A decibel measures the power of sound. The louder the noise, the higher the decibel level as well as the discomfort to your ears -- think of a hairdryer or a motorcycle starting. As a major home appliance, the dishwasher is frequently on and running; it can produce varying decibel levels depending on the type and brand of the unit.

Housework: young woman putting dishes in the dishwasher
credit: ViktorCap/iStock/Getty Images
To minimize excess noise, select a quiet dishwasher in homes with open floor plans.

Dishwasher Decibel Levels

Check the decibel ratings when shopping for a dishwasher -- especially if your home has an open floor plan or your living room is adjacent to the kitchen -- to determine the noise level of the unit you want to buy. The decibel rating is usually listed on the manufacturer's website or in the dishwasher's instruction manual. A rating of 45 decibels or lower is virtually silent, and ratings over 50 decibels are equivalent to normal conversation levels. The main factor affecting the noise level of a dishwasher is the amount of insulation installed around the dishwasher tub. Newer dishwasher models and units featuring thick insulation will have the quietest noise levels when running.