Everything you need to know about magnetic and glass whiteboards
People all over the world use whiteboards for a variety of reasons, choosing them for their utility, affordability, and function. Equally useful in a boardroom, classroom, or retail setting, whiteboards are available in a whole host of sizes and styles.
What is a whiteboard?
Whiteboards are glossy boards (often white, but today available in many colours, including glass) that are made to be used with non-permanent markers. They are similar to blackboards in their uses and purpose, but are more functional and easy to use for rapid writing and markings.
They are sometimes called marker boards and dry erase boards, and the markers used with them often called dry erase pens. They came into popular use in the 1990s, and quickly replaced chalkboards in many business settings, and are increasingly common in classrooms at both primary school and university levels.
While early models required wet cleaning methods, the invention of the dry erase marker pen made their clean up easier than ever. You will now find them in cafes, restaurants, shops, classrooms and corporate settings all over the world.
Today, many people find that magnetic white boards are well suited to their needs, adding a professional sheen to a setting.
Different types of whiteboards
One of the reasons that whiteboards are so popular is their versatility, and the sheer number of options available on the market. When you hear the term ‘whiteboard’ you might instantly think of the wall-mounted type that is found in classrooms and boardrooms all over the world.
- Wall-mounted whiteboards...
are a classic option, as they are easy to mount, and come in a large array of sizes. However, they are not the only variant out there – in fact, some aren’t even white!
- Glass dry wipe boards...
come in a rainbow of colours, and are incredibly durable due to their tempered glass. They look sleek and stylish in any setting, and look equally great when clean and blank as they do when covered in writing. Wall mounted glass whiteboards are the most common option, but they are also available in mobile and revolving models.
- Magnetic whiteboards...
take their utility to the next level. In addition to providing a canvas for whatever you need to write, they act as a surface for magnets. This means that you can temporarily attach papers, notes, decorations, and more to your board, replacing printed materials easily and with little effort. Magnetic whiteboards are stylish, easy to use, and perfect for classrooms.
- Mobile whiteboards...
are a great solution for rooms and settings that don’t have fixed walls, such as conference centres with sliding partitions. If you want to be able to move your magnetic whiteboard from place to place, a mobile option might be the best choice. Mobile magnetic and glass whiteboards are also double sided, giving you more value for money and allowing you to have gridding tape, magnetic charts, and additional writing space on the backside.
- Small, portable whiteboards...
are another great option, perfect for conferences, children’s field trips, and even restaurant menus. A thin, A4 sized portable whiteboard can be used for a variety of purposes both indoors and outdoors.
The advantages of a magnetic whiteboard
When you are choosing your next whiteboard, you have many different decisions to make. One of the most important is whether or not you want to invest in a magnetic whiteboard. While they typically cost only a little bit more than a traditional option, they more than make up for it with utility and function.
Magnetic whiteboards have a thin layer of magnetic material in place underneath the whiteboard covering, which means that magnets can be attached all over the entire board. Some of the most common magnets for whiteboards include magnetic letters (great for small kids who are learning to spell), magnetic gridding tape (ideal for charts and graphing), and basic round or square magnets for affixing papers to the board.
The magnetic surface is particularly useful in classroom settings, as it can become a place for brainstorming and vision boarding. Kids love to see their artwork and successful schoolwork up on display, and magnets are a quick and easy way to show it off.
Many businesses find that magnetic whiteboards are excellent for meetings, especially in cases where paper resources could complement the information written on the board. You can also use your magnetic whiteboard to create a reusable calendar that can keep everyone on the same page.
The advantages of a glass whiteboard
Glass whiteboards marry style and function together, keeping your workplace, home, or classroom current and fun. As an exciting upgrade from the typical whiteboard, glass whiteboards look modern in any setting, and give you the writing spaces and room to work that you need to get down to business.
Glass whiteboards are made of a proprietary toughened glass that is highly resistant to permanent marks, scratches, or crack. Glass is not a porous surface, and so your markers and pens won’t stain or permanently mark up the board. Even when absolutely covered in old ink marks, a glass whiteboard can be wiped down to a spotless state in just a few moments. Paint, tipex, oil pens, and even permanent markers – none of these are any match for a glass whiteboard.
Glass is an environmentally sensitive material that is easy on the planet, something more important than ever. You won’t need to replace your glass whiteboard very often, further lowering its carbon footprint. Glass whiteboards are made from heavy-duty, resilient glass, and are considered 10 times more durable than typical whiteboards. The glass is affixed to a metal back plate, so even in cases of breakage you are safe from harm.
Glass whiteboards can do double duty, as their metal back plate can be magnetised, so that you can easily attach artwork, papers, photos and greeting cards. Attach a magnetic pen tray to keep everything nice and tidy, and so that you always have a pen to hand when you need one.
Just like a magnetic whiteboard, you can use your stylish glass whiteboard as a projection surface so that you can show PowerPoint slides, show films, or play short clips during meetings or events.
Further customise your glass whiteboard by choosing colours that complement your branding. You can even have your logo emblazoned onto its surface for added effect and brand recognition.
Read more: The Popularity of Glass Whiteboards
Where can you use a magnetic or glass whiteboard?
You will find uses for magnetic or glass whiteboards in a variety of settings, including:
- Primary school classrooms –
magnetic whiteboards are perfect for displaying children’s artwork and assignments.
- School common areas –
display, write, and affix important information for parents and carers in school common areas.
- Secondary school and university classrooms –
excellent spaces for collaborative work, meetings, and debate.
- Clinic waiting rooms –
perfect for affixing notices and information that is of interest to patients.
- Corporate meeting rooms and boardrooms –
sharing information and taking notes during meetings and breakaway sessions.
- Restaurants and cafes –
display the week’ specials, dietary information, and other menu details.
- Town halls and community centres –
share important local information that neighbours need to know.
- Retirement homes –
give valuable info to residents and their families on a magnetic whiteboard in a common area.
Remember – not everything needs to be serious! You can use your whiteboard to post jokes, comics, funny sayings, and inspirational messages in order to put a smile on everyone’s face as they pass by.
How to care for your whiteboard
Whiteboards require very little maintenance, much less than a typical chalkboard. To keep your magnetic or glass whiteboard clean ready for you, you simply need to have a whiteboard eraser on hand. Eventually your eraser will become saturated with ink and will no longer do the job – in this case, simply purchase a new one. Some whiteboard erasers come with replaceable pads so that you can reduce waste.
You might find that stubborn marks need some extra ‘elbow grease’ – try smaller, circular motions. If your whiteboard has been left covered with ink for a long time, you might need to wipe it down with a cloth and either warm water or a dedicated whiteboard spray cleaner.
Accidents happen – inevitably, someone will accidentally write on the board with a permanent marker. Don’t panic – all is not lost. Simply scribble over the entire mark with a whiteboard pen marker, and then clean the board normally; the erasable ink can lift the permanent ink, but it might take a few attempts. Make sure that everyone knows the correct markers to use – keep them labeled clearly!