Built-in, undercounter dishwashers fit most households' needs. As the most popular type of dishwasher, they have the most options when it comes to style, wash cycles, tub capacity and features. They're also most likely to have a matching refrigerator and range, so that you can purchase a complete appliance package if you choose.
Most dishwashers are built into your kitchen base cabinets underneath the countertop. They are permanent fixtures with only the front door exposed. Front panels come in a variety of colors: primarily white, black, biscuit or bisque, and stainless steel. A standard or 24-inch dishwasher is typically about 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches high. It can accommodate 12 to 14 place settings in one load.
Another popular option, the compact or 18-inch dishwasher, can be either built-in or portable. It's the same height and depth as a standard dishwasher, but 6 inches narrower. This smaller dishwasher holds up to eight place settings.
As with other kitchen appliances, dishwashers continue to become more "professional" or "commercial" in appearance and performance. Stainless steel exteriors and interiors have been growing in popularity. The subtleness of streamlined handles, integrated controls and one-piece doors, however, makes the dishwasher look less machine-like and more sculptural.
Raising the dishwasher off the floor is a popular design trend that makes loading the dishwasher less of a chore because you don't have to bend over. If you're right-handed, consider placing the dishwasher to the left of the sink. That way, if you hold the plate in your left hand while you scrape the food off with your right, you won't have to switch hands to load it.