Many whiteboards look the same, but they are not constructed the same. Knowing what the differences are saves both time and money.
The biggest differentiator between whiteboards is surface type.
Whiteboard surfaces are designed with different levels of quality and intended for different uses. For instance, boards that are used heavily require a surface that can withstand frequent wear and tear.
DuraMax® Porcelain (best) is the least porous and ideal for heavy use.
Total Erase® (better) has a coated surface and is designed for moderate use.
Total Erase® whiteboards are great quality at a value price. A subtle grid pattern is printed on surface to guide writing and ink erases cleanly after each use. The surface resists staining and ghosting, but the occasional use of cleaners is recommended for top performance. These moderate use boards are ideal for smaller meeting rooms and departmental spaces.
Melamine (good) is for light use.
The writing surface of a melamine whiteboard is durable, and will outperform any board sold at a retail store. With a more porous design, it is more susceptible to wear and tear. The surface requires regular cleaning and conditioning. Light use (Melamine) whiteboards should be used only in low-traffic areas and make good personal home/office boards.
All whiteboards have a limited lifespan. The time and cost associated with whiteboard maintenance and replacement must be taken into account. While whiteboards with the highest quality surface type cost more up front, they last a lot longer. When treated properly, a DuraMax® Porcelain board can last up to 20 years. The lifespan of one porcelain surfaced whiteboard equals six melamine surfaced boards.
TIP: Buy a whiteboard with a surface type that is a level up from what you think you need. Once the board is mounted and accessible chances are it will be used more often than you can estimate.
Two other critical factors to consider when investing in a whiteboard are size and mounting. Measure the wall space available, and be sure to note whether the dimensions listed are in feet or inches. Also pay attention to how to install the whiteboard. Question what mounting hardware is included with the board. Does it allow both vertical and horizontal mounting?
Beyond surface type, lifespan, size and mounting are accessory and aesthetic needs. Every whiteboard requires quality dry-erase markers, erasers and board cleaning products. Other handy accessories include magnets and items to customize your board.
Some whiteboard features can make them more functional as well as fashionable. Not all whiteboard surfaces are magnetic, but the ones that are make great presentation boards. A few simple magnets allow the whiteboard to double as a bulletin board for hanging of charts and images. A similar functionality is seen in the two-in-one dry-erase and bulletin combination boards. Another useful feature is a grid pattern. Whiteboards, like the Total Erase®, that come with a subtle grid pattern printed on the surface help keep writing aligned, which is ideal for scheduling teams and drawing graphs.
TIP: Specialty whiteboards often fit specific functional and aesthetic needs. Quartet® offers planner, calendar and organizer boards such as the InView™ custom whiteboard and a wide variety of