Differences Between Porcelain, Melamine and Glass Whiteboards

Differences Between Porcelain, Melamine and Glass Whiteboards
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There is no doubt that whiteboards are very useful and popular.

People used to use chalkboards, but chalkboards break fairly easily, not to mention that they are very messy, require a lot of maintenance, and that big piece of slate costs a serious amount of money. Chalkboards are the past and whiteboards are the future.

There is a reason why so many offices, factories, and classrooms alike are switching over to whiteboards, mainly because they are much cheaper, easier to install, easier to maintain, and much more.

Chalkboards just aren’t very good, especially when compared to something like this. With that being said, not all whiteboards are made the same.

Technically speaking, there are 3 different materials which whiteboards can be made of, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right whiteboard for you, your office, or your classroom can be difficult, especially when you do not know the difference between the 3 materials used.

In case you did not know, the 3 main materials used to make whiteboards include porcelain, melamine, and glass. You might think that it does not really matter which one you get, as long as it ends up being white, but this is simply not the case.

There are some big differences between the three whiteboard materials that you need to know. Let’s go over the most important differences right now.

Melamine Whiteboards

Melamine Whiteboards

First off, let’s take a look at whiteboards made out of melamine. In case you are wondering, melamine is a kind of plastic, one often used to make cheap plastic dishes and cutlery.

Melamine can also be used to make whiteboards. Melamine is a very cheap material to make and work with, which is one reason why it is used for whiteboards.

Melamine whiteboards are the cheapest of all whiteboards out there. This is a big advantage for some, especially for anybody with financial constraints, such as a teacher in a school for younger children.

Melamine whiteboards also tend to be quite lightweight, and therefore easy to transport, which is another main advantage they come with. However, this is where the advantages end.

To look at the drawbacks, melamine whiteboards are very porous, which in itself has several drawbacks. For one, the porous surface makes it much harder to write smoothly.

Furthermore, because they are so porous, it can make dry erase markers hard to erase, or at least, it takes a while. Melamine whiteboards are susceptible to ghosting and staining.

If you happen to use permanent marker by mistake, you will never be able to clean it off. In essence, the drawback of melamine whiteboards is that they just don’t last that long and they are hard to maintain. Another drawback is that they are not magnetic either.

Porcelain Whiteboards

A porcelain whiteboard is undoubtedly going to cost more than a melamine whiteboard. Yes, they can be twice or even three times as expensive, but this is for a good reason.

Simply put, they are much more durable. For one, these are usually made with some kind of steel or metal plate, which is then covered with porcelain or ceramic.

This in itself already makes the porcelain option much more durable. Another added benefit is that the metal plate also makes the porcelain whiteboard magnetic.

In terms of porosity, porcelain whiteboards tend to be very smooth and non-porous. They do much better than melamine whiteboards in terms of smooth writing and the ease of erasing the markers.

Because they are not porous, the marker’s ink does not adhere as well, thus making it easier to erase.

If you happen to use permanent marker with one of these things, there is still a chance that you might be able to get rid of it.

Furthermore, porcelain whiteboards last a lot longer, they are more durable, and do not need to be maintained as often as melamine whiteboards, but of course, they are much more expensive. They make for good investments for heavy-use scenarios.

Glass Whiteboards

When it comes down to it, one of the best options to go with is the glass whiteboard. Glass whiteboards, generally speaking, are made with tempered glass, so they are very durable.

Although you might think that glass is fragile, chances are a tempered glass whiteboard is always going to outlast both melamine and porcelain whiteboards, and they are actually very resistant to scratching.

Now, the obvious drawback to glass whiteboards is that they are much pricier than either melamine or porcelain. On that same note, glass whiteboards need to be anchored to a wall very well, as they are heavy and not built for easy transportation.

With that being said, glass whiteboards can come in many different colors, including clear for visual effect. Moreover, they are also super tough and easy to work with.

They barely require any maintenance, as the surface is always super smooth. They are very easy to write on and erasing marker off of them is easy too; even permanent marker can usually be removed with some effort.

In terms of being magnetic, some glass whiteboards are designed to be magnetic whereas others are not.

​Conclusion

So, as you can see, each of these 3 materials used to make whiteboards have advantages and drawbacks. If you want something small, cheap, and lightweight, you are best off going with melamine. 

If you want something super heavy duty that requires minimal maintenance and will last for a long time to come, glass is the way to go. If you want something that sits firmly in the middle, we would recommend porcelain.

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