How to Measure for a Dishwasher

How to Measure for a Dishwasher

Installing a new dishwasher just like any other new kitchen appliances requires you to measure accurately. This article will teach you how to measure for a dishwasher, including measuring all the different dimensions correctly.

How To Measure For A Dishwasher
Photo Credits: Bart Everson,

If you don’t, you could end up bringing your new dishwasher home that won’t fit into your kitchen space. Are you buying a new standard-size built-in dishwasher and placing it in the same space where the old one was previously installed.

You must take an accurate measurement of the width, depth, and height before you get a new one. Most dishwashers have the same standard size of 24″ width, 35″ length and 24″ deep.

But if you do not measure your current dishwasher space, you will not know if it will fit the new dishwasher size. Some models are slimmer, shorter or shallower. This makes a huge difference during their installation.

What changes the size of the space where your previous dishwasher was installed? It might be that you have completely renovated the kitchen and got new cabinets installed. This can change the height of the rough opening or dishwasher space.

You may have changed the floor tiles underneath the dishwasher. A 1″ increase in the height of the floor can affect the height of your rough opening. 

If you are building a new home or renovating your kitchen, you can create a 30″ extra-wide space for your dishwasher. You can get a new dishwasher for your kitchen even if your rough opening measurements are smaller than the standard dishwasher size. 

You will get a small portable dishwasher and cushion its sides to hide the extra space. Also, you will be abreast of standard dishwasher sizes.

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

Buy this Built-In Dishwasher on Amazon

What Tools Do You Need To Measure For Dishwasher Installation

  • A notepad to record every measurement you take.
  • A tape measure, preferably a contractor’s tape measure that shows some specific measurements.
  • A pen.
  • Your smartphone to take photos of the measurements so you don’t forget.

Video: Measuring For Your New Dishwasher

This video will show you the basics of measuring for your new dishwasher.

How to Measure for A Dishwasher – Step-by-Step Guide

  • Measure the height of the rough opening
  • Measure the Height of the Front Board
  • Measure the Depth of the Rough Opening
  • Measure the Width of the Rough Opening
  • Choose a Product

Step One: Measure the Height of the Rough Opening

How do you measure the height of the rough opening?

To measure the height of the rough opening to install your dishwasher, use a tape to measure the height of the rough opening or dishwasher space. Place the tape measure tight on the floor in front of the opening and measure the length from the top to the bottom. This will show you the ideal height of your dishwasher.

Step Two: Measure the Height of the Front Board

How do you measure the height of the front board when installing a dishwasher?

To measure the front board for your dishwasher installation, place the front board across the front of the dishwasher. But it is important that you make sure it fits the dishwasher front part correctly. This is because if the front board is taller than your dishwasher, it will be impossible to open or close your dishwasher.

There are two different types of dishwashers that have front panels. They are the full-integrated dishwashers and the semi-integrated dishwashers.

Buy this Fully Integrated Dishwasher on Amazon

Full-Integrated Dishwashers

What are full integrated dishwashers?

These are types of dishwashers have their control panel or control console inside the machine. The front board, therefore, covers all the exteriors of the machine. To get an accurate installation measurement, measure the entire front board from the top to bottom.

Semi-Integrated Dishwashers

What are semi-integrated dishwashers?

These types of dishwashers refer to dishwashers that have their control panel or console outside the dishwasher. Hence, the front board does not cover the front part of the dishwasher fully. It ends at the control console.

You will measure the front board to the point the control console is embedded. Front control panels allow you to see and select dishwashing cycles easily.

Buy this Semi-Integrated DishDrawer Dishwasher on Amazon

Step Three: Measure the Depth of the Rough Opening

How do you measure the depth of the rough opening?

To measure the depth of the rough opening accurately, holding the tape measure against the right or left side. Measure the deepness of the compartment from behind the space or rough opening to the front.

Ensure you leave extra space at least 27″ in front of your dishwasher. This is to make loading and unloading of dishes easier and to make enough room to move around between the open dishwasher door and cabinet.

If you have a built-in dishwasher that is still installed and you can not remove it from the compartment, measure the deepness of the countertop. Then minus five centimeters for pipes and ventilation behind the dishwasher.

You should only measure the depth through this method if you cannot remove the machine from the space. This is because there is a greater chance that you will measure the depth too low or too high.

Step Four: Measure the Width of the Rough Opening

How do you measure the width of the rough opening?

To determine the width of the rough opening, fasten your tape on the top right corner of the rough opening, extend your tape to the top left corner. take note of the measurement, that is the width of the rough opening.

The standard width dimension for a dishwasher space or rough opening is 60cm. If your space is narrow, it will probably have a 45cm width.

Ensure you leave spaces at the sides to completely accommodate the dishwasher when it is installed. It is better to leave a little space than have it tightly jammed together.

Step Five: Choose a Product

How to choose a dishwasher that will fit into your kitchen?

After you have measured the dimensions of the space where your new dishwasher will fit. To choose a dishwasher, select a dishwasher with a range of dimensions that will fit into the height and width of the dishwasher space you have already measured.

For example, if you measured a height of 86cm, then you should choose a range of dimensions between 84.5 cm to 85.4cm.

It is time to choose a product that has its control panels in the correct place and dimensions that suits your measurement. This will ensure that it properly fits into your kitchen.


After that, you must think of the interiors of your dishwasher. Dishwasher exteriors often do not affect the capacity of the interiors, but there are other methods of adding extra spaces for dishes.

Most dishwashers have 2 racks, but a few come with a 3rd rack, making extra space for items that hardly fit.

Check out these interesting articles from our previous posts:

Buy this Portable Countertop Dishwasher on Amazon

What Are The Different Sizes of Dishwashers

There are 3 main kinds of dishwashers.

  1. Standard dishwashers
  2. Space saver or compact dishwashers
  3. Oversized or custom dishwashers

They vary in sizes, height, width or depth. They are the standard dishwasher models, space savers dishwasher models, and oversized dishwasher models.

Standard Dishwashers

What is the size of a standard dishwasher?

A standard dishwashers measure about 24 inches wide, 35 inches high (with flexible feet) and 24 inches in depth. The dimensions of the cabinets’ rough opening must be 24” by 24” by 35”. The dishwasher size may be about 23 5/8” by 23 5/8” by 34”.

Leave some space between the walls to keep the dishwasher in place. Remember, it is better to have a loose fit compared to a tight fit.

You should get a space saver dishwasher if the rough opening measurement is small compared to the standard dimension. Then you will add some beautiful trim to hide the loose ends.

Space Saver or Compact Dishwashers

What is the size of a space saver dishwasher?

A compact dishwasher measures 24” depth by 35” height and an 18 or 17 5/8” width. They have the same height and depth as a standard size dishwasher but a slightly different width dimension. They are supposed to perfectly fit into apartment kitchens, smaller kitchen spaces, retrofit kitchens where a dishwasher has not been previously installed.

That is, they have sizes Space savers dishwashers can perfectly suit any rough opening measuring about 18” or larger.

Because of this, these dishwashers can be inserted or installed into a cabinet compartment where a 22” or 20” dishwasher was formally installed. Also, they can fit into modified cabinets after their installation. 

Oversized or Custom Dishwashers

What is the size of an oversized dishwasher?

The size of an oversized dishwasher measures 24” depth by 35” height. They commonly have 30” width but can have a larger width up to 42”. Basically, oversized dishwashers must be specifically stated during the construction of kitchen cabinets. They are the best fit for modern kitchens, big kitchens or larger family kitchens. They usually need the same height and depth, rough opening dimensions like the standard dishwasher.

This is to ensure that they can perfectly fit into the kitchen cabinets with the extra wideness or width dimensions peculiar with their design.

Other dishwasher types are the portable dishwashers which are a perfect model for homes where the sink is not close to where dishwasher can be installed. They are otherwise called stand-alone dishwashers.

Drawer dishwashers are also economical. They can wash smaller loads and can run separate wash cycles at the same. They occupy less kitchen space.

Factors To Consider When Installing A Dishwasher

  1. Marble or granite countertops need side brackets for perfect dishwasher installation.
  2. Any change to the rough opening height like new flooring could make it difficult to remove an old dishwasher or install a new one.
  3. Insulation blankets for dishwashers can also affect the available space in the rough opening. Most recent models don’t make a lot of noise, so these products are no longer necessary.
  4. If you just installed new kitchen cabinets, the rough opening may be a little different because of changes to its dimensions. 


Dishwashers have become important components of most kitchens today. They have different features for better efficiency and convenience. Hence, they are highly-priced. It is important you know the different sizes of dishwashers and their installation dimensions. 

The height, width, and depth should have the same measurements or a little higher on both sides to fit your dishwasher.

In apartments where an oversized or custom dishwasher takes too much space, there are other options you can consider. They include compact, countertop and portable dishwashers.

Space savers or compact dishwashers are a perfect choice for couples or singles who desire to have a built-in model. However, they don’t want to give up their kitchen cabinet space for a standard dishwasher. 

Countertop and portable dishwashers are good for tenants who are not allowed to remodel their kitchen or homeowners who want to avoid the dishwashers’ installation cost. 

Under the sink, dishwashers are a good alternative for those that don’t have enough kitchen space. So, you must consider the model, the installation cost, and space it will fit into in your kitchen before you choose a model.

And be sure that you have correctly measured your rough opening before you buy a dishwasher so they can fit into your kitchen space.

Finally, we will advise that you measure twice just so you will be sure you got it right the first time.

How to Measure for a Dishwasher — Related FAQs

How Far Should A Dishwasher Stick Out?

When installing the dishwasher, ensure the front of the dishwasher does not stick out of the cabinet. It should flush with the front of the cabinet. Then the door of the dishwasher should stick out one inch from the cabinet. The door of the dishwasher should stick out just enough, so the contact between the dishwasher and the door is visible. This is the correct way to position your dishwasher.

This setup will help preserve your dishwasher and cabinets. Having the dishwasher installed too far behind will make the dishwasher vent steam inside the cabinet when in dry mode. Over time, the condensed steam will destroy your dishwasher and cabinets.

How to Fill the Space Around a Dishwasher

Position the dishwasher, then measure the gap on all sides of the dishwasher. After taking the measurements, remove the dishwasher from the cabinet. Using a half-inch wood cut to the dimensions of the gap and an L-bracket, fasten the wood to the sides of the cabinet. Paint the wood to match the color of your cabinet and allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Install the dishwasher along with the wiring and plumbing. Cover any visible opening using wood putty that has the same color as your cabinet. Use paintable caulking to fill the seam. Paint the seam to give a seamless finish.

Should A Dishwasher Be Level?

When installing your dishwasher, ensure it is level. This is important for dishwashers installed under the countertop. If you install it out of scale, water will stand at its lowest point. This will cause the dishwasher to give out an awful smell and will attract mildews and molds.

It is not sufficient for the dishwasher to be level, side to side; you must also ensure it is level, front to back. Otherwise, the device will not fit into the cabinet properly.

To find out if the dishwasher is level, front to back, place a level on the top rack, and ensure the bobble on the level indicator is balanced at the center.  

How to Fit a Dishwasher into a Small Kitchen

To fit a dishwasher into a small kitchen, buy a compact or sublime dishwasher. This type of dishwasher has been designed to fit perfectly into small spaces.

Install the dishwasher in a corner of the kitchen. In many kitchens, this is an under-used space and is usually stuffed with items that are rarely used. Maximize this space to install your dishwasher.

Install your dishwasher under the sink or at the end of the kitchen carcasses if corners have been fully used.

Should Dishwasher Be Installed Before Countertop?

You should install your dishwasher before installing your countertop. The countertop can only be installed when you have completed the flooring, cabinet installation, and fitted in all other appliances. This order is the same for new facilities and remodeling projects.

Due to the fact that the countertop will sit above the dishwasher, on top of the cabinets, it must be fabricated with the final dimensions of the installed cabinets. This will prevent the countertop from being over or undersized. All appliances, including dishwasher, microwave, and refrigerator, have to be in place before installing the countertop.

How Much Clearance Do You Need Behind A Dishwasher?

Leave a minimum space of 3 cm behind the dishwasher for proper installation and to make sure everything sits in place properly. The extra space will provide room for the dishwasher, drainpipes, and the water inlet hose.

To determine the measurement of the dishwasher, use a tape to measure from one edge of the dishwasher to the opposite corner. Then measure from top to bottom and front to back. An allowance of 3 cm should be added to all measurements taken.  

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