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Dishwasher drawers?

Hello all,
I am starting a kitchen remodel, and I'm trying to conceal the dishwaster under a wood panel to match the cabinets, and have been told that it is easiest to accomplish this by using dishwasher drawers.

Does anyone have any experience with dishwasher drawers (positive or negative)? I have heard that they can have leaking problems, but this may have been older models.

Also, I may only have room for one drawer. For a couple and a child (with probably a couple more children in the future), will one dishwasher drawer be enough?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Fisher Paykell is the mfg. of those drawers. In a household of only 2 people, but we do cook a lot and often entertain, i finmd myself wishing I had 2 fulll sized dishwashers.

    1. I have two kids and we entertain a fair bunch. I can't imagine only having one drawer. I do have a slide-in and I sometimes use the one drawer option.

      1. We have 2 full size dishwashers and no kids and I couldn't imagine life without both. Maybe 4 drawers are in the cards?

        1. When we remodeled last year we considered dishwasher drawers and eventually decided against them. I thought they looked pretty cool at the neighbors' house. But when I asked what other advantages they had, NO ONE I talked with could come up with any, save "you can do a smaller load." Well, like others who have responded, I don't want to do smaller loads. I want to do much bigger loads (even for our family of three).

          We looked into putting the cabinet panel on the dishwasher - which, incidentally I wish we had done - and many newer dishwashers have their buttons on the top of the door, so putting on a cabinet panel is no problem. I'm thinking of Bosch but others do too.

          Good luck with the remodel!

          1. I'm glad you asked this Q. I too am considering dishwasher drawers. There are now two manufacturers of these: Fisher & Paykel & KitchenAid. And so now you have a bit more of an option....

            1 Reply
            1. re: OCAnn

              This gives you a potential for different suppliers and slight differences in appearance, but all the drawers are made by Fisher & Paykel, including the KitchenAid version.

            2. Well, a friend has a 2-drawer Fisher & Paykel -- and she loves it, but as most others have said, she loves it because there are just 2 people in her household. You'll probably need more for your growing--or potentially growing-- family.

              1. I just had my recalled Maytag dishwasher repaired today. While the repairman was here, I asked him what I should get as a replacement when the Maytag was ready for the junk heap. Without hesitation, he responded, "the 2-drawer Fisher Paykel." He says everyone loves them and they never break down.

                4 Replies
                1. re: pikawicca

                  I am very happy with my quiet KitchenAid, though as empty-nesters, we considered a two-drawer machine because we could just set the tablee out of the clean drawer and fill the other with dirty dishes. We have a Fisher & Paykel washing machine that's great. I'd consider them for any other appliances.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    But you are going to have to go to Indy for it and deal with you know who.

                    1. re: Candy

                      Hmmm...hadn't thought of the service issue -- that's a real drawback.

                    2. re: pikawicca

                      That is not the report I've heard. Check out Consumer Reports and F&P are rated practically the lowest for dishwashers. Then go check out the consumer reviews--epinions or just google for F&P reviews and you'll read a ton of complaints from New Zealanders and North Americans who say it constantly breaks down and they'll never buy one again. Now I have the F&P refrigerator and it works great but reading so many negative reviews about the dishwasher scared me away. Please do a little research before you buy. I ended up getting the Miele and I'm very happy.

                    3. Most of the people I knew who had Fisher-Paykel dishwasher drawers weren't happy with them because of problems with reliability. Doesn't make sense that hiding the washer requires a drawer, in my humble opinion. I have two Bosch dishwashers in our kitchen, both with stainless steel, the quietest we've ever owned, and suggest you look at them and see how you can put a veneer on the door if you must have "hidden" fronts. Why "hide" an appliance, by the way? It's there and it looks like what it is. Good luck.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: EclecticEater

                        Hiding appliances with cabinet panels is a trick some IDs recommend for smaller kitchens to make them appear larger. The larger stretches of cabinet or drawer fronts "uninterrupted" by appliances kind of tricks the eye. Although I visited some model homes recently that had enormous kitchens and they had "hidden" appliances too...

                      2. Yeah, I don't particularly care for the hidden look either. I like the idea of the drawers (2-person household, leave the clean dishes in one, that sort of idea), but they're too expensive for now. Even the base model Bosch I got was kind of a stretch for that house, though after all the rebates and stuff I got it really wasn't that out of line, and it works great. And it's cheaper than even a single drawer.

                        For what it's worth, my boss is in the process of building a new home. It's towards the upper end of size and price for this metro area. I asked him if he got the drawers, and he said no, he thought it was too expensive for what you got. In fact, he was specifically saying "Yeah, I didn't get anything from Wolf or Viking" naming those popular high-end brands. Cooktop and wall ovens, yes, and I think he admitted the cooktop was a Thermador. But back to the dishwashers, he said he spec'd two regular full-size units (I think Bosch). Now, there's 6 people in that household so it totally makes sense. And if you have the room, well, two big units is better than two small ones. And if you really do care to run a small load, you can seek out a unit that offers a single-rack cycle.

                        Back to the OP, if you really want to make the kitchen future-proof for a couple more children, going for only one drawer really isn't going to work! You'll have that thing on 3x a day, with extra dishes piled in the sink waiting for it to be done. Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but I can see a traffic jam there, and that's the last thing you want with the dishes. And if you're married to the cabinet front panel idea, you can certainly do this with a number of full-face dishwashers. Bosch, Miele, whatever, all you need is one that has the hidden controls. (Okay, it needs to be able to accept the cabinet panel, but there are plenty that can do this.) Not sure why it would be "easier" with the drawers, really. No reason to limit to the drawers for this kind of install.

                        1. Thanks for all of the helpful responses! This may be too much detail, but the reason the drawer would be "easier" is because my cabinets are going to be inset, and if I use a traditional dishwasher with a cabinet front panel, I won't be able to maintain that inset look...it will "stick out," so to speak. And the reason I want to hide the dishwasher is because my kitchen is not that big, and I live in a historic home, and would like to see as much wood as possible, not glaring stainless steel.

                          Has anyone encountered my problem? (i.e. wanting to have a full-size traditional dishwasher, hidden by cabinet panels, but integrating into inset cabinets). Did your paneled dishwasher look out of place from the rest of the inset cabinets?


                          5 Replies
                          1. re: L.A.Hound

                            I don't mind having a non-integrated dishwasher, but we have friends who have a Bosch with a wood front that matches their cabinets, in case you're looking for an alternative to the Fisher-Paykel.

                            1. re: L.A.Hound

                              I live in an Historic District and have friends who live in other Historic Districts nearby. Lots of them have dishwashers and refrigerators concealed by panels that match their kitchen cabinets. Sub-Zero and many other manufacturers make appliances that accept panels that are provided by your kitchen cabinet maker. My vent hood is like this too and you don't even notice it when it folds back into the cabinets. In my friends' kitchens the face of the DWs and fridges are flush with the raised panel doors. You don't even notice them. Most of them have antique looking kitchen cabinets in keeping with the character nature of their homes.
                              You may have only seen some of the appliances that have thin panels that slip into a frame, not the ones specially made to accept the matching cabinet doors. Check with a good kitchen design company. Or check the Sub-Zero website to see how they do it for fridges. The installation specs explain it. It's the same for DWs.

                              1. re: L.A.Hound

                                My home is not historic (yet). Just a 60's tri-level with a really good sized kitchen after a re-model post fire 16 years ago. When I was having my cabitnerty made I had the cabinet makers make a front panel for my dishwasher to match the cabinets. Check into that most dishwashers are made to take a custom panel and don't worry, the crappy stainless craze will be gone in about 5 years and be totally outdated. These trends tend to go in about 10 year spans and stainless is about to be sooooooo very very over.

                                1. re: Candy

                                  There was an article in the Washington Post Real Estate section several weeks ago quoting several brokers in the area about SS being on the way out - and in a hurry. They said they were seeing a lot of buyer resistance. Apparently they thought it looked too institutional and cold especially in open kitchens.

                                2. re: L.A.Hound

                                  I'm not sure that's a great esthetic choice. The "walls of cabinet faces" look is really a modern style. Historically, kitchens were functional rooms with no built ins at all, so everything was out in the open.

                                  When I designed the kitchen for my 1885 Victorian, I went with a look that was "retro" but not period (who wants a pre-1900 kitchen?!). I have an antique range (that I love), and painted wooden cabinets, with plain old white enamel appliances. I'm really happy with the look -- it's basically a 1930s look -- I think it fits in well with the house, and I get invariably get compliments on it. And because it was period to begin with, it doesn't look "dated" the way current fads in kitchens will in ten years.


                                3. When I did a kitchen renovation 3 years ago, I never hesitated in my decision to go with the Fisher-Paykel DishDrawers. I had 2 single units installed - one on each side of the main sink. My reasons for purchase included the fact that my new kitchen is Art Deco in style, with rounded corners and cabinetry. I fell in love with the look of the rounded, stainless steel F-K drawers the minute I laid my eyes upon them. So, aesthetics definitely played a role.

                                  My second reason for going with the DishDrawers was that I would no longer have to open the door, bend down, pull racks in and out, close the door, and repeat, over and over again during the day. I have lots of better things to do in the kitchen. So, I love them for their ease of use - pull open the drawer, close the drawer. Period.

                                  The third reason I chose them is that I often found myself running my old dishwasher simply because I'd run out of glasses or coffee mugs, yet there was still plenty of room for dishes and cutlery. I hated running it when it was half empty.

                                  Another benefit - when one DishDrawer is running, there's no pile-up of excess dishes in the sink. There's another drawer to put them into.

                                  I've had no reliability issues in the two years since the DishDrawers were installed. The only time I had any leakage was early on, when I stacked some bowls higher than the level of the DishDrawer's walls. A lesson learned.

                                  This being said, I would strongly recommend against going with only one DishDrawer. We're a family of four, and I generally run one drawer every day.

                                  1. You might ask your contractor if they can create a cavity or pocket to set a standard diswasher further back so it can be flush. There might be a million constraints or reason not to, and the extra labor costs might not be worth it...but it's free to ask.

                                    1. There is now a third company out there making the drawer-type dishwashers. Saw a commercial this weekend, announcing that Sears had this third American-made dw. Sorry, I can't remember the brand.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: OCAnn

                                        I remember now; it's Kenmore.

                                        1. re: OCAnn

                                          Kenmore (at Sears/Kmart) doesn't make anything. They have it made for them, by various manufacturers. It's very likely if they're selling drawer dishwashers that they are sourced from F&P. They could even be made in the US by F&P, as F&P on their own and/or through their purchase of DCS has manufacturing facilities in the US.

                                      2. I would stay away from the dishdrawer. I liked the concept to have an adjustable load to do the dishes, but this model was a disaster. First, we had problems with the unit the first 30 days we had it, it seems it kept seeping moisture to the motor which would set of an alarm. We had the repairman three times in les than 90 days, then the warranty expired. Magically the unit worked after he resetted it somewhere he would not disclose the location. Even disconnecting the unit completelly would not reset the unit. Finally after 4 months in use I pulled it out at 3am in the morning since there was no other way of resetting the alarm on this unit. It is very picky, only the loads as instructed, only certain type of detergent, must be rinsed with white vinegar ever 3 to 4 months, .... and the list goes on and on. I wasted $1400 on this unit, and I wanted to replace it with a Milele but in the end it was replaced with a $300 inexpensive Bosch unit, never had a problem from day 1 and 2.5 years running... never been happier

                                        1. We put one in to our house we just built. I love the dishwasher, very quiet. However, over the past two months, we have had a problem with the steam that comes from the dishwasher causing mold on the inside of our new cabinets under the sink. So far, there has been no one that can seem to solve the problem. If anyone has a solution, by all means - let me know.

                                          1. We had one of the first DishDrawers sold in the US, I think, ('99), and we did have some problems during the first year. Once we found a GE technician (GE provided the warrantee service) who knew how the machine worked, it was trouble free until we moved in 2005. When we renovated our new house, we put in another (along with a Miele SlimLine), and it is quiet, efficient, and, so far, trouble free.

                                            As far as what it does that two regular ones don't, .... it gives you two dishwashers in the space of one. If you keep a kosher kitchen, that's a huge advantage if you need the space. We use the Miele for meat, the upper FP for dairy, and the lower FP for pareve.

                                            1. My contractor said he had installed three of them and then had to take them all out due to leak issues. He will no longer install this type of unit.

                                              1. I have heard from my neighbor, an appliance repairman, that the most problems from the dishdrawers are from incompetent contractors/repairmen who don't install the thing properly. I'm thinking of getting the dishdrawer myself, but my brother has an asko and loves it, so I dunno...

                                                1. Has anyone investigated the ease of use for a dishdrawer? I think the drawers are huge benfit for the disabled or elderly. My mother-in-law is 86 and bending over that far to pick up the door to close it is a huge risk.

                                                  1. I got a FP single drawer for Christmas 2007. I absolutely LOVE it! It's just the two of us (me & Mr OCAnn), and I'll use it almost (ALMOST) everyday. On weekends, when there's a lot of heavy cooking, I might use it twice. And even with frequent use over this past year, I've had no problems yet.

                                                    The FP replaced a 20 year old ugly Maytag which I refused to use. Since two drawers didn't make sense for us, we went w/the one drawer and made the bottom half a drawer to hold big pots & pans (so nothing is ruined if there was a leak). No leaks, no problems. I love it. I still tell Mr OCAnn how I love his Christmas present to me.

                                                    BTW, there's a energy saver feature which shortens the length of wash & dry...I almost always use that button. It can do a relatively full load in 40 minutes.

                                                    EDIT: We bought ours online & Mr OCAnn installed.