Q. I've been unsuccessful in finding a permanent method of securing dishwashers to the underside of stone countertops. I've tried using construction adhesive and epoxy to secure the small metal tabs, but with no long-term success. One countertop installer said he uses a hammer drill to drill a hole about half the thickness of the countertop. He inserts a cut-off plastic anchor in the hole and secures the tab on the dishwasher with a screw. This seems extremely risky. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Mike Barrett responds: I do it the same way as that countertop installer, and have never had any problem. The metal tabs on top of the dishwashers are usually far enough back that there's no risk of creating a stress crack at the edge of the counter. I nearly always install 1 1/4-inch-thick counters. On thinner, 3/4-inch counters, we double the front edge thickness and carry it far enough back that we can safely drill into that.
If you're worried, you could try using a bead of silicone instead of drilling. Wedge the tab into place over the silicone until it sets up.
Some installers use epoxy anchors, which require a bigger hole. The problem with this is that the installed anchor protrudes down about 3/8 inch, which can get in the way of the top-mount controls on a lot of the new dishwashers.
Another way to avoid drilling the stone is to steer your customers toward one of the dishwashers that allow you to secure the unit to the cabinet sides, such as some of the Bosch units.
Mike Barrett is the owner of Vermont Precision Stone in South Burlington, Vt.