In many older homes and apartments or condos, there is simply no room for a standard sized dishwasher. In these scenarios, a compact or countertop dishwasher is often the best product to provide the convenience of a dishwasher, while taking up a minimal amount of space.
For those on the go, buying a compact dishwasher is an economical and convenient way to save time, even if the space in your kitchen is very limited. There are drawer, freestanding, and countertop dishwashers on the market that will make the most of the space you do have—and still have the capacity to wash four or more place settings at a time.
Freestanding, compact dishwashers are very much like a conventional dishwasher but are narrower. Additionally, they often come equipped with wheels, so they can be moved to another part of the residence when not in use. The hose that connects a sink to a dishwasher is designed to fit most modern faucets. In some cases, however, the kitchen is old enough that the faucet is not compatible with the hose. A faucet replacement or different hose fittings might be necessary.
Drawer dishwashers can be found in single and double drawer models. A double drawer model is about the same size as a standard dishwasher and probably not a good fit for small spaces. A single drawer model, on the other hand, will take up half the space and can easily be installed under a counter while leaving space above or below it for storage. Drawer models often use the same sort of hook ups that a regular dishwasher would use, so putting one into a kitchen that wasn’t designed for a dishwasher could involve some plumbing and/or electrical alterations.
Two Kinds of Countertop Dishwashers
What exactly do we mean when we say “countertop dishwasher”? It may sound pretty straightforward, but there are two very different kinds that bring their own benefits to your kitchen and your dishwashing capabilities.
Counter Top Dishwashers: Although there is no official label, we choose this spelling for a portable dishwasher that sits on top of your counter. These small space-saver dishwashers are only able to handle small dish loads at one time, but they’ve made incredible leaps and bounds in terms of washing power and energy-efficiency over the compact dishwashers of the last decade.
Countertop Dishwashers: Countertop dishwashers are larger, portable dishwashers that feature a countertop as part of the model. A sturdy wood or laminate top can act as a cutting board or as conventional and auxiliary storage and display table for any number of kitchen items. These units are ideal for kitchens with adequate floor space, but with pre-existing counters and cabinets that make a retrofit installation of a built-in dishwasher next to impossible or prohibitively expensive.
Keep in mind that compact and countertop dishwashers use less electricity and water than their full-size counterparts. This is good news for households where washing many small loads of dishes is more convenient than washing one large load. Also if saving space and energy efficiency aren’t enough, the price tag will be a lot less than a standard dishwasher, too.
Space-Saver Dishwasher Installation
Of course, most space-saver dishwashers, whether compact, countertop, or portable, don’t require much—if any—installation. You buy the unit, plug it in, and it’s ready to go. Yet, you may need some minor renovations to your kitchen to accommodate even compact dishwashers. A built-in shelving unit can create a useful nook for the appliance. You may already own a portable countertop dishwasher with an inconvenience hose connection. You can hire an appliance contractor or plumber to retrofit your kitchen with new water lines for a direct plumbing connection.