All You Wanted to Know About a Whiteboard

A whiteboard is also known as a dry wipe board, a marker board or a dry erase have grown in popularity over the years and today it has replaced the traditional chalkboards in schools, colleges, offices and meeting rooms. In fact in most of the offices these days, the whiteboards have become a useful permanent fixture that people cannot do without. So where did the journey of this permanent fixture in most of the offices and schools start? Let’s find out!

This ingenious product was invented by Martin Heit, a Korean War veteran and a photographer and this idea was originally developed by Martin to help him take down notes while he was on the phone. The early whiteboards had a glassy finish on them that could be found on the film negatives. Martin Heit prepared his prototype and sold his idea to Dry Mark who in turn began introducing the whiteboard into the educational sector.

Whiteboards became very popular all across in various sectors especially the educational sector, in 1990s, that too when the likely health risks that chalk dust posed was a major cause for concern. Once it was introduced in the market, there was no turning back and the rest as they say is history as the whiteboards have come a long way from being an expensive product with melamine surface to porcelain steel dry erase surface that is magnetic which is the best quality board available in the market. The white boards, over a period of time have also become affordable and are common even in hospitals apart from schools, offices and universities

The whiteboards available in the market can be differentiated based on the different surfaces used on these boards and there are four popular options available in the market, namely melamine, painted aluminum or steel, hardcoat laminate and porcelain enamel on steel.


In this type of whiteboard, a paper that is resin infused is used over the surface which could either be a medium density fiber board or a particle board. These boards are available in different qualities, with some of them retaining the residue of the erased marking leading to a phenomenon that is called as ghosting and some others that do not exhibit the ghosting phenomenon for a longer duration. The melamine board is one of the cheapest types of whiteboards available in the market and is usually used in a number of non commercial applications.

Painted aluminum or steel

The next type of whiteboard that is available in the market is the painted aluminum or steel board. Since the surface is painted, the surface is smoother and is also easy to erase. The surface on the painted aluminum or steel whiteboard has different layers of coatings. The base coat is usually white in color and the other coating which is the dry erase component, is known as the clear performance coating. Some of the high quality painted aluminum or steel whiteboards have excellent dry erase properties with some of the best quality boards permitting the user to even clear content that has been written using permanent markers. However since the surface is coated, extreme caution and care has to be taken while using the board and maintaining it, as it is likely to get scratches easily. While the painted steel surface is magnetic in nature, the painted aluminum surface is very expensive as well as these surfaces are non magnetic in nature and hence are very rarely used. Usually the painted aluminum or steel whiteboards are used as patient information boards, training boards, or even tracking boards.

Hardcoat laminate

The hardcoat laminate whiteboard is another type of board that offers varied performance, which is dependent on the quantity of resin on the board. Based on the quality of the material uses, some of these boards are extremely resistant to stains and they are less porous too.

Porcelain enamel on steel

The porcelain enamel on steel surface whiteboard is very durable and the best quality whiteboard that is available in the market. These boards are very much in demand these days as they are highly durable and are not susceptible to scratches easily. The porcelain enamel on steel surface is magnetic and it does not absorb ink from a permanent marker or the whiteboard marker ink. Cleaning this surface is also very easy and all you need to use is a nonabrasive cleaner. Most of the porcelain enamel on steel surface whiteboards have a lifetime warranty on them which makes them the most sensible option for schools, colleges and offices.

Now that we know all about the different types of surfaces used on whiteboards, let’s look at some of the uses of these whiteboards. Whiteboards are being predominantly used in schools and colleges. Not only do these whiteboards make excellent learning medium but they can also be used to play a number of interesting games in the class. The whiteboards allows children to write or draw without you having to worry about wasting too much of paper. So the games that you can play with your children can range from a wide variety of word games such as Hangman where the children need to guess the letters to form the right word, that requires the children to write on the whiteboard to barrios drawing games, such as Picture What, where the child has to guess the picture that has been drawn on the whiteboard.

So apart from the fact that these boards are easy to use and easy to maintain, another fact that has made these boards very popular is that the whiteboards requires minimal hardware for it to be operational. In case you need the whiteboard to be fastened onto the wall all you need are some screws, and in case you need the board to be mobile then all you need to purchase is a white board easel that is also easily available online and that too at affordable rates. However when you place your board in front of the audience make sure that the board is kept at the right height so that your audience is able to read what is written on the board easily.