What Is an Integrated Dishwasher?

Autumn Rivers

An integrated dishwasher is one that blends in with the rest of the kitchen, because the control panel is hidden and the surface is similar to the cabinets or other appliances in the room. This type of appliance is usually more expensive than a standard dishwasher, especially if it matches the cabinets, because it is usually customized to fit the kitchen perfectly. On the other hand, the higher upfront cost is often offset by a larger size, because homeowners can save money by cleaning more dishes per cycle. It should be noted that few companies manufacture these types of dishwashers, so they may be harder to find than the standard kind.

Integrated dishwashers fit into specifically designed spaces in a kitchen.
Integrated dishwashers fit into specifically designed spaces in a kitchen.

Consumers have the option of matching an integrated dishwasher to their kitchen cabinets, but this is usually a custom installation and can, therefore, be expensive. It is possible to save money by purchasing a built-in dishwasher that matches the rest of the kitchen appliances instead of the cabinets, because many have surfaces that are black, white or stainless steel. Buying a semi-integrated dishwasher is another way to save money, because this kind does not hide its control panel but is flush with the cabinets so still looks more seamless than the standard dishwasher.

Most integrated dishwashers run quieter than the basic kind, meaning it is not necessary to turn up the television or talk louder during a wash cycle. Most of them feature decibel ratings between 40 and 60, which means a typical conversation may be louder than the dishwasher. In addition, the typical integrated dishwasher is a bit larger than the standard kind, which means homeowners can fit more dishes into each cycle, saving energy. This appliance also has a direct line to the kitchen's water supply, which usually equates to better water pressure and cleaner dishes.

On the other hand, consumers should know the integrated dishwasher makes it impossible to reach the controls during operation, because they are on top of the door instead of the front, making it necessary to open the door to stop the cycle and make adjustments. A semi-integrated dishwasher does not have this drawback because the control panel is on the front. Another possible disadvantage of an integrated dishwasher is its permanence, because it is harder to remove than most dishwashers and is customized to fit only one kitchen. A dishwasher of this type also can be difficult to find, because few companies offer fully integrated dishwashers.

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