The porosity and durability of the surfaces are two essential aspects that influence the type of laboratory flooring solutions you select. Selecting a flooring type for your laboratory can be challenging, regardless of how you use it. But ultimately, you want to be as economical as you can while giving safety and success a first priority. Antimicrobial, bacteriostatic, slip, abrasion, and chemical resistance are just a few of the qualities that you must look at while choosing the flooring solutions for your labs. Because such elements become integral to the design and performance of a laboratory.
It is, therefore, crucial to select the material that best fits the specialty of your laboratory, whether you are building from scratch or remodeling. To make your selection simpler, we’ll examine the several kinds of laboratory flooring solutions that are offered here, along with their unique characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks.
What Are Some of The Common Aspects of Laboratory Flooring That You Need to Consider?
There are a few characteristics that most lab flooring kinds have in common that you must consider. These consist of:
- Durability: Flooring that can tolerate heavy foot and cart activity while providing resilient protection is a must.
- Anti-slip: Your lab flooring must provide the right amount of traction in every particular region to prevent slippage.
- Non-permeable exterior: A non-absorbent, impermeable surface that can tolerate being exposed to substances in the space would be best.
- Easy to clean: You must consider the lab flooring that is easy to maintain, with cheap and simple cleaning and sanitizing capabilities.
These qualities are typically among the bare minimum needed for flooring in research laboratories.
TOP CHOICES FOR LABORATORY FLOORING
Ecotiles, also known as interlocking PVC tiles, are incredibly simple to install on any hard surface without the use of adhesives, specialized tools, or prior technical expertise. You can just install the tiles during the working hours of the company.
Advantages: There are no drying or curing times, and very little preparation has to be done to the current floor. This easy flooring solution gets rid of cracking, brittle, and damaged resin flooring, paint delamination, dust, grime, and damp issues.
Cons: There are no disadvantages of Ecotiles as such, but yeah this is among the labs flooring laboratory flooring solutions which is expensive. However, considering its longevity, Ecotiles can be a time investment for you.
Second, we have Epoxy Resin! This flooring solution is a combination of two different materials i.e., epoxy, the first one, and resin, the other half. When you combine these two elements, you get a surface that looks like chemically hardened plastic.
It is renowned for its durability and chemical resistance and most common flooring choice for all kinds of laboratories. Epoxy resin is known for its smooth and seamless surface texture that is impervious to stains and abrasions. The high gloss finish of epoxy flooring is responsible for its shine and visibility. Similar benefits may be obtained via resin-based treatments, which can also be customized to include antibacterial or anti-static qualities, among other features. These systems provide a reliable and flexible option for application in scientific settings.
Advantages: Resin flooring offers a strong, flexible, and safe walking surface that can support heavy loads without deteriorating the concrete beneath. They are among the most chemical-resistant and sanitary flooring options available. Spills are readily cleaned up without having to worry about them sinking or settling below the surface of the lab flooring, much like spills on kitchen counters. As a result, epoxy resin has excellent resistance to chemicals and other dangerous materials.
Cons: Depending on usage, resin flooring typically requires replacement every few years due to the rapid deterioration caused by normal wear and tear. This might get expensive because it’s the most expensive choice. In a similar vein, epoxy upon resin preparation and application can be time-consuming. Before applying the epoxy, the concrete floor below has to be clear of any cracks, grease, oil, or solvents. The procedure of applying epoxy requires several coatings, and it takes a while because each coat takes days to dry.
Vinyl flooring is a product made up of many layers of various materials fused together to create a floor covering that is incredibly practical, long-lasting, and reasonably priced. Vinyl roll and Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) are the two primary varieties of vinyl flooring. Although LVT and vinyl roll are manufactured differently to achieve various effects, they are both comprised of the same materials. For instance, the plank format works well for replicating real wood.
Advantages: Vinyl flooring is among the ideal laboratory flooring solutions because it is both visually beautiful and long-lasting. Even while there might not be a lot of foot traffic, there might be a significant number of rolling trolleys carrying heavy equipment, chemicals, and samples that need to be transported quickly and smoothly. In comparison with tougher floor materials, it is also somewhat more pleasant underfoot and sound-absorbing. It’s also simple to maintain and clean. Depending on the layout, replacing any broken tiles or planks can occur with little to no impact on the lab’s output.
Cons: Vinyl flooring is less economical than other materials since replacements are more expensive, even if they can be readily replaced. Moreover, it lacks biodegradability, which lowers sustainability and can produce ecological waste. You might need to confirm that the vinyl flooring you’re selecting satisfies the environmental construction requirements of the structure housing your organization.
Easy Installation of sealed concrete makes it one of the best flooring solutions for your labs if you have a concrete base already. To safeguard it and make sure your flooring can withstand the rigors of your lab, a seal is applied on top.
Advantages: It is among the cheaper laboratory flooring solutions that have flexible, durable, and low-maintenance attributes. This has helped explain why it’s becoming more and more popular in scientific settings. If you properly use it, then Sealed Concrete can endure spills and contaminants for a long time. Additionally, this type of flooring is quite simple to clean and maintain.
Cons: There are some disadvantages to it, though. While its endurance may be advantageous, it may also provide a danger of harm or damage in the event that lab participants trip or fall or the equipment is dropped. After cleaning, caution must be used when walking since it becomes extremely slippery when wet. It may also be rather chilly during some seasons if it isn’t put in combination with a radiant floor heating system because it doesn’t have any insulating value. Furthermore, any liquid that seeps into the pores of the concrete floor and hasn’t been adequately sealed might result in the growth of mould and mildew.
Mezzanine floors are raised platforms that are built in a laboratory between the main floor and the ceiling. Most typically, they are put in to make the most of cramped areas.
Advantages: Mezzanine flooring can be used to increase space, flexibility, and production in a variety of ways. The higher platform offers more working areas for your lab, which is the major benefit. It can improve the efficiency and organization of your lab when utilized for extra workstations or storage. This extra flooring may be a major addition that raises the value of the house, depending on the available area.
Cons: Although a mezzanine floor might maximize your available space, the large beams and pillars supporting the higher platform can also be an obstacle. These might obstruct places with high foot traffic and interfere with processes. You might need to radically rethink your lab’s general design if you want to install this kind of floor.
Acid brick flooring is a brick or tile that resists acids and other corrosive substances. It is a popular choice for laboratories, chemical plants, and other industrial settings where chemical spills are common. Acid brick flooring is often made from clay bricks that have been burned at a high temperature. The bricks’ strong, impermeable construction makes them resistant to liquids and chemicals.
Advantages: There are numerous benefits that acid brick flooring provides which makes it a popular option in a variety of contexts. First of all, it is quite durable and able to survive rigorous use as well as able to withstand damage from chemical spills. It is among the smart laboratory flooring solutions for spaces where corrosive chemicals and acids are present because of its resilience to these substances. Furthermore, acid brick flooring is generally simple to maintain which means its cleaning and upkeep are easier. Its capacity to withstand slips makes it even more appropriate for industrial environments.
Cons: There are several drawbacks to acid brick flooring that should be taken into account. One of the main disadvantages is that, when you compare it to other flooring alternatives like concrete or vinyl, you will find it more expensive. Not only that, installing would be more difficult and need certain knowledge which simply means it will raise the entire cost. Another issue with acid brick flooring is its weight. These bricks are heavy and you will require additional support structures and additional funding. And lastly, you will have to compromise with the aesthetic appeal because these tiles are not as pleasing as some other flooring options.
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