Things You'll Need
Hooking up a dishwasher in the recessed space between cabinets may not always result in a perfect fit. When the space around a dishwasher is too big, it can lead to a noisier appliance because the gaps allow the sound of the motor out. Cosmetically, the dishwasher will look out of place if it seems too small for the space. The solution is to frame the opening so that it fits the dishwasher, using filler strips stained to match the cabinetry.
Make sure the dishwasher is centered between the two cabinets. Measure the space on each side between the dishwasher edges and the cabinets.
Purchase filler strips at a home improvement store that are wide enough to cover the space. Choose a wood stain that best matches the color of your cabinets.
Cut the filler strips so they are the same height as the cabinet front. Don't include the toe kick of the cabinets in your measurements.
Stain the filler strips and let them dry completely, about 24 hours. Screw L-brackets to the top and bottom of each filler strip, using 1/2-inch wood screws. The brackets should be oriented horizontally so that they can be attached to the side cabinets. Drill pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood.
Unscrew the anchor screws from the dishwasher that secure it to the countertop. Pull the dishwasher out of the space so you can access the walls around it.
Screw the L-brackets on each filler strip into the wood of the cabinet inside the dishwasher space. The filler strips should rest securely between the cabinet edge and where the dishwasher will fit.
Push the dishwasher into place and center it so the filler strips just touch the edges. Screw the anchor screws back into place under the countertop.
While you can also glue filler strips to the inside of the cabinets, it makes removing them to repair or replace the dishwasher very difficult. With L-brackets, the strips can come off easily.
Many cabinetry companies cut extra filler strips to use during installation. If you know the installers for your cabinets, call to see if you can pick up any strips that belong to your style of cabinetry.
Jenna Marie has been editing and writing professionally since 1993. Her editing background includes newspapers, magazines and books, and her articles have appeared in print and on websites such as Life123 and AccessNurses. She specializes in writing about parenting, frugal living, real estate, travel and food. Her nonfiction book was published in 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Utah State University.