They come in many shapes and sizes for a reason. Kitchen sinks are probably the most used area of any home. From meal preparation and clean up to hand washing, pet and/or plant watering as well as general household cleaning, they get a real workout everyday.

That’s why it’s so important to carefully consider your own personal preferences when choosing a new one.

Kitchen sinks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and depths – from single bowl and multiple bowl to drop–in and under-mount. There are different materials – stainless steel, enamel (on cast iron or steel), acrylic and solid surface, plus a rainbow of colors and many styles to choose from including contemporary, eclectic, modern and traditional.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends a standard 22 x 24-inch single-bowl model for kitchens less than 150-sq-ft. For larger kitchens, the added convenience of double and triple bowls is definitely a consideration. It all depends on how you will be using the sink (as well as your plumbing options).

For example, double-bowl sinks let you soak a pot in one bowl while you rinse in the other. Just be sure that at least one of the bowls is wide enough to fit large pots or roasters and, if the bowls are different sizes, make sure they work for you. Sinks that are rectangular shaped are standard, but D-bowls have a curved back and offer more space, front to back. Bowl depth usually ranges between six to 12 inches. Deeper bowls reduce splashing, but depending on your height, it can be uncomfortable to reach the bottom of a very deep sink.

Beyond bowl configuration and depth, you'll need to take your counter top into consideration when it comes to the type of mount. Drop-in sinks are typically fast and easy to install with laminate counter tops, and under-mount sinks are the definitive choice for solid surface counter tops. Under-mounted sinks will be up to one and one half inches lower than a drop-in since they sit below the surrounding counter. The fact that there is no lip or crevices to catch dirt makes clean up easier.

Finally, you’ll need to determine the number of holes in the sink deck - from one to five depending on the faucet and number of accessories like spray hoses and soap dispensers you add.

Since you'll be using your new sink often for quite some time, choose carefully. A well-made sink will last a long time and maintain its fine appearance as well.