What is the difference between fully integrated and partially integrated dishwasher?

In kitchens there are all sorts of devices – including the dishwasher. The fact that its presence greatly facilitates everyday life is certain. If you are planning to buy a new kitchen and are considering whether to buy an under-counter dishwasher, a semi-integrated dishwasher or a fully integrated dishwasher, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of dishwasher. We explain here, among other things, the difference between fully integrated and semi integrated dishwasher.

Differentiation from the under-counter dishwasher

Before we get to the topic of what is the difference between fully integrated and semi integrated dishwashers, we still want to differentiate these built-in dishwashers from the undermount dishwasher.

An under-counter dishwasher, just like a freestanding dishwasher, has side panels and, depending on the model, a cover on the top as well. Also, in these models it is possible to adjust the height of the feet.

On the other hand, this is not possible with fully integrated and partially integrated dishwashers, as they come without panels and feet. Also, the dimensions are usually more compact, so the device can be integrated into a kitchen base cabinet. In contrast to the undercounter dishwasher, fully integrated and partially integrated dishwashers blend in better with the overall look of the kitchen counter. They are properly integrated, while an undercounter dishwasher is “only” slid under the countertop, so it is still very recognizable as a dishwasher from the outside.

Feature undercabinet dishwasherbuilt-in dishwasher
Side panel+
Height adjustable by means of feet+
Base cabinet necessary+
Fitting into the overall kitchen appearance+

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The difference between fully integrated and partially integrated dishwashers

Both types of appliances have class and can be integrated into the household in a meaningful way. The difference between the two dishwashers primarily concerns the appearance and not the technology. You can recognize a partially integrated dishwasher by the fact that it is visible in the kitchen counter. Depending on the variant, the dishwasher is inserted into the kitchen counter and not covered. These devices often have a metal or chrome front. Other models are partially covered. The upper area of the front with the display and controls remains uncovered so that you can easily reach the switches and control panels. So you don’t have to open the door to change a program.

A fully integrated dishwasher £400, on the other hand, disappears completely behind the kitchen front. This means that the entire door of the dishwasher is covered with the look of your kitchen. A uniform image is created and no one guesses behind which cabinet door a dishwasher is hidden. This is one of the reasons why dishwashers do not have a window.

The fully integrated appliances are operated by opening the door slightly. On the upper edge are the usual control panels. So that you can also see whether your machine is still running at all, most models have a blue LED light projected onto the bottom. This allows you to see from a distance what the current status of your dishwasher program is.

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The advantages and disadvantages of the two models

Our interactive dishwasher test shows that both variants are very popular among Webeiten visitors. For everyone, other reasons outweigh why they choose this type or the other – both variants have their advantages and disadvantages.

The biggest advantage of the fully integrated dishwasher is its intimacy. In addition, most devices are very quiet, so you can actually tell the status of the program only by the projected LED light on the floor. Even if you stand next to it, you can usually hear a low hum at most.

With the semi-integrated dishwasher under £500, the visuals aren’t quite as attractive due to the visible button, and the dishwashing sounds are usually a bit more audible. However, operating a semi-integrated appliance is easier because you don’t have to open the dishwasher door separately for it. You can see at a glance how long the rinse cycle will take, making it easy to gauge whether it’s worth waiting so you can use the cutlery in the dishwasher. With a fully integrated appliance, you only have this advantage to a limited extent. Not every device necessarily has a light-emitting diode that automatically projects the remaining time on the kitchen floor. In terms of scope and equipment, both types of appliances hardly differ from each other. The appearance of the fully integrated dishwasher is the big plus and is particularly suitable for open kitchens. If you wash overnight anyway, a missing projection of the remaining runtime shouldn’t bother you either.

Advantages and disadvantages of a semi-integrated dishwasher compared to fully integrated models

  • Easier operation, since the control element is on the front side
  • Dishwasher is visible in the kitchenette
  • Volume usually somewhat higher

Advantages and disadvantages of a fully integrated dishwasher compared to partially integrated models

  • Dishwasher visually disappears behind the kitchen counter, so it gives a nice overall appearance in the kitchen
  • Usually particularly quiet washing and drying
  • For operation, the door must be opened a little extra

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Which model should I choose?

Both devices have their advantages, as well as disadvantages. The look of the fully integrated dishwasher, which completely merges with the kitchen front, is ideal if you attach a lot of importance to the look of your kitchen. However, stainless steel and chrome fronts on semi-integrated dishwashers also make a statement, with a front panel covering only the lower part. If you want to see at a glance whether the dishwasher is in operation or not, the semi-integrated model should be suitable. However, this advantage weakens if you opt for a fully integrated dishwasher with a projected remaining run indicator.

David Shaw

David Shaw

Dishwashers expert with over 10 years of experience. He writes articles and shares his knowledge on many sites. Helps you choose the best (portable, countertop, built-in) dishwashers on this site.

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