Buying Guide for Dishwashers
Are you overwhelmed by the selection of dishwashers available? Well you are not alone, with more features than ever, buying a dishwasher comes with many more questions than simply what colour you want. Dishwashers are loaded with features such as different cycles, energy efficiency, delay wash starts and holding capacity. There are dishwashers to suit every lifestyle and kitchen. Here are a few guidelines to help you decide what dishwasher is right for you.
When thinking about buying a dishwasher it is important to consider its capacity, which is the total amount of dishes and utensils the machine can wash. It is also important to consider what types of dishes you will be washing such as plates, utensils, cups and glasses, larger items such as pots and pans, or china and crystal which are delicate and not ideal for dishwashers. Important features are size, style and holding capacity.
There are several styles of dishwashers: fully integrated, semi-integrated, standard, and DishDrawer.
Fully Integrated dishwashers are concealed by a kitchen cabinet with the controls hidden; this is the best option if you do not want your dishwasher visible.
Semi-integrated dishwashers have the controls visible and the lower panel can be customized to match your cabinetry.
DishDrawer is a relatively new product offering, and is perfect if you want a compact ergonomic option and can fit easily under the counter taking up the same amount of space as a drawer. You can read all about DishDrawer here.
Energy and Efficiency
Dishwashers require a lot of energy and water to operate. Several brands are now making Energy Star certified models to reduce operating costs to your wallet as well as the environment. In addition, many dishwashers offer a 19 to 24 hour delay wash option, which is becoming an increasingly sought after feature for environmentally and economically conscious clients. Learn more about Energy Star ratings here.
The biggest difference between makes and models are the cycles offered. Most machines offer at least a four-cycle option, but they can range anywhere from normal, economy, pots and pans, rinse and hold, quick wash, sanitize wash (which meets the National Sanitation Foundation standards of cleanliness), and delicate wash (for china and stemware). Look for a dishwasher that has cycles that your family will use the most. A popular option with smaller family sizes is the half load cycle, which conserves water and energy.
Other features to consider are noise level, whether the dishwasher has a soundproofing or insulation system. It is hard to measure sound when buying a dishwasher; generally more expensive machines are the quietest. Many dishwashers offer a 19 to 24 hour delay wash option, which is becoming an increasingly sought after feature for environmentally and economically conscious clients.
Some machines also come with a hard food disposer, convenient if you do not like scraping your plates. While others are offering a premium “European Wash System” which guarantees that the water used for washing is filtered and clean, as found in the GE Café Fully Integrated Dishwasher.
Things to check before you purchase
Cabinet Size. As the old saying goes, measure twice, cut once. Before you select your dishwasher brand and model measure the width, height and depth of the cabinet. Most dishwashers are 24” wide, however some brands make variations to this for smaller kitchens.
Water and Drainage. Dishwashers require access to hot water and close proximity to a drainage system. For this reason, the optimal place to install a dishwasher is close to the kitchen sink. If your kitchen design involves placement of a dishwasher away from the sink, you may want to speak with your designer or contractor to save additional plumbing costs.
Energy Source. Most dishwashers require a separate breaker dedicated for hydro to meet local code requirements. It is best to consult with a licensed electrician to ensure you have ample energy source to operate a dishwasher.
Your options are plenty when it comes to buying a dishwasher. Visit our showroom in Toronto at 1111 Weston Road and let one of our expert sales associates help you to select a dishwasher that’s right for you.