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If you are designing your first cannabis testing laboratory or are just making a much-needed upgrade to an existing lab, you’ll want to consider which work surfaces will work best for you. Laboratory furniture, tables, and benches play a considerable role in the work performed in your lab. Getting the right work surface will undoubtedly make a difference in what you can do, and the time it takes to complete tasks.

Surface Types

Different work surfaces can be used for different types of tasks. The first step in choosing a surface type is to know what kind of work you want to do. Whether you are performing research, extracting CBD, harvesting, packaging, or making edibles, there is a surface perfect for your task. Here are some of the most common:

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is often the most popular surface in medical labs. This surface is non-porous and antimicrobial. It is ideal for any environment with concerns about moisture causing corrosion or rust.

Phenolic

Phenolic surfaces are made by stacking and soaking paper fibers in phenolic acid. The surface is then heated to become a hardened panel. The end result is a lightweight and durable tabletop that protects and against most chemicals.

Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin table tops are made from a blend of various resins and fillers. The end result is a surface great at protecting against moisture, heat, impacts, and most chemicals. Epoxy resin surfaces are also used to make pegboards and sinks. 

Maple Block

Surfaces made from maple can handle a variety of impacts and are incredibly sturdy. They may not be the best choice to protect against chemicals.

ESD Laminate

Electro-static dissipative laminate prevents the discharge of pent up static electricity. If your lab has sensitive equipment, you should definitely consider having ESD laminate surfaces.

HDPE

High-density polyethylene is exceptionally resistant to chipping. This surface is the same material used to make cutting boards. An HDPE will be a great addition if your lab does a lot of chopping, like in edible cannabis prep.

Laminate

Laminate is durable, water-resistant, and comes at a lower cost. Many general-purpose countertops are made from simple laminate. This surface would, however, not be an excellent choice for surfaces that need to hold chemicals or sensitive equipment.

Other Considerations

When selecting different surfaces for your lab, you should also consider if your tables or workbenches need additional features. For example, do you want the tabletop to be adjustable so researchers can sit or stand? Should the work stations have wheels to be moved around the lab? You might also consider adding modesty panels, under-mounted cabinets, or additional storage shelves.

Designing your cannabis lab can be a tremendous job. If you aren’t sure what would make the most sense for your lab’s needs and budget, consider working with a cannabis lab design specialist who can make a recommendation based on your unique situation.

Do you have any tips for selecting laboratory surfaces in a cannabis workspace? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.