Types of whiteboards and buying the right one for you

Posted by Rudi Ernst on

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Buying a whiteboard seems like a straightforward thing. You pick one that is of the right size and you are good to go, right? No, of course not. It is a lot more complex than that. There are several factors that should go into your buying decision and size is one of the things to consider, not the only thing.

There are typically 3 types of whiteboards that are available in the market today. They are; glass, melamine, and porcelain. Each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick walk-through that will help you make an informed decision on your purchase.

There are 4 major factors that should go into the purchase decision


Ghosting is the stain that markers leave behind on dry wipe boards. They are not easy to remove and are normally the result of people leaving the marker on the board far longer than it needs to be on it. When permanent markers are used on boards, this happens. It needs to be cleaned with solvents, but even that might not completely clear the marks. Ghosting is a major problem with melamine boards and using heavy chemical cleaners will erode the shiny surface, making the board pretty useless. Porcelain boards are better suited in this aspect, but once the sheen wears off, it is not completely invulnerable to ghosting. Glass boards are the clear winner in this aspect as nothing sticks to glass.


All boards need to be kept clean and maintained well. Not all boards, however are easy to maintain. Melamine boards need the most cleaning. In fact, they need to be wiped after every use, right away. Porcelain boards are a lot more sturdy and come with several layers of material, so they need no be cleaned that often. Glass boards need no cleaning and maintenance.


All three types of boards can be easily installed. All they need are screws and a wall to hang from. They can be put in place in a few minutes and can be used right away. If they need to be placed on a stand that needs to be moved around, they come in stands with rotating frames and have wheels so that they can pushed and placed however necessary. The weight of the boards is also something that needs to be carefully considered. Glass is the heaviest, with porcelain coming in second because they are steel and wood backed, melamine is the lightest of the lot and will usually have an MDF plank upon which the plastic is pasted.

Features and cost

The more features, the more the cost, naturally. Porcelain is the most expensive type, followed by glass and then comes the melamine. Porcelain and melamine boards can also have steel sheeting backing them, making them magnetic as well. Apart from this, there are whiteboards that act as display panels for smart boards and they tend to cost a lot more.

While these are the most popular ones, it is not to say that they are the only ones available. The ones mentioned above are simply your best choice when it comes to whiteboard types.

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