The Difference Between a Tall-Tub Dishwasher and a Regular Dishwasher

As technology continues to evolve, the process of shopping for a dishwasher can be intimidating. Not only are there regular dishwashers and tall tub dishwashers, but there are various models that come in different heights, widths, with or without stainless steel features and different energy-saving cycles. At the bare minimum, you need to know the difference between a regular dishwasher and a tall tub dishwasher before you make your purchase.

Clean dishes in dishwasher machine after washing cycle
credit: Mikhail Artamonov/iStock/GettyImages
As technology continues to evolve, the process of shopping for a dishwasher can be intimidating.

Standard Dishwasher Cost and Capacity

The most important thing to know about a standard dishwasher is the size. A standard dishwasher can hold up to 12 place settings, and they have a kick plate underneath the door. The kick plate is attached to the bottom of the dishwasher, and makes it easier to install and to keep up maintenance. According to Kitchens, a standard size dishwasher is about 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches high. Most models have adjustable-height legs, and you can sometimes even find models that are a bit narrower, shallower or shorter. Most people like to have standard dishwashers if they're only using it for simple needs.

Most of the time, standard dishwasher users only wash their dishes once a day and don't wash a ton of dishes. If you're looking to purchase a standard dishwasher, it will run you anywhere from $200 for a basic model standard dishwasher to $1,000 for a state-of-the-art dishwasher. If you're looking for a midrange, standard dishwasher that is a bit more elevated than a basic dishwasher, but not as high tech as a top-of-the-line dishwasher, you may pay between $400 to $500.

Standard Dishwasher Pros and Cons

According to Kitchens, some standard dishwasher pros include easy installation and the maintenance. Also, they work really well for smaller households that don't run a lot of dishwasher loads. The service plate on a standard dishwasher is located beneath the dishwasher door. This makes it easier to install and repair because the parts are easier to access. The installation and repairs on a standard dishwasher tend to be less expensive compared with a tall tub dishwasher.

For some, the compactness of a standard dishwasher can be a hassle to deal with on the daily. Standard dishwashers don't have a lot of space, so they hold fewer items. If you have a lot of taller items or wash a lot of dishes, you're most likely going to want a tall tub dishwasher. Also, a con of the kick plate is that it takes up significant space. In addition to not having as much space, if you are particular about gadget noises, you might not like the standard dishwasher. They are usually louder than tall tub dishwashers because of the kick plate.

Tall Tub Dishwasher

People tend to prefer tall tub dishwashers because they are super capacity models. According to Kitchens, not only do they have more space, but the increase in space doesn't necessarily make the size of the overall dishwasher larger. It can still fit underneath a standard kitchen countertop. Since there isn't a kick plate at the bottom of the dishwasher, tall tub dishwashers can hold up to 16 place settings. Also, if you have large items such as cookie sheets, larger glasses, bigger pots and pans or vases, they will fit comfortably in the dishwasher.

Tall tub dishwashers can price anywhere from $200 to $1,000, or more depending on what type of model you get. The average price of a midrange model will be anywhere from $500 to $700. Depending on whether you want a basic, midrange or high tech tall tub dishwasher will dictate how much you're going to pay for one.

Tall Tub Pros and Cons

The biggest pro of having a tall tub dishwasher is definitely the space it provides. These dishwashers can hold larger items that a standard tub can't, and they're beyond roomy. They also run quieter than a standard dishwasher because they don't have a kick plate.

Some cons about the tall tub dishwashers are that they tend to cost a bit more than a standard dishwasher and can be more challenging to install and repair. Since they don't have a kick plate, it's a bit more expensive to install and repair because you can't readily get to the working parts of the dishwasher.

Energy Efficient Dishwashers

According to the Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, as much as 80 percent of the energy dishwashers use goes to heating water. That's why it's so vital that you use your dishwasher responsibly. If you're installing a new dishwasher, many of these newer models can save energy by using their own water. By saving water, you're essentially saving the energy that is used to pump and treat it as well as heat and clean it in your city's wastewater facility. According to the Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, up to 50 percent of a city's energy bill goes to supplying the water and cleaning it after usage. That means when you're buying a new dishwasher, try to find something that has more efficient operating cycles.

Also, when shopping, look for the EnergyGuide label. According to Energy Star, dishwashers have a label that estimates how much electricity, in kilowatt hours, is needed every year to run an appliance and heat the water. The guide bases this on the yearly cost of gas or electric water heating, and this is calculated by washing six loads a week using the normal setting. When purchasing your next dishwasher, you want to look for features that state the dishwasher is energy saving or has short wash cycles. In the end, you'll be using less water and saving energy.

Additional Dishwasher Energy Saving Tips

Most modern dishwashers, such as the Bosch dishwasher or the Whirlpool dishwasher, are pretty powerful compared to older models. That means you won't have to hand wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, helping you save water. If you have a tall tub dishwasher, then, most likely, you won't have to run many loads.

Make sure you don't overpack your dishwasher, though, because then your dishes won't be cleaned, and you'll have to run extra loads. Sometimes when washing dishes, try to pick the shortest cycle and let your dishes air dry. In some models, there is an energy saver feature when it comes to drying dishes, so look out for that as well.


Allanah Dykes

Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer and her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, Popsugar, Complex, Gurl, The Kitchn, HelloGiggles, Revelist, and Food 52.