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Full Console vs. Fully Integrated Dishwashers

Open Dishwasher Machine Full With Clean Plates, Glasses And Kitchenware After Washing Cycle. Built-In Dishwashing Machine In Modern Kitchen.

Today, most homeowners love the convenience of owning a dishwasher. But when shopping for a dishwasher, you should research it before buying any model. As such, it is advisable to consider critical factors like size, style, noise level, and exterior options to match your interior layout.

The two most popular dishwashers are full console and fully integrated dishwashers. So, what are the differences between full consoles and fully integrated dishwashers?


Full console dishwashers are the traditional model that comes detached from the console and can fit into a selected spot in your kitchen. In contrast, a fully integrated dishwasher is built for the surrounding cabinets and space.

Both dishwashers are fantastic but differ in features such as:

  • Style
  • Control panel
  • Affordability
  • Easy to install
  • Noise level
  • Safety.

A full console or fully integrated dishwasher is not more effective at cleaning than the other. Instead, these two dishwashers allow you to choose what best suits your preference for the aesthetics of your kitchen.

This article explains the differences between full consoles and fully integrated dishwashers. At the end of the article, it would be easy to choose whether a full console or fully integrated dishwasher is ideal for your home.

Differences Between Full Console and Fully Integrated Dishwashers

Whether you are shopping for a new dishwasher or considering upgrading your existing one, knowing the differences in its features, such as size in place settings, noise level, style, and ease of installation, amongst others, will help you choose the right one for you.

Below, we will walk you through the benefits and drawbacks of each dishwasher so you can align it with your values and make the best choice.

1. Style

Open Door Of Built-In Dishwasher. Kitchen With Integrated Appliances. Plates And Dishes In The Dishwasher.

A full console dishwasher is a freestanding unit with a simple design you can buy and place anywhere in your kitchen. So, when shopping for this dishwasher, you should look for one that best suits your kitchen design and layout. Or you could renovate the kitchen to adapt this dishwasher.

However, fully integrated dishwashers are built into your kitchen cabinet. As such, it flushes with the surrounding, which is an excellent choice if you value a minimalistic appearance. In most cases, a fully integrated dishwasher stays well hidden from view.

2. Control Panel

Female Hand Is Switching On Off A Modern Built-In Dishwasher

Another difference between these two dishwashers with the control panel. The panel of a full console dishwasher is exposed, which can be a benefit and flaw. Because of the position of its controls, they are easy to access.

On the other hand, the fully integrated dishwasher has its control panel concealed. Its design makes it not the most straightforward dishwasher to use.

Except you are familiar with how it works, it’s common for people to get confused about how to operate a fully integrated dishwasher.

3. Affordability

A Hand Holding A Handful Of Twenty Us Dollars, On Blue Background.

The total cost to have either of these units working in your kitchen is another thing to consider when differentiating them.

Generally, the full console dishwasher is more affordable to install in your kitchen. As a freestanding unit, all you have to do is purchase the unit. Installing the water inlet and drain are easy DIY projects you can embark on.

However, the fully integrated dishwasher is pricy to have in the kitchen. Because of the added panels and other fittings, manufacturers of this dishwasher often place the price significantly higher than the freestanding version.

So, if the price is important to you, go for the full console dishwasher. But if you prioritize kitchen aesthetics, it is best to go for the fully integrated dishwasher.

4. Easy To Install

A Man Or Service Worker In Special Clothing Installs, Disassembles Or Performs Maintenance Of A Dishwasher Built Into The Kitchen Furniture.

The ease of installing the unit is another significant difference between these two units. The full console dishwasher is easier to install than the fully integrated one. You can often handle the installation procedure of the full console dishwasher.

But the fully integrated models are not only expensive, but they are hard to install. You will often need the assistance of an expert to fit the fully integrated dishwasher in your kitchen.

Because of the design of fully integrated models, it requires more work to carve out a suitable space in your kitchen cabinet to fit it.

5. Noise Level

Young Beautiful Woman At Home Covering Ears With Fingers With Annoyed Expression.

The amount of noise these two dishwashers produce is different. According to the EPA, there are regulations on the acceptable level of noise your domestic appliance produces shouldn’t be more than 45 to 52 dB depending on the time of the day. The full console dishwasher is noisier than the fully integrated unit.

The difference in noise level is that the fully integrated dishwasher is concealed, and most of the noise is absorbed by the cabinet, whereas the full console dishwasher is not.

6. Safety

Safety First Symbols

Most full console dishwashers have a pocket handle, giving kids easy access to the dishwasher. Kids can quickly get their hands on sharp knives and forks in the dishwasher, leading to serious injuries.

Also, the dishwasher may contain detergent, which can cause severe irritation to your kid’s eyes and skin. Also, if your kids put the detergent in their mouth, it could burn the lining of their mouth or the esophagus if swallowed.

Some detergents are very corrosive and dangerous. Also, the exposed control panel in the full console dishwasher makes it easy for kids to access and mess with it.

This can lead to safety issues like electrical arcing, which can cause serious injury.


Now that you know the differences between the full console dishwasher and the fully integrated dishwasher, what’s left is to choose. Based on each dishwasher’s benefits and drawbacks, you can now align them with your value and choose what best suits your needs.

For example, if you are on a low budget and want a high-quality dishwasher that is easy to install and maintain, then the full console dishwasher is perfect.

But if you value the aesthetics of your kitchen and don’t have a strict budget, then the fully integrated dishwasher will give you the looks you are after.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dishwashers Handle Food Chunks?

Modern dishwashers can handle most food chunks. During the washing process, the food chunk gets pulverized into smaller bits that can be carried through the pipes.

But it would help if you did not purposely dump food chunks in the dishwasher, as this can clump up the dishwasher.

What Are Semi-Integrated Dishwashers?

If you find it difficult to choose between the full console and fully integrated dishwasher, the semi-integrated dishwasher might be what you need. It is more like the middle ground between these two dishwashers.

Its design is such that it fits into your kitchen cabinet with only the controls left visible.

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