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Silence is golden when choosing dishwashers

By Mary Ellen Slayter
The Washington Post
When it comes to dishwashers, silence ranks right up there with cleanliness.
“Most people would say that noise is the biggest issue,” said Wayne Hurley, an appliance consultant in Laurel, Md. who advises designers and homeowners.
In general, more expensive dishwashers will be quieter than their less expensive counterparts.
As you shop, you’ll have to balance the amount of space available in your kitchen with the amount of space you need inside the dishwasher to accommodate your dishes. Two feet wide is standard, but 18-inch models are available, as are 30-inch-wide versions.
For many people, the best solution for handling all those oversized plates and pots is a dishwasher with flexible racks, a feature available in more costly dishwashers.
Energy efficiency is also a common concern, Hurley said. “There are a lot of Energy Star dishwashers ó that doesn’t mean they are all rated equally.”
Here’s a look at what you can get for your money:
The BargainIf your budget is tight, consider a HotPoint built-in dishwasher available from Home Depot for $249. The 24-inch-wide model is Energy-Star compliant. The tub is made of plastic, which isn’t considered as durable as stainless steel.
The BasicIf you can spend as much as $500, one option is the 24-inch-wide Maytag Jetclean II. A tall, plastic tub offers more room for large dishes, and the racks are adjustable. Upgrading to a stainless steel tub would add $300 to the cost.
The UpgradeIf your budget allows you to spend as much as $1,000, one option is the GE Profile line, which touts its “SmartDispense” technology. April Case Underwood, a kitchen and bath designer with Case Design/Remodeling in Bethesda, Md., says this feature is popular with consumers. You can pour the whole bottle of dishwashing liquid into the machine, so you don’t have to store the bottle or pour every time you start the dishwasher, she said.
The Splurge
Those willing to spend more than $1,000 can get a dishwasher that comes with stainless-steel drawers in lieu of the usual pull-down door. One option is Fisher & Paykel’s 24-inch Double DishDrawer model, for about $1,500. Another possibility in this price range is the ultra-quiet 24-inch Integra 500 Series dishwasher from Bosch for about $1,200. Another option: LG Electronics’ Kitchen Series Fully Integrated Tall Tub Stainless Interior Dishwasher in stainless steel retails for about $1,500.

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