Can You Install a Dishwasher Without a Countertop? (How?)

Can You Install a Dishwasher Without A Countertop

Often, the ideal image of a dishwasher in the kitchen is one standing nicely inside a cabinet space with a countertop protecting its head and a door to even the aesthetic outlook of the kitchen.

But what happens when you have exhausted the kitchen cabinet spaces or do not want to use any of the spaces at the moment?

Can one still install a dishwasher without a countertop? In this article, we will be delving into this topic.

Can You Install a Dishwasher Without a Countertop?

You can have your dishwasher installed in your kitchen without a countertop.

Aside from built-in dishwashers (popularly called integrated dishwashers), there are other options like the portable dishwasher that is placed on any flat surface and operated there or the freestanding dishwasher that is designed with its covering and door to fit in the kitchen design and can be moved from one place to the other.

What is most important is that your dish-cleaning machine is installed in a safe place, it is somewhere close to a power outlet, and advisably close to the sink.

Some specific pros and cons come with using a dishwasher installed without a countertop, and it is essential to weigh your options carefully before going ahead to make a decision. Let’s find out:

Benefits of Having a Dishwasher Installed Without a Countertop

1- It Is Easy to Move

The fear and risk of damaging something while trying to move the dishwasher inside the cabinet or carry it out for a repair are real.

You sure don’t want any important part scratching or clanking against the cabinet structure, but it isn’t so with a dishwasher standing on its own in the kitchen space.

If it is a freestanding dishwasher, it has wheels attached beneath it for easy mobility. And in the case of a countertop dishwasher, you can comfortably carry it in your hands.

2- Super Easy to Reach & Clean

Thoroughly cleaning every inch of a dishwasher, both within and without, anytime you want to is not so easy when it is tucked into a cabinet space.

But the story is not the same with a dishwasher without a countertop. A portable or countertop dishwasher tends to be given more cleaning attention than its counterpart placed inside.

This is because of its easy accessibility and openness. While it’s in the open, you now have the opportunity to clean not only the front (door) of the machine but also the top and sides.

3- Discovering a Fault Is a Breeze

Yes, when the dishwasher is out in the open, it is easier for you to spot a lopsided hose or even discover an unfamiliar sound in the machine early.

When it is tucked under the counter, the chances of discovering anything out of normal might be slim because you are only exposed to the front view of the machine, and it being inside a cabinet may shield the wrong noise or irregularities from being exposed early.

4- The Available Space Does Not Limit It under the Counter

Homeowners are sometimes lucky to have their dishwasher fit inside the available space perfectly like the space was made for it.

While for some, they have to call a carpenter to create another cabinet space for them to move their dishwasher into when they are about to purchase a new dishwasher.

But what do you do when you can’t afford an extra space or money to create one?

Purchasing a dishwasher designed to stand in an open, safe space in the kitchen is the next best option as there’s no form of restraint.

Cons of Having a Dishwasher Installed without a Countertop

1- It Is Susceptible to Damage

Placing your dishwasher in free space rather than under a countertop might put your dishwasher at risk of being damaged from accidental happenings in the kitchen.

When your dishwasher is out in the open rather than under a countertop, there is a higher tendency for it to be toyed with by kids or pets.

2- It Exposes the Environment to Noise

A dishwasher in service often makes a soft humming sound due to water movement and the clanking of utensils in it during a wash.

Constantly hearing that monotonous sound daily might begin to be a bother, especially when you desire to work in silence in the kitchen.

A portable, over-the-counter dishwasher or a freestanding one exposes one to the wash noise, while the built-in dishwasher is shielded by cabinets and does a good job at keeping the noise at bay.

Can a Dishwasher Be Freestanding?

A dishwasher should not be made to be freestanding unless it is designed to be so originally by the manufacturer. This doesn’t connote that you can’t transform an integrated dishwasher into a freestanding one; you sure can, but it isn’t ideal and can come with a lot of complications.

The freestanding dishwasher is a variety of dishwashers. They are produced distinctly from the likes of integrated or under-bench dishwashers.

The freestanding dishwashers were specifically manufactured to be mobile and made standalone, not to be attached permanently to a space (under the counter).

A freestanding dishwasher is made with coverings on the sides and top, unlike the integrated dishwasher that doesn’t have outer hardware and is dependent on the cabinet space to hold it in place.

Transforming an integrated dishwasher to freestanding would involve creating its own cabinet covering, which in some cases, might not be suitable for the dishwasher.

It is best to let it serve its original built-in purpose to avoid future malfunctioning.

Can a Dishwasher Be Hooked Up without a Sink?

Yes, a dishwasher can be set up without being attached to a sink according to conventional practices; however, it might not be such an easy feat. The integrated dishwasher can not be hooked up without a sink, only the freestanding dishwasher.

Taking this task up involves the expertise of a plumber or a knowledgeable DIYer because of its intricacies.

Usually, dishwashers in general, are attached to a sink for a unified water supply and drainage piping system.

But in this case, the ability of the dishwasher to function as an island requires it to have its own drainage system and connect to separate piping for the flow of water supply.

How To Install Dishwasher Without Countertop?

Over-the-counter or Countertop Dishwasher

This variety of dishwashers, as the name implies, is an easy-to-carry, small-sized dishwasher that is often placed over the counter.

It has been designed in a way that it doesn’t need to have a countertop to function properly; rather, it is set on one. All you need is knowledge on how to set it up, and it is ready to be used.


STEP 1: Place the dishwasher in a place close to a power supply outlet and the sink.

STEP 2: Ensure that the power outlet is switched off before connecting the dishwasher plug.

STEP 3: Attach the water supply inlet to the sink’s faucet spout. If there’s a need to use Teflon tape to tighten the hose in, kindly wrap the tape twice and screw it in.

STEP 4: Gently pull the drainage hose and let it lay flat to the sink area.

STEP 5: Then, your dishwasher is set for use: switch on the power supply and power on the machine. Switch on the faucet and set the functionalities.

Portable Dishwashers

A portable dishwasher, also known as the freestanding dishwasher, is a general name for moveable, standalone dishwashers.

This kind does not need any special form of installation and plumbing. With a sink and a power outlet, they are perfectly able to run. A portable dishwasher is not the same as a countertop dishwasher.

To avoid mixing and categorizing them together, you can refer to the portable dishwasher as a freestanding dishwasher.

Does A Portable Dishwasher Work Good?

Yes, a portable dishwasher works perfectly well. It does the job of excellently washing dishes and cookware and has all the major functionalities that an integrated dishwasher has. They are able to take on a lot of workloads and have a large unit.

How Does The Portable Dishwasher Drain?

The portable dishwasher drains into the sink through a unicouple fitting. This unicouple fitting is a two-in-one hose, that is, two hoses that are united by the main opening, and attached to it is a faucet adapter that is usually fixed to the sink’s faucet spout.

It is from this unicouple fitting that water flows into the dishwasher for a wash when switched on and drains out into the sink afterward.

Can You Hook Up Your Portable Dishwasher To Any Faucet?

A portable dishwasher can be hooked into any faucet, as long as your faucet adapter can fit into your faucet either by threading or without it.

And in a situation whereby the faucet adapter that came with the dishwasher does not fit, you can purchase one that is shaped according to the faucet’s size.

Final Thoughts!

We are often acquainted with dishwashers being installed under countertops of different varieties ranging from granite to wood, yet many are not aware of dishwashers that do not need to be attached to a countertop to function and the ones that are designed with their own countertops.

This article highlighted in detail all you need to know about freestanding and countertop dishwashers.

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