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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.

            1. For ferret (and the rest of you!), here are a couple of shots.

              Here's one looking nearly straight on to the island with the sink and dishwasher (no other appliances on the island):

              The second one is looking from the side with the oven and part of the fridge in the background:

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Stainless, because we ultimately know what men want. wink wink.

                2. Let me clarify for all you jokers out there, my wife is not adamant about stainless, she just threw it out there. I'm turning to you pros to give it the thumbs up or kill it.

                  Now back to your regularly scheduled programming......

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bart Hound

                    Well then..... do rock, paper, scissors....

                    1. re: Bart Hound

                      Wood looks great, it really does and the dish washer would all but dissapear. The only down side is that wet hands that have been rinsing the dishes grabing the handle to open the dishwasher will get water on the wood which will mess up the finish over time. Now maybe you and your wife are very careful and that's not going to be an issue, it would be at our house. That's why we have stainless steel, it's way easier to wipe it than refinish the wood door.