Both laboratories and kitchens have one major thing in common: they need the right countertops. But while countertops are an important focus in the design of each of these spaces, the reality is that there are going to be different factors influencing your decision of which countertops you end up installing. What do you need to consider when installing lab countertops over kitchen countertops? Let’s take a look at three ways in which kitchen countertops differ from lab countertops.
1. Kitchen Countertops Are Generally Made With Different Materials
Kitchen design is extremely different from lab design in regards to the type of materials that you’re going to find around each environment, especially when it comes to countertops. For example, when you’re designing your kitchen, you might be looking into different options like stone or marble. But with lab countertops, you’re going to be looking at a wide range of materials that are lab-specific, including options like epoxy resin, phenolic resin, and polypropylene, just to name a few. With that in mind, there might be some overlap, such as butcher’s block countertops.
2. Each Is Designed With Different Objectives in Mind
When you’re designing your kitchen, you’re choosing the right countertops based on the types of activities you’ll be doing on them. You want something that’s scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and aesthetically pleasing so that you’re satisfied with your choice as you continue to live in your home.
When you’re designing a lab, you’re focusing on a few key areas. This includes heat resistance, mold resistance, durability, and a lack of absorbency when it comes to various chemicals you might be using in your lab space. This is naturally going to trump aesthetics as you seek the right materials to make sure your lab space is safe, clean, and designed for consistent use.
3. Light Is a Major Consideration for One But Not the Other
Generally speaking, kitchens are supposed to be bright, warm, and inviting. You want to make sure that there’s plenty of natural light coming into your kitchen at all times so that everything is bright and easy to navigate. You still need plenty of light in a lab, but it might not always be wise to have natural light coming in. Light can introduce heat, which can be problematic for certain types of material that are used in crafting lab countertops. UV rays can degrade several types of lab countertops, including epoxy resin and phenolic resin. While natural sunlight is great in a kitchen, it doesn’t necessarily have the same place in a lab.
It doesn’t seem like your choice of countertops would make that much of a difference in various environments, but you’d be surprised how your selection can impact you in a kitchen versus a lab setting. Whereas kitchen countertops are supposed to be attractive and designed for basic wear and tear associated with cooking and holding things, lab countertops need to be suited for scientific activities. If you’re designing your lab space, use the three distinctions above to help you learn more about what you should be looking for when you’re deciding on countertops.