How to Choose a Whiteboard

How to Choose A Whiteboard

Posted on 10, March, 2015

Last Modified on 18, May, 2016

Many people are unaware that there are multiple types of whiteboards. Based on your use of the whiteboard and maybe even your profession, it is important to know the differences between marker boards. The reason that some boards are more expensive is because of the material that a board is constructed from. The three main types of whiteboard materials are melamine, porcelain and glass.

Which Whiteboard Is The Best?

Choosing the best whiteboard for your home or office primarily comes down to just a 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
Ghosting Requires Cleaning Installation Notes
Melamine

YES

YES

Easy Good for Light Use
Porcelain

YES

NO

Easy Best for Heavy Use
Glass

NO

NO

Easy The Top Whiteboard

What is A Melamine Whiteboard?

melamine whiteboard
Melamine Whiteboard

Melamine is a more economical and 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 porcelain. The wearing down of the melamine and the porous design will lead to ghosting of the markers. This can be fixed by cleaning and conditioning the board regularly. Whiteboards with a melamine finish are great when looking for a more affordable product. You may want to save some money by going melamine if you're using the board less frequently.

What is A Porcelain Whiteboard?

porcelain whiteboard
Porcelain Whiteboard

A porcelain whiteboard is made from white ceramic and steel or aluminum backing. Boards with steel backing are also magnetic. Ceramic is a more durable material that is more resistant to damage such as stains, dents and scratches. Another great feature for using a porcelain marker board is that it features longer lasting layers. This is great for heavy use because it requires less cleaning and markers are less likely to ghost. Installations of porcelain whiteboards are 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

glass whiteboard
Glass Whiteboard

Whiteboards made of glass are extremely durable and constructed of tempered glass for safety. Another benefit is that the standoffs, if included, give the board a strong wall anchor. The product will cost more than a melamine or porcelain board, but will not streak or ghost. Glass whiteboards are more modern and come in many different colors, including clear. Many people accent the boards with a colored wall behind it to really make the marker board stand out. Some glass boards are also magnetic for hanging documents, plans, and memos. Glass boards often feature rounded corners for safety. One of the best features of a glass surface is that you can use liquid chalk, dry erase & wet erase markers. If you have a modern office or workspace where a board would be used frequently a glass whiteboard is what you’re looking for.

Can I Build My Own?

Buying products such as melamine sheets from your local store or Lexan (to have a glass whiteboard look) might look great at first, but after a short while ghosting and streaking will begin to appear because of the lower quality. This means that you can only keep notes and projects on the board for a small period of time before cleaning again. Also, cleaning of the boards will have to be done more extensively and that will cost you more money for purchasing cleaning supplies, along with costing you your time.