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I have stacked dishdrawers. We are just two Seniors and can run the top drawer just once a day, but when we have more dishes I can use both drawers. I LOVE not bending to load and unload most of the time. Maybe you want one full size DW and a 'drawer'?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:19PM
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I would have to buy more dishes and silverware and glasses as I'd run out of stuff before I could fill two. We fill ours everyday, usually just shyof capacity. We wash all pots and pans by hand, if we put those things in a dishwasher, then yes, two would be great. I think two makes a lot of sense for some people, and have seen some beautiful pics of kitchens with them. You do need plenty of room though.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:20PM
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The kitchen is 19 x 15 (with a good size pantry on one side).

Greenhaven: Yes, those are exactly my thoughts, but they contradict one another! ;) I often wish for another dishwasher and run my current one all the time it seems. But I'm very much not sure about the cabinet space. It's not so much that I won't have "enough" in this kitchen and house... it's just that very valuable space near the sink, you know? And I'm thinking I might get rid of all my uppers also.

It's a great problem to have though : 2 dishwashers or one more cabinet. ;) I thought perhaps someone might really LOVE having 2 dishwashers and it really saved them time in the kitchen... or streamlined it (those of you cooking for piles of children frequently will understand what I mean here).

As for clean up help... I do have it! But it's the kind that needs patient training most of the time (little sweet slippery hands). I'm losing, on average, about 2 mugs a week. ;) So it's not much of a time saver on an every day basis. Hopefully in a few more years that will improve! My husband is not a dishwasher - this does not detract from his general awesomeness in every other regard! - so I'm the only adult doing the clean up.

On another topic: I have a prep sink in our new rental home for the first time ever. Now I can't imagine not having one! It really allows for another cook or 2 to comfortably work in the kitchen (or clean).

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:22PM
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If you like to have faster turnover, how about having one commercial dishwasher, instead of two residential dishwashers? I don't know about the cost difference, but the commercial ones can do many loads in an hour, while the residential ones can only do one load in several hours.

Otherwise, I think it's not much different than doing laundry. I do 3-4 loads of laundry each weekend, and find the wait a bit annoying but manageable. After all, I don't have the space (or desire) for 2 sets of washers and dryers. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Commercial Dishwasher?

This post was edited by ILoveCookie on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 14:35

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:25PM
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I have two dishwashers-one is named Ashley and the other is named Alison. I do not consider them a waste of space. (Sorry, couldn't resist:) )


    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:34PM
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The biggest mistake I made when redoing the kitchen was not making space for two dishwashers.

If you lose cabinet storage space, that can be eased by rethinking what is really needed in a family kitchen (not much, really...) and relocating elsewhere all that stuff we store away and never really use, like those worthless juicers and bread makers and crystal cake stands.

The other "duplicate" kitchen item would be a freezer to make grabbing great deals on perishables far far easier.

To me it's not about occasional entertaining but is all about not letting a large and crazy household get to you with extra work, so it's the opinion of someone who once needed to buy about ten gallons of milk a week, if you know what I mean.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:35PM
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It is my husband's dream to have two dishwashers. His idea is that you would never need to put dishes away -- one can be for dirty, and one for clean. We are not doing this in our kitchen, but in researching it, we did find that there are dishwashers that project a colored light on the floor to indicate whether dishes are clean or not.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:37PM
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whitelacey: Oh please may I borrow Ashley and Allison? I'll feed them well and teach them Latin?

cold weather is evil: that is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. We are at about 8 gallons of milk, and 4-6 18 packs of eggs weekly. We need chickens and lots of them!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:41PM
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There is no chicken forum here, is there? I woulda thought there would be.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:49PM
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Ooh! Ooh! Chickens are SO fun and cool and you get eggs! The kiddos would love them and they are relatively easy to care for and stay pretty healthy if you keep the coyotes and raccoons and hawks away from them.

Just a thought. :o)

It seems to me that the justification of two dishwashers is a relief to you. Jus' sayin'....

But maybe a 24" and an 18" would do you, or, like (someone above) suggested, a commercial DW?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:51PM
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Our complex's kitchen has a commercial dishwasher that does a load in 2 min. It is a snap to clean up after a dinner for 40 people. The men get in the kitchen and they just love that thing. It's a standard dishwasher look and size, but it has various racks that are removable and designed for various items. It's been going strong for 12 years (not daily use though).

edited to add - it's not quiet, but it's amazing how it turns dishwashing into a social event.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 14:55

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:54PM
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YES!!! I insisted on two dishwashers and got a lot of crazy looks but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I was so sick of having dishes ALWAYS in the sink, I was running at least 2 loads a day, sometimes more.

Now, I can actually have all of my dishes done every day. We are a family of 6 with 4 small children and we eat all meals at home. So in a single day there is usually 12 to 15 plates, 6-8 bowls, 15-20 cups, plus whatever pots and pans, mixing bowls, casserole dishes, etc I used to prepare meals.

I would never want to be without 2 dishwashers again!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 3:05PM
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I have dish drawers in this house and love them. I admit that I use the top one sometimes twice a day and the bottom one only every other day or so.

In the new house I plan to have dish drawers next to my main sink and a single dishdrawer in my beverage center.

I have never had two dishwashers but I think I will put them to good use.

If you can spare the room I think it's a great idea.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 3:12PM
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Thanks Texas Gem!

I have to note, for any readers thinking we are out of our minds to even desire 2 dishwashers...
When I was first married (and 10 years after that through the first child or 2) we ran the dishwasher maybe once every 2 days. It actually got stinky because we used it so little. ;) We ate out enough and my cooking was simple (and not very healthy). So for a smaller family or couple the idea might seem ridiculous. And then you find that you are arranging your life around the dishwasher cycles so you can have the stuff you need for the next meal.

Now I'm thinking an 18" DW on one side might free up enough inches to add to the 5 extra inches I have in that area... enough to make a tiny bank of drawers or a long skinny somethiing r' other. Or a dish drawer. Decisions decisions...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 3:17PM
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I'm afraid I don't understand the reason for having 2 dishwashers. Why don't you just run one dishwasher twice? Having 2 won't save you any work. You still have to load and unload two loads. Surely you don't dirty enough dishes to fill two dishwashers in one meal? If you use that many dishes over the course of the day, why don't you run it once early in the day and once in the evening? Maybe I'm missing something?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 3:48PM
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Ha. Yes. That's exactly what I would have said a few years ago., and it's exactly what I do now. Run it 2 to 3 times a day with unloading between. Maybe I have a unique situation, but I basically "work from home" in homeschooling my kids. (Maybe others that need those large morning and afternoon working chunks can relate?) So if I can streamline the dishwashing/unloading into 2 larger chunks each day, instead of 4 or 5 it saves not just my time, by my children's focus and concentration as well. I need to be in the classroom when they are learning, for the most part. Running back and forth to the kitchen every 1-2 hours worked fine when they were younger, (I already do it with the laundry) but I'm trying to limit my time in there to just meal times.

Other days, when we have a large class of kids... it's usually a big chunk of time serving, a chunk of time teaching and rounding up toddlers, and 2 or 3 runs of the dishwasher afterwards. Which severely limits my ability to get around to appointments and activities for the kids in the afternoon... if we want to eat dinner at home! But I haven't had 2 dishwashers yet, so I don't know if it will work out this way in practice. ;) And I am quite grateful for my one dishwasher. I know what it's like to have that break down with our schedule. And after typing this, I think maybe I was just looking for a few experiences to justify what I already knew would be helpful in our lives... but it is totally a luxury.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:02PM
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edb2n, I think that the OP often has too many dishes for one dishwasher just after one meal.

OP, I wonder if it makes sense, if you are going to have two dishwashers, to have them spread out a bit more? IDK, just a thought. It might make clean-up easier; it seems like when I've been in situations where lots of people are involved, there is usually a bit of a traffic jam near the sink and dishwasher. So maybe putting one next to each sink makes sense?

To answer the original question, we don't have nearly enough room to even consider two dishwashers, and in fact we haven't even had one for nearly 5 years now. But we have used disposable plates/flatware for big events! :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Hi RHD, I see there are a couple of suggestions for commercial dishwashers, if you are thinking of exploring that please check your local requirements first -- I've heard that some areas might set limits on water usage per load. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Well that makes sense, then. Don't know if you're concerned about resale, but that might be seen as a negative by some buyers.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:17PM
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I am one of 5 kids. I remember there was always a pile on the counter for the next load in the DW. Now I have 5 kids, and you bet we are putting 2 in our build!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:25PM
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We have fa family of 6 and are planning two full sized dishwashers in our build. I just put our dishwasher on and there is a half load waiting to go in the dishwasher after it cycles through and I unload. Given your kids are home all day, I am sure they generate lots of dishes. You can put pots and pans in the dishwasher too. Why have to have dirty dishes sitting on the counter if you can find space for two DWers.

There are plenty on these boards who have two DWers. If you Google "two dishwashers and Gardenweb ktichen forum" you will read other benefits from other posters.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:39PM
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I have a very similar layout to my kitchen - I have the range, fridge, and sink basically in the same spots. I only have two uppers with a lot of windows and a large pantry where yours is located. I have a "tall" single dishwasher drawer in my island next to my prep sink - I love having a second dishwasher, and it's large but not a full dishwasher so I have storage underneath. It has been such a great thing to have for us. We love the location being in the island and not by the main clean-up sink. That may be personal preference, but I really wanted the main trash on one side of the clean-up sink with the dw on the other and not have to turn around to throw things away... so that worked out well for us. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:47PM
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I had originally planned to put two dishwashers in the kitchen of a MCM home we purchased. We gutted the previous kitchen down to the studs and found an HVAC issue that prevented a second dishwasher being installed. I did some research and decided to install a Miele Professional. This is, without a doubt, the best money I spent during the remodel.

We entertain a lot and do all our own cooking. No catered affairs for us. This dishwasher can really keep up. I leave it open when we're doing prep work and load as we go. When it's full, hit the "ProSpeed" button and nineteen minutes later we've got clean dishes ready to be put away and the process starts all over again. I cannot recommend this dishwasher highly enough. (Most importantly, the dishes and prep-ware are clean the first time.)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 5:25PM
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A dishwasher that cleans in 19 minutes? Okay. That sounds pretty awesome!

Except the cost is awful, I have to say. I'm spending too much on the range... not sure I can justify that for a dishwasher.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:03PM
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I Love Cookie - A commercial dishwasher.. now that's an idea. It's funny you mentioned the laundry thing: my sister in law (with 5 kids) designed her new house in Wisconsin with 3 washers and 2 dryers. She's not a "fancy" person by any means - very practical in nearly every way. But she loves having all those washers. But I can't imagine giving up that much space for large machines like that!

We run about 2 loads a day during the week and 6-8 during the weekends (mostly husbands and sports clothing)... and if I schedule it right, the kids do their own laundry! It's great.

But we make alot more kitchen messes. Thus my dilemma today.

I think I will investigate the dish drawers. Maybe an extra one of those with drawers underneath would be the perfect middle ground. Does any one have a dish drawer that they love and doesn't have too many repair issues?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:14PM
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I had two Fisher & Paykel drawers (stacked) in the previous house. The previous owner had them for 7 years w/o issues, and we kept using them for 3 more years w/o issues either.

Husband really liked the ergonomics of the top drawer, so we considered putting in two drawers in the current house. But both our KD and our appliance person were trying to talk us out of it. Ultimately, we don't have enough space for one on each side of the sink (instead of stacked). So we are just going to replace our current Miele DW with a new Miele.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:26PM
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Again, love my DD dishwasher.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Red- You definitely need two dishwashers! With all the baking, cooking and home school you'll be doing...not to mention the extended family and company! :)

Red_lover- The best dishwasher of all! LOL

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 7:56PM
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Hi, I have two dishwashers in my medium size kitchen. I have two kids and I don't cook every night. It was a last minute decision and I was not for it in the beginning but I have to say, I don't wash pots and pans by hand anymore. Everything goes in the dishwasher. I'm sure I could get by with one but I don't miss the extra cabinet I lost by adding the dishwasher. I don't think you would regret it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:43PM
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Wait, do people normally wash pots and pans by hand?
I have always put everything in my dishwasher, exept of course things that need to be hand washed.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 11:22PM
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If we can get our plan off the ground, it will have a top drawer only by the prep area that we will use 75% of the time and a full DW near another sink that will be used after big dinners and parties, etc.

And, currently we wash most of our pots/pans/skillets/wood spoons, etc by hand. The pots and pans mostly because my husband would rather wash one big pot than an assortment bits and pieces the pot would displace in a full dishwasher. The iron skillets, which is what we use most of the time just get a bit of boiling water, a wipe down and a heat up to dry, a douse of oil, and get plopped back on the cooktop for the next day.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:35AM
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We have had 2 DWs for the last 9 months or so for our family of 9. We do the homeschooling, use the kitchen all day long thing, too. It is nice having 2 DWs, but it's a little trickier than you might think to use them both. When we only had 1, I could have the littler kids (ages 5 and 7) help load and unload. When we went up to 2, they got overwhelmed, and I had to transfer the DW job to the bigger kids (9, 11, 13). Even so, it takes them forr-eevver to get the job done. It's a lot of jiggying to make everything fit, sometimes transferring dishes from one DW to the other, like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle. (Here's the vote for putting them both by your cleanup area.) At times, I think we could hand wash more quickly. ; ) But then we'll have a baking session, or invite some folks over for a meal, or have a busy day, and I'm so thankful for both DWs!

I also think of all the memories I have of washing and drying dishes together as a family. Good discussions, lots of laughter, working together as a team. The 2 DWs make the cleanup chore more of something to hurry up and get done so we can move on to other things, rather than something to be enjoyed as a task that has value in itself.

Here's a disclaimer. Both of our DWs are Bosch's, which I've found out are smaller inside than, say a Kitchenaid. I've measured. Our racks are 3" shallower front to back and 1" narrower than the racks of a Kitchenaid Superba that I compared. That doesn't sound like much, but there is something about the rack layout that makes these Bosch's hold quite a bit less. I kind of wonder if we'd be ok with 1 Kitchenaid style machine, or like you are considering, with 1 1/2 machines. But for the price, I think it might make more sense to just do 2 full size models.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 4:58AM
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It sounds like you for sure would benefit from 2 dishwasher. I would suggest getting 2 full sized ones rather than one full size and one smaller. It makes sense for your family needs. As to someone's concerns about resale-ability, I don't know if you intend to stay in the house or not...but unless you have fairly immediate plans (I would say under 5 years) on selling the house, I wouldn't worry too much on that. Many people who are buying a house want something that is "livable" for the kitchen, but don't expect that it will be completely to their taste and anticipate at some point in the future remodeling to their tastes. Besides that, as a household of two, if I were looking for a house and saw two DW in a kitchen, I'd be thrilled...smaller households can use one as a "dirty" and then work out of the "clean". First world problem, for sure...but I hate unloading the DW!

Get two. Be happy. :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:33AM
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texas gem, I always washed pots and pans by hand, but until now never had a dishwasher that would get them completely clean.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:46AM
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I wash pots and pans by hand, too, so despite cooking pretty much all meals from scratch for a family of 4, I usually don't even run the DW every day. I find I'm a better pot scrubber than my DW and actually find it goes much quicker than bothering with my DW.

On another note, I also think it is important for kids to learn to rinse out a glass every now and then and not grab a new one for every sip of water.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:03AM
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Texas Gem, I wash all my pots and pans by hand. I cook for two, use the same pots and pans over and over, and couldn't wait for them to be washed in the machine (last time we had a working dishwasher, we ran it every 5 or 6 days).

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:16PM
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I'll vote for the OP to have two full size dishwashers, partly because today's models take *forever* to clean.

I hate to part with a 13-year-old bottom-of-the-line GE in our condo. It's falling apart inside, but it gives me clean dishes in an hour, and it has a rinse cycle.

Just as we went overboard with water-saving toilets in our Green Zeal, we've gone overboard with dishwashers. Isn't it enough that using a dishwasher saves water over hand washing? It's ridiculous that you'd need to run a full cycle for a few dishes -- or hand wash them -- because your dishwasher has no rinse cycle! (You don't want unrinsed dishes in a tropical climate.)

I first planned a pair of upper dishdrawers on each side of my main sink at home. Glad I stacked them on one side because I *need* that pullout for garbage and recycling on the other side of the sink -- where the mess originates. (Don't plan to dispose of that mess very far from the sink.)

My Fisher & Paykel dishdrawers are running fine -- new in 2001.

BTW -- Is there something I'm missing about the need for a SS interior in a dishwasher or a clothes washer?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Apologize in advance for not reading all the posts.

We have double drawers in our primary house. In the vacation home kitchen we are renovating, we will put a tall drawer in the main kitchen, and a second tall drawer in the BP.

Yes, two is a good idea esp when one entertains. And, I am a FP drawer convert. It does take some getting used to on how to load, but to me any other design now seems primitive. Open that big ole door, block traffic, and lean down to the floor? No. Way.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:29PM
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I have not read all of the responses but I think I may be in the minority.......we built our house 7+ years ago and put in two Bosch DWs, they are by far one of my favorite things...I love them!!! We entertain a fair amount and easily have both going at those times but when it is just the two of us, I rotate which one I use.....without company, each is probably run every 5-6 days.....maybe every 6-7 days......I am of the prewash to excess generation so there is not food getting hard or odors. I also use the empty one as a dish drainer for non dw items and can stash things from the sink when needed....I have an island sink and one is on either is rather an "L" shape with an island in the middle......I did not do the popular prep sink and have absolutely no regrets dedicating the space to the dws.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:18PM
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I thought my DH,(who does all the cooking) was a little nuts insisting on 2 DWs for our remodel. We have a medium sized kitchen. We had 2 kids at home at that time, now 1.

It was wonderful! I was so surprised at the difference it made. Our kitchen seemed to always accumulate dishes, we were coming and going at all hours, eating at different times. We had always washed pots and pans by hand.

Now, the kitchen is always clean! Counters clear. We now throw also the pots and pans in the DW and they are cleaner and brighter with the new DW tabs. No more dishes drying on the counter. If there are just a few dishes to do, I can just throw them in, or now, sometimes we will wash a few by hand and let them dry in the "clean" one.

I've thanked DH over and over for insisting on 2 DWs!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:46AM
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If we had the space I would get a second. My friend did it and it is in her pantry. I thought it was the greatest idea. Especially for entertaining when your dishwasher is full from prep, let alone serving dishes. If you have the space, go for it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 2:50PM
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I would get 2 especially now that the newer dishwashers take sometimes 2 hours from start to finish.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:21PM
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We are thinking of 2 dishwashers as well in our new build - 1 in the kitchen and 1 in the bar (butlers pantry type room in between the kitchen, dining, and great room). However we already bought a $1300 Fisher & Paykel double drawer dishwasher from a friend for $300 bc they got it for "free" as part if a promo when they bought a new $6000 range but didn't need the dishwasher and $300 credit was what they were offered to not take the dishwasher. So anyway, we are debating if we should use it in our kitchen or would drawers be better for the bar where used less frequently and primarily just when we entertain. We run 1 dishwasher daily and have 3 young kids so I only imagine we'll have more dirty dishes as the kids get older and eat more and have friends over more.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:42PM
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Faulstr--I am using dish drawers in my kitchen and a single dishdrawer in my beverage center which sounds similar to your butlers pantry. New build as well still in the planning stage.

I have dishdrawers in my present home which I love. 300. Bucks is a bargain. Lucky you.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:51PM
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I have two, and by the time they were both installed and finally got the panels on them, we were so used to doing without the DW during the remodel that I wondered if we'd made a mistake. Oh well, we knew we had a 24" space that could be a wine fridge, and added cabinet, or whatever if down the road it was just the two of us an we found we needed or wanted something else more -- so that day could come sooner rather than later.

Fast Forward 7 yrs: Even when we don't have the 6- 8 15 or 20 or more people we bought two DWs for (hosting every family event plus some parties for the kid crowd), we still find ourselves running them both regularly and sometimes daily. With one DW, we always had dishes left over at the end of the day and hand to hand wash a lot more. Now we can use the DW for a lot more of those larger items and still get the regular dishes all cleaned too. My kitchen is smaller than yours, we cook a lot and I have a lot of baking and canning extras, but I don't see us changing out one of the DWs even after both boys are off to school (next fall) or on their own.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 1:49AM
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If there is cooking in the kitchen regularly or at least one person often home during the day, you will easily use two DWs. Cooking and eating meals at home mean more dishes. A working couple with no children might not run a DW every day or so, but add children or a stay at home or cooking on the stove and in (not MW) ovens and you will fill and run at least one load a day. That means, if you have one DW, washing the things that didn't fit (pots!) by hand and seeing dirty dishes generated while the machine runs or is waiting to be unloaded.

Our DWs are full size Kitchenaids, paneled and located on either side of the main sink. The cabinets are pulled out (deeper) so the larger American-size DWs are flush with the face of the surrounding cabs. They have dramatically reduced the kitchen's dirty dish clutter and the amount of handwashing we do.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:33AM
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two dishwashers are a must for me. after we renovated our first kitchen, i swore i'd go for a second DW the next time around. note: the first kitchen was tiny, about 10x15 and i STILL wish i'd snuck in another.
we are a family of four and built our new home so i made sure the kitchen was on the large side so plenty of room for full sized DWs; no drawers here. between dishes, pots, pans and baking dishes, i use both simultaneously every day. and i'm sure i don't need to mention what a Godsend it is around the holidays. of course then i wish i had THREE. money very well spent!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 1:05PM
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I'd rather have 1 that washes quickly. spend the extra money for a nicer dishwasher.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 2:49PM
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