Dry Erase Boards writing surfaces are not all the same. The number one key to selecting the best whiteboard surface is Surface Construction
There are four types of materials commonly used for whiteboard surfaces:
Melamine is a resin-impregnated paper which is typically used over a press-board substrate. This type of whiteboard writing surface is the least expensive. A melamine whiteboard surface can be easily scratched and will show some staining as the whiteboard ages and over time it will become less and less erasable, usually within a few months. Permanent markers are permanent on this surface.
Painted steel or aluminum:
These surfaces consist of paint sprayed on a steel or aluminum surface. These types last longer than a melamine whiteboard surface. Painted surfaces tend to be smoother, which leads to better erasability. Paint is porous and over time will show some staining from the use of markers. They are also susceptible to scratching. Painted steel surfaces allow the use of magnets, however, painted aluminum surfaces do not. Permanent markers are permanent on these surfaces.
Glass or Magnetic Glass:
Highly durable Tempered Glass boards are made with ¼” thick tempered safety glass, but there are also low cost / economic glass board made with 3/16" thick tempered glass. The glass marker board surface is easy to clean and sanitize. Powerful rare-earth magnets can be used with the glass boards which doubles as magnetic bulletin boards adding functionality for posting notes, memos and more. The Glass boards surfaces provide the benefit of exceptionally durable, maintenance-friendly glass board. Standard dry erase markers and erasers make cleanup easy without ghosting or permanent staining.
1/4" Thick Tempered glass is stronger than the 3/16" thin tempered glass. It comes with more pronounced edges, and it's less likely to bow, warp or shatter under stress
These surfaces are ceramic (glass) which is fired onto a steel surface in a kiln. The Porcelain, enamel on steel is the most durable whiteboard surface. The surface is highly scratch resistant, although materials harder than glass (like diamond) can scratch it. The porcelain-on-steel surfaces do not absorb dry erase or permanent marker ink. Porcelain surfaces allow the use of magnets.
The porcelain enameled writing surface is made by combining nickel, cobalt and glass and heating the ingredients to a high temperature (over 1700 degrees Fahrenheit). The resulting mix is applied to a steel sheet, where it bonds. Once cooled, the Porcelain on Steel sheet writing surface is glued to a backing fiberboard substrate.
The durable construction makes the porcelain on steel whiteboards surfaces the ideal dry erase board for high-use environments like training centers or school classrooms. If you are going to be using the board frequently, or are going to be moving the whiteboard around much, you really should invest in a higher quality surface such as porcelain on steel surface.