Appliance IQ: Kitchen

Integrated vs Semi-Integrated Dishwasher

If you’re shopping for a new dishwasher, be prepared to have to choose between models that are either fully-integrated or semi-integrated.  These terms refer to the location of the controls.

This article will break down the difference between fully-integrated vs. semi- integrated dishwashers, helping you get one step closer to making a decision.

What is a Semi-Integrated Dishwasher?

Someone about to press the "Start/Pause" button on a Whirlpool front-control dishwasher

What’s important to know about semi-integrated dishwashers is that the controls are built into the front of the door panel and are visible from the exterior when the dishwasher door is closed.  

Many semi-integrated dishwashers display their cycle progress through the use of exterior status lights. These dishwashers are also called front control.

What is a Fully-Integrated Dishwasher?

A Whirlpool top-control dishwasher with the door slightly opened.

Fully-integrated dishwashers feature a control panel that is integrated on the top of the door. When the door is closed, the control panel will not be visible and the appliance will have a seamless look with the cabinets.

Fully-Integrated vs. Semi-Integrated Dishwasher: Pros and Cons

One pro for both types of dishwashers is that they can fit under countertops and between cabinets for a fluid, harmonious look in your kitchen.

A pro specifically for fully-integrated dishwashers is that some models are panel-ready, which allows you to customize your dishwasher panel to match your existing cabinetry. 

A pro specifically for semi-integrated dishwashers is that you can easily access the control panel without having to open the door.

A con for semi-integrated models is that they are not available in panel-ready format, meaning that you cannot customize the panel to match your cabinetry as this would cover up the controls.

Need help deciding on your next dishwasher? 
Try our Appliance Finder Tool to narrow down your options:

Whether to purchase a semi or fully-integrated dishwasher for your kitchen should be based on your preferences in terms of aesthetic and how you would like to access your controls.


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