Freestanding or built in dishwasher?

Hi. I have never owned a dishwasher but have decided to buy one. Our house was built in 1995 and has a cavity in the kitchen cupboards, next to the sink for a dishwasher. My question is whether I should purchase a freestanding or built in one? Just looking online there seems to be much more choice in the FS type of washer and they can be considerably cheaper than built in ones. The hole is 600mm wide x 850mm high and 570 deep. Thanks for your help! zenonie


Firstly, welcome to the community.

We’ve had both.
You will need to read the installation manual for each model you are looking at to check the dimensions of your space.

Our current Miele is a free standing model. A free standing model can be a more readily self installed assuming there is provision adjacent for the power, water and waste. The unit just slides into the space. The top cover is usually left on for moisture protection of the bench top and kitchen cabinet. The installation manual should clarify further any other requirements. Some free standing models have available conversion kits for built in, but why would one?

We’ve also installed a Bosch, Miele and F&P drawer type built in models. There is a little more work required in the moisture proofing of the front under bench. Each unit came with a kit and detailed instructions on the fit up. Most would likely pay for the install. If you DIY it’s important to install the discharge hose as indicated in the manual, and check whether the warranty has any preconditions?


That is a standard dimension and while the requirements for any particular product have to be confirmed. Built-ins are usually 810-850mm high, 540-570mm deep and 585-605mm wide. Most have limited height adjustments via the levelling legs.

Some issues are aesthetic. You probably have a water connection for a built-in under the sink as well as a power point and an undrilled drain point just above the trap unless your builders were over the top in saving $10 in original costs.

Free standing ones have surround cabinetry while built-ins do not but may have more sound deadening material, product dependent. Built-ins go more upscale than free standing.

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Thanks Mark, so either is suitable?? As you say if you can just slide the thing in why would you go for the built in?

Thanks Phil, so either is suitable?? There is another inlet under the sink and a power point. I need to know before I go shopping!

If that is a question the powerpoint would be obvious, and there should be a valve on the cold water under the sink with nothing connected to it. If there isn’t you will need a sparky and/or plumber to install them, respectively. As for the drain you should see a bit like this one. The dishwasher drain hose would connect to it after it is drilled through to the same diameter as the extrusion.

It would be features, and potentially noise and aesthetics.

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The built in will provide a more integrated look in return for the extra effort and cost. Especially for the kick plate if one chooses to custom fit this item.