Do you know the hidden benefits (and pitfalls) of choosing a single bowl or a double bowl? Do you know your farmhouse from your under-mount (or the difference between the two)? Or which finish has the final say in quality? We got to the bottom of the bowl to give you everything you need to know on sinks.

1. The trifecta of style: There are three main bowl styles: farmhouse, top-mount, and under-mount.

2. Farmhouse bowls: While great for accommodating large dishware and minimizing splashing, these are heavier and may require a special base cabinet for installation.

3. Top-mount bowls: These are characterized by the "drop-in" rim that holds the sink in place on the countertop. The rim makes this type of sink easy to install, but also makes it easier for dirt to accumulate.

4. Under-mount sinks: They look more sleek and modern, but often take double the installation time compared with top-mount sinks.

5. D-shaped bowls: They have a deceptively curved back and offer more space than standard rectangle-shaped bowls.

6. Do double duty: One advantage of opting for a double-bowl sink (instead of a single-bowl sink) is that it allows you to better multitask: You can soak dishes in one bowl and rinse in another.

7. Don't make waves: A deeper bowl means less splashing.

8. Material matters: Enamel (over cast iron or steel), stainless steel, solid surfacing, acrylic, and fireclay are the most common ones.

9. Strong as steel: More people buy stainless steel kitchen sinks than any other type. Gauge is the thickness of a stainless steel sinks. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel.

10. Look-alike material: Acrylic looks like enamel, but it's more prone to scratching and melting.

11. Check the bottom of the bowl: Straight, sharp corners give more volume, but soft corners allow for easier drainage.

12. Weighing options: A quality granite composite sink will cost more than stainless steel or porcelain, but will be more impervious to stains, scratches, and heat.

13. Hush up: A rubber undercoating will deaden the sound of running water and clattering dishes, especially in stainless steel sinks.

14. Color costs: A colorful sink will be 15 to 40 percent more expensive than a neutral sink.

15. Must-know tip: Bring a large pot with you to ensure that your sink can accommodate your cookware.


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