Dishwasher Buying Guide: Top Control vs. Front Control
Dishwashers are an essential appliance in modern kitchens, but with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. One key factor to consider when shopping for a dishwasher is how it will be installed in your kitchen. There are two main types of dishwasher installations: front control and top control.
Front Control Dishwashers
Front control dishwashers are the more traditional type of dishwasher, with the controls located on the front of the appliance. These types of dishwashers are easy to access and operate, making them a good choice for those who don't want to bend down to reach the controls. Front control dishwashers are also typically less expensive than top control models.
Top Control Dishwasers
Top control dishwashers, on the other hand, have the controls located on the top of the appliance, near the top of the door. These types of dishwashers are becoming more popular as they offer a sleek, modern look that can be a nice addition to a contemporary kitchen. Top control dishwashers are also easier to load and unload, as you don't have to bend down to reach the lower racks. However, they can be more difficult to operate, as you need to reach up to access the controls.
Semi-Integrated vs. Fully Integrated Dishwashers
In addition to front control and top control dishwashers, you may also come across the terms "semi-integrated" and "fully integrated" when shopping for a dishwasher. These terms refer to how visible the dishwasher is in your kitchen.
A semi-integrated dishwasher is one that is partially visible, with the controls and door visible, but the rest of the appliance hidden behind cabinetry. This type of installation is a good compromise between aesthetics and functionality, as you can still easily access the controls and door, but the dishwasher doesn't take up a lot of space in your kitchen.
A fully integrated dishwasher, on the other hand, is completely hidden behind cabinetry, with only the door visible. This type of installation allows for a seamless, streamlined look in your kitchen, but can be more difficult to access and operate. Fully integrated dishwashers may also be more expensive than other types of dishwashers.
Choosing the Right Installation
When choosing between a front control, top control, semi-integrated, or fully integrated dishwasher, it's important to consider your personal preferences, budget, and the layout of your kitchen. Think about how often you'll be using the dishwasher and whether you want it to be more visible or hidden in your kitchen. Consider the size of your dishes and pots and pans, and choose a dishwasher with racks and baskets that can accommodate them. And of course, be sure to check the energy efficiency ratings and noise levels of the dishwasher you're considering, as these can also be important factors in your decision.