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Understanding Melamine Writing Surfaces: Choose the Best!

Views:  Update Date: Jul 30,2023

Understanding Melamine Writing Surfaces: Choose the Best!

Melamine has become the premier surface for modern dry erase boards and wall coverings. But what exactly is melamine, and why does it excel as a writing medium? This comprehensive guide will explore the melamine material, manufacturing process, benefits, and use cases to help you choose the optimal melamine boards and care for them properly.

Discover how melamine delivers the ideal modern upgrade from porous chalkboards, unlocking cleaner writing, vivid ink colors, and endless erasing without ghosting. Let's dive in and understand melamine's superiority for writing.

What is Melamine?

Melamine is a smooth, non-porous surface material made from melamine resin, an extremely hard thermoset plastic. Formed sheets consist of melamine resin impregnated into paper, then bonded under high pressure and temperature.

The resulting dense panels create an ultra-smooth, durable writing surface. Dry erase ink glides across melamine with very little friction, unlike porous materials. The slick surface also prevents ink from soaking in, keeping pigments on top for easy erasing.

Melamine is stain, scratch and moisture resistant due to its thermoset plastic composition. It maintains excellent writability and erasability for decades with proper care.

How is Melamine Made?

Melamine board production involves several key steps:

Paper Impregnation – Melamine resin and coloring dyes are fused into sheets of paper using high pressure and heat. This impregnates the papers with melamine all the way through.

Laminating – Multiple layers of the melamine-impregnated paper are stacked and bonded using adhesives and additional heat and pressure.

Trimming – The boards are trimmed to desired sizes and the edges smoothed. Frames may be added.

Printing – Some boards are digitally printed with grids, images or custom designs using specialized techniques.

Finishing – Final boards are inspected then packaged for distribution and installation.

This carefully controlled process ensures consistent quality and smoothness.

Why Does Melamine Excel for Writing?

What makes melamine so ideal for dry erase boards?

Non-Porous – Unlike materials like slate and wood, melamine has a dense surface that ink cannot penetrate or stain. Pigments stay on top for easy erasing.

Smooth – The resin creates an incredibly fine, slick surface that allows pens to glide effortlessly without drag or friction.

Reflective – The melamine surface acts like a mirror that reflects light. This enhances marker colors for brilliant vibrancy.

Durable – Thermoset melamine resists scratching, fading and damage from repeated writing and cleaning over decades.

Lightweight - Melamine boards weigh much less than traditional materials like slate, making handling and mounting easier.

Customizable – Available in a limitless array of sizes, shapes, colors and grid patterns to suit any space.

These qualities make melamine far superior to chalkboards and other porous surfaces.

Melamine Board Grades and Quality

Melamine dry erase boards come in different grades based on manufacturing quality. Higher grades provide better performance and longevity.

Contract Grade – Commercial quality built for frequent use and cleaning in offices and schools. Highest quality with up to 50 year lifespan.

Commercial Grade – Mid-range quality suitable for lighter duty business and home use. Up to 20 year lifespan.

Economy – Budget boards, but lower durability at just 1-5 years. Insufficient for most business purposes.

Higher grades use more melamine resin, pressure, and layers to create denser, smoother boards that maintain performance. They resist ghosting, staining, and scratches even with heavy use. Buy the highest grade you can afford.

Melamine Board Cores

The core lies underneath the melamine layers. Common options include:

Particle board – Wood composite core, cost effective but heavy. Prone to moisture damage.

Fiberboard – Paper fiber core, lighter than particle board but still heavy. Vulnerable to warping.

Honeycomb – Structural paper honeycomb center is lightweight yet rigid. Moisture resistant. Best option.

Foam – Insulating foam core makes boards lightweight. Easy to dent though.

Aluminum – Metal core is very rigid and moisture proof but heavy. Requires special cutting tools.

Honeycomb cores balance durability, rigidity and light weight. Avoid particle/fiber cores in humid environments.

Melamine Color Options

While white is the standard, melamine boards come in many color options:

White – Timeless, neutral background. Provides flexibility.

Black – Dramatic contrast enhances colors. Traditional classroom look.

Colors – Bold hues like red, yellow, green for energy. Limiting.

Clear – Illusion of writing directly on glass. Background visible.

Custom prints – Photos, maps, patterns. Engaging but busy backgrounds.

Consider whether the background should be neutral or add visual interest. Bolder colors energize but reduce versatility.

Melamine Framed vs. Unframed

Melamine boards come either framed or unframed:

Unframed – Exposed melamine edges. More DIY look.Vulnerable to damage. Lightweight.

Framed – Aluminum, wood or laminate border finishes the edges. More polished appearance. Protects melamine edges.

Frames cost more but give a refined look. Unframed saves money for tight budgets. For professional settings, the framed appeal is worth the investment.

Sizes of Melamine Boards

Melamine boards are available in a vast range of sizes:

  • Small – 16”x12”, 24”x16”, for desktops
  • Medium – 3’x2’, 4’x3’, fits offices, cubicles
  • Large – 4’x4’, 4’x6’, 4’x8’, for conference rooms, classes
  • Extra Large – 6’x4’, 4’x10’, wall length, to fit training rooms, auditoriums, presentations
  • Custom – Any dimensions you need for optimal space fit

Consider the board’s intended use – small group or individual? Presentations or collaboration? Allow ample clearance for users. An oversized board can be trimmed down if needed.

Where are Melamine Boards Used?

Melamine boards grace many working environments:

Offices – Personal and meeting room boards for notes, brainstorming, planning.

Schools – Classroom and auditorium boards for lessons, learning, and lectures.

Hospitals – Patient room boards for updating information. ER boards to track cases.

Retail Spaces – Advertisement boards, menus, daily updates.

Events – Conference boards for speakers, classes, breakouts. Signage.

Residential – Home office boards for productivity, organization, creativity.

Anywhere quick visual communication is needed, melamine excels. The glossy surface facilitates collaboration, learning, and information sharing.

How to Choose the Best Melamine Board

Keep these tips in mind when selecting melamine:

  • Measure your space and how many need to use the board. Allow ample room.
  • Determine the board’s purpose – presentations, ideation, schedules etc. Match size and features.
  • Assess how frequently it will be used. Opt for commercial or contract grade for heavy duty use.
  • Consider what visual style fits best – framed or unframed, neutral or vivid colors.
  • Add grid lines or prints if needed for graphs, drafting, math use.
  • Select melamine specifically designed for dry erase, not cheaper substitutes.
  • Choose an established brand like Yeshan that provides quality and warranty.

Investing in a high grade melamine board engineered for dry erase will ensure many years of optimal performance.

Caring for Your Melamine Board

Follow these care tips to maintain melamine quality:

  • Use dry erase markers formulated for non-porous boards to prevent stains.
  • Erase thoroughly after each use to prevent ink residue buildup.
  • Clean periodically with mild detergent and microfiber cloths. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • For tough stains, gently write over residue with dry erase marker then wipe.
  • Roll up unframed boards carefully without creasing when storing.
  • Check mounting hardware regularly to ensure the board stays secure.

With proper care and cleaning, quality melamine boards will serve reliably for 50+ years.

Melamine vs. Alternatives

How does melamine compare to other board options?

Chalkboards – Porous, stain easily. Dusty. Limited color choices. Need frequent re-coating.

Glass Boards – Expensive. Heavy. Breakable. Shows writing imperfections. Requires diligent cleaning.

Painted Walls – Visible defects. Paint scuffs over time. Moisture damage. Limiting background.

Steel Boards – Durable but very heavy. Can dent. May show writing grooves over time.

Melamine provides the best blend of affordability, lightweight, enduring performance and customizability.

The Future of Melamine Boards

Advancements in melamine technology promise even more capabilities:

  • More vibrant, highly erasable marker chemistry
  • Anti-glare melamine for enhanced readability
  • Antibacterial properties to inhibit microbes
  • Digital display boards for interactivity
  • Greater durability and stain resistance
  • Novel shapes and modular options
  • AI handwriting recognition for text conversion

Melamine boards will only grow in popularity and utility with these innovations. They deliver the modern dry erase experience.


Does melamine yellow over time?

Melamine's color stability resists fading and yellowing. Direct UV exposure can damage any material over decades. Avoid direct sunlight.

Can you write on melamine with permanent marker?

Yes, but permanent ink stains melamine. Special solvents can remove it. Always use dry erase markers.

Do melamine boards scratch easily?

Quality melamine is highly scratch resistant. Avoid sharp objects near the surface. Use soft felt dry erase markers.

Are melamine boards fire proof?

Melamine is flame retardant but not fire proof. It meets commercial fire codes but will burn at high heat like other materials.

Can you mount things on melamine boards?

Yes, use adhesive strips or hook and loop tape. Magnetics won't stick directly but can attach to steel sheets placed behind melamine. Avoid puncturing board.


From its composition to manufacturing, melamine provides the ideal modern writable surface. Non-porous, smooth, and highly customizable, melamine excels for clarity, collaboration and creative thinking. With proper selection and care, melamine boards will serve your business reliably for decades. Choose melamine when only the best dry erase experience will do.

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