Phenolic Resin Price: Deal Or No Deal?

Oct 17, 2019 4:00:00 PM / by Albert Cappello

Phenolic resin tops are a popular go-to choice for laboratories and workspaces where contamination concerns are high.

That’s because this type of material offers a host of benefits that help retain the integrity of an operation, making it a logical choice for biological, chemical, clinical and analytical laboratories. 

But are these benefits worth the price? 

Among the various types of laboratory and industrial workbench tops, phenolic resin falls in the mid-price range. Pricing typically averages $15 to $18 per square foot and increases based on modifications specific to your needs.

While you may save more money going with an alternative material - and let’s face it, budget is always a concern - you won’t gain as many benefits from it. In fact, your choice may end up costing you more money in the long-run. 

That’s why if you are making improvements to your work area, it’s important to go beyond price when purchasing laboratory furniture and countertops.

However, we have good news. Phenolic resin IS a deal, providing you with the protection you need for your laboratory work surfaces at an affordable price. If you still aren’t convinced, we will share what some of your other options are for your laboratory or manufacturing space, and how they compare to phenolic resin. 


Phenolic Resin Is Ideal For Labs


phenolic resin priceLabs perform experiments and tests where the legitimacy of results depend heavily on whether or not contamination is possible or has occurred. Most laboratories require work surfaces that are resistant to many of the common contaminants found in a typical work space, especially one that deals with chemicals or biological agents. 

Phenolic resin countertops, in particular, provide a solid surface based on how they are constructed: Layered natural kraft papers are saturated with phenolic resin and processed under high heat. This forms a composite panel that is lightweight, hard and durable.

Perhaps most important for a laboratory setting, however, is the fact that phenolic resin countertops offer high:

  • Bacterial resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Moisture resistance
  • Fungal resistance
  • Moisture resistance

They also provide moderate to high corrosion resistance, and can withstand continuous heat exposure up to 350 degrees F. This feature is critical since equipment such as hot plates, Bunsen burners, ovens and open flames from gases such as methane and butane are often found and used in labs. 


Phenolic Resin Is A Good Long-Term Investment


Phenolic resin is durable and holds up well in extreme environments. That’s good news and an important consideration when looking at the price of a material.

Laboratory settings often feature a wide variety of equipment and tools, all of which can scratch and dent a surface, as well as cause more costly repairs like fractures.

Phenolic resin is not only highly resistant to scratches, but holds up well to impact and stress fractures. They also resist scuffs and abrasions, and will perform well for many years - keeping your laboratory running efficiently and free of costly interruptions when repairs are needed. 


Phenolic Resin Provides Many Of The Same Benefits, Only For Less


phenolic resin pricePhenolic resin is often compared to epoxy resin, the old school standard for lab environments. Epoxy resin is a durable choice as well, and is resistant to many of the same elements found in labs: moisture, heat, chemicals, bacteria and fungi, to name a few.

Here’s the kicker: Phenolic resin provides 90% of the same benefits as epoxy resin, but for a much lesser price. It’s not unheard of for epoxy resin countertops to cost as much as $100 to $200 per square foot, not including any specifications you require. 

Epoxy resin is also heavy duty and carries a much higher material weight than phenolic resin. This is an additional factor you will need to consider when it comes time to ship the product. 

Other less expensive countertop materials include chemical resistant laminate and high pressure laminate. While these materials work effectively and cost less than phenolic resin, choosing the wrong material for your lab’s specific needs can be more expensive in the long-run since you may have to replace damaged surfaces and redo costly experiments that have been compromised.


Phenolic Resin Is Available Faster


Time is money, and if your lab is need of new countertops or workbench tops, availability becomes a crucial consideration.

Phenolic resin is readily available, shortening lead times and your overall project timeline. While there are several phenolic resin manufacturers, there are very few manufacturers of epoxy resin. For epoxy resin suppliers, this presents a significant issue for sourcing the material.

Because of this backlog, your lead time for your project will likely increase if you choose epoxy resin.

Phenolic resin is also an easier material to work with and customize as well. This not only reduces the amount of time before your product is ready for installation, but lowers your costs in the end because less effort is required during the customization process.


Bottom Line


Phenolic resin tops are a favorite in many laboratories for a reason: Not only do they withstand the harsh environment labs typically experience, they are perhaps the most cost-effective, long-term solution considering the number of benefits they offer. 

These factors solidify that phenolic resin is a deal.

You can read more about why we often recommend phenolic resin for our projects in our article, Phenolic Vs Epoxy Resin Work Surface | Which One Is Best?


countertops for lab

Albert Cappello

Written by Albert Cappello

Albert Cappello is the CEO of Workstation Industries, Inc. WSI is a manufacturer of Industrial, Technical and Laboratory Furniture based in Southern California.

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