One can find whiteboards everywhere: in offices, meeting rooms, school classrooms, homes…
Ubiquitous as they are today, whiteboards were not an instant success when they first appeared in the late 1950s to mid-1960s.
It took them about three decades to get to the place where they deserve to be, which is pretty much everywhere. The invention of dry markers in the 1970s was the turning point in whiteboards’ march to popularity.
When choosing a whiteboard, it’s not enough to just determine the size you want. There are other factors to consider.
The surface determines the quality of a whiteboard.
Porcelain whiteboards do not absorb the ink from a marker, which makes them easy to clean and to keep in pristine condition. They can last practically forever and are also the most expensive.
Standard whiteboards come in cheaper materials such as laminated chipboard or melamine. They can last many years, but some staining is to be expected with repeated use. Regular cleaning is highly recommended.
Self-adhesive rolls of a high gloss vinyl coated paper can be applied to “tired” whiteboards to revive them. The same paper can turn a blackboard into a whiteboard and any flat, non-porous surface into a drawing board.
Magnetic or non-magnetic?
Whiteboards can be magnetic or non-magnetic. Magnetic whiteboards have a steel plate backing, while non-magnetic boards have a wood or MDF backing.
Many people like to stick magnets on their whiteboards. However, as these boards are usually more expensive, the extra cost makes sense only if you really need to stick magnets on your whiteboard.
Markers. The more the merrier! These non-permanent pens use an erasable ink that adheres to the writing surface without binding to it. Never, ever write on your whiteboard with a permanent marker.
Eraser. A dirty eraser can spread ink residue all over the surface, so make sure your eraser is clean. Some recommend cleaning the eraser by spraying whiteboard cleaner on it and blotting it with paper towels. You can also get an eraser with peel-off layers.
Cleaning liquid. Every now and then, you will need to give that whiteboard a really good wash. Plus, the cleaning liquid can come in handy when you need to clean the eraser.
Magnets. You will need those if you opted for a magnetic board.
Convenient, long lasting, inexpensive, versatile, simple, ingenious: these are only some of the adjectives routinely used to describe whiteboards. No wonder there’s no alternative in sight!
Choose the whiteboard that suits your needs and keep on scribbling.