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Glass boards vs Traditional Whiteboards

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Whiteboards began replacing chalkboards in the 1990s because the chalk dust caused health issues for people with dust allergies, and the dust wasn’t computer-friendly, either. That’s when whiteboards, also known as the dry erase board, started to become the standard for classrooms and offices so people could feel educated and empowered in a safe manner.

Today, there are several different types of whiteboards in the marketplace, including the newest arrival – glass boards. As we enter this new day and age, with more connectivity, the utilization of more technology in the office, and the hybrid office model, it’s important to keep the office updated with the newest and latest as well. This is where glass boards come to play.  Consider how often the whiteboard will be used, the ways it will be used, its location, and your budget when deciding which one is best for you.

The majority of whiteboards fall into three material categories: melamine, painted steel and porcelain, and tempered glass. Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide which one is best for you.

#1 Melamine

Melamine whiteboards, as you find in office supply stores, are manufactured by laminating layers of resin-infused paper over a backing – usually particleboard or fiberboard. The more resin, the more stain-resistant and the better quality the whiteboard will be. Most melamine whiteboards are non-magnetic, however, some come with steel backings.

The surface is porous. Even when treated with care, it will eventually degrade, resulting in staining and ghosting (when marker ink penetrates the surface of the whiteboard). They require regular cleaning to keep them looking their best.

This is the least expensive and lowest quality type of whiteboard. Melamine whiteboards are prone to warping, degrading, and general wear-and-tear – scuffs, dings, and dents – resulting in a short lifespan.

Melamine whiteboards are typically lighter in weight than other whiteboards, which makes them easier to install, and they come in a variety of standard sizes. Aesthetically, they can’t compare to more upscale whiteboards.

Melamine whiteboards are readily available, inexpensive, and basic. Their porous surface quickly stains and ghosts. If you are using a whiteboard daily, you Melamine may not be the best choice If you use one only occasionally and take good care of it, this might be a reasonable choice.

#2 Painted Steel & Porcelain

Painted steel whiteboards are covered with a white base coat and a clear coat that gives it dry-erase properties. This acrylic enamel surface is softer than porcelain whiteboards. Painted whiteboards while sturdier than melamine whiteboards are not as durable as porcelain whiteboards or glass boards. Like melamine whiteboards, the quality of painted steel whiteboards varies greatly. Painted steel whiteboards can be damaged by scratches and dents which can lead to rust. The steel backing provides good magnetic properties but makes the whiteboard heavy. These are the midpoint price-wise, costing more than melamine whiteboards, but less than porcelain or glass boards.

During the manufacturing process for porcelain whiteboards, porcelain enamel is fired or baked onto the steel backing. That gives them a durable, highly scratch-resistant finish, although it can still scratch. The non-porous surface doesn’t absorb dry erase markers or permanent marker ink, so it won’t stain. They are resistant to ghosting but may ghost over time. The non-porous surface makes it resistant to harboring bacteria.

The bright white, shiny surface of porcelain whiteboards provides a sharp contrast to the marker color, making it easy to read. However, that glossy finish means porcelain whiteboards can’t be used as a projection screen and they don’t accept print.

The steel backing is magnetic but makes these whiteboards very heavy. For example, an 8-foot-by-4-foot porcelain whiteboard weighs more than 140 pounds. Machining porcelain is difficult, so typically the size options are limited. A variety of frames are available as well as custom frameless options.

Painted steel whiteboards are a step above melamine whiteboards. With proper use and care they are adequate for light to medium use and have a price tag to match.

With a more than 25-year lifespan, porcelain whiteboards are durable and not easily scratched or dented. Their non-porous surface resists staining and ghosting and they are easy to clean. They can handle heavy, daily usage. The downside is their weight, the fact that they’re unsatisfactory for projection, and their cost.

#3 Glass Boards

Made from tempered safety glass, glass boards outclass other whiteboards by far in the aesthetics department. The transparent glass finish is sleek, modern, elegant, and professional and works well with any décor. They look right at home in high-end doctor’s offices, corporate offices, and higher education facilities. glass boards come in a huge variety of available colors. Clarus, for example, offers more than 150 standard colors. In addition, they can be stenciled and printed with company logos or other graphics. glass boards can be framed or frameless, and there’s a nice size selection. Custom colors and sizes are available.

Although a glass board is typically more expensive than melamine and painted steel, their quality outshines the lower price tag of the more inexpensive options. They are four times more durable than porcelain whiteboards. They simply won’t wear out. Glass doesn’t dent and it is highly scratch resistant. The nonporous surface means marker colors won’t stain them. And they’re guaranteed never to ghost. Glass boards are bacteria-resistant and are easily sanitized and sterilized., but Clarus glass boards come with a lifetime guarantee, so you never need to replace them.

Glass boards are the ultimate in whiteboards. They outperform the competition in aesthetics and durability, although abrasive cleaners may scratch their surface. And they don’t stain or ghost. glass boards are a perfect way to brainstorm or jot ideas down when you’re trying to have an effective team meeting. You can also leave them in a commonly used area and use it to put pertinent information, put affirmations or encouraging statements or have it be used as a community bulletin board. With Clarus glass boards, the possibilities are endless.

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