Choosing a new floor for your laboratory requires a bit more planning than another room might. Determining the best type of floor requires some thought and planning regarding what types of activities that are being done in the laboratory.
For example, in many laboratories, there may be some spills and liquids that may regularly hit the floor. For this reason, a waterproof option would be best. Some great options that are waterproof are porcelain tile, stone, marble, vinyl, poured cement, and rubber. Any of those options will hold up to spills and messes that may hit the floor and be easy to clean if that ever happens.
Another consideration would be durability. What type of traffic would be going through the lab? Would heavy equipment be moved across it regularly, or heavy carts and/or refrigeration units? If so, porcelain tile and vinyl may not be the best choices. While they are very durable in a home atmosphere, they may not hold up as well in the laboratory environment. Stone, marble, poured cement, and rubber would be the better options in regard to durability and heavy use that a laboratory floor might get.
Price may be another consideration, especially if the lab is a larger. Marble is durable and waterproof, but it's a high-end product with a higher price tag. Marble flooring is really known for it's beauty and decorative properties which aren't usually the priorities in a lab environment. Stone also is a bit on the pricier side and needs to be sealed to render it effective against stains and damage. Poured concrete may also need to be sealed for protection, but has no need for grout, so stains and damage can be kept to a minimum.
Ideally, for the best durability, ease of cleaning, and cost-effectiveness, poured cement would be the best option, with rubber flooring installed in areas that may need more traction, electrical grounding, or support for those standing for longer periods of time. Cement can be easily poured and installed, is waterproof in case of spills, can be installed with drains for easy clean-up, can hold up to just about any machinery or equipment, and can be a subfloor for other types of flooring if necessary, such as the rubber flooring mentioned above. It's also quite cost-effective and should last many years if properly installed and treated.
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