Tall Tub vs. Standard Dishwashers

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Dishwashers have become a very important part of kitchens in modern day homes. If you want to relax after a long day but don’t want to have to bother with the dishes, all you have to do is pop the plates, cups, and silverware into your dishwasher and let it do the hard work for you.

Unless customized, dishwashers come in two sizes: standard and tall-tub. They have the same purpose, but what you get for your home depends on what you need the dishwasher for.

When choosing between a tall tub or standard dishwasher, there are several factors to consider. If you buy a machine too big for your needs, you could end up running half loads and impacting your utility bill. For large families of 5-6 persons the tall tub dishwasher is the best choice, whereas the standard dishwasher is the number one choice for a household of 3-4 persons. 

Tall tub vs. standard dishwashers – side by side comparison

Based on our research, this table shows our overall findings when comparing tall tub dishwashers with standard dishwashers.

Tall tubStandard
Capacity:
Large (5-6 persons)
Capacity:
Medium (3-4 persons)
Price:
Expensive
Price:
Less expensive
Noise level:
Quiet
Noise level:
Less quiet

Tall tub dishwashers overview

Tall tub dishwashers are also known as the super-capacity models because they have roomier interiors as compared to standard dishwashers. Even though they have more space, however, this does not necessarily mean that the overall size of the dishwasher is larger. A majority of the tall tub dishwashers can still fit underneath a kitchen countertop with no problem at all.

Tall tub dishwashers are great dishwashers for the family, as they’ll hold a bigger load and therefore turn out to be useful in a large household.

Tall tub dishwashers pros and cons

Are you considering getting a tall tub dishwasher? Before you do, check out some of the pros and cons that come with a tall tub dishwasher:

Pros

Large capacity: Some tall tub dishwashers have a flatter dual-motor construction (instead of a single bulky one) which creates more space inside. Most tall-tub dishwashers also have a wash arm attached to the upper rack, instead of having a cutout at the bottom of the dishwasher for the lower arm. This kind of design leaves the entire bottom rack available for dishes and other tableware.

Because of the large interiors they have—at least 20% more capacity than standard dishwashers—tall tub dishwashers allow you to place more dishes (up to 16 place settings) at one time. This minimizes the number of loads you run and saves you on time, especially if you have a big family or like to entertain guests. You can also put in larger items, such as pots and pans, cookie sheets, vases, and more.

Quieter: Tall tub dishwashers don’t have a kick plate (the decorative panel that covers up the bottom of a dishwasher). The continuous front helps reduce the sound, making it much quieter as compared to standard dishwashers. They are also ideal if you plan to load once or more than once per day.

Cons

More expensive: Cost-wise, tall tub dishwashers are more expensive than the standard-size dishwashers. If you’re planning to get a tall tub dishwasher, you should include a few hundred more dollars in your budget.

Harder to install and repair: The lack of a kick plate makes the working parts of a dishwasher difficult to access, so it can be harder and more expensive to install and repair. Some repairmen might also be unfamiliar with how to fix tall tub dishwashers.

Standard dishwashers overview

If you have a small family or average dishwashing loads (you don’t need to run the dishwasher more than once per day), a standard dishwasher should work fine for you. Though they are smaller in capacity, they are just as sturdy, and are perfect if you only have simple dishwashing needs.

Standard dishwashers pros and cons

Does the standard dishwasher sound perfect for your home? Check out some of the pros and cons before you get one:

Pros

Great for small households: Standard dishwashers work well for smaller households (usually holding up to 12 place settings). Instead of having to wait for a huge dishwasher to fill up or having to run it in half-empty loads just so you can clean the dishes you need, a standard dishwasher will fill up right away.

Cheaper: The installation and repair of standard dishwashers tend to be less expensive as compared to tall tub dishwashers. It is easy to access the working parts of the standard dishwasher because the kick plate is located just beneath the dishwasher door. The overall cost of getting a standard dishwasher is less expensive as well, as compared to the tall tub dishwasher.

Cons

Small capacity: For some, especially those who live in larger households or often have guests over, a standard dishwasher’s compact interiors can be quite challenging. They don’t have a lot of space, and thus hold fewer items, which could force you to run several loads a day. This also prevents you from loading the dishwasher with bigger cookware, such as pots and pans and cookie trays.

Noisy: The kick plate is the part in the dishwasher where all the working parts are. It is located under the dishwasher door, which causes it to make a lot of noise when the dishwasher is running. If you or someone in your household is sensitive to noise, you need to take this into consideration.

Do dishwashers have different heights?

In contrast with other kitchen appliances, like refrigerators and stoves, the exterior of dishwashers come in pretty much the same size, regardless of their capacity. The appliance industry decided to develop a standard size for all major appliances, including dishwashers, to avoid problems that could arise.

Thus, the standard measurements of the majority of dishwashers (both for standard and tall tub capacity) are 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high. Most dishwashers also have legs that are adjustable to accommodate various heights of cabinets and countertops.

It’s important to note, however, that there can be a difference in the way some dishwashers are made, so it’s always best to measure your space carefully, as well as the dishwasher you are planning to get.

Conclusion

Whether you should choose a tall tub dishwasher or a standard dishwasher, depends on the size of the household. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, opt for a standard dishwasher, but if you want a functional machine with plenty of capacity for a big family we recommend that you opt for the tall tub dishwasher.

The key factor is if you’re able to fully load it every evening and being able to only run it once it’s completely loaded. If you buy a tall tub dishwasher without actually needing the capacity, there’s a risk that you’ll end up running half loads and impacting your utility bill.