Undercounter microwaves

May 21st, 2012

I recently saw an under counter microwave while touring the parade of homes.  Here’s my opinion on why you do not want a microwave below the counter, including the microwave drawers.

1.     Ergonomics and ease of use – You can’t see the control panel for operating it, unless you crouch down.  Loading and unloading are not as easy or as safe as an oven where the contents are visible and above waist high.  At the end of the cycle, the product is extremely hot, and unless you are crouching down (again), you may be reaching in to grab something  very hot by feeling for it – OUCH? Cleaning the microwave also requires bending over, especially to clean the ceiling of the microwave.

     Visibility  – Checking on what that noise was or how the cooking is doing is not as easy when it’s not at eye level.

2.     Safety – If you have little children present (or visiting), this is the perfect height to play with.  If you’ve already latched your cabinets with cleaning products, and put away or locked up dangerous utensils, then how are you going to keep them from playing with the microwave?  Better to not have it where little hands can reach than to have the kitty “beamed” up….

3.     Microwave drawer option – This would be my last choice, and only when you have no countertop space or overhead cabinet space you could use.  There are a limited number of microwave drawers out there, so you better be happy with the selection and features.  In researching this option, I found that the microwave drawer runs somewhere in the $700 – $1400 range (depending on brand, options, etc).  That price range will get you into a 120v advantium (I have 2 in my kitchen and absolutely love, love, love – would like the 240v version…. But).  Not worth the added expense in my opinion.  Common complaints for the drawer option include:

a.      no turntable in some models (uneven heating)

b.      open/close takes too long ( for those who want things quick)

c.      too tall items get knocked over when drawer closes (such as tall coffee mugs)

d.      controls are still within reach of little hands

e.     Food splatters on the oven ceiling are difficult to clean (bend over)

f.       Reliability may be questionable (consider an extended warranty)

g.      If you like a 30 sec heat option – check to make sure it has one

h.     Check the size against the size of your cabinet opening (apparently not a standard size for some cabinet makers?)

The drawer option does have a “cool” factor to it, and some people really love them, but when it comes to good design, it doesn’t get my vote.  Next week I discuss microwave features, good locations, and why I love the advantium.

Stainless steel sink – selection and features

May 7th, 2012

Stainless steel sinks are a good choice for any kitchen.  Their look is timeless and blends in with stainless appliances. 

Listed below are some features that I feel are worth considering, when buying a stainless steel sink:

1.     Don’t buy a sink made in China, especially not a “generic” brand name.  I been burned so many times buying generic Chinese products that matched everything on my checklist, only to end up buying the product I should have bought in the first place.  You could get lucky and find a great product for a great price, but did you really save that much?  My opinion, better safe than sorry.  Besides, having a great name brand on the sink, gives your kitchen a little more upscale feel.

2.     Get a good grade of stainless steel – 302 or 304.  Replacing a “bargain” sink, because it’s rusted, oxidized, or always dirty looking, will make you wish you had spent a little more.  Poor quality stainless that rusts or is difficult to keep clean is no bargain. 

3.     Get a sink with a good coating of insulation on it.  Insulation with a pad on the bottom is even better.  Cheaper sinks will have just a rubber pad on the bottom.  One of the top complaints about stainless steel sinks is that they are noisy.  This will help considerably.  It will reduce the ringing noise when you toss something in the sink.  It also helps with condensation.  I learned this when I filled a poorly insulated sink with ice for keeping beverages cold, only to discover condensation that caused the cabinet underneath  to get seriously wet…

4.     One bowl or 2 bowls?  A 2 bowl sink allows a dirty side and a clean side.  A side to wash your hands while using the other side.  A side to soak your pots, while doing food prep.  A soapy side and a rinse side.   You get the idea.   If you only have one sink in the kitchen, this might be a good choice.  The down side is you can’t put large items, such as pans in them.  Alternatives might include one side that is larger than the other, or a sink with a low partition between the compartments.  If you are going to have 2 sinks in your kitchen, consider having one that is large and deep, and the other one that has 2 bowls.

5.     Under mount if possible.  This is much, much easier to keep the counter clean, and not have a “grunge” that collects around the rim.

6.     Deep but not too deep.  Some people want the deepest sink they can get, only to find that it is not ergonomical, and hard on their backs when working at the sink for any length of time.    If you’re tall, consider going with a 8”-9” deep sink (especially if under mounted) instead of a 10”+ deep sink.

7.     Consider an offset drain.  This means not having the drain located in the center of the sink, but in the back or in the corner of the sink.  This will give you more useable cabinet room underneath for storage by shifting the plumbing to the side or back.  Also, If you keep your dishes in the sink, the drain won’t be covered up.

8.     Gauge – nice but not critical.  Heavier is always better, right?  Well, Consumer Reports says it doesn’t make a difference.  My opinion is that if there is a garbage disposal installed on the sink, there will be less flexing (think vibration) in a heavier gauge sink when the disposal is in use.  The better sinks are usually found in the 15 – 18 gauge range. 

9.     Grids – some people love them…   Some sinks have grids as an option.  Grids can get grungy on the bottom, and can be a pain to clean (may not fit in the dishwasher).  It can also be a pain to chase things around to rinse out the sink.  That said, you might like it if you have a garden and clean vegetables on a regular basis.  It also keeps the dishes off the bottom of the sink (helps when drying dishes that were rinsed), and protects the bottom of the sink.  It also raises the bottom of the sink to a more comfortable height for deep sinks.  I have grids for my sinks and they are sitting in the cabinet, waiting for me to try….   The option is there.

10.  A flat bottom is nice, especially if you set things in the sink that could tip over. 

11.  Custom cutting boards for sinks are nice, but you can make your own.  I bought a nice Boos butcher block and put some rubber feet on the bottom of it that were spaced slightly less than the depth of the sink.  The block can then slide back and forth and allows the chopped things to be slid off into the garbage disposal or the colander.  The rubber feet are also handy for setting the board on the counter, and keeping it from sliding around.

Locating the kitchen sink

April 30th, 2012

When I started to design my kitchen, I discovered that the location of the sink is one of the most critical, if not the most critical part of the kitchen.  It’s part of the critical work triangle.  It’s part of the prep zone and cleanup zone which should be adjacent to cooking zone.  If you have multiple sinks, then you can have multiple zones or triangles.

Here’s my checklist to help with the location of the sink:

1.      Placement of the sink in the kitchen should be first.  Arrange everything else around it.

2.      Allow for adequate counter space around the sink.  NBKA guidelines for a cleanup sink or a kitchen with only one sink are at least 24” of counter on one side and 18” on the other side(I would try for 36” or more).  If you also have a prep sink, then it should have at least 18” on one side and 3” on the other side.  Since the dishwasher needs to be next to the sink, the 24” requirement is taken care of.  Don’t skimp on counter space.  Think of all the things you set on the counter next to the sink – dirty dishes, food to be cleaned or rinsed, pots to be filled, etc…

3.      You should have cabinet storage near the sink for dishes and silverware that come out of the dishwasher (or sink).  You should have storage for trash/recyclables that may come from food prep.  Storage for detergents and cleaning supplies.  Since I have a coffee pot next to the sink (easier to fill) and an instant hot water/chilled water dispenser in the sink, I also have storage for teas, coffees, hot chocolates, filters, etc…  Storage for food cleaning and prep (including paring knives), and also linens. If you have containers for leftovers, you may want them near the sink also.

4.      Consider the location of the sink in relation with the fridge and cooktop, and think through how you normally move around to prepare your meals.  NBKA work triangle guidelines for the sink, should be in between 4 and 9 feet from the fridge and cooktop, with all 3 legs between 12 and 26 feet (my opinion – closer to 12 the better).  No major traffic patterns should go through a leg of the triangle.  Multiple sinks (especially in larger kitchens) allows for multiple work triangles with fridge drawers, ovens, microwaves, bake centers, 2nd dishwashers, etc…

5.       If you have an island, consider putting a sink in the island and making it part of the zone for the baking center (oven, microwave, fridge drawers and sink).  If used as part of the baking center work triangle, consider using a larger sink (I have a 18” x 21” sink in the island).  Whenever I’m baking, I generate a LOT of dirty dishes (big mixing bowls, cookie sheets, measuring cups, whips, etc..), so a small sink would not work.  If you have a cooktop nearby, and the sink has a pullout spray faucet, you also have a pot filler (bonus!).

6.      The sink should be under lighting, and it’s always nice to have it near a window or looking out into the room (since a large amount of time in the kitchen is spent at the sink, consider what you want to look at – not the wall, while you’re working there).

7.      Don’t locate an extra sink where it isn’t near items that need it’s use.  A pantry might be an example of this, or away from all appliances.  You might use it to wash your hands.  Otherwise, it will stay pretty clean;-)

8.      Make sure you have a place near the sink to hang a towel to dry your hands or dishes.  This is easy to overlook until everything is installed.

 

Quartz vs granite countertops

April 23rd, 2012

Quartz advantages

        More consistent look (but can contain variations)

        Will match showroom sample pieces closer than granite

        Lower maintenance – No sealing necessary (not porous, no cracks)

        Resistant to bacteria (Silestone has patented microbobial protection)

        More resistant to stains

        stronger

        Radon free (study done by quartz manufacturers)

        1cm available in some quartz for backsplash

        warranty

 

Granite advantages

        More selection variety

        Looks natural, not manufactured

        Some stains or debris may be less noticeable in a granite that has a movement, color variations,  or grain that disguises it

        Maybe slightly more heat resistant than quartz, because of the resin in the quartz counters

        Some granites may be cheaper than quartz

        Bleach may stain quartz countertop

 

 Quartz countertop brands:

Avanza – 23 colors

                http://www.avanzausa.com/home/home.cfm?showFlash=yes

Cambria – Lifetime warranty, 2 times strength of granite, 98 colors, 1cm available

                    http://www.cambriausa.com/

Caeserstone – lifetime warranty, 42 colors, 4 times strength of granite

                          http://www.caesarstoneus.com/

Silestone – 15 yr warranty, 4 times strength of granite, patented microbial protection, 60 quartz colors,                      solid colors available

                     http://www.silestoneusa.com

Viatera  – 15 yr warranty, 22 colors

                http://www.lghausys.com/us/product/surfaces/whylg_viatera.jsp?tab=tab-1

Zodiaq – 10 yr warranty, 48 colors

                 http://www2.dupont.com/Zodiaq_Global_Landing/en_US/index.html

Kitchen Granite Countertops – selection and installation tips

April 16th, 2012

 

Kitchen Granite Countertops – selection and installation tips

There’s more to selecting granite countertops than picking a pretty sample at the store and hoping you’ll be happy with the results.  Here are some things I found out, that will help you get a stunning countertop that you’ll be happy to live with.

Polished black granite – gorgeous, streaks easily, shows finger prints, and water spots. Some varieties of black granite are bad and may give you problems.  My opinion is high maintenance.

A polished surface will show crumbs and other debris, but will provide more protection for the granite than a honed surface.  If you select granite with variations in color and grain, it may help to disguise anything that didn’t get wiped up.

Never pick your granite countertop from a sample chip in a retail store.  Go to the wholesale yard and chose the slab(s) you want (have it tagged once you choose a fabricator).  The color variations and grain patterns on some types of granite will vary greatly, with one slab being be the best you’ve ever seen, and another of the same type of granite being be the worst you’ve ever seen.   Take a sample of the flooring and cabinet with you to hold against the granite to help you in selecting the slab (I like to choose the tile after the countertop, since there are more tile choices).  In most cases, you will only be using small sections of the slab for each counter.  Bracket out sections on the slab to help visualize what a section of counter will look like (It’s easy to just love a whole slab, but not when it’s cut up into pieces). Run your fingers along the edge of slab, feeling for any cracks.  Reject any slabs that have a crack.  After you’ve found a slab you like, have the yard break off a corner piece for you.  The slab under cool fluorescent lights or sunlight may not look the same as it will under the lights in your kitchen, so you need a piece to look at in your environment .  See this you tube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM10axdBRmU&feature=related).

 Now that you have a piece at home, test it to see how porous it is.  Not all granite has the same porosity!  In fact, if the porosity is less than .25%, it doesn’t need sealing. If you are a neat freak who is always wiping up things the second they hit the counter, then this might not be an issue.  If things don’t get wiped up right away (my house), then don’t skip this step.  The first test is the lemon test.  Put a few drops of lemon juice on the granite.  If it develops dark spots quickly, then it needs to be sealed.  If it doesn’t absorb at all, then it may not need to be sealed.  Try the same thing with water and mineral oil for about 10 – 15 minutes.  If it doesn’t darken the stone, then it might not need to be sealed.  Next, try things that might be spilled and not wiped up right away – cooking oils, mustard, salad dressing, wine, etc… on the backside.   Let it sit overnight, and then check to see how bad they stain.  If there is considerable staining, then get some 511 sealer from Home Depot, Menards, or Lowes and seal the top and try it again.  The granite I chose for my kitchen did not stain with this test, and I’ve never had a problem (6 years after installation without sealing).

Ask your fabricator if the type of slab you chose is a good one.  Not all stone labeled granite is really granite, for example Uba Tuba isn’t granite – it’s charnockite.  And some types of granite are notorious for having problems (pitting, fissures, etc…).

Make sure the top of your cabinets is level.  Put a straight edge on top of it to make sure.  Some fabricators will give you an agreement to sign before they start, that will insist on cabinets being level within 1/8”.  If they are not, they could cause the granite to crack when pressure is applied (standing on the counter or pressure on places such as the front edge of a sink).  Ask the fabricator what they do about cracks during installation, and get it in writing.

Need an overhang for a countertop?  Try using the 2/3 on and 1/3 off rule (at least 2/3 of the slab on the cabinets and 1/3 or less as the overhang – 2’ on cabinet, 1’ overhang).  However, I prefer at least a 14” overhang for island seating, so I don’t bang my knees on the cabinets.  If you decide to go with a smaller overhang, test this by creating a mockup with cardboard, or find someone who has an overhang similar to what you are considering, and try it out.  You will need support for the overhang.  Unfortunately corbels are annoying and can get in the way.  Talk to your fabricator about alternatives, if you don’t want corbels in the center section.

Granite is a “cold” surface.  Maybe great for dough, but not comfortable for your arms.  Most people live with it, but some creative people install a radiant floor heating mat under their countertops, so they are warm.

After you’ve selected the slab ask the fabricator to let you preview the template layout on the slab before they cut it.  This will show you what each of the pieces will look like and allow you to make any changes in what part of the slab is on a particular counter.

After each piece is installed and before the fabricator leaves, clean the surface of the counter and run your hand over it feeling for flaws such as pits or rough spots.  Mark the location of each flaw with a piece of tape and have the installer fix them.  Sometimes they will have a special person who will come later to do this.

Reducing noise transmission into the kitchen

March 26th, 2012

Reducing noise transmission into the Kitchen

Noise in the kitchen can also come from outside the home – traffic, noisy neighbors, air conditioner units, or from noisy rooms such as laundry rooms, which are adjacent to the kitchen.   In order to provide good barriers to noise in adjacent rooms or outside, you will need to know how well a material resists transferring sound, and which combinations of materials will provide the best reduction in noise transmission. 

A material’s resistance to transferring sound is rated by STC (Sound Transmission Class).  The higher the STC rating, the more noise is blocked from transmitting through the material.  The STC rating is usually an average over 125Hz – 4000 Hz, and can vary greatly over a range of frequencies.  Graphs showing the STC rating by frequency are sometimes available for a material, and will help you in choosing a material based on the sound you are trying to block.  Shown below are some STC examples:

STC 30 – normal speech audible

STC 40 – loud speech audible

STC 50 – shouting barely audible

STC 60 – loud speech should not be audible

The most important means of blocking sound transfer is to first seal all holes where sound might “leak” through (flanking noise).  Just like water will leak through the tiniest crack, sound will travel through the weakest points – holes, outlets, doors, windows, etc…  Use silicone caulk (wherever you won’t be painting) around outlets, windows, doors, and between the bottom of the drywall and the floor.  If the drywall has been removed from an exterior wall, caulk along the siding and 2×4 framing.   

The next weakest area, are usually the windows and doors.  A typical single pane window has a STC of 25 and a double pane window has a STC of 30.  If you are purchasing new windows, consider an acoustic window (STC 45 – 60), or a window with laminated glass (STC 35).  You can also retrofit an existing window with an additional laminated pane (STC 44-48 for dbl pane).  If you have a hollow core door, you can improve your STC rating from 15 to 30 by replacing it with a solid core door or an acoustic door.

            http://www.algomahardwoods.com/AHW%20Pages/acousticaldoors.html

http://www.cascadeaudio.com/commercial_residential/acoustical_windows.htm

              http://www.soundproofwindows.com/

If you are doing new construction or remodeling down to the studs, here are some things that you can do to reduce the sound transmission:

STC       Construction technique (5/8” drywall and bat insulation)

39         Regular studs with one sheet of drywall on each side

47         Staggered studs with one sheet of drywall on each side

 53         Staggered studs with drywall on one side and 2 sheets of drywall on other side

 56         Staggered studs with double layer of drywall on each side

 56         Regular studs with resilient channel and double layer of drywall on each side

 60         Double studs with drywall on one side and 2 sheets of drywall on the other side

 63         Double studs with double layer of drywall              

If you don’t have the room for any of the above options, you might consider using quietrock.

            http://www.quietrock.com/drywall/ez-snap/easy-to-install.html

If your HVAC system is contributing noise to your kitchen from either the outside compressor or the furnace blower, you might consider some of the following measures:

1.     Move the compressor to another location outside of the house

2.     Install Acoustiblok all weather sound panels around compressor unit

o   http://www.acoustiblok.com/industrial2.php

3.     Have a compressor noise absorbing jacket  installed 

o   http://www.brinmar.com/sound_blankets.html

4.     install vibration isolation mounts for blower unit or on base of furnace

o   http://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/

5.     install a vibration break in the duct adjacent to the fan

6.     Install duct liner or use flexible ducts

Personal Experience – Where I had blower noise coming out of the ductwork, I replaced the rigid metal duct from the trunk duct to the vent boot with a flexible insulated duct.  This worked well for me.  Check

 

 

 

Kitchen Noise – Acoustics

March 19th, 2012

Kitchen Noise – acoustics  

Have you ever noticed how loud even the slightest noises are in a large empty room with lots of hard surfaces?  That’s because all the noise is reflected in the room, resulting in high reverberation times, which makes the perceived noise level higher.  Reverberation in a room is directly related to room volume and inversely related to the total absorption in a room. 

Absorptive materials reduce sound reflection and the NRC (noise reduction coefficient) rating indicates how much of the sound is absorbed by the material.  An NRC rating of .75 indicates 75% of sound that contacts it is absorbed, and 25% of the sound that contacts it is reflected.   The NRC rating can vary greatly over a range of frequencies, and will be less absorptive for lower frequencies. 

Here are some sample nrc ratings:

Granite  –   .00  (no absorption)

Drywall  –   .05   (5% absorption)

Heavy drapes  –  .60  (60% absorption)

Wood furniture  –  .30  (30% absorption)

Fabric upholstered seating  –  .60  (60% absorption)

Heavy carpet on pad  –  .30 – .55 (30% – 55% absorption)

Acoustical ceiling tiles  –  .50 – .70 (50% – 70% absorption)

As you can see, soft porous materials absorb sound, so consider using things like soft overstuffed furniture, thick carpet and padding in the living area, area rugs, or thick curtains with a tight weave.  Also consider using acoustical art panels, which can have any image printed on them and hang like art.   If acoustic tiles are too commercial looking, and not in keeping with the kitchen décor, consider a stretch ceiling for a high end European look.

http://www.audimutesoundproofing.com/files/acoustical-art-11.html?gclid=CNy-n_it5a4CFQrCtgod1DkCxw

http://innovativecoverings.com/

 

Kitchen ventilation hoods – noise

March 12th, 2012

Kitchen ventilation hoods – noise

 

Although there are other factors to choosing a vent hood, this article will focus on selecting a quiet vent hood. 

Although the noise level ratings for dishwashers are in decibels (db), vent hood noise level ratings are in sones.  A table showing an approximate equivalent rating is as follows:

Sones       Decibels     Equivalent sound

.5sones       30db         whisper

1 sone         40db         quiet conversation

2 sones       50db          moderate rainfall

4sones        60db           normal conversation

8sones        70db           street noise

9sones+                          Home Ventilating Institute recommends not buying

 

Factors that determine how loud a vent hood will be:

 

  1. Blower used – most half decent range hoods today use pretty good blowers, but an inline blower in the attic with a duct silencer will definitely be quieter than an internal blower. 
  2. Probably the next most important factor contributing to range hood noise is duct issues – too small, too many bends, or just badly installed.   No matter what brand of range hood you choose, use as large a duct as possible (10” if possible).  A larger duct will allow you to run the blower at a slower speed to move the same amount of air.  If the blower is an inline blower on the roof or in the attic, make sure the duct is at least 6 feet long to minimize blower noise.  However, if the blower is internal, use as short a length of ductwork as possible, with as few bends as possible.  As the size of the duct decreases, and the length and number of bends increases, the noise level will increase because of the increase in static pressure (pressure against which the fan moves air). 
  3. Another critical element in a well designed range hood structure is where the air is getting pulled through the filters.  Air passing through a baffle filter will generally be quieter than a mesh filter.  The greater the area covered in he bottom of the hood, the quieter it should be.   If the inside of the hood behind the filters has a lot of projections, this can also cause some air turbulence noise.  
  4. More CFM = more noise.  Don’t just get the biggest, baddest blower you can.  A 1200 CFM internal blower vent on high can easily be in the 6-8 sones range (See chart above), so it’s critical to match the blower to the ducting, to the btu output of the range and to the range hood size.   For every 10,000 BTU of burner capacity, you will need 100CFM.  Therefore a 80,000 BTU range will need 800 CFM.  If you really have your heart set on that commercial high BTU range, then you will obviously have a noisier vent. 
  5. Consider the size and placement of the hood.  According to research by the University of Minnesota, many range hoods are too small, too high, or not oriented properly to do the job.  This means that the vent is then run at a higher CFM than necessary and is therefore louder.  Hoods should be at least as wide as the range, and no more than 24 inches above the cooking surface (islands typically 27 inches), and project out 20 inches.
  6. Also consider the placement of the exterior hood.  Is the vent directed towards a noisy area such as an air conditioner or a noisy street, which will transmit those noises back into your kitchen?  If so, consider running the vent through a different location (roof vs. wall), or using a back draft damper to help reduce the noise.

Most vent manufacturer websites will show the sones by CFM speed for each of their models.  Maybe in a future article, I’ll  compile a list of brands/models by sones. 

Kitchen Noise – misc appliances

March 5th, 2012

 

 

Kitchen Noise – misc appliances

Garbage Disposal

Things to look for in getting a quieter disposal:

1.     Insulation around the shroud, obviously the more the better

2.      Rubber mounting to isolate the vibration from the sink and drain pipe

3.      Drain cover(batch) or rubber baffle(continuous feed)  The rubber baffle not only helps keep it quiet when you grind up food, but also helps keep it quiet when your dishwasher drains.

4.     Type of sink – cast iron is quieter than a cheap stainless sink.

Some sound comparisons:

http://www.insinkerator.com/excel/grind_more_hear_less.shtml

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc_5hZS1gaM&feature=related

Personal Experience – I have an Insinkerator Evolution Excel.  It’s the quietest disposal I’ve owned.  When just running water with it on it is very quiet (like the commercial).  When grinding food, this is about as quiet as you can expect for this noisy appliance. 

 

Appliances – Hot Water Dispensers

Hot Water Dispensers can be surprisingly noisy (rumbling noise) as they heat up the water.

 Personal Experience – I had an Insinkerator SST-FLTR, which was quite noisy when it was heating water.  I replaced it with a Waste King hot water dispenser and water chiller.  The hot water dispenser was much quieter, but the chiller was noisy. 

 

Appliances – Stoves/Ovens/Cooktops

Surprise….ovens can be noisy!  That little cooling fan for the electronic controls on some ovens can end up being louder than your fridge.  Drop in ranges and stoves with the controls in the back, and some higher end wall ovens seem to have fewer (if any) complaints about noise.  Induction cooktops can have a light popping, humming, or clicking noise with a burner on high, which most people don’t seem to mind.  Selection of good induction cookware will reduce or eliminate the noise coming from an Induction cook top.  Just because the cookware is Induction compatible, doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient.   I’ve found that enamel steel, carbon steel, or cast iron cookware work the best for an Induction cooktop .  Think about it.  Since magnetism is what heats the cookware, the more iron/steel content, the faster it heats, and actually the less noise it makes. 

Personal experience – I have an Electrolux induction cooktop (Kenmore Elite), and tested steel enamel cookware (Chantal) and carbon steel cookware against Induction compatible cookware, and was surprised by the difference is how quiet the cook top was, and how much faster things heated up.

Dishwasher db noise level ratings by brand and model

February 27th, 2012

 

Kitchen Noise – Dishwasher db levels by Brand and model

An example of relative noise levels from our surroundings, are shown below:

Normal conversation   60db

Moderate rainfall          50db

Quiet conversation       40db

Whisper                        30db

Decibels (a measurement of noise) are logarithmic and not linear in measurement.  This means that a 50db dishwasher will be twice as loud as a 40db dishwasher.  Most dishwashers rated below 50dbA can be considered quiet, and dishwashers rated below 45dbA can be considered silent.  I only listed Dishwashers that had a MSRP over $500, and that had available sound level ratings, and did not have any obvious bad ratings.   I obtained the following information from the manufacturer websites.

Amana

No Dishwashers over $500 MSRP

 

Asko

 

D5894XXLHS  44 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5654XXLHS  46 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5634XXLHS  48 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5434XXLHS  48 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5434XXLHB  48 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5434XXLHW  48 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5893XXLHS  45 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5253XXLHS 47 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5233XXLHS  49 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5152XXLS  47 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5152XXLW  47 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5122aXXLS  49 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5554XXLFI  46 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5534XXLFI  48 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5894XXLFI  44 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5893XXLFI  45 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5253XXLFI  47 db  MSRP  N/A

 

D5233XXLFI  49 db  MSRP  N/A

 

 

Bosch

SHE9ER55UC  39 db  MSRP $1999

SHE8ER55UC  40 db  MSRP $1499

SHE7ER55UC  42 db  MSRP $1299

SHE68R55UC  44 db  MSRP $1099

SHE68R56UC  44 db  MSRP $999

SHE68R52UC  44 db  MSRP $999

SHE55M15UC  47 db  MSRP $999

SHE55R55UC  46 db  MSRP $899

SHE55M16UC  47 db  MSRP $899

SHE55M12UC  47 db  MSRP $899

SHE55R56UC  46 db  MSRP $799

SHE55R52UC  46 db MSRP $799

 

SHE43R55UC  48db MSRP $799

 

SHE43R56UC  48 db MSRP $699

 

SHE43R52UC  48 db MSRP $699

 

SHE43R56UC  48 db MSRP $699

 

SHX9ER55UC  39 db MSRP $1999

 

SHX98M09UC  42 db MSRP $1649

 

SHX8ER55UC  40 db MSRP $1499

 

SHX7ER55UC  42 db MSRP $1299

 

SHX68R55UC  44 db MSRP $1199

 

SHX68R56UC  44 db MSRP $1099

 

SHX68R52UC  44 db MSRP $1099

 

SHX55R55UC  46 db MSRP $999

 

SHX55R56UC  46 db MSRP $899

 

SHX43R55UC  48 db MSRP $899

 

SHX43R56UC  48 db MSRP $799

 

SHX43R52UC  48 db MSRP $799

 

Electrolux

 

EIDW6305GS   45 db MSRP $1399

 

EWDW6505GS   45 db MSRP $1549

 

EIDW6105GS   45 db MSRP $1299

 

EIDW6405HT   45 db MSRP $1199

 

 

Fiskal Paykal

Db not available

 

Frigidaire  

No models below 50db

 

GE

GE Profile PDWT480VSS  48db  MSRP $1449

GE Profile PDWT500VBB  48db  MSRP $1499

GE Profile PDWT500VWW  48db  MSRP $1499

GE Profile PDWT502VII  48db  MSRP $1599

GE Cafe CDWT980VSS  48db  MSRP $1649

GE Profile PDWT505VWW  48db  MSRP $1699

GE Profile PDWT505VBB  48db  MSRP $1699

 Jenn-Air

Trifecta JDB8700AWS 40 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB3600AWX 42 db  MSRP N/A

 

Trifecta JDB3650AWY 42 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8000AWS 49 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8200AWP 46 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8700AWS 40 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8000AWC 49 db  MSRP N/A

Kenmore

Kenmore Elite 1392   49db MSRP $999

Kenmore Elite 1393   49db MSRP $1050

Kenmore Elite 1394   49db MSRP $1117

Kenmore Elite 1396   46db MSRP $1170

Kenmore Elite 1397   43db MSRP $1264

Kenmore Elite 1317   46db MSRP $1769

Kenmore Elite 1404   43db MSRP $2250

Kenmore Elite 1395   48db MSRP $1030

 

KitchenAid

KUDE6QSXSS  43 db MSRP $1799

KUDE70FXSS   40 db MSRP $1749

KUDE60HXSS   43 db MSRP $1699

KUDE60FXSS   43 db MSRP $1599

KUDE50CXSS   40 db MSRP $1499

KUDE40FXSP   46 db MSRP $1499

KUDE48FXSS   46 db MSRP $1399

KUDE40FXSS   46 db MSRP $1299

KUDS30SXSS   49 db MSRP $1149

KUDS30FXSS   49 db MSRP $999

KUDS35FXSS   49 db MSRP $999

KUDS30CXSS   49 db MSRP $949

KUDE20IXSS   46 db MSRP $899

KUDS30IXSS   49 db MSRP $849

 

LG

Db not available

 

Maytag

Db not available

 

Meile

Db not available

 

 

Samsung

DMT800RHS  49 db MSRP $899

 

Thermador

DWHD651GFP  41 db  MSRP N/A

DWHD650GFP  44 db  MSRP N/A

DWHD630GCP  45 db  MSRP N/A

 

Viking

Db not available

 

Whirlpool

Db not available