Dishwasher Cutout Problem

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Old 11-12-14, 01:28 PM
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Dishwasher Cutout Problem

We moved into our house about 3 months ago and the dishwasher started leaking a week ago. Turns out the seal is bad and the home warranty will cover it. However, the plumber said they won't remove the dishwasher because of how it was installed. Turns out the cutout wasn't tall enough for the dishwasher, so they ended up doing some funky stuff to get it to fit. I was able to remove it after about two hours of swearing last night. I'm attaching a picture of the cutout to help with my post. From the top of the cutout to the tile floor, it's 33 3/8" tall. From the top of the cutout to the plywood it's 34 3/8". My issue is that I haven't been able to find a dishwasher that's shorter than 33 1/2" so I'm honestly not sure what we can do. Any advice is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 11-12-14, 01:32 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

This is a common problem - the tile floor was added after the cabinets were installed, which made the space too short.

The real answer is to build up the floor under the cabinets with plywood so their base is the same height as the tile. Other than that, you're probably looking at removing and then replacing the tiles in front of the DW.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 01:45 PM
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I think I wasn't clear, I apologize. If we build up the floor to match the tile, the opening height would be 33 3/8" tall which I believe is too tall for dishwashers that are sold today. We were at the appliance store and the minimum height requirement was 33 1/2" for every dishwasher we saw.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 01:52 PM
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Sorry, I wasn't clear - I mean building up the floor under the cabinets INCLUDING raising the cabinets themselves.

Right now, the cabinets are sitting below floor level and that's why you have this problem. Bring them up to the same level as the tile and your problem goes away.

Does that make sense?
 
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Old 11-12-14, 02:07 PM
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Oh yeah I see what you're saying...I wouldn't even know where to begin with that. Seems like the cost might be pretty high since there's granite slab and this particular section is L-shaped. I was wondering about removing the feet on a new model but worried that the feet might be needed to help the unit operate correctly in some fashion (airflow issue?) The current dishwasher has the water inlet at the very bottom, so removing the feet isn't an option as it will rest on it and break. I just lowered the feet as low as I can without having the inlet touch the ground and I can just get the dishwasher to slide in the hole. But then it drops another inch and there's a pretty tall gap at the top. I'm thinking of building up the right/left side of the cutout about 3/4" so that the feet will slide on it and give enough clearance for the inlet at the bottom. That would also fix my gap problem at the top. Do you think that would work and if so, would placing a 1x4 on each side of the floor to raise the section 3/4" be smooth enough for it to slide back on? Thanks!
 
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Old 11-12-14, 02:23 PM
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That sounds like a decent plan to me.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 02:24 PM
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Jason,
Slow down. There are a few contradictory measurements above. (Or not)
Raising the cabinets is an option, but as a last resort. This would be very costly.
What is the measurement between the top surface of the floor tile and the underside of counter?
33-3/8"??

And as a side note: Tile guys are to blame.. You do not raise floor without considering consequences.

I may not reply right away, but a 33-3/8" DW should be available.
Also understand that all you need to do is get back of dishwasher into opening. The top of tub and rear legs of DW are shorter than the front panel. So you (and me) are looking for a DW with front panel height of about 33", including legs.
Hope this makes sense.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 02:34 PM
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Handyone,

Yes, the measurement between the top surface of the floor tire and the underside of the counter is 33-3/8". It becomes 34-3/8" from the plywood to the top surface (tile is 1" tall). Thank you!
 
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Old 11-12-14, 03:09 PM
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building up the right/left side of the cutout about 3/4" so that the feet will slide on it and give enough clearance for the inlet at the bottom. That would also fix my gap problem at the top
I've done this many times and it's not easy. Usually I curse the entire time I'm doing it.

Make your water and electrical connections.
Slide DW into opening without the "height adjusters" just yet. This is because tub of DW needs to fit in existing opening, and under counter. And of course it will drop once in.

After DW is fully into opening, place shims under back wheels or legs to raise height. This is hard on newer DW's because there is little room underneath. It can be done with a flashlight and careful placement of shims.

It sounds like you said front of dishwasher will fit, and not only fit, but have a gap at top.
Fully extend front legs, and if needed, place front legs on blocks to get desired height. Place blocks only if they can be hidden by bottom cover.
If the front does fit after shimming back legs, but you can't raise front with blocks because they will show:

Remove DW (once again). Install a 3/4" strip above DW. 1) Needs to match cabinets as close as possible. 2) Attach securely to underside of counter.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 03:26 PM
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"After DW is fully into opening, place shims under back wheels or legs to raise height. This is hard on newer DW's because there is little room underneath. It can be done with a flashlight and careful placement of shims."
This is where I'm visually stuck on the installation process. How do I place the shims under the legs? I just can't figure out how I can access the back in any way. I thought maybe I could raise the front legs all the way up for some clearance, but then the act of raising the back end up to put the shims under it reduces the clearance in the front so that I can't even see under it anymore. Hopefully I'm making sense here :-)
 
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Old 11-12-14, 04:12 PM
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Don't know about your DW but all the one's I have seen there is some room under to put your hand in. If space is to narrow push shim in with a stick
 
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Old 11-12-14, 04:26 PM
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Yeah, I would agree with that, only once I push mine in, it drops another inch because of the tile not being there, so I don't know how accessible it will be. And how will I get the back end up to push the shim under? If I pull forward on the DW, that will just reduce the gap even more right? Thanks.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 04:37 PM
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You are making perfect sense. Like I said, I've done this a million times and it's still hard.

You can make it easier by using thinner shims and building them up in increments, start with a 1 x 4 and work your way up with thinner material, like 1/4" ply cut to 3-1/2" wide. Cut them longer than needed so you don't have to place your hand all the way back to wheels (or legs), but insert them from front and gradually lift the back up. Insert them so sides bump against adjacent cabinets and you can push them back, knowing they will fall under rear legs.
You can pull the front of the DW forward also, from top. This is also tricky on most models, the door will want to open. It's a fine line between pulling the top of the DW enough to lift the back, and at the same time preventing door from opening.
You can do it, but it's not fun.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 04:47 PM
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Sounds like a nightmare! Here's a pic from ground level of how the DW looked before I removed it. You can see how high they raised the front legs. Still not much room under it.

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Old 11-12-14, 04:51 PM
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Show a picture of top gap, it may not make sense to you now, but that's all that matters.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 05:03 PM
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The one picture I don't have! But, I did measure it before removing it and there was 1/4" of a gap with the legs extended as they are in the picture below. Not sure if that helps...
 
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Old 11-12-14, 05:31 PM
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Retract front legs as much as possible, while still being able to insert shims at rear legs. This is so you can grab top front of DW and tip forward.
Cut shims at about 19", so you don't have to look where they land at rear.
You need to be confident shims will rest under rear feet.
Continue adding shims at rear and manually lifting front upwards (don't use legs yet) until you feel DW will be level and plumb. Plumb is more important, level can be adjusted by front legs.
It's trial and error and will take some time. That's why the installers didn't do this for you. It may take all day.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 05:53 PM
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Call me crass, but you got one out, you aught to be able to get one back in. Just need to find a make and model that will work. This is a common problem, the dishwasher manufacturers are aware and build to accommodate. Start with a good search for the correct dishwasher. Stopping at the box stores is not considered a search. You will find what you need.

And don't be so quick to blame the tile guys. I ask every homeowner to consider changing the dishwasher before it becomes captured. I also plan the layout so that a grout line approx. half a tile is in front of the dishwasher....AND I make sure they have some extra tile to fix if they have to bust out the tile to get the dishwasher out. I cover all bases, which is the correct thing to do.

Do you have any extra tile laying around by chance? That would be your solution.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 07:11 PM
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Just found another solution--ADA compliant dishwashers. Apparently they are 32 1/2" in height.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 08:20 PM
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Start with Bosch, they are some of the shortest I've seen. Go from there.
 
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Old 11-13-14, 08:51 AM
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Will do, thanks. And thanks to everyone for the help on this. Much appreciated.
 
 

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