Can I Put a Stove Top Above an Undercounter Dishwasher?

Installing a dishwasher and a stand-alone stove top takes some consideration, especially if you have a small kitchen. You need to know how much space each unit requires if you are considering placing the appliances close to each other. You also need to consider the safety issues of having a dishwasher and a cooktop near each other in the kitchen.

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It's not safe to have a dishwasher and a cooktop too close together.

Stove Top

The stove top needs insulation on the underside. The insulation must be at least 1/4-inch-thick millboard and sheet metal must cover the insulation. Cooktops require varying amounts of empty space underneath to provide enough room for the ductwork, blower and vent housing. Some cooktops are designed to be installed above a built-in oven and require slightly less space, but 5 inches is about the minimum and some models require as much as 18 inches of clearance underneath.

Built-In Dishwasher

Built-in dishwashers sit directly under the countertop and are, in fact, attached to the underside of the counter to avoid tipping forward when the door is open. The distance from the underside of the countertop and the top of the dishwasher must be at least 1/2 inch so that you can operate the controls without the counter being in the way. Dishwashers must be installed within 10 feet of a sink so that the water drains correctly. The wall behind the dishwasher should not have any wires or pipes, except what is needed for the dishwasher.

Heat and Condensation

Any cabinets or other kitchen appliances above, below or on the sides of the stove top must be able to tolerate heat of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. When you open a dishwasher after the wash cycle or immediately after the drying cycle, the steam pours out of the door. Steam and condensation should never be present around a cooktop, especially an electric model.

Safety Concerns

Besides the room each appliance needs, there are safety concerns about placing a cooktop and a dishwasher near each other, much less on top of each other. If you are cooking, you don't want to have a dishwasher producing even more heat in the area. Another concern is bending over to take something out of the dishwasher while a burner on the cooktop is hot. You could place your hand on the hot cooktop and burn your hand, knock a pan off the cooktop or parts of your hair or clothes could touch the hot burner and catch fire.