How To Design The Best Bench For Your Lab Tools

Dec 30, 2023 4:00:00 PM / by WSI Team

Imagine a meticulously designed workspace that not only fosters productivity but also prioritizes the needs of your entire lab. 


This dream can become a reality by designing a work bench that not only stores your lab tools, but also optimizes workflow, enhances accessibility and boosts efficiency.


Here’s how to design the best bench for your lab tools, no matter if you’re a small research team or a large-scale industrial laboratory conducting cutting-edge experiments.

Understand Your Needs



Laboratory tools and equipment span across a vast spectrum depending on your work environment. You may be in thelab tools process of designing a dental lab bench, school lab bench, research lab bench or another type of healthcare workstation. The types of lab tools your staff will use at these laboratory workstations will vary.  


As a lab manager, your challenge lies in tailoring a bench design that not only accommodates but optimizes the usage of these lab tools. Here are some key questions to ask yourself when considering the type of lab bench needed for your specific set of lab tools:


  • What are the primary laboratory tools and equipment frequently used in our research or experiments?
  • What are the specific dimensions, weights and handling requirements of these instruments?
  • How frequently are these tools accessed, and by whom?
  • How can the bench design ensure optimal ergonomics for users working with these tools?
  • What adjustments can be made to enhance user comfort and reduce fatigue during prolonged usage?
  • How can the bench layout facilitate easy access to frequently used tools while maintaining a clutter-free workspace?
  • Are there any safety concerns or precautions necessary for specific tools, and how can the bench design accommodate these?


Understanding the specific requirements and functionalities of different tools, whether it's the need for ample space for microscopes or a designated area for precise pipetting, guides the ergonomic layout and customization of the lab tool bench. 


It is this understanding that empowers lab managers to tailor bench designs that not only meet the demands of their scientific studies but also elevate the efficiency and safety standards within their laboratories.

Incorporate Important Design Principles



Certain design principles help ensure functionality, safety and seamless workflow. The art of designing an effective lab tool bench goes beyond aesthetics. It integrates ergonomic considerations, safety measures and organization techniques to create an environment that promotes scientific inquiry and innovation.


Here are three important design principles to keep in mind as you determine how to best organize your lab tools:


  1. Ergonomic considerations
  2. Safety measures
  3. Organization and space management


Ergonomic Considerations


  • Height and Positioning: The ergonomic design of a lab bench involves consideration of the height and positioning to ensure user comfort and efficiency. Adjustable bench heights accommodate diverse user requirements, mitigating strain and fatigue during extended work hours.
  • Accessibility: A key area of bench design revolves around optimizing the accessibility of frequently used tools. Strategic placement and easy reach of instruments enable a fluid workflow, reducing downtime and enhancing productivity.


Safety Measures


  • Hazardous Material Handling: Bench design integrates safety features tailored for handling hazardous materials and equipment. This encompasses specialized storage solutions, containment areas and shielding mechanisms to prevent accidents or contamination.
  • Ventilation and Chemical Storage: Ensuring proper ventilation and adequate storage for chemicals are imperative safety measures. Ventilation systems and designated storage areas for chemicals safeguard researchers from potential health risks while preserving the integrity of experiments.


Organization and Space Management


  • Optimal Organization: Effective organization strategies play a pivotal role in bench design. Smart allocation of space, delineation of work zones, and utilization of storage solutions enhance efficiency by creating a clutter-free environment.
  • Maximized Space Utilization: The art lies in striking a balance between maximizing space utilization without compromising functionality. Thoughtful design elements such as modular storage options or foldable components optimize available space while accommodating diverse experimental needs.


Adhering to these design principles helps elevate the efficacy and safety standards within the workspace, and are important to keep in mind as you design the best bench for your lab tools.

Choose The Right Materials And Construction



In the scientific community, the materials and construction you choose for your bench can help ensure durability,lab tools cleanliness and adaptability. Laboratory work surfaces play a crucial role in achieving this, since some materials are better equipped to withstand the harsh conditions of a lab than others. 


When reviewing your choices for countertop materials, take into account the applications performed in your lab and how your lab tools can impact your work surface. 


For example, in labs with basic assembly applications, butcher block countertops are often used. However, they are porous and can dent easily, making them not the ideal material for environments where heavy equipment is used or there is excessive water and moisture.


On the other hand, stainless steel is resistant to bacteria, rust and corrosion, as well as stain and heat resistant. This makes this material an ideal choice for laboratories where high heat and open flames are used.


For labs with harsh conditions, phenolic resin and epoxy resin hold up very well against chemicals, corrosion and moisture, though epoxy resin has a higher heat resistance.


For conditions where electrostatic discharge is a concern, ESD laminate helps protect expensive lab tools from damage that can occur.


Construction methods also play a pivotal role in ensuring the stability and durability of laboratory benches. Robust frameworks, reinforced joints and precision engineering techniques are employed to create benches capable of withstanding heavy lab tools and constant usage without compromising structural integrity.


If the lab tools you use are heavy, you may need to invest in heavy duty workbenches with higher weight load capacities. Our article, Heavy Duty Industrial Workbench Or Standard Workbench … Which One Should You Use?, explains the difference and offers advice on which type of workbench is best for your lab space.

Add Ample Storage and Organization



Tailoring bench construction to specific laboratory needs involves customization options such as adjustable shelving or specialized attachments. These adaptations accommodate unique equipment requirements, spatial constraints or specialized workflows within the laboratory.


The best industrial furniture company will work with you to design an adjustable workbench with drawers that is tailored to your specific needs and adequately stores all of your lab tools. 


Elements like full extension and heavy duty roller bearing slides are important to consider as well, as are security requirements and handle options. Shelves can be customized to match your load-bearing needs if you have heavy lab tools. Laminate shelving is able to hold up to 250 pounds when evenly distributed, while steel shelving can carry up to 300 pounds. 


Other organization features to consider include:


  • Articulating monitor arms that can accommodate flat screens and laptops
  • Keyboard trays that can be added to any work surface or articulating arm
  • CPU holders that can be fixed or adjustable
  • Pegboards that can be added between the uprights to attach tools
  • Bin rails or panels to store parts and accessories


To properly see your lab tools, under-shelf bulbs will brighten up spaces or above-head lighting can illuminate entire worktops. The placement of electrical strips, outlets, USB ports and emergency power sources can also be strategically placed on or around your workbench for a highly organized space for your tools.

Work With An Experienced Lab Bench Manufacturer



Working with an experienced laboratory furniture manufacturer is important in ensuring the creation of functional, high-quality and tailored solutions that align with the diverse needs of your lab. Seasoned manufacturers bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise amassed through years of specialized experience. 


They also possess a deep understanding of the intricate requirements and nuances involved in designing and constructing lab benches that cater to specific scientific disciplines.


Collaborating with an experienced manufacturer also offers the advantage of personalized customization, including features that optimize the use of your lab tools. These experts understand that each laboratory operates uniquely, with distinct tool requirements, space constraints and workflow demands. 


Leveraging their expertise, they can tailor bench designs to accommodate specific instruments, optimize space utilization and integrate features that enhance accessibility and functionality. In other words, the partnership with a seasoned lab bench manufacturer isn’t just about creating furniture – it's a collaborative journey toward creating a workspace that boosts precision, reliability and innovation.


laboratory furniture

WSI Team

Written by WSI Team

Employees of Workstation Industries who write on different topics to inform and educate.

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