End Panel for a Dishwasher in a Frameless Cabinet Run

When the dishwasher falls at the end of a run of frameless cabinets, what's a good end panel detail? Here are several suggestions. June 17, 2010

I am building my third frameless kitchen. Previously we built only face framed cabinets. What is a good solution for an end panel at the side of a dishwasher? The rest of my end cabinets have a 3/4" carcass side with an applied panel with the bottom in line with the toe space. I use a 1/2" toe kick and miter it around under the end panel. This leaves a 1/4" recess at the end panel. After all that, how do I treat a dishwasher end panel with no cabinet to tie into?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor S:
I would cut an end panel out of your normal cabinet material the full height and 1" shallower than your base cabinets. Notch out the toe space on the front bottom corner of the piece. Make a door the same size as those applied to the finish ends of your other base cabinets and thicken one stile of the door by gluing on a stick at least as wide as your end panel is thick. Install your end panel leaving the dishwasher space as needed. Install the applied door onto the end panel with the thick edge forward. Install your 1/2" thick toe facing as normal.

From the original questioner:
Thank you for the reply. That sounds like it would look great. How would you mount the piece of 3/4 cabinet material? There is no cabinet top or bottom to screw the plywood side to.

From contributor S:
I attach the top of the end panel to either the subtop or the laminate counter top depending on what's used. I attach the bottom of the end panel to the floor by either using little L brackets or just caulking it down to the floor if the room is going to have a finished floor put in around the end panel which would reinforce its positioning.

From contributor M:
I think it always look really bad to have a 1"wide (viewed from the front) end cap. When there is an appliance at the end of a run we make a cabinet that is three or four inches wide. For traditional looking jobs we use a column or moulding on the face. For panel type doors (HPL, melamine) we make a full height door and permanently mount it to the front. For a raised panel job that has no other moulding it looks odd to have on column at the end of a run like that. I have done a few things for this. Make a five piece door as narrow as the profiles allow (usually six inches) and use it as the false front. If this is not acceptable, I angle the front 45 deg there by cutting the cabinet's width in half. If this too is not acceptable I cut a solid wood board treat the edges the same as the other doors and mount it, in this scenario the cabinet would only be three inches wide. Obviously this cabinet need not be wasted space. If it is at least six inches wide you can put a pull-out in it. If you have already finalized the plan and there is no space for a four or five inch wide end cap then I think you made a mistake. You will have to use construction glue and/or L brackets to anchor the thin panel to the floor, and you will lose the adjustability that comes from using proper feet (if you use them at all).

From the original questioner:
I appreciate the input. In the three frameless jobs we've done, this is the second where there is a dw at an end. Both had very limited space to add anything. They were fully integrated washers and we made our false panel oversized to overlay the lone cabinet member. This left the same reveal to the end panel as with a standard cabinet.

As for adding a narrow false cabinet in lieu of a 1" panel, I am having a hard time offering that to my client a s a solution. I rarely have a customer as for a narrow cabinet unless they bring plans from the Depot. They use them as fillers and as a custom fabricator one of my pitches is we do not need fillers. I do like the idea of the column. I can't use it this time but will in the future.

From contributor K:
I use 1 1/2" faces for scribes and end panels like this. I make these type panels an inch or so too long, scribe to the floor, and pocket-screw down (on finished wood floors) or angle bracket and tapcon. Secure the top with pocket-screwed runners.