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DW - loading from front - please post pics

Posted by BlackChamois (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 0:31

Hi friends.

Do any of you have your DW placement such that you must load it from the front - reaching over the door (vs. loading from the side as you would if it were next to the sink)?

I have an, let's just say, "opportunity" to redo some of my base cabinets and am considering moving my DW to the adjacent wall in order to center my sink at the kitchen window.

There would be NO space to the left of the DW (it would be in the corner of a U shaped kitchen) and would have the frig to the right of it.

Trying to determine if it would be awkward ergonomically.

Thank you.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Black Chamois, many times more helpful than pictures or opinions of others would be to get some cardboard boxes and mock up your prospective counter/cabinet configuration, open your dishwasher, and try out some loading and unloading. It'll answer all current questions and likely reveal new issues to be addressed, like, well, then, where should the coffee cups go if I move the water glasses over? :)

FWIW, I'll sacrifice a little function to make things look nice, but I'd just downplay the sink (so the eye skipped on over it--undermounts are great for that) before I sacrificed real function to center it. I've never seen a kitchen sink/faucet handsome enough that it didn't detract from the attractiveness of a window as a feature anyway. Especially in use. Just another viewpoint.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 10:09

Duplicate deleted.

This post was edited by rosie on Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 12:41


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

I'm not really able to visualize your situation, but I'll say this. Whenever I tweak my back, it's not from lifting, which I am careful to do with my legs. The problem comes from reaching, which you'd be doing all the time if you're loading/unloading from the front, reaching over the sizable door.Maybe you're young and lithe, but I cringe just thinking about it.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

IMHO, this would be the time to remember that functionality should trump form. Symmetry is not as important as ease of flow. If the DW is not next to the sink, you will be annoyed at so many things every single time.. drips on the floor, the reach, plumbing will be an issue.

I would suggest posting your layout here and getting some feedback. The more experienced folks may see some ways to optimize your layout that may not have been obvious to you.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

That is the layout I have. My kitchen is u-shaped. Sink at the bottom of the u and the dw is on the left arm. My kitchen isn't big and nothing would fit next to the sink, except the corner cabinets.
Is it ideal? No, but I didn't want my sink in the peninsula, I wanted it under the window.
Do we sometimes drip on the floor? Yes. I think that happens no matter where your dw is.
I don't fit it hard reaching in. I kind of pivot and turn from the sink to the dw. When the racks are out over the door it isn't that far to reach.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

No chance of recessing the fridge?

Maybe a raised DW would allow you to load from the fridge side (handles of the fridge may be less in your way?)


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

My DW is on the leg of a U-shaped kitchen, with the sink at the closed end, as you propose. And my fridge is right next to the DW. But I have a couple of feet to stand between DW and sink. I am not at all bothered by drips - we don't pre-wash our dishes, so not them many go from sink to DW - most dishes go directly from table to DW. And our flooring can handle the water droplets.

We easily load the DW from the front. Where I see more of a problem for you is unloading. In my kitchen, at least, most of the dishes are stored in the cabinets above the DW. We unload mostly from the side, so we can easily reach the cabinets. If your dishes are located in the same area, it would man unloading the DW onto the countertop, closing the DW door, then putting the dishes away, which is obviously an extra step.

Could you post a layout of your kitchen? Perhaps someone can come up with a better idea for you.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Rosie - Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try the mock-up.

Linelle - This is not my kitchen, but here's a pic of pretty much exactly what I'd have to do and where the sink, dw and frig would be in relation to one another. No standing room at all to the left of the dw. It just seems a little awkward to lean over the front. However, a new neighbor of mine with the same floor plan is doing this in her kitchen. I am hoping her cabs go in soon so I can get a better idea of the look/feel.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

GWlolo - I'll work on sketching out the layout this eve and will come back and post it. Thanks!

Heidi/Annkh - Could you please post pics of your kitchens?

Sena01 - No chance of recessing the frig, nor moving it to another wall of the kitchen. In my tiny kitchen it wouldn't make sense any other place. Also, I don't think I would much like a raised dw, although I have read here that some folks do that. It's just not for me. Thank you for the suggestions!!!


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Had it. Hated it. Got rid of it. Twisting is harder on the back than just about anything. And it was annoying to unload the DW, close the door, and then load the cabinets with the dishes.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Here's mine - my DW is next to the fridge, but I have room to stand on the other side.
Finished! photo IMG_0946_zps61dc87e0.jpg


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

I have a similar setup. There's about six inches between the dishwasher and the corner.

Loading is not a problem (can't you just stand on the one side of it?) but the issue is where to store dishes? Having the dishwasher door open blocks access to every nearby cabinet. As a result dishes are stored in a cabinet 10' away. It's a huge PITA and the first thing we changed when we planned our remodel.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Cevamal- if I make the change I will have zero space on the left. And I wouldn't be able to load from the right as that would mean I am standing in front of the frig. I posted a pic above of where the sink dw and frig would be in relation to one another to give you an idea.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

I don't think it would be all that bad. The racks all pull out even with the door, so you aren't really reaching over the door, are you? I know sometimes I don't pull the racks out completely, but I generally do, as my door pops back up unless I pull out the bottom rack. I may be not seeing the big picture here, but I don't think it would be too bad at all.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

I guess you want to center your sink at the kitchen window because it would look better that way. But IMHO a DW next to a fridge doesn't look very attractive and it will most probably make things difficult for you.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

londongirl, if you can only access the racks from beyond the fully open door, you still have to reach across the door/rack to get things in the back.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

I don't quite have the same scenario, but my dishwasher is currently inaccessible from the left side. (There is an L in my cabinetry - unremodeled and I hate it - that blocks that side of the dishwasher). I load/unload from one side and the front. It's not a big deal really. The only problem is when I need to put something in the cabinetry that's being blocked by the dishwasher or in the cabinetry above the dishwasher and to the left of it. For the upper cabinet storage, I either have to lean over the open dishwasher (and try not to fall in) and try to put things up or set them on the countertop until I'm finished, close the dishwasher, and then put them in the cabinets. It's not great, but it's doable.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

If you go with this layout where are you thinking of storing dishes? That's the part that makes me crazy. All of the cabinets I Xd will be inaccessible when the dishwasher is open.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Yes, my gripe is what cevamal has so perfectly demonstrated in the image.

Also, those are some REALLY lovely cabinets in that picture. Yum.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Sounds terrible to me. Dishwashers are an ergonomic disaster to begin with and this makes it even worse. Then you have the storage obstruction and related ergonomic issues that Cevamal points out. Not worth it.

I'm sure there's a way to achieve symmetry & balance you're looking for without making your dishwasher and adjacent cabinets so unpleasant to use.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

londongirl and blackchamois, I need to recant and apologize. :) My DW is next to my sink, abutting a corner. When I load, I'm at the sink and so standing to the side of the open door. But when I unload, I stand at the end of the open door so I can set things down on the adjacent counter. I was unloading today and went, huh? Exactly what I said would put me in traction is the way I've been doing it for 14+ years without any problems.

So yes, being able to take things out of the DW and pop them on their respective shelves can't be done that way. But it doesn't matter for me because my dish cabinet is on the opposite side of the G, as it happens to be better configured for dishes. I know this is GW-shameful, but it's nothing to me.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

So this first pic will give you an idea of the off-center sink in relation to the window. And that big empty hole is where the dw was.

Planned on keeping all the appliances in their same basic spot - for several reasons ... with the exception of the dw which I am debating, basically only for the purpose of trying to center the sink under the window.

The next pic I will post, you can see the cabs above and to the right of the dw where I used to keep my glasses and dishes. As you can see even with keeping the dw where it was next to the sink I still have to close the dw door to put the dishes away in the cabs above (which I don't recall ever being an issue for me). However, from a loading perspective I could load from the side - which I would not be able to do if I move the dw to the right side of the U, next to the frig.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Here is pic #2 - Had planned on storing the dishes in the same cabs since it worked okay for me before.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

So this may help give you a general idea of the layout (minus the upper cabs). I tried to do this in Visio so don't be overly critical :)

It is not EXACTLY to scale, but roughly each square = 6"

I am HAPPY with the placement of the peninsula, range, frig and pantry. (The only thing here that is flexible is the width of the pantry which I have as about 24". I could potentially go more narrow - and may need to if I were to move the dw to the frig wall.)

Really I am just waffling over the dw all because of that darn sink/window issue!

Maybe I am making more drama of this than needs to be and I should just keep the sink and dw where they are.

Also, if you are wondering about the angle in the upper left ... my wall is actually angled, like that so both the base and uppers will have to account for this. Besides the sink/window issue, this is the other thorn in my side!


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Do you have another storage space? Maybe you can decrease the size of the pantry cab in the kitchen. Also, If you can remove the wall next to pantry cab, you can gain a few more inches.

For the corner b/w sink and range, I think you should consider a diagonal faced base cab both to increase storage and counter. Not an expert, but I believe min 36" is needed for the corner cab to function well.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Have you considered changing to an 18" DW and leaving it where it is? Then have a 25" single sink. Small kitchens have tradeoffs that larger ones don't have to make. That would get you a lazy susan between the sink and range, and get you that centered sink that seems so important visually for you.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Sena - I can decrease the size of the pantry, but can't move that wall. It's part of an outside wall, and I am in a condo sooooooo no can do. In terms of angling that base cab - what I have planned is a 14" 4-drawer cab to the right of the stove. Then for that extra 'triangle' area the cab guy I have been talking with would make that part accessible from inside the sink cab for storage of infrequently used items - Christmas dishes, etc. I really want/need those 4-drawers because I will have very few other drawers in the kitchen.

holly - great ideas! Problem is already have my sink and dw purchased for some time now. I think I'll just live with out the centered sink and just make sure I get it in my next place :) It's not that it is sooo important, I was just trying/wishing/hoping ... but it's not a deal breaker. Heck I've lived with it off center for 20+ years already.

Thanks everyone for the comments and feedback. I have some other questions that I'd like to run by you folks so I'll start a new thread for those :)


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

Selling the first set of purchases is no big deal and buying again is no big deal. Remodeling/refurbishing and ending up with less than you could have had for that paltry reason IMO would be...regrettable and unnecessary. (People often do that--design a $30K+ kitchen remodel around a refrigerator they happened to pick up on sale for $1200 at Home Depot. Or a sink from eBay that was too good a deal to pass up.)

A nice thing about small kitchens is that everything can be wonderful close and available. I love that your refrigerator is only a step away from everything. And since you're actually quite happy with other issues, I think you're wise to...be happy with them.

I just want to say that if THIS issue of centering the sink has been such a wishing and hoping one for you--you probably really should move it back to an "is." Where it would fall on others' priority lists is irrelevant if it matters to you, and you can find a way to have both that and a layout sufficiently efficient to please you if you work at it.

Nobody who explains how the relationship of storage to DW should optimally be would ever have suggested my layout. (Confession--I knew what I wanted would require considerable deviation from optimal patterns, so I never posted for suggestions that wouldn't get me what I wanted.)

My version of a centered sink was windows--lots of them--instead of upper storage cabinets. Putting the DW on the end of an L counter (and no, I was not relocating everything to change that), sink to its right, a narrow drawer stack beyond that, then the corner, plus an island with blank side facing the DW, meant I had to do plenty of mocking up to make sure it'd work.

I did and like it fine. I put storage for small, bothersome stuff like silverware, cups, and glasses very close by where it could be most easily unloaded, starting by unloading from the left of the DW to the outside of the island, then moving over to unload from the right side. Larger stuff that could be stacked and carried, like dishes and pans, went farther away--briskly stacked on the island a couple feet from the open dishwsher, shoved across the corner and stored in big, spacious drawers on both sides of the aisle over there.

Your kitchen is so small you can find a place for everything sufficiently close to the DW if you wish. Nothing's far, after all. That cabinet to the left of the stove is perfect for plating and serving, and it's a casual pivot away from an open DW on the right side. You could install drawers there and put silverware and stove tools up top, dishes (including serving) next drawer down, some of your pots and pans or your baking dishes below that. Glasses might go in an upper cabinet to the right of the stove--convenient to the sink. Cups might go there or wherever coffee/tea happens. Etc. Whatever cleanables would go in the upper cabinets between sink and fridge would be set put on the counter and moved up when the DW door is closed. Big deal.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

What about an offcenter sink to counteract the fact that the sink's offcenter?

http://www.efaucets.com/detail.asp?Product_ID=K-3760-NA&ca=gpsl&CAWELAID=840342714&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CKCh6KPs7LkCFShp7Aod8g8AeA


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

cevamal - I sort of will have an off-center sink. I got the Franke ORX-110.

I decided not to move the DW, finalized the rest of the layout and gave the cabinet maker the green light! Should be installing in 4-6 weeks.


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RE: DW - loading from front - please post pics

If you want to access your DW from the front, this seems an ideal place for the SMEG dishwasher with a single 30"w rack, which rolls out all the way to the edge of the drop-down door. You can pick these up for a song now.



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