What to Do If Dishwasher Doesn’t Fit Under the Counter

Is your dishwasher too big or too small? If so, what can you do to fix the problem? How do you get a dishwasher to fit under the counter? You’re not alone if you seek answers to these questions.

And the good news is that you will get your answers here. So, keep reading.

What to Do If My Dishwasher is Too Small/Big?

If your dishwasher is too big or too small for the space installed, there are options for resolving the problem. First, disconnect the power cord of the dishwasher and water hoses to raise the dishwasher. The dishwasher’s feet may also be adjustable to fit the space.

To raise the dishwasher, place a wood plank under its legs. This raises the machine, making it easier to slide into the rough opening. 

Another option is to raise the door of the dishwasher. The door stands higher than the rest of the machine, hiding the gap between the dishwasher and the countertop. 

If you’re not comfortable with this option, you can ask the seller to install a toe plate, but you’ll need to install the dishwasher yourself.

If you’re unsure about the size of your kitchen, it’s a good idea to take measurements of the space. 

Choosing the proper size dishwasher will change the kitchen’s look, so check the space between the machine and the wall. A gap may distract your guests and cause debris to fall into the space. 

Furthermore, the gap will increase the sound of the dishwasher when in use. Filling this gap will make the dishwasher look more appealing.

How Do I Fill the Gaps on the Side of My Dishwasher?

To fill the gaps on the side of your dishwasher, read this section.

Step 1: Measure the dishwasher’s base and determine the height and width of the gaps. If the gaps are too broad, you may need to lower the dishwasher or adjust the appliance’s feet. 

Step 2: Install a new panel to the dishwasher’s toe-kick space. If you’re unsure which option to choose, you can buy a piece of plywood that fits perfectly in the gaps.

Step 3: Alternatively, you may have to raise the dishwasher. In most cases, a dishwasher has adjustable feet that make it easier to fit into the rough opening. 

Step 4: Raise the dishwasher’s door to close the gap, which makes the gap disappear. 

The dishwasher door is also higher than the rest of the machine, hiding the gap between it and the countertop.

How Do I Get My Dishwasher To Fit Under the Countertop?

The first step in installing a dishwasher under the counter is to remove the old appliance. You can do this by following the instructions on the packaging. Make sure to read the installation instructions before beginning. 

You can also use our step-by-step guide to get your dishwasher under the countertop.

Step 1: Loosen the clips by using pliers or end wrenches. Dishwasher door clips should be close to the bottom of the counter. Do not extend the screws through the top of the countertop.

Step 2: After you’ve figured out the height of the counter, you need to determine how tall your dishwasher is. Standard built-in dishwashers sit approximately 34.5 inches off the floor, requiring a small gap slide under the counter. 

Step 3: If there’s no gap, turn the feet counterclockwise to raise or lower the dishwasher’s height. Once done, you can reduce the dishwasher by using the legs and shims.

Do All Dishwashers Fit the Same?

The height of the opening for a dishwasher varies, so take measurements both on the front and back of the door. You can measure the depth of your countertop by tracing a straight line from the floor to the lower part of the opening. 

The dishwasher’s height may vary slightly depending on floor layers, but the bottom part of the opening should be at least 34 inches. Note both measurements since not all dishwashers have the exact dimensions.

The height of the dishwasher is the least important measurement, as many fit under a cabinet. The size of under-counter dishwashers, for example, is about 24 inches deep by 35 inches high. 

The dishwasher size is only about 23 5/8 inches by 34 inches, but the plumbing and wires can extend a few inches, requiring extra space. Before purchasing a dishwasher, it is essential to ensure the cabinet has enough clearance space.

Should There Be a Gap Between the Dishwasher and the Countertop?

There should be a gap between the dishwasher and the countertop for airflow. Dishwashers need a gap above the circulation motor for airflow. Otherwise, they could overheat. 

In addition, limited airflow can damage the dishwasher. The dishwasher’s feet can be adjusted to the desired height, so you may want to measure the height of your sink first before adjusting the dishwasher’s feet. But if the dishwasher is too high, you may have to rip out some tiles or feet.

It is advisable to leave at least a half-inch gap between the dishwasher and the countertop. Once sufficient, the gap will become less of an eyesore.

If unsure of the gap, you can raise the dishwasher using a toe plate or shims. Make sure the gap is the exact size of the dishwasher’s door. You can also paint the wood to match the theme of your kitchen. 

But remember, this is not a permanent solution. Adjusting the dishwasher is difficult, so make sure it fits into your kitchen before deciding on a solution.

Is the Dishwasher Supposed to Stick Out?

A dishwasher is perfectly normal to “stick out” when you open the door or pull out the rack. And this rarely affects the performance of your dishwasher. It makes it easier to pull dishes out of the machine, open the door, maneuver the appliance around the area, and press the settings buttons.

If the dishwasher doesn’t fit flush with the countertop, you can raise it using wood planks or shims. In most cases, the dishwasher will not flush with the countertop if it doesn’t fit properly. 

If the gap is over one inch, it’s better to use fillers. Hardwood fillers can span this gap. If the gap is more comprehensive than an inch, you can use wood to build a platform to put the dishwasher on.


Dishwashers vary in height, width, and depth. Some dishwashers do not fit into the cavity of a cabinet, while others fit within one. They may also have a finished panel on the door, matching your cabinetry or preferences. 

But there are plenty of ways to maximize space when using a dishwasher. Fortunately, we have done justice to it in this article. 

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