Things You'll Need
2-by-2-inch framing materials
Wood veneer sheets
Shelving or drawer hardware
Taking a dishwasher out of a cabinet space will leave a gap approximately 24 inches wide by 36 inches high by 30 inches deep. The dishwasher unit is typically 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep by 34 1/2 inches high, but counter space can vary in height and depth. Also, restaurant-quality dishwashers are 30 inches wide. Filling this space to look appropriate, whatever your exact dimensions are, will require detailed planning. Most often, the countertop material will still be in place over the gap. Remodeling to make the gap look original to the kitchen design is your goal.
Measure the width, height and depth of the opening after removing the dishwasher. Make sketches of the cabinet base surrounding the opening. Figure out if a covered door, drawers or shelves will replace the gap. Remodel the gap to blend seamlessly with what's already in place. Purchase doors or drawer fronts to match, if possible.
Draw the base cabinet with all finished materials. Sketch the opening with four shelves inside the dishwasher gap, for example. Plan to paint the interior sides and back wall of the dishwasher gap the same color as base cabinets. Line the empty box gap with veneer sheeting, as one choice, or use plywood. Use shelving to match the counter top material if shelves will have no door cover.
Remove all water pipes or plumbing materials in the dishwasher space. Cap off all plumbing and fill any holes with wood filler or putty. Seal any spaces that might allow insects or rodents to enter the kitchen from the back wall or floor area.
Cover the interior sides and back of the gap with 2-by-2-inch framing materials. Glue wood veneer sheets, which are made from real wood versus plywood, to cover the framing structure. Skip this step if your gap is flanked by smooth cabinetry once the dishwasher is gone. Secure hardware for shelves or drawers by using screws installed through the veneer into the 2-by-2-inch framing. Stain the veneer covering of the interior space with stain that matches the cabinet base.
Install the new shelves, drawers or a door front. Change drawer pulls, door knobs or other hardware on all base cabinets and overhead cabinets in the kitchen to tie the remodeled section into the whole room. Purchase hardware to match existing hardware, if possible, for a cheap and easy solution.
Judi Light Hopson
Judi Light Hopson is a national stress management expert and psychology issues writer. Her column on relationships, co-written with a nurse and a psychologist, is distributed by McClatchy Newspapers to over 300 major publications worldwide. Ms. Hopson has written for employee assistance programs that serve over 15% of America’s Fortune 500 companies. links provided below.