I have come across at least 2 words: pila and fregadero. Do they really mean exactly the same thing or are there any subtle differences? Can they also be used for the washbowl that is not in the kitchen? Are there any other words in Spanish for the sink or washbowl or wash-basin?
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Both are ok, it depends on where are located at your house.
Pila is according to RAE:
And fregadero is a pila where to wash/clean. According to RAE:
In Spain fregadero can be outdoors at a terrace for example when you are speaking about the one you use to clean your clothers so you will hang the clothes out to dry, or the fregadero inside the kitchen used to wash/clean your plates.
Pila is in the bathroom.
About washbowl is palangana
In Colombia we refer to a sink as lavaplatos, the place where dishes are washed, instead of a device to wash dishes, to which we refer as maquina lavaloza.
"Pila" is a concave and deep piece of stone (or steel or other material) where you put water for different uses. You could find a "pila" in a church (known as pila bautismal). Also, note that when you are asking somebody to "dejar los platos en la pila" it could also have the double meaning of "leave them in the stack", if you are putting plates on top of each other in order to be washed.
Spaniards tend to use the word
I guess this is very region dependent. I understand "fregadero" because of dubbings, but in my neck of the woods (Argentina) nobody ever says "fregadero"; here it's "pileta de lavar" (or just "pileta"); "bacha" is also used.