New Appliances for Old Homes
Question: "We have an older home with counters/cabinets that are only 23 inches deep. Are there any built-in dishwashers out there that will fit such a space?"
Answer: Yes, there are. Although the standard built-in dishwasher size is 24 inches wide and 24 inches deep, European dishwashers often tend to be a little narrower and shallower than U.S. models. Bosch, Thermador, Miele and Asko all offer models about 22.5 inches deep. (FYI: These will all cost at least $500.) If your countertops are stone or another hard surface, you'll need a model that can mount on the side instead of to the top.We can't emphasize enough the importance of consulting with an experienced, knowledgeable professional at a good appliance store or retailer. Such a person will be familiar with the local housing stock and its typical challenges, as well as the products most likely to work in a challenging situation. Bring along exact measurements for potential dishwasher locations; not just the depth of the counter but also the height from the floor to the bottom of the countertop.
You don't mention the width of your base cabinets. Standard built-in dishwashers are about 24 inches wide, give or take half an inch. Built-in dishwashers also come in compact 18-inch models, which may be a better option for your cabinetry. Try to select a location near your sink that won't interfere with your ability to open and close cabinet and refrigerator doors.
By the way, installing any dishwasher in a kitchen that has never had one is a challenge, so we strongly recommend hiring a professional. Not only will you need to cut out a section of your base cabinets to create space for the dishwasher, you will have to run dedicated water and power lines to the dishwasher. This electrical and plumbing work will require opening up the wall, which has the potential to uncover rot, code violations and other not-so-fun stuff.