1. Get on the bandwagon. In the United States, 93 percent of newly built family homes include a dishwasher. The recent boom in new housing has helped push overall ownership of dishwashers to 60 percent -- up from 53 percent in 1990.
2. Double duty. Dishwashers ideally share plumbing with a sink. If one dishwasher doesn't hold all your dishes, locate another near an island sink. Or choose a model with an adjustable third rack for flat items such as broiler pans and cookie sheets.
3. Tough stuff. Dishwashers are designed to do what you don't want to do: clean up even the toughest baked-on food. Many models can boost water temperature for better cleaning, and some models position wash arms and water jets strategically to target the dreaded casserole dishes or oatmeal bowls.
4. Hidden helper. If you want your dishwasher to blend with your kitchen cabinetry, customize it with cabinetry panels to match. You can do the same with the refrigerator -- the big guy in the kitchen.
5. Can you hear me now? Dishwashers have gotten much quieter, a boon for homeowners with kitchens open to other rooms. Every manufacturer's line contains models that are quiet, quieter, and quietest.