Not all whiteboards are created equal.
When you need a dry-erase board, you will have many options to choose from and they are not all created equal and do not all perform the same. Two of the most common options are porcelain steel and melamine. If you find yourself wondering what the differences are, you are not alone. I hope to clarify the Pros and Cons of both melamine and porcelain boards in an effort to help you find the right board for your needs.
Economy option: Melamine (Non-Magnetic)
Melamine is comprised of a plastic film on white colored hardboard. These tend to be economically friendly but are not magnetic receptive. Over time and after repeated use, the clear coating will wear away which will result in ghosting or staining, so melamine boards should be cleaned immediately after every use to prolong the good condition of the boards.
If treated and maintained properly, melamine can last several years. However, this means that the board needs to be cleaned with a dry erase board cleaner and a microfiber cloth, rather than other harsh cleaners can eat away at the clear coating and cut down the ‘life span’ of the melamine board. Avoid leaving marker on the surface for extended periods of a time; this too can eat at the surface.
Durability option: Porcelain Steel (Magnetic)
Porcelain steel whiteboards are much more durable than the melamine boards because the writing surface is so hard. The porcelain is hard baked enamel that resists resist dents, scratches, stains and ghosting!
Additionally, a porcelain boards’ enamel surface is backed by steel. The steel strengthens the board while making it magnetic receptive allowing the use of magnets and magnetic accessories. With porcelain you get a durable writing surface that doubles as a bulletin board.
The best porcelain whiteboards come with a 50 year warranty on the writing surface! They are perfect if you plan on using the board on a daily basis, they can withstand the maximum amount of usage. Think about it, with a 50 year guarantee, if a porcelain board is purchased for a classroom, the board will not have to be replaced until current students’ grandchildren are in the classroom!
If you plan on constantly using the whiteboard, it will be more cost effective to purchase a porcelain whiteboard once, instead of replacing multiple melamine boards over the years.
Finding the perfect whiteboard for your needs doesn’t need to be difficult. Melamine and Porcelain boards both have advantages and disadvantages, either one could be the right fit for you consider your budget but also how you plan to use and care for your whiteboard.