Chalk, LCS, or Glass: What’s Right for You?


When choosing a writing surface there are several different factors one must consider such as size and cost but one of the most important things is picking a surface that is best for you and your potential usage. Here we will explore your options of glass, LCS markerboard, or chalkboard to help find the surface that is just right for your collaborative space. It’s not just about jotting down ideas, it’s about the experience you have while doing so and we want all our customers to have the best experience possible.



As we head out on our exploration let’s start at the beginning with the chalkboard, the original collaborative writing surface. Many credit the invention of the chalkboard to James Pillans, an early 19th century teacher in Scotland who took his students small personal slate boards and hung them together on a wall to create a large writing space for the purposes of geography lessons, its awfully tough to draw maps on a little lapboard. There is also evidence to suggest that the first person to make use of a large format chalkboard was George Baron who used it as a tool to aid with his instruction at West Point Military Academy. No matter the origin, the old school chalkboard that our parents and grandparents grew up with still has practical applications today. First and foremost is that it allows for the greatest level of artistic expression. 

Unlike your modern dry erase marker which will create a monotone bold line no matter how hard or soft you press, a piece of chalk allows for shading and the creation of both bold and thin lines depending on the amount of pressure you put on the stick. This makes it the ideal tool for creating drawings on your writing surface, numerous biology professors still swear by the chalkboard for its ability to help create intricate diagrams for their lectures. Chalk is also perfect for writing in script which may be a dying art but always looks more impressive than clunky block letters.

A few other factors that can give chalk an advantage: no worry about leaving the cap off as a piece of chalk won’t dry out, chalk is biodegradable and therefore more environmentally friendly than a plastic cased solvent marker, when maintained properly a chalkboard has almost zero propensity for ghosting.

The only downfall for chalkboards is that they are messier because of the dust that chalk can produce so if your collaborative space has several electronics or will be inhabited by individuals with breathing issues such as asthma it may not be the best solution.

LCS Markerboards


Invented and introduced at the AASA show in New Jersey in 1973 by Claridge Products the LCS porcelain enameled steel markerboard is one of the most easily recognizable writing surfaces in the world today. With its impeccable qualities and versatility its easy to see why by the end of the 1990s markerboards outsold chalkboards by a margin of up to four to one.

One of the main advantages to choosing an LCS markerboard over a chalkboard is cleanliness. As we outlined above chalk dust has the potential to be a nuisance whereas a dry erase marker creates no such debris. This factor also means that your markerboard will be easier to maintain and clean while also limiting the possibility of ghosting. It is also much easier to wipe off and erase anything you have written.

Another thing to consider is the clarity of your writing on a markerboard is superior to that of its chalk predecessor because of the clean white background and the numerous available colors of markers stand out much better meaning that it’s easier to read your notes from a distance. The lighter colored surface also reflects more light, as opposed to the darker chalk surfaces which absorb it, making it ideal for use as a projection surface so you can achieve a crisp and clean image every time.

When it comes to durability the LCS markerboard is at the top of its class due to how scratch resistant it is and Claridge guarantees its porcelain surfaces for the life of your building.

The only real downside to an LCS markerboard is the markers themselves. They can dry out so you will replace them more frequently. There are also several different types on the market making it difficult to choose which ones will work best. However, have no fear on the latter point as we are going to let you in on a valuable piece of information. Solvent based markers, sometimes referred to as high odor, are the best choice due to the shorter drying time, water based markers dry at a slower rate on the surface which creates a more intense bond between the ink and the surface which may lead to ghosting.



Finally, we have glass markerboards, the crème de la crème of writing surfaces when it comes to aesthetics. The sleek and often frameless look is sure to catch the eyes of anybody who walks past them. Since the glass itself is clear you can choose quite literally any color you would like for the back meaning that your options for combinations of colors and styles with markers are virtually endless.

When it comes to keeping your writing surface clean glass will always be your best option because it is non-porous, meaning that erasing your board is an absolute breeze as there are no tiny pits for the ink in your markers to stick.

The non-porous nature of glass also means that it is the most hygienic markerboard available today. With a 100% smooth surface there is nowhere for germs and bacteria to settle and multiply so while not necessarily being anti-microbial glass boards are definitely highly microbe resistant. It was for these reasons that during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic Claridge produced a line of glass space creators that were popular in settings where people had to be close together such as waiting rooms and jury stands in court houses. Glass is also optimal for use in medical settings such as hospitals due to their extremely hygienic nature.

If there is one pitfall of glass boards it is the reflectivity of the glass itself so they are not ideal for areas that receive a lot of natural sunlight. However, Claridge offers low-glare glass for these areas, so be sure to specify when ordering.

Writing surfaces are always perfect for any area where collaboration happens and ideas are born and conveyed, it is just about choosing what is right for you and your environment. We hope that this has been an informative guide to helping you choose the perfect surface and do know that no matter which option you choose Claridge is here with top of the line offerings to suit any need.

Discuss your project with our sales & design team