By Nicole Tinkham
Purchasing a dry-erase board comes with several different options that you may not have been expecting. You most likely know the approximate size board you need but there are other features that may catch you off-guard like: type of frame (aluminum or wood), whether or not it has a marker tray and what type of material it’s made of (melamine or porcelain). Before you get too overwhelmed with your options, let’s discuss your main choice – melamine or porcelain- so you know exactly what type board you’re looking for before placing an order or searching stores. Your other options are secondary and don’t require as much thought, although we will be talking about those as well.
Being made of a plastic film on white hardwood, melamine is the most economically friendly choice when it comes to dry-erase boards. These boards are a great option if taken care of properly, however they won’t last as long as porcelain. With time, the clear plastic film will wear off resulting in staining which is why it’s important to clean properly for a longer use. Melamine boards should be cleaned after every use with a dry-erase board cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Harsh cleaners will just eat away at the plastic film reducing the life of the board. Dry-erase markers will also eat away at this plastic film if left on for an extended period of time so make sure to clean thoroughly after each use! Melamine boards are a great price and can last several years but one downside to consider is that these boards are not magnetic.
Need durability? If so, porcelain boards are the way to go! These boards are made of hard enamel (like glass) that resists damage such as dents, stains, and scratches. The strength of this board is reinforced with a steel back, also making it magnetic (just another bonus!). Porcelain boards will cost a bit more than the melamine boards but if used often, it’s well worth the extra bucks. Some even have a 50 year guarantee!
How to choose
Porcelain and melamine are both great choices – porcelain for its durability and melamine for its low cost. When deciding which one to purchase, assess how often you’ll be using the board. If it will be used on a daily basis, porcelain is your best choice. Even though you’ll pay more upfront, you won’t have to replace it which actually saves you money. If you don’t plan on using the board often, melamine boards will last several years and would be the better choice. When purchasing a dry-erase board, there are a few other options to consider:
- Cabinet style
- Frame: wood, aluminum
- Marker tray
- Black dry-erase board
- Dry-erase/bulletin board combo
- Planning boards: calendars, project planners, and grid boards
After your dry-erase board purchase there are other items you will need to think about like dry-erase markers and cleaning supplies. Focus on finding the right board first and we’ll talk about accessories in a later post. If you need any help choosing a board, we are more than happy to help. Just stop in, give us a call (941-747-2995), or ask a question below in the comment box.