How to Convert a Built-in Dishwasher to a Freestanding One

open dishwasher
  • 8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 400
What You'll Need
Water-supply line hose
Discharge-line hose
Adaptors and tools for installing hoses
1-by-6 foot board
Metal panels and/or cabinetry (optional)

A built-in dishwasher may come with your new or existing home, but you may wish it was a portable, freestanding unit, instead. With the right instructions and tools, converting your built-in dishwasher to a freestanding unit can be both cheap and easy.

Step 1 – Partially Disassembling It

Remove your built-in dishwasher from its storage space to prepare for conversion. Be sure that you disconnect it from the power source before completing any steps that follow. If your dishwasher is a plug-in unit, remove the plug from the socket. If your unit is hard-wired, shut off the power from the breaker panel. Once this is done, you will need to disconnect all wires from the power source.

Step 2 – Converting Hoses and Adapters

You will need to attach two different hoses, that you can find at most appliance stores, to convert your dishwasher. One hose will be dedicated as a water supply line, and the other will be the discharge line. Depending on the length you want, you may need to extend your hoses.

The discharge line will hook onto your sink or another draining system. Check with the appliance store for specific adapters and tools for installing the hoses. Ensure that you have the proper grade of hose, too. Otherwise, the unit’s hot-water could injure you during supply and discharge.

Step 3 – Building a Mobile Platform

Next, build a platform out of lumber to mount your dishwasher on. When building the platform, ensure you properly measure the dimensions of your dishwasher so that it fits securely. Add casters, so that the unit is easy to move from one point to another.

Attaching the Dishwasher

Attach the dishwasher with the same type of mounting screws that the machine had pre-conversion, or the portable unit could tip over. To add extra security against tipping, install a 1-by-6 foot board capable of sliding out from underneath the unit. In addition, build a post the heavy dishwasher door can rest on.

Step 4 – Adding a Cabinet

You can build a complete, freestanding cabinet around your converted unit to serve as a kitchen island for a multi-purpose unit. While wood is an acceptable material to build the cabinet with, metal panels can also be used to give your cabinet a more modern, updated look.