Dishwashers Buying Guide

Dishwashers? A guide to buying a built-in, integrated or freestanding dishwasher

Time is one of our most valuable commodities and Dishwashers are designed to save as much as possible of the precious stuff! Why spend around 200 hours a year washing up when a dishwasher could do it all for you ? and at the same time offering you reductions in the energy and water used and also helping to ensure a tidy kitchen.

Over 24% of homes in the UK now have a dishwasher, and for those who have had one for some time, the dishwasher has become one of life\\\'s necessities.

As the market for dishwashers has expanded, so have the number of features included in them, finding the right model for your lifestyle can at first appear daunting. We have put together this guide to help you find the right dishwasher for you.

60cm, Full Size, 45cm, Slimline or Compact? The right size dishwasher

The majority of dishwashers sold in the UK are suitable for fitting into a 60cm wide gap, commonly referred to as full-size. These generally have the capacity for 12-14 place settingsand fit into the British standard gap for appliances.

If space is a constraint, then a 45cm or Slimlineoption may be a more sensible option. These have the capacity for up to 10 place settings and may be the only option if you have a 50cm or less gap.

Finally, there are a number of compact or tabletop dishwashers, these allow even the smallest of kitchens to have a quick and easy way to deal with washing up. They either fit into cabinetry or as their name suggests, will sit on a worktop with a similar size to a larger Microwave Oven.

Integrated, Semi-Integrated or Freestanding?

The most common confusion is regarding integration. There are 3 options, fully integrated, semi-integrated or freestanding. There are two types of integrated machine, both of which will need to be positioned between other units and under a worktop as they are not intended to be visible from the sides or top.

Fully integrated dishwashers are hidden behind a full height furniture panel, and are operated by controls on the top edge of the dishwasher door, meaning that when the door of the machine is closed, no control panel is visible.

Semi integrated machines have a visible control panel, which matches in height to surrounding drawer line furniture. A short three quarter length furniture door is affixed below the control panel. Most semi integrated dishwashers will have a choice of colours for the control panel.

Finally, Free standing dishwashers can be placed with the sides and top on show and will not accept a furniture door to match up with the rest of your kitchen. Most Freestanding machines are available in white, although some offer Silver or Stainless Steel to suit the requirements of modern style kitchens.

Energy Labels

All dishwashers are now graded according to their energy, washing and drying efficiency, ranging from very good (A) to very poor (G). It is worth while looking for products that display the efficiency logo. These dishwashers have been identified because they are the most energy efficient and will ultimately save you money.

Some dishwashers are rising to the challenge of the recent scrutiny of efficiency levels, using digital sensing technology involving the co-operation of several intelligent sensors, for total management of the dishwashing process. This effectively means that the thinking is done for you, from the amount of water needed, and water temperature, to the length and time of the programme. All you have to do is load up, switch on and relax!!