Getting the clean-up zone right: please help place 2 Dishwashers

ontariomomAugust 4, 2013

Hi Everyone,

We are happy with our layout, but are micro-examining it zone by zone. We want to make sure the clean-up zone is the best it can be. We don't want to move the clean-up sink from the peninsula as we like that spot best for various reasons. I would like to know the pros and cons of two options of dishwasher placement we have shown below. Dish storage is in drawers on end of island and some in the purple glass dish cabinet. Here are the pros and cons I can think of for the two options. Please let me know which option you would prefer and why. Also, kindly let me know if there are other pros or cons that I have not listed. Thank you very much!!!!!

Pros for Option A with 2 DW side by side

1) Allows for a shorter peninsula so less walking around from dining room to kitchen

2) Consolidates dirty dish plunking to one side with clean dish rack on right

3) Does not crowd the corner cabinets

4) Both DW are nice and close to dining room where we eat every dinner,

Cons for options A with DW side by side

1) Will likely require one DW with a cabinet panel so it looks aesthetically pleasing (more $$)

2) Can't load two DWs at same time from one standing postion, although honestly I can't see that happening as that would require us to be on top of unloading more than we tend to be

3) Might be a bit more awkward to reach the DW farther from sink for loading.

Pros of option B DW on either side of sink

Note re image: please ignore the fact that the left DW looks smaller -- they will be the same size.

1)Can stand in front of sink and load either DW comfortably

2)Looks better and we can use non-paneled DWs.

3)Sink is more centered and the need to use corner space for clean dish rack is lessened. If a second person is helping drying the hand washed pots, they can get to them easier (again this is a rare event as usually pots drip dry without aid of a t-towel).

Cons of option B DW on either side of sink

1) Means a peninsula is at least 6 inches longer than option B so more walking around.

2)The right DW is squishy to corner (20 inches between corner and right DW has been left on plan shown).

3)Crosses dirty dish/clean dish area more

4) Right hand DW is a bit farther from dining room and snack zone. I

5) Right hand DW blocks the secondary prep zone (under top window more when being unloaded or loaded.

Please give me your vote and rationale behind which option you would choose. I rarely see kitchens with 2 DWs side by side, so I may be missing a con with this option.


This post was edited by OntarioMom on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 14:09

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I think I would like them side by side. I would have to have two sets of DW reflexes. Also if guest are helping they don't have to figure out your system of separate but the same DWs.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Earlier this year, we moved into a house that had two dishwashers side by side to the left of the main sink. I replaced both DWs but left the placement the same since we elected not to replace the existing cabinets in the kitchen. Here are the cons that I can see to the side by side placement: I tend to use the DW directly to the left of the sink most regularly - so one DW will definitely get more use than the other. I find reaching for the far DW to be a pain - dripping dishes over the floor. BUT, there is a big pro to having the side by side DWs - I have my trash pullout directly to the right of my sink and my recycling directly to the right of the trash pull out and I love having that placement. So I guess there is no perfect world of double DW placement, but if I had to design from scratch i would probably leave the DWs side by side. I didn't panel either of mine - and I think they look fine side by side, for what it's worth. I would post a picture but I am away for the next three weeks. Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:20AM
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You might have already discussed this in your earlier threads. I'm asking you these questions only because I think the answers may give you the answer you are seeking.

Why do you want two DWs? How to you want/need to use them? An extra one for parties or do you plan to use both everyday? Can you imagine one running while the other is loading? In your mind walk through a day in your new kitchen.

I do think that however the layout, you will need a plan of use that everyone in the house will need to follow. As I can see happening in my house, one will not get unloaded and everyone will just start loading the 2nd one. Pretty soon you will have two dws with clean dishes in them and people will just start taking out the items they need. Then things will start getting confused.
Maybe that would only happen with my family but you get the idea.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:13PM
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I'd want them on either side for easier loading and because I wouldn't want my sink "crammed" into the corner. Think it looks better more centered on the peninsula.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Fori is not pleased

Yeah...I prefer more room on either side of the sink so I'd have to go with B.

If you aren't a Miele-or-nuthin' type, I'd look into dishwasher drawers for those, or at least the one in the corner. They get in the way much less when they're open (and don't make you cuss if you do happen to bump into them). Then you'd end up training your family to use 4 instead of two! :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:05PM
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The dws on each side of the sink is best functionally and looks-wise IMO. You can certainly make either work, but since you have the choice why not take the most functional one?

Btw, in my book the first pro you list on the side by side column is actually a con in my book. And vice versa, the con of centered sink is actually a pro for me. I wouldn't want to make it easier for dining room traffic to cut through my prep/work zone to grab something from the fridge. So insofar as the extra 6" even subtly encourages traffic to flow around the seating side of the island, that is a huge benefit in my experience.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Wow everyone, I am so pleased to have all these votes and opinions!! Thanks so much for telling why you chose one option or the other.

Just to let you know we are a family of 6 and one DW is not enough to meet our needs and there is always Dsihes waiting to be loaded because the other DW is either running, or waiting to be emptied. So, these DWs will both be used regularly.

Good points about getting a system going, Debrak. I read on an older 2 DW thread of the idea of leaving the DW receiving Dishes slightly ajar and the one not receiving fully closed. We might try that system. I totally agree with you, Debrak that it could happen that both DWs are waiting to be emptied -- LOL my family needs more clean-up training in general.

Taggie, when you said you prefer the DWs side by side as it is best functionally, can you explain why it is best functionally? I never thought of the longer peninsula as being a pro like you did. Honestly, I thought the shorter the peninsula the better for our own use. We have it taped on the floor, and it will be a bit of a trek in and out of the dining room that we use daily. Thanks!

As per dish drawers, we realize those are an option. I have read mixed reviews on them, mostly not very positive. Also, they are very expensive, so two regular DWs are where we are leaning, unless they come up with a reasonable priced dish drawer that most rave about. I certainly see the advantage the dish drawers offer about not being in your way though.

Please keep the votes coming and kindly tell me why you prefer one option over the other. I can still see pros and cons of both options.


This post was edited by OntarioMom on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 16:05

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:50PM
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We have one on either side of a deep farm sink. They are American, so the cabinets are set 25" from the wall (American dishwashers are deeper). They are paneled to match the surrounding inset cabs, with the panels designed to look like there are upper drawers and the pull handles match the style of the surrounding drawer pulls. The dishwashers disappear, an effect we think was worth the money. The fridge is not paneled.

We alternate with each load and find that two washers keeps the dirty dish clutter down and the sink more likely to be free. Two dishwashers is the best decision we made for our new kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Good to hear from you californiagirl and to get your input on the paneling. I just read an old post that your started when you were designing your kitchen with two DWs. I am curious, were you able to keep the sink centered on the window? As I recall in your post the debate was whether to centre the sink under window or put DWs on either side of sink as it seemed at the time of your post you could not have both. I wonder when you faced with the window/DW decision, why you never considered placing both DWs side by side to the left? When I looked at your post that solution was never discussed, but having one around the corner or elsewhere was discussed.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:46PM
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I have a family of 6 and 2 dishwashers as well. Mine are in my island and one is on either side of my sink. I would go with the same setup as #1, with the sink in between them.

I usually rinse my dishes, then load them. I wouldn't like any extra distance added to the second dishwasher if they were side by side...I'd drip more on the floor. I also wouldn't like the sink in the corner, which with #2 would limit the counter space to the right. I like to have the option of putting large items waiting to be loaded (dirty) on either side of the sink.

Also, I would think the one on the right in #1 would be used more often due to the fact that it is closer to where you store the dishes. We use one more than the other due to this fact, so definitely think about the unloading process.

Your kitchen looks great, let us know what you decide!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:58PM
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Thanks for your reply and for telling me why you prefer the sink in the middle of the DWs. I was surprised you like to put dirty items awaiting loading on either side of the sink. Doesn't that mix the dirty with newly hand washed clean stuff?

Thanks for letting me know you like the kitchen. I really struggled over the design. I will let people know what I decide and importantly how I like the decision after living with it.


P.S. I would happy to have more opinions.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 6:09PM
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OntarioMom, I just thought the dw's would be easier to load when on each side of the sink. You can try it yourself by standing at your sink now and going through the motions of loading a 'pretend' dw that's on the far side of yours today. Then imagine your kids doing the same thing knowing that they won't be so careful about dripping water as you'd be. :-) Then simulate the same thing when your first dw is open, perhaps being emptied by someone trying to grab a plate or glass while you're trying to load dirty dishes in the other.

But at the end of the day I don't think it's a *huge* deal, and you'll certainly learn to live with it either way. Since the shorter peninsula is most important to your family's flow, perhaps the side-by-side dw's would actually work best for you in practice.

Good luck whatever your decide and have fun with your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 7:10PM
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Thanks taggie for the follow-up clarification and good points. I had not thought of the issue of someone wanting to empty the dishwasher while another was loading (or just someone wanting to grab a clean plate, while I was unloading).


    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 11:45AM
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I've never had 2 dishwashers (or a family of 6), but I think I would prefer the dishwashers on either side of the sink. I currently have a sink jammed up against a tiny (useless) peninsula and I hate cleaning up at the sink in the corner like that. My one concern would be whether having the dishwasher open in the corner would interfere with opening something else. I'm not up on cabinet lingo, but is there a garbage to the right (on the long length of cabinetry) that would need to be open while doing dishes and would interfere with a corner dishwasher?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 12:15PM
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You have such a well thought-out plan. No matter what you do, your kitchen will just be looking amazingly beautiful and functioning well.

The way I look at it by asking myself some questions.
1. If there is only one DW, where to put it?

That same spot as in option A I guess. Or you can put the sink to the right side of âÂÂtheâ DW. Now you need two DWs. It is still a natural way of putting them side by side.
It gives me the sense of one big DW. That makes things mentally easier. Always âÂÂoneâ same location to drop and retrieve dishes.

2. Next, forget about the DWs for a second, assuming that they do not exist or are somewhere else, where do you want your sink to be? Where do you see best location for you to feel most comfortable to get the job done?

The sink in Option A is closer to the window. Maybe there is more natural lighting. It also has more room in the back when you stand there. It is one step closer to stove so you can easily drop pans to the sink .
As an aesthetic consideration, you may have different ways to align/position the sink. With the way you have the backsplash, one would think Option B sink in the middle of that section sits well. It also aligns better with the island. However, there is another way to look at it. The sink in option A is center of that whole wall including the backsplash part and the black wall. It is possible if there is some 3D arrangement to make that whole side visible (without the corner being blocked by something to the left of that window).

Of course, this is an oversimplified approach as we do need to think about the sink along with the DWs and other parts of the house. However, if you are striving for something just specifically for the sink in that clean up zone , i.e. let the sink be a dominant factor in DW positioning, that makes perfect sense too.

Just my thoughts. I have to say I am have little experience in this area as I am working (hard) on my kitchen layout and sometimes cannot figure out things myself. Because you assisted me a lot, I cannot help myself jumping to your thread here. Good luck! JF

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 12:16PM
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I gave my vote already on this as well. Centered sink and DW on either side. Most of the time you will likely load one or the other DW not both. So there is no open door of DW1 to catch the drips when you are loading DW 2. So unless the DW is right next to the sink, you will end up with drips on the floor. I do think it is great you are installing 2 dishwashers from get go.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Thanks all for your input!


Good points about the sink too close to corner; that is definitely a con with the option of 2 DW side by side. There is a garbage proposed on the outside wall right angled to peninsula (see mustard coloured cabinet in floor plan). We will make sure it can be reached when loading a DW for scraping. If we do put a DW to the right it will be a bit in the way to that garbage, but not so with both DWs side by side. There will also be a corner pull-out lower cabinet that will not be accessible if there is a DW to the right of the sink. The upper corner cabinet should be able to be accessed if graceful moves are used. I wonder if we move both sink and DW over more and deal with a longer peninsula that might make the sink less in the corner with either solution.


Good to hear from you! Thanks for your encouraging words about the kitchen in general. You are quite right that we need to think of the sink placement on its own independent of the DW placement. Thanks for your ideas for reflection. It is hard to make all these decisions and hard to see the full picture at times.


Thanks for your support. You are right about the drips, assuming we still need to store dishes in the sink before loading. With one DW there are definitely soggy dishes sitting awaiting loading in our house. Maybe we can keep on top of loading and won't have drippy dishes if there are two DWs (and maybe not). Nonetheless, I do see you points and appreciate you weighing in as I don't want a messy floor all the time. Your comments on my last thread was what lead to me reconsidering the DW placement.

Thanks again everybody! Any more votes are certainly welcome.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Hey Jeff,

I just reread your comments, and you gave me some new perspectives. Can you kindly explain further what you meant by:

"It is possible if there is some 3D arrangement to make that whole side visible (without the corner being blocked by something to the left of that window)",



    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:29PM
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What I was trying to say is that there maybe different ways of 'centeralizing' the sink if that is a desired feature to make things look right for you.

I gave three different ways just as examples. First one is to look at the sink and the two DWs as a whole, then the tendency is to put the sink in the middle and one DW on eitheir side. The backsplashed section reinforced this idea somewhat.

Second one is to align the sink with the island. Aligning central line of sink with that of the island may not be feasible. But the option B has the sink right edge aligned with that of the island pretty well.

Third one is to take that whole wall including the corner section as a reference (which I estimated to be about 9ft wide). Then I realized that the sink in option A is already at center position. To pursue that idea, you may need to consider how to place the high cabinets to make it look right.
I think there may be a good opportunity there as there is a large window there. If you can expose the front side of the corner and tie it to the rest of the wall, i.e., the corner food storage cabinet opens downward, and there is no ceiling height high cabinet between the window and the food storage, it may work out OK. I am not very clear about the vertical arrangement of the cabinets and what is why I said 3D arrangement of the cabibnets to acheive the concept and 3D rendering to examine how it look like would be helpful if you like to see more in the line of ahieving Option A DWs side by side with sink still being at a central location.

Hope that explains what I meant better. Sorry for writing so long but I don't know how to describe it concisely.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 11:16PM
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Thank you Jeff for the clarification, I understand your reasoning now. We will see what we can do to keep things centered some way visually. You make some excellent points. I had absolutely not thought about the fact that having the two DWs side by side places the sink with no island behind it and instead open space when I stand at the sink. I count that as a big plus that I had not thought about at all. In other words, making me think of preferred sink location on its own was not something I had done. Thank you!!!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 11:26PM
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Like everything in our house, there is an illusion of symmetry, but things are a little off. The sink is almost centered, but because most people view the kitchen at an angle, it is not obvious. We did give up the corner cab to create this illusion, so that is a dead corner now. There are some lower drawers on the corner that are not openable when the right washer is open.

The pullout trash is right behind me when I am at the sink, on the corner of the island. You do use the trash a lot, so place that comfortably for when you are cleaning up.

We created a wider path between the island and the perimeter where appliances are, which makes it easier for people to walk by when the DWs, fridge, ovens or trash are pulled open. We gave up a deeper overhang on the island for the wider path, but that improves the cooking and cleaning part of the kitchen function, trading off against eating at the island. We have multiple places to eat, including a formal dining, and I like to cook, so making the function work was important to me.

Every kitchen design has trade-offs, so you should decide what is most important to you. Sounds like you are working these things out carefully and will find a good solution. And you will love two DWs.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Thanks for the extra info/ideas, Californiagirl. Glad you found a solution that still had the illusion of symmetry. Do you know how much space you left between DW run and island behind? Do our aisle sizes look okay?

I am not sure we have the garbage at clean-up in the right location. I did not place it in the island, because that would have closed off that passage more. I might move the wet garbage (our city compost garbage) to under the clean-up sink. I hate that the person who is washing pots would need to move over to allow another to scrap a plate, but often it is just one person cleaning up so it would not be a daily problem. We will have another wet garbage near the prep sink, but that is a ways off.

Where do you all think I should place the wet garbage near clean-up?


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Our aisles are like yours. You will like it.

Before I gave up the corner cab, I was going to use it for the trash and recycling. There are rotating three bin units available, which I would have loved. You might want to consider that.

You might be sorry if you put the food pantry in the corner by the sink.

At our house, there are the eaters and then there are the cooks and cleaners. I planned for the food stores away from where I am working, since when I am cooking I pull most of the ingredients out together and then work on them by the sinks, stove and trash. The snackers stay out my way!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Thanks for checking my aisles and for replying again. I totally get you on the snackers and getting them out of my way. The only food in the corner pantry will be food that needs preparing and used for cooking (floor, rice, pasta, soup, spices and the like). This corner cabinet is handy to both main prep spot and secondary prep/baking spot. Any snack foods not needing cooking (rice cakes, almond butter, crackers, cookies, granola bars, etc) will be in a perimeter pantry beside the full sized freezer. The stuff in the corner pantry will not be food for snackers and will have little appeal to them. If they want to make some soup, I will have to let them in to my area anyway.

So, if I can't do a corner garbage due to wanting my cooking/baking foods there, where would you suggest the garbage go?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 12:52PM
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What is next to your wet storage? That looks like the best place. You want somewhere you can sweep crumbs and peelings into the can below.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 5:04PM
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If you mean what is next to the yellow box labeled wet, that is wide open. So I will put that on the short list for garbage locations. Thanks for your input.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 5:14PM
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It sure is exciting to see your plan develop. I like where you've taken it so far. : )

As far as the sink between the two dishwashers, and the diminished plunk space goes, I'll say this: I thought I needed quite a bit of plunk space next to our sink when we were designing our cleanup zone for our family of nine, but that planning was based on only ever using a double bowl sink. We ended up putting our clean-up area in a 7' run of cabinets with a 36" super single sink in the middle and dws on either side. Most of our dirty dishes get set in the sink, and we need very little plunk space to the side of the sink. The super single holds a ton!

I'd be open to putting the 2 DW's side by side, but I'd be reluctant to push the sink into the corner to do so. I had a kitchen sink in a corner like that one time, and it made me bonkers. I didn't like being stuck in the corner to do dishes. : ( I felt kinda claustrophobic in the corner, but I'm a bit hypersensitive that way.

Regarding matching the DW's, we were able to pick up a paneled DW for a fairly good price on ebay. Our thought was to have one paneled (slightly more $$), and one plain Jane (less $$). It will look like just one DW in the kitchen that way. (Our kitchen isn't done yet, so it looks rather strange at the moment. :Best wishes. : )

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:16PM
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Thanks laughable for sharing your experiences and insights. Yeah the sink in a the corner is not ideal. No matter the final DW decision we will need to be sure the sink is not squished. I do like the the idea of not having an island behind the sink too in terms of giving me breathing room.

Great thoughts on paneling one DW and going stainless on the other. We are also getting a single sink for the first time, so don't know all the benefits yet. Thanks for the insights regarding the single sink.

I am glad to hear you like my kitchen plans so far. I am starting to get excited about them too, which tells me, at last, this layout is meant to be (albeit a few tweaks left to work out).

I look forward to your kitchen reveal with your two DWs.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:19PM
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