Simple Ways To Update Your Laboratory Furniture On A Budget

Jan 24, 2024 9:07:42 AM / by WSI Team

In scientific exploration, your laboratory can take center stage. Yet as the experiments evolve and breakthroughs unfold, the unsung heroes of your research may have not seen a facelift in ages … your laboratory furniture. 


Especially when inflation soars, lab services can bear the brunt, forcing lab managers to allocate a smaller portion of their budgets to lab furniture. Laboratory furniture on a budget may seem like an impossible challenge, here are five simple ways to implement a well-deserved upgrade … without breaking the bank:


  1. Replace worn countertops
  2. Upgrade over time with modular lab furniture
  3. Add accessories for more organization
  4. Add casters for mobility
  5. Brainstorm with a top industrial furniture manufacturer



Replace Worn Countertops



One consideration before investing in entirely new furniture is to replace workstation and lab bench countertopslaboratory furniture with new work surfaces.


Many times the existing casework is in reasonable condition, but the countertops are in bad shape from spills or accidents that have occurred over the years. Your countertops can also be damaged from harsh chemicals or inappropriate cleaning methods, which can lead to your lab looking worn and dated.

By replacing worn countertops with new surface materials, you can instantly update the look, feel and functionality of your laboratory for a fraction of what you would have spent for all new laboratory furniture.

Depending on the application of your workspace, laboratory work surfaces are no small investment. This especially be the case if your space produces a harsh environment, with chemicals, abrasive substances, heat, water and moisture all affecting the longevity of your countertops. 

In environments where these conditions are a concern and require a top-performing material, you may have taken a closer look at epoxy resin, which provides protection against chemicals, high heat and moisture. This material is commonly used in environments like educational labs, hospitals and medical labs, research labs, pharmaceutical labs, biological science labs, microbiology and biomedical labs, molecular pathology labs and industrial testing.

If you’re on a budget, however, the cost of epoxy resin countertops may be a problem. Epoxy resin countertops typically cost between $100 to $200 per square foot, and is an extremely heavy material, adding to the cost of shipping.

However, there’s good news in the countertop industry. Phenolic resin countertops provide many of the same advantages as epoxy resin at a fraction of the cost. Phenolic resin, which typically averages $15 to $18 per square foot and increases based on modifications specific to your needs, are also lightweight and offer protection against the same damaging chemicals and moisture. 

The main difference between the two is that epoxy surfaces will handle high levels of heat including open flames. So if your laboratory routinely has open flames or sees continuous high heat exposure elements, epoxy resin may be the better choice. On the other hand, phenolic resin can still handle continuous heat exposure up to 350°F (176°C), and is an excellent option for investing in high quality craftsmanship.

We offer a comparison of the top materials you can use for your lab countertops in our article, Top 5 Materials To Consider For Your Lab Countertops.



Upgrade Over Time With Modular Lab Furniture



Depending on the age and condition of the furniture in your laboratory, a full upgrade of your furniture may be your only option. The new trend is acquiring modular laboratory furniture.


Modern laboratory technology continues to advance at a furious pace. Modular laboratory furniture is highly adaptive, so you can ensure that your lab can quickly reconfigure as advancements with new equipment, technology or methodologies change your needs.


Modular furniture also allows for optimal space utilization. Whether your lab is large or compact, modular solutions can be tailored to make the most out of available space, fostering a clutter-free and organized work environment.


Connectivity, data ports, online network access and power points are crucial to scientific work in the modern laboratory environment. Structuring your lab furniture in a flexible way so that everyone connects easily will allow for an efficient and highly productive work environment. You can read more ideas on upgrading your modular furniture in our article, How To Design Your Best Electrical Workstation.


Modular laboratory furniture is budget friendly because you can start with a base workbench and add components as your needs change. This is one of the quickest ways to get a project off the ground and maintain budgetary control and flexibility.



Add Accessories For More Organization



Another quick and inexpensive fix for outdated labs is to add light and accessories. Many lab environments suffer from alaboratory furniture lack of usable space and/or inefficiency. Updating your workspace with lighting features and organizational tools can make a visible difference in working conditions.


Here are some ideas for workbench accessories that can instantly transform your existing laboratory furniture:


  • Shelving
  • Tool bins
  • Task lighting
  • Magnetic tool holders
  • Cable management solutions
  • Drawer organizers
  • Pegboards for tool storage
  • Adjustable monitor arms
  • Power strips with surge protection


By adding shelving and accessories that increase efficiency, you can easily add vast storage and ergonomic functionality to your workbenches and laboratory. This can immediately improve your lab techs work flow and improve safety. You can get more ideas of how to transform your workspace in our article, 3 Ways To Boost Organization With A Lab Bench Shelf And Storage.


Dollar for dollar this is one of the most economical and easiest solutions to implement.



Add Casters For Mobility



One of the simplest and most cost effective fixes is to add casters to the bottom of workstations and work tables. Casters instantly convert a workspace into a mobile industrial workbench by simply adding wheels. 

In fact, one of the growing trends in modern laboratory design is the need for the ease and convenience that is provided by flexible lab configurations. Unfortunately, many existing labs are encumbered with rigid stationary furniture that do not allow technicians to work at their highest capacity because of poor workflow. Stationary furniture can create many difficulties, particularly when users are attempting to perform experiments or laboratory testing, and also when attempting to clean up spills or other laboratory mishaps.


It’s important to ensure that your technicians have easy, unimpeded access to their equipment and materials. By adding casters, you can add flexibility for a small investment.


A couple important caveats: Make sure that if you have a heavy duty workbench, ensure your casters will adequately support that weight. Casters bought online may only hold a few hundred pounds and are more suited for office environments. In an industrial setting, your casters should have a weight load capacity of around 1,000 pounds when all four casters are in use. 


Casters also can impact the height of a workstation, so keep that in mind when selecting the type of caster you prefer for your workbench. Other features to look for include whether all four wheels lock, if they can swivel in place when locked or unlocked, and whether they are adjustable in height.


Brainstorm With A Top Industrial Furniture Manufacturer



Running a modern laboratory and sticking to a budget is a challenge. These simple fixes can go a long way.  However, if you’re looking for additional ways you can give your laboratory furniture a fresh look while boosting your productivity and efficiency, a top industrial furniture manufacturer can help.


Collaborating with experts in the field opens up a realm of possibilities. Engage in a dialogue with professionals who understand the nuanced demands of modern laboratory settings. Share your vision, discuss your specific needs and witness the transformation of your ideas into reality. 


A reputable manufacturer can provide tailored solutions, ensuring that your laboratory furniture not only meets the highest standards of functionality but also aligns seamlessly with the aesthetics of your workspace. From innovative designs to cutting-edge materials, this collaboration promises a comprehensive approach to elevating your laboratory environment. 


Update Your Laboratory Furniture On A Budget



Topics: 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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