What Side of the Sink Should a Dishwasher Be On?

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A dishwasher can be installed on either side of a sink.
A dishwasher can be installed on either side of a sink. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When you're planning to remodel your kitchen, you have more important considerations than the color of the cabinets or the style of countertop. You also need to decide on the placement of key kitchen appliances, including which side of the sink the dishwasher will be on.

Sink and Dishwasher

Your sink and dishwasher must be placed close together for purely functional reasons, involving plumbing and drain lines. By putting your dishwasher next to your sink, you don’t need to run new plumbing lines to the opposite side of your kitchen. Your dishwasher drains into your sink, so it must be close enough so you aren’t running a drain line through several feet of wall. Aside from the need to be side-by-side, it doesn’t matter which is on the right or the left.

Work Triangle

The work triangle refers to the relationship between the key areas in your kitchen where you work. The triangle is the border around the main area where you work. For example, you take a bunch of spinach out of your refrigerator, wash it at the sink, then saute it on top of the stove. Afterward, you wash dishes and put leftovers into the refrigerator. When choosing where to place your dishwasher, you don't want to disrupt the work triangle. This will increase the amount of time you spend walking back and forth across your kitchen.

Handedness

Your handedness can determine which side of the sink on which you place your dishwasher. Right-handed people typically find it easier to have the dishwasher to the right of the sink. You can lean over and use your dominant hand to place a glass on the top rack. Left-handed people usually prefer a dishwasher on the left of the sink. Because the majority of the population is right-handed, putting the dishwasher to the right is a safer bet when it come to reselling your home.

Functionality

The layout and size of your kitchen can determine where the dishwasher goes. If your kitchen is narrow, you can’t have the dishwasher and oven range directly across from each other. When they're too close, the doors smack into each other if you try to open them at the same time. If your sink is in the corner of your kitchen, placing the dishwasher on the adjoining wall not only leaves you with dead space in your lower cabinet area, but it prevents you from opening the dishwasher and reaching under your sink at the same time.

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References

  • Architectural Drafting and Design; Alan Jefferis and David A. Madsen
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen; Gloria Graham Brunk, Sue Kovach and Michael Jones
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