In the last few years, dishwasher manufacturers have refined their wares to provide buyers with more and better choices. What makes this generation of dishwashers different than its predecessors? In addition to being quieter, most dishwashers are more energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing and space-friendly.
Sleek and Seamless
Electronic touch pads or hidden, integrated controls are easy to keep clean. Along with one-piece front panels, they create a sleek, seamless exterior. Stainless steel continues to be popular, as do black and white finishes. Another option is using cabinet panels and trim kits to blend the dishwasher in with the rest of the cabinetry.
Why does the quietness of a dishwasher matter? Ask anyone who has ever tried to carry on a conversation or watch a television program while a loud dishwasher is running. The quietness of a dishwasher depends on where the motor is located: If mounted in the base pan, the dishwasher will be quieter than if it is located in the tub. It will probably be more expensive, too. Extra insulation is another, cheaper, option for dampening sound.
The government sets minimum energy-efficiency standards that all dishwashers must meet-but many models now significantly exceed that standard. They cost a little bit more up front, but you'll save on water and electric bills over the product's lifetime.
In addition to the standard 24-inch under-counter unit, you have the choice of compact under-counter, portable, countertop or drawer dishwashers. These smaller units can be used to conserve space or to make a big kitchen more efficient. Inside, dishwashers have been redesigned with new racks and holders to make room for a variety of dish types and configurations.