Since When Did Choosing a Whiteboard Become so Difficult?

Did you know there are multiple types of whiteboards? How you use the whiteboard and maybe even your profession, is important decision criteria for the right marker board. Price is another criteria; some boards are more expensive due to the material used to construct the board. Whiteboard materials are either melamine, porcelain, or glass.

So how do we choose the best whiteboard? Whiteboards are so different from their initial development in the mid-60’s. In the beginning, the whiteboards were tough to clean, considering dry erase markers were not yet invented.

Today, users have several surface selections and other features that make you think before you just buy the first white board you see. You can have boards with printed graphics and wording, which have a magnetic or non-magnetic surface, and possibly a cork board as part of the finished framed unit.

There are simple choices when you want to make sure your whiteboard has no staining from the previous use, when you want cleaning to be easy, and when the lowest overall cost of use is important.

So, Which Whiteboard Is The Best?

Selecting the best whiteboard for your office or home comes down to few questions.

  • How often will you be using it?
  • What’s the purpose?
  • Where will you be placing the whiteboard?
  • How much money do you want to spend?
  • What style are you looking for?
    • Cabinet style
    • Framed: wood or aluminum (types of wood)
    • Marker Tray
    • Black dry-erase board
    • Dry Erase Board / bulletin board combo
    • Planning boards: calendar, project planner and grid boards

This table provide a quick look at the whiteboard material options.

GhostingRequires CleaningInstallationNotes
MelamineYESYESEasyGood for Light Use
PorcelainYESNOEasyBest for Heavy Use
GlassNONOEasyThe Top Whiteboard

Which is the best? Here’s a deeper look at each surface type:

What is a melamine whiteboard?

Melamine is an inexpensive laminate coating for whiteboards. The compound is made of cheaper material, so the coatings on a whiteboard will wear down faster compared to a board made of porcelain. Melamine boards cost the least, but require the greatest amount of regular maintenance and have short lifespans, so the use of melamine boards can be more costly for a school, business, hospital or other organization in the long run.

Ghosting marks are caused by the wearing down of the melamine and the porous design. The surface of these boards is very porous, leading to staining from regular use of dry erase markers. Preventing ghost markings can be fixed by cleaning and conditioning the board regularly. If permanent markers are mistakenly used, the ink cannot be cleaned off. Whiteboards with a melamine finish are a more affordable product. You may want to save some money by going melamine if you’re using the board less frequently.

One last thought about melamine boards is that they are not magnetic, so you can’t display papers and posters on them without using sticky tape. Based on all this information, melamine boards are not the best whiteboard option for most users.

What makes a porcelain whiteboard better?

Porcelain boards are the most popular whiteboards on the market, offering some advantages over melamine boards, yet still has issues that could frustrate users. White ceramic is used to make a porcelain whiteboard and manufactured with varying degrees of ink resistance. The boards also have a steel or aluminum backing. The steel backing makes these boards magnetic. Ceramic is a durable material that can be resistant to stains, dents, and scratches.

Another feature to a porcelain marker board is that it has longer lasting layers which are great for heavy use. Due to the layers, you don’t have to clean and condition the board as often, and markers are less likely to ghost. The boards can become stained over time with regular use. Using whiteboard cleaners should eliminate the staining, and the removal of permanent marker ink is difficult. The use of porcelain whiteboards is perfect in common rooms like factory floors and office lobbies. The only downside to this type of board is that it will cost a little more, but the lifespan is much more substantial to melamine.

All About Glass Whiteboards

Marker boards made with tempered glass are another option but have their disadvantages. These boards are extremely durable and often feature rounded corners for safety. Glass whiteboards are modern looking and don’t always need framing. The glass can come in many different colors, including clear. Because the surface may not be white, it can be difficult to view presentations made on them. One idea is to accent the boards with a colored wall behind it to make the marker board stand out.

You can also make glass marker boards magnetic by adding a steel backing. Be careful though this can cause reflection problems. A great feature of a glass surface is that you can use liquid chalk, dry erase & wet erase markers. None of which will cause staining, streaking or ghost markings. Glass is very easy to clean. Glass marker boards tend to be more expensive than whiteboards. If you have a modern office or workspace where a board will be used repeatedly, consider making an impact by using a glass whiteboard.

Another option is EverWhite

The EverWhite dry erase board is an option that stands up to heavy use, that always stays white and that lasts a lifetime. The online buying guide Galt said this about EverWhite whiteboards: “If you want a dry erase board that will last through a lot of use, whether in a classroom or business, EverWhite is the answer.”

These boards are made with a proprietary, non-porous surface that does not allow marker ink to penetrate. The surface is so solid that EverWhite offers a lifetime guarantee against ghosting and staining. You can purchase EverWhite boards with a magnetic or non-magnetic surfaces.

You can easily clean an EverWhite board by using a simple cloth; microfiber cloths work best. For random cleaning, use water or any window cleaner, such as Windex®, without damaging the surface. You can even remove permanent marker ink from an EverWhite surface by rewriting on the permanent ink with a dry erase marker and then erase it all off.

Whiteboards are the focal point in your space. Anytime you draw or write on the surface; you’re inviting attention to the board. If your board is stained, you’re not able to make your best presentation. So don’t just go out and buy the first whiteboard you see, consider how you will use your white board and make the best decision for your space.

No matter what kind of office you’re in, there are many ways that you can make your office smarter and more productive. When you’re looking to keep everything connected, check out our partner company, Peak I.T. for all of your networking needs. 

If you’re looking to make a lasting impression with the latest and greatest professional displays, give us a call at 330-726-1000, and we’ll help you stay on top of the technology curve.