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Feb 9, 2012 07:52 AM

Dishwasher front panel - wood or stainless?

I'm nearing the end of a kitchen remodel and have to pick the front panel of the dishwasher. The cabinets are all wood and the appliances are all stainless. The choice is wood - matches the cabinets around it, easy to clean, hides the dishwasher. Or stainless - nice and shiney but hard to clean, but matches the other appliances.

I'm leaning towards wood for maintenance issues, but my wife is leaning towards stainless for looks.

Does anyone have any additional thoughts or pros and cons for either?


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  1. Really difficult to advise you without a photo. There's only a "right" answer if we can see it in context.

    1. Wood because the SS gets so streaky so fast on the front of the DW.

      1. Depends. Do you want a relationship with your wife or the dishwasher?

        1. We have stainles and yes it streaks easily, but no worse than the other appliances. If your polishing one, you might as well polish the other. Long term, the stainless is going to give you better looking results. The reason I say this is that moisture is not a friend of wood finishes, and the finish cabinet makers put on cabinets is not the most water resistant finish available. Those water droplets that stain the stainless steel will eventually destroy the finish on the wood and it will not look nice like it does when new. The reason they don't use the most water resistant finish is because they want a finish that dries fast and doesn't run, the most water resistant finishes dry very slowly by comparison to the laquer used by the cabinet shop. These slower drying finishes run more easily and would take much longer for the shop to apply, so they don't use them.

          Besides, wyogal has the true answer. I'm just trying to add some logic.

          2 Replies
            1. re: Bart Hound

              ummm, the only point. :)
              Actually, I think that it would be best to match the other appliances, too. Otherwise, why not get a wood front for the fridge, too?
              While one is wiping down the stainless fridge, ya just wipe the front of the dishwasher, too.

          1. We totally remodeled our kitchen 3 years ago and decided on wood front panel for dishwasher to match the cabinets. Couldn't have been happier. Looks great. Dishwasher does not "stand out" and cleans easily.