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Types of Whiteboard Surfaces


There are different kinds of whiteboard magnetic surfaces and here are a few for better understand of each of its composition and how it is built. Not all whiteboards are created equal.

Melamine Whiteboard Surface (Plastic):
Non – Magnetic and the economy option. Melamine is a resin-impregnated paper. Melamine is a fiberboard sheet that has a hard plastic-like coating on one side. Permanent markers are usually permanent on this surface. Melamine is the original whiteboard material and it is known to be the least expensive type of writing surface. It is normally used for DIY whiteboards which is typically used over a press-board substrate. Melamine is a fiberboard sheet that has a hard plastic-like coating on one side. Melamine whiteboard surface can be easily scratched and will show some staining as the whiteboard ages and over time it will become less and less erasable, usually within a few months. You may buy melamine sheet(s) from your local hardware store. You`ll probably want to choose a sheet with a smooth finish, since they generally erase easier and look better when written on.

Painted Steel Whiteboard Surface (Aluminum):
These surfaces consist of paint sprayed on a steel or aluminum surface. These types last longer than a melamine whiteboard surface and usually are easy to install. It is smoother than Melamine whiteboard surfaces and it has better eraseability but is prone to scrape and scratches. Paint is absorbent and over time will show some streak and discoloration from the use of markers. Painted aluminum surfaces are not magnetic but painted steel surfaces can allow the use of magnets. Permanent markers are permanent on these surfaces.

Glass or Magnetic Glass whiteboard Surface:
The glass marker board surface is the easiest to scrub, sanitize and clean. It is a superior surface for writing on with dry erase markers and erases with a tip of the finger. Glass Series whiteboards need extra strong magnets to add functionality for posting notes, memos and more. Glass whiteboards are normally manufactured with a magnetic writing surface of tempered safety glass of 4mm thick, and are polished on the edges. The Glass whiteboard’s surfaces are highly durable and requires very low to no maintenance. Standard dry erase markers and erasers make cleanup easy without permanent staining.

Porcelain-on-Steel or Enamel-on-Steel Whiteboard Surface:
Porcelain steel whiteboard surfaces are much more durable than the melamine boards because the writing surface is so hard. These surfaces are ceramic (glass) which is fired onto a steel surface in a kiln. The Porcelain, enamel on steel is the most durable whiteboard surface. The porcelain is hard baked enamel that can resists resist dents, scratches, stains and ghosting. The surface is highly scratch resistant, although materials harder than glass (like diamond) can scratch it. 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. The porcelain-on-steel surfaces do not absorb dry erase or permanent marker ink. The porcelain enameled writing surface is made by combining nickel, cobalt and glass and heating the ingredients to a high temperature that is over 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. They are perfect if you plan on using the board on a daily basis, they can withstand the test of time and maximum amount of usage of about 50 years. This is known as the most expensive surface used for whiteboards.


Finding the perfect whiteboard surface for your needs doesn’t need to be difficult. All four has its advantages and disadvantages. Its durability and lifespan will depends on how you use it and how you take care of it. In choosing a whiteboard, first you have to consider your budget and its intended purpose and use.

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