Should a dishwasher be left or right of the sink? Kitchen designers urge you to consider these 3 points before deciding

Discover the optimal placement for this household appliance to enhance the overall flow of your kitchen

There are so many things to consider when planning a kitchen that you probably never anticipated. Cabinetry style and color typically come first, but then you're faced with practical decisions for the most efficient configuration possible, including the difficult question of where to put your dishwasher. 

A topic you may have never considered has now been promoted to the top of your list. Of course, a dishwasher should always be close to your sink, and while there may be certain limitations when it comes to the exact placement, it's difficult to know whether it should go to the left or the right of your sink. The more you try to think about which is more intuitive, the harder the decision becomes. 

We didn't realize what a complex question this was, but it really can define the flow of your modern kitchen. To find out the optimal placement to enhance your space we spoke with some kitchen experts, and they offered three key points to consider.

3 points to consider before installing a dishwasher

A close up of a dishwasher under a marble countertop

(Image credit: Matthew Delphenich)

Like most kitchen interior questions, there's no simple answer to where you should put a dishwasher. There are a multitude of factors to consider that will lead you to determine the best possible placement for your kitchen. 'In short, placement of a dishwasher to the left or right of a sink often depends on your kitchen layout and personal preferences,' says interior designer and brand ambassador for Hestan, Kerrie Kelly.

Practical considerations such as which is your dominant hand are also at play, as well as the aesthetic and even the Feng Shui mistakes to avoid. 'Other factors like the kitchen's design, available space, and the flow of your work triangle should also be considered to ensure the most efficient and functional arrangement,' advises Kerrie. Below is a list of things to consider if you want to achieve the optimal placement for your dishwasher.

1. Practical considerations

A kitchen with a farmhouse style sink in soapstone and dark countertop

(Image credit: Kelly Hopter Interiors)

Practical considerations will of course play into the left or right of the sink debate. 'If you are right-handed, placing it to the right of the sink may be more convenient,' says Kerrie. 'This allows for easy transfer of dishes from the sink to the dishwasher.' 

The floorplan of your kitchen, and whether your sink is in the corner of an L-shaped countertop, will also determine where you put your dishwasher. Its placement plays an important role in enhancing your kitchen experience, and creating a kitchen layout to support the flow of your space will transform the way you are able to enjoy your kitchen. If you don't want to spend money fitting new plumbing, remember that you'll also be limited on where you can put your dishwasher. 

2. Visual aesthetic

A kitchen with marble countertops, dark cabinetry, and a steel dishwasher

(Image credit: Matthew Delphenich)

Another important factor to bear in mind is the visual impact the placement of your dishwasher has on your kitchen. 'I would advise trying to create an appliance color balance,' says kitchen specialist at Fabuwood Cabinets, Moe Soloff. If you have a steel dishwasher, for example, it's a good idea to place it opposite your steel oven range for a balanced look. 'Distributing stainless steel and other finishes evenly throughout the kitchen to avoid visual clutter and maintain aesthetic balance,' Mo adds.

Whether you have a stainless steel kitchen or a modern farmhouse kitchen style, balance remains key. Ultimately though, there are no hard and fast rules about where to place your dishwasher. Following these guidelines will simply help you to find the optimal place for you individual space. 

3. Feng Shui 

a modern kitchen with concrete-style countertops

(Image credit: Silestone for Cosentino)

Feng Shui aims to restore harmony in your home and so, unsurprisingly, kitchen Feng Shui rules have a say in where to place your dishwasher. 'In Feng Shui, the arrangement of kitchen appliances should promote harmony, balance, and a smooth flow of energy within the space,' says Katrina Smith, Feng Shui expert and founder of Kitchensity.

There are no specific rules in Feng Shui that explicitly say where the dishwasher should be placed, however, there are some guidelines that suggest the best place for your kitchen. 'Feng shui principles also underscore the importance of the flow of energy, known as chi,' says Katrina. 'It's essential to ensure there are no obstructions or clutter between the sink and dishwasher, as these can disrupt the energy flow.' 

It might seem obvious, but having your sink and dishwasher on opposite sides of your kitchen island is a bad idea. both practically and according to Feng Shui principles. There should be a seamless flow between the counter, sink, and dishwasher to enhance the energy flow and promote harmony in your space.

Each side is also associated with a specific element. 'In Feng Shui, the left side is often associated with the Wood element and the right side with the Fire element,' says Feng Shui expert and founder of Feng Shui Nexus, Victor Cheung. 'To maintain a balanced energy in your kitchen, it's advisable to place the dishwasher on the same side as the sink that corresponds to the dominant element of your kitchen,' he explains. This means that if your kitchen has a predominantly wood theme, placing the dishwasher to the left of the sink can create a more harmonious environment.

Ready to upgrade your dishwasher placement? Keep these three points in mind and you're sure to find the most efficient space possible. 

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.