Just this past week I heard from my dear reader Penny who is frustrated in the face of needing to purchase a new dishwasher. She writes:
“Our dishwasher is more than 20 years old and every time I think I have decided on a new one and read the reviews, I back out. I know that you recently purchased new appliances. What brand dishwasher did you go with? How does one filter all the reviews, good or bad?”
My husband and I have just completed our big kitchen remodel. It’s been nearly a year since we started planning so you can be sure I’ve been researching appliances ad nauseam.
Here’s my conclusion based on credible evidence, product reviews and long conversations with appliance professionals: They just don’t make ‘em like they used to!
These days you won’t find a dishwasher with an expected lifespan of 20 years. The best we should expect from new dishwashers is 8 to 10 years, which is by design. Industry insiders call this “planned obsolescence.” And we have to assume that those will not necessarily be trouble-free years. It’s sad but true.
Nearly all appliances these days come with a one-year warranty. Most appliances pros will tell you that if an appliance is going to fail, it is most likely to do that during the first 90-days, so a one-year warranty is supposed to be sufficient. Anything beyond that is called an extended warranty, which brings up another matter, altogether. Let’s just say it gets complicated.
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There are two brands I suggest you stay away from—Samsung and LG. While their appliances are lovely when they’re in good working condition, these companies do not have a solid infrastructure for service and repair in the U.S. That means you’ll have a difficult time finding someone to repair them whether they’re under warranty or not. And when you do, you could wait weeks for parts to arrive from overseas.
On the other hand, the Whirlpool family of appliances (Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana to name a few) are made in the U.S. Whirlpool has a reputation for making good appliances with repair, service, and parts readily available.
With all that being said, I do have some really good news—and a solid recommendation, which may surprise you.
IKEA has entered the kitchen appliance business, offering an excellent line of appliances with brand names you’ve never heard of. That’s because, in keeping with all of the IKEA products, they have Swedish names.
However, and I know this from the many hours we spent with the kitchen planners at the IKEA store in Centennial, Colo., all IKEA appliances are made by Whirlpool in the U.S.
IKEA kitchen appliances come with 5-year warranties provided by Whirlpool Corporation with service executed by IKEA. Five-year warranties are all but unheard of in the appliance industry, so this is remarkable. And if a 5-year warranty isn’t enough, IKEA offers a 365-day money-back return policy on all of its products, including appliances. Again, remarkable.
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IKEA has six dishwashers to choose from, ranging in price from $245 to $935, plus shipping—my pick for Best Inexpensive™ Dishwashers.
While IKEA is my newest Best Inexpensive™ pick for all kitchen appliances, it is important to know that IKEA products are designed for European standards when it comes to scaling. While they meet standard U.S. measurements for kitchen spaces, these appliances are designed for compact living conditions. For this reason alone, Harold and I did not opt for IKEA appliances in our otherwise new IKEA kitchen. Our space is large and in the interest of scale, investment and resale, we opted for a Fisher & Paykel Double Dishdrawer.
Our son remodeled his kitchen in the past year and he went with IKEA all the way—from cabinets to lighting, appliances, and hardware, too. It’s a dream kitchen, for sure. A man with exquisite design abilities and high standards, he couldn’t be happier with his choices—especially the IKEA dishwasher. Given his personal standard for excellence, I would offer his 5-star review as one you can rely on with confidence.
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While you can purchase all IKEA products online, I suggest you make a trip to the nearest IKEA store if you are able. Talk to the people in the kitchen department. Look at the entire line of appliances, then prepare to be amazed.
Stay tuned: I will be posting before, during and after photos of our big kitchen remodel very soon.
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