The Pros and Cons of a Panel Ready Dishwasher

Do you know about the benefits and drawbacks of investing in a panel ready dishwasher? Let’s find out!

You’re about to learn why this may be the best decision for those looking for a luxury appliance upgrade.


A panel ready dishwasher is a built-in appliance that allows you to customize the exterior front so that it blends seamlessly with your existing cabinetry. This type of design offers an attractive, integrated look, as well as improved energy efficiency and performance. With a panel ready dishwasher you can choose from wood, beadboard, and stainless steel panels—allowing for a customized solution to fit any kitchen style.

The panel ready design makes installation of the dishwasher much easier than traditional, pre-built types. It also provides more freedom in terms of layout and design, since all four sides of the dishwasher are visible and customizable to match existing cabinets. The fully integrated look also offers more counter space since there is no lip or edge protruding where the dishwasher meets other kitchen cabinets or appliances.

However, customizing a panel ready appliance requires more effort than purchasing an off-the-shelf version and requires specific technical knowledge. The cost of those panels is slightly higher than pre-made designs and they require professional installation by specialized tradespeople. While it—s possible to completely customize the interior settings with most models, some options lack useful features like adjustable racks or a third rack for additional storage capacity.

Explanation of what a panel ready dishwasher is

A panel ready dishwasher is a unique appliance that provides complete customization for functionality and appearance. Instead of a traditional stainless steel finish on the door, the panel ready dishwasher offers homeowners the opportunity to attach their own door panel (wood or metal) that matches the style and décor of their kitchen.

Panel ready dishwashers are available in all typical sizes, styles and colors to fit the needs of most families and kitchens. They offer features such as adjustable shelving, adjustable cycles, soil sensors, increased capacity, quiet noise operation and efficient cleaning with multiple spray arms. These special features can help you get your dishes clean while saving time, money and energy.

While there is an upfront cost associated with panel ready appliances due to having to order a custom door separately from the unit itself, this type of dishwasher has several advantages for homeowners looking for a consistent look between their appliances. Additionally, because many manufacturers give warranties on these types of products that may come in handy should any repairs be needed in future years after purchase.

Pros of Panel Ready Dishwashers

Panel ready dishwashers offer a range of unique benefits, making them an increasingly popular option for modern kitchens. One of the primary advantages is that panel ready dishwashers blend with your existing cabinetry and other appliances, making them a great choice for those seeking a seamless appearance. This offers great flexibility in terms of design and allows you to customize the look of your kitchen.

Additionally, panel ready dishwashers often provide a wider range of features and options than their traditional counterparts such as adjustable racks, multi-stage wash systems, and additional cycles that can improve cleaning performance or save energy. Lastly, due to their fully customized design they often are more aesthetically pleasing than typical off-the-shelf units.

Customizable appearance to match kitchen cabinets

Panel-ready dishwashers offer a unique level of customization for a more seamless integration into your kitchen. With these models, you can choose from a variety of compatible panels and handles to create a unified look that matches your existing cabinets and appliances.

Although assembly may require some extra work, it pays off in the end by providing you with a more polished look than standard dishwasher finishes. From stainless steel and white to black, brushed nickel and more, you can find panel-ready options suited to fit any style kitchen.

III. Cons of Panel Ready Dishwashers

Panel ready dishwashers are especially practical if you’re looking to match your appliances perfectly. However, they do come with a few downsides.

Cost – Panel ready dishwashers are more expensive than standard models. The most economical models may still cost twice as much as a basic machine, and prices can go up quickly when you factor in the additional cost of customizing it to match your other kitchen appliances.

Time-consuming installation – Installing a panel ready dishwasher takes more time than installing a standard model because it requires customization for the existing cabinetry and wiring components specific to the manufacturer’s systems.

May not fit older kitchens – Panel ready dishwashers may not fit in kitchens from previous decades due to having different dimensional requirements for mounting and opening/closing doors. It is important to measure thoroughly before selecting a panel ready model for an older home or renovation project.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Panel Ready Dishwasher

Choosing a panel ready dishwasher involves more than just finding the right model to fit the space, which is why it’s important to consider all the factors before deciding. Here are some important factors to take into account when selecting a panel ready dishwasher:

Installation Type:When selecting a panel ready dishwasher, it’s important to consider how you want the unit to look once installed. If you want to conceal your dishwasher behind custom cabinetry, built-in models are ideal. If you want an appliance that doesn’t require additional cabinet space, countertop models offer quick and easy installation options.

Size:Before choosing a panel ready dishwasher, make sure you know what size your current appliances are so you can make sure that the model you select fits in the available space.

Capacity:Panel ready dishwashers come in a range of capacities for different sized households. Choose one with enough capacity for your needs — typically 16 place settings — in order to ensure it is sufficiently water efficient without compromising on cleaning power or capacity.

Features & Options:Panel ready dishwashers come with various features and options such as adjustable racks, filter systems and smart programs that let you customize washing cycles according to specific items being washed. Check what each model has on offer and compare it against your requirements before making a purchase decision.

Price Range:Panel ready dishwashers come with built-in convenience, but they often cost more than standard units due to their added customization options and higher grade materials used in construction. This means that price should be factored into consideration when making your choice between various models available on the market.

Size and capacity

The size of dishwashers, in general, also can determine their capacity. The standard size dimensions for dishwashers are generally 24”W X 34 ½” H X 24”D. However, with some panel ready models, you have the option to have a custom fit that gives you up to between 3-4 inches of additional width for taller items such as stemware and aluminum trays. This can be beneficial if you need extra room or plan to entertain large groups.

When it comes to dishwasher capacity, it is suggested that consumers pay close attention to the number of place settings stated in the capacity specification or ratings of a particular product. Place settings are defined as one full load of dishes per person: A dinner plate, soup bowl dessert plate and cup/mug make up one setting; for each additional item a larger capacity may be needed. For example standard measure dishwashers typically range from 12-18 place settings while larger models may offer around 20-22 place settings on average. This additional size and capacity can help with busy households or large groups who tend to enjoy meals together often.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is an important factor to consider when shopping for a Panel Ready Dishwasher. Generally speaking, panel ready dishwashers are designed for energy-efficiency and can use about the same amount of power as their standard counterparts. However, because energy efficiency depends on the resistance of electrical components during operation, manufacturers’ specs may vary widely.

The most efficient panels are those which have been tested and certified by Energy Star®, an independent program run by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). As such, if you want your dishwasher to be as efficient as possible, look for one that has been certified by this program. Additionally, when shopping for a panel ready dishwasher, avoid any unit with low-cost parts that may impact performance and efficiency in the long run.

For more information on how to choose an energy-efficient unit for your specific needs, consult a local appliance technician or contact your local energy provider.

Maintenance and Care of Panel Ready Dishwashers

Owning a panel ready dishwasher comes with both advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into consideration. The following is a brief overview of some of the pros and cons associated with owning a panel-ready dishwasher.


  • Customizable; panels come in various colors, materials, designs and finishes to match the décor of your kitchen perfectly.
  • Easy to maintain; since there’s no external door to worry about, upkeep is relatively easy.
  • Energy efficient; many models can qualify for rebates or incentives from power companies due to their energy efficiency ratings.
  • More capacity than traditional built-in dishwashers; some models have a third rack or tines that stow away when not in use for added convenience.


  • Panels can be expensive to purchase; depending on the quality and design, you may be charged extra for specialized panels.
  • Difficult installation; these types of dishwashers must be wired and connected properly to ensure safe operation which requires experience with electrical systems (consulting an experienced electrician may be necessary).
  • Require special care; since the exterior panel draws heat away from the dishwasher, electronic parts within may fail faster unless they are routinely checked and maintained by a professional technician according to manufacturer’s directions.


To wrap up, panel ready dishwashers can offer a lot of benefits for the homeowner. From its custom look that allows you to seamlessly blend it into your kitchen cabinets, to its energy efficiency and quiet operation, a panel ready dishwasher is a great investment for any modern home.

While its initial cost may be higher than a standard model, the long-term savings in energy costs and general satisfaction make it worth the price. However, it is important to remember that there are some potential risks associated with this type of unit, such as installation issues and repairs.

Be sure to do your research before purchasing and always read your dishwasher’s manual thoroughly before use!

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