It’s easy to look at a small kitchen and think, “Oh great, I’ll never cook again. Or take friends over for dinner.” It does not have to be like that. Your small kitchen can have any of the things that large kitchens have. You can’t have all the things that big kitchens have. But if you really want a dishwasher, there are more options than you might think, and you don’t have to drain your savings account.

So let’s talk about dishwashers, full-size dishwashers, before limiting our focus to small ones. A standard-size dishwasher measures 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high. Any dishwasher 18 inches or less is considered small. A standard dishwasher can clean 12 place settings at a time, and this same size is considered large enough for a family of four.

Before buying a dishwasher of any size, you need to make sure there is room to install it, even if it is only 18 inches wide. Dishwashers should almost always be installed next to a sink. But even if your kitchen is set up so oddly that you can’t put a dishwasher next to the sink, you can still go for a countertop dishwasher. More on those in a moment.

So now that we’ve set the standard, let’s talk small. Small dishwashers (18-inch or narrower dishwashers) are pretty common these days. Amazon.com has some of them for sale, as do Sears, Best Buy, Lowes, and others. You can get them for $ 400 or less. What you have to pay attention to is how tall they are. If the dishwasher you want is a different height than your countertop, it’s not the end of the world, but you will have to make some adjustments if you want the countertop to stay level. It’s easy if the dishwasher is shorter than the countertop – your installer simply places the dishwasher on a small platform to level it. But if it’s taller than the counter, you’ll have to get used to having a little counter space a few inches higher.

The ideal size for a small dishwasher is the width of your cabinets next to the sink. Standard cabinet widths are 12, 15, and 18 inches. There are plenty of 18-inch dishwashers for around $ 400 each. They typically fit eight board configurations, which would work for a family of three. 15-inch dishwashers are a long way off, none of the major retailers have one. So if the cabinets next to your sink are 15 inches or less, you might want to skip an undercounter dishwasher and try one of the newer countertop dishwashers.

Countertop dishwashers are also called “portable dishwashers”. If you’re working in a really small kitchen, it can be a good thing to be able to pack your dishwasher and put it in a cupboard when not in use. Otherwise, you’ll have to sacrifice some of your already tight counter space for the dishwasher. The good news is that these countertop dishwashers cost around $ 250 and usually fit four place settings, which is enough for two people. So if you can find even 24 inches of counter space in your small kitchen, you can still get a dishwasher.

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