Adding dish washer at the end of a cabinet run -- help!

weirdedMay 27, 2009

As part of the minor kitchen update in the house we're buying, we're planning to add a dishwasher at the end of the cabinet run, in place of the refrigerator in this picture:

I know we will need to replace the countertop and extend it all the way to the wall on the right. But I also need a panel to the right side of the dishwasher to cover the insulation.

What is the best/most economical way to get the panel? Home Depot quoted me $115 for a 30"x24"panel, which I'd still have to paint and cut to size. That seems expensive. Could I simply take a piece of wood/plywood and cut it to the right dimensions with a jig saw? What have others done?

The space between the sink cabinet and the wall is about 33". I figure I'll put the 24" dishwasher in there, and still have a few inches under the counter that I can use for storage or serving trays and other flat/big items. Or is it preferable to close off the space?

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I would order a 9" no-drawer base cabinet and paint to match.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 1:20PM
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That's a great idea! Do you have any tips on finding one with a matching door? I don't know where to look...

(sorry, I'm a total newbie when it comes to kitchens).

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 1:56PM
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Whatever you install must support the counter.
DWs do not provide support.

DWs are normally 24 inches wide, and refrigerators start at around 30 inches wide.
Get a cabinet that will make up the difference, less some clearance (corners are never square, walls rarely flat).

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 2:25PM
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That sounds like a plan. How would I get cabinet doors to match the style of the ones in the kitchen right now?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:11PM
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You could leave it open with shelves and a couple of baskets. Cheaper and simpiler then trying to match the door.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:15PM
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I'm with remodelfla -- leave it open. I would just have a place for the tall & narrow -- trays, baking sheets, pizza sheets.
If you need to match the doors, I think all you can do is take a photo or two and walk around some home or cabinet stores to look for a match ... I replaced the doors on a dog-damaged cabinet that way. (don't store your dog food in the lower cabinet and leave the dog alone, as previous owners seem to have done!)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:33PM
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I'd leave it open too and put a shelf in it so you can store more things (baking pans on the bottom, cutting boards on the top?).

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 7:07PM
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If you want a real cheap option you could glue and staple some nice plywood (the furniture grade stuff, like maple) together to get a 2" thickness and then use a piece of trim to cover the raw edge in the front, then paint it all white. Use L brackets to attach to the wall and floor. Top with a new counter.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 8:27PM
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"Do you have any tips on finding one with a matching door?"

It looks like a pretty straightforward square flat panel door, no? Or you could order it with no door. Or, most cabinet companies make frameless 6" wide bases that store wine bottles or little drawers.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:02PM
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My parents have a dishwasher which is right next to their refrig. They were told that if the dishwasher did not have an end panel--some protection for the insulation,it would void the warranty.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 10:01PM
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I agree with remodelfla -an open cabinet with baskets would be very pretty if you could not get a door to match - Ikea has a 9" wide cabinet for either wine bottles or with shelvesfor about $70 (you would need to purchase feet and a plinth/kickplate - you would have to measure carefully side to side in many places to ensure that it would fit - I am mentioning it because it is very cost effective - also, you won't need a panel if a cabinet is in place.

Also, have you thought about how the upper cabinet will look once the refrigerator is gone? I would recommend either:

in white, or maybe open shelves below the current cabinet, or perhaps
in white.

I'm trying to think of affordable pieces that would work in your space with glass doors or lack therof. Ikea will mail cabinets. Hope this helps!


Here is a link that might be useful: 9

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 11:11PM
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I like the idea with the IKEA cabinet. Something like this:

Easy to assemble, fits right into the space. The issue may be that it needs to support the counter top, since the dish washer will not.

As for the upper cabinet, I was going to mount one or two simple white shelves below it, with the bottom one at the same height/depth of the cabinets. Will that look odd?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 2:47PM
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A fairly inexpensive way to replace the counter (and would look great with white cabinets) would be to use butcher block from Ikea and seal them with Waterlox. You will need to screw the cabinet into the back wall (use finish washers behind #10 screws, probably 2 1/5 inches long - make sure to find the studs and avoid electrical/plumbing.) Also, you could find the studs behind the intended dishwasher and screw in a piece of 2x4 or metal brackets along the back wall to help support the countertop. If you use the 2/4, I would recommend sealing it so moisture from the dishwasher would not hurt the wood of the support

I am concerned about people hitting their heads on the corner of the cabinet above the fridge once the fridge is relocated (they are usually counter depth, though it is difficult to tell from your photo.) There will be a lot of bending in that space to fill and unload the dishwasher. We ran into that type of head bumping when we were relocating our fridge before the cabinet came down. I guess it depends on your height - I didn't have problems, but my dh and guests did. Anyone 6' or taller. But I don't think that you would want anyone hitting their heads on the cabinet corner.

I would really recommend replacing that cabinet if it is counter-depth. If it is the same depth as the other upper cabinets, you could get by with shelves below. If you moved it down, added some bead board behind it along with a couple of corbels and some crown molding, it could be really sweet. But with all of those add ons, it would probably look just as good as purchasing a single new cabinet with doors - I had suggested the glass door cabinet above because it complimented your doors without exactly matching.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 8:35PM
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Thanks, that's really good advice. I will look into the cabinet, but I believe it is less deep than the counter, so head-banging should hopefully not be an issue. Will have to see how it looks, though. Unfortunately, the IKEA cabinet recommended doesn't appear to be in stock anywhere, with no delivery date estimated. :(

I went to Home Depot last night, and they found a 9" cabinet that will closely match the door style of the other cabinets, so I'll probably go with that.

I'm going to update this thread with pictures once the work is done, it'll be a while.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 9:44PM
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