Best Corkboards

Updated August 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
22 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
186 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best corkboards

Much has changed in the typical office or classroom over the past few years as more and more equipment becomes available in electronic form, but one item, the corkboard, is still going strong. This simple yet indispensable tool has been around for nearly a century, and it is still helping families, teachers, and businesses stay organized.

You wouldn’t think that shopping for such a simple item would be all that difficult, but when you set out to purchase a corkboard you’ll quickly find that this isn’t the case. In addition to the price, you need to consider the corkboard’s size, surface, frame, materials, backing, and ease of installation.

Our buying guide examines these and other factors you’ll want to think about before buying a corkboard for your home or office. And if you’re still unsure, we’ve also included some of our favorite corkboards and highlighted what we like about them.

cork boards
The first corkboard patent was issued to George Brooks of Topeka, Kansas, in 1925.

Key considerations

Type

Most of these products are simple bulletin boards made of cork or a similar synthetic material. While less common, you can also find boards that incorporate elements of both a bulletin board and a dry erase white board. Some corkboards are even more specialized and include such add-ons as a basket for mail or other items and a key rack. Corkboards like this are a great way for a family to stay organized and share notes, pictures, and other items.

Size

Corkboards are available in a wide range of sizes. They start out at around 216 square inches and can range upwards of 32 square feet. While a larger corkboard allows you to organize more information, it also takes up more wall space. Break out a tape measure and check to be sure you have the wall space for the corkboard you’re considering.

Shape

Most of these boards are rectangular, but if you search long enough you can find them in other shapes. Square corkboards are fairly common, as are octagonal boards, which can provide an interesting accent to a home, classroom, or office wall.

Installation

How easy a corkboard is to mount on your wall varies greatly from model to model. These boards can be mounted in a variety of ways, from wires to hooks to brackets. Some can be mounted vertically or horizontally, while others can only be hung in one orientation. Regardless of how it’s mounted, a corkboard should include easy-to-follow instructions and all the hardware you need. All you have to supply are some basic tools like a hammer or screwdriver.

cork board 2
DID YOU KNOW?
If you run out of pushpins, one handy, cork-friendly alternative is a stapler. Just open the stapler and use it to attach items directly to the board.
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Features

Frame

The frame around a corkboard can vary in material, size, and appearance.

Materials: These range from inexpensive vinyl to durable aluminum to expensive, attractive wood.

Size: The frame can be thin or wide. While a wide frame can be attractive, it might take up board real estate that you could otherwise use for organizing notes and other items.

Color: Frames also vary by color, with metallic gray, black, and white being the most common.

Frameless: You even have the option of buying a board without a frame. Corkboards without frames are less expensive and less durable than corkboards with frames.

Board

The board itself can be made of natural cork or a synthetic material that resembles cork. It should be thick enough that thumbtacks or pushpins can be pushed all the way into it.

The color of the cork can range from dark to light. Some boards are printed with a decorative pattern.

As mentioned above, most of these boards are all cork, but some include other elements, such as a dry erase board.

Backing

Corkboards typically include some form of rigid backing material to provide stability and durability. This is usually in the form of particle board, though you can find boards that have a wood or even metal backing. While more expensive, wood or metal provides a more rigid and durable backing than particle board.

Extras

Most corkboards don’t come with extras, but some include some pushpins or thumbtacks. Corkboards that include a dry erase board, particularly those that are magnetic, often include extras such as magnets, dry erase markers, and erasers. While these typically won’t be the highest quality, they still add value to your purchase.

Cork is used in a wide range of products, including wine stoppers, woodwind instruments, apparel such as shoes, and spacecraft heat shields.

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Corkboard prices

Inexpensive: Most corkboards that cost less than $20 have a vinyl frame or no frame at all. Corkboards in this range are usually smaller, around 216 square inches, and less durable than other boards. Warranties here typically range from no warranty to up to 60 days.

Mid-range: In the $20 to $50 price range, you start to find larger corkboards, usually around 6 square feet. Many boards in this range have an aluminum frame and usually have a longer warranty, up to five years.

Expensive: Corkboards that cost $50 and more are the largest, usually 12 square feet and more, and feature a variety of mounting options. Wooden frames and wood or metal backings are common here. Many boards in this range include a lifetime warranty.

cork board 3
DID YOU KNOW?
While cork is derived from a variety of sources, one of the most common is the cork oak, Quercus suber.
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Tips

  • Look for a magnetic dry erase/corkboard. If you’re looking for a corkboard with a dry erase board, check that the dry erase portion is magnetic. This can greatly increase the corkboard’s usefulness.
  • Make your own. You can buy cork in rolls if you want to try your hand at making your own corkboard. The simplest way to do this is to glue the cork to particle board or wood.
  • Keep your corkboard away from water. If you’re using your corkboard outside, don’t expose it to the elements. Water can cause the board to warp.
  • Choose the right frame for the job. While an aluminum frame is durable, the corners can be sharp. If you’re using the board around children, choose one with rounded edges or soft corner covers. Vinyl is antimicrobial, so a corkboard with a vinyl frame is a great fit for hospitals or schools.
  • Fix gouges in the cork. If your corkboard suffers damage, you can use a bit of neutral-color wood putty to seal the gouged areas.
  • Check buyer comments online. These boards ship flat, and shipping damage isn’t unheard of, particularly for larger boards. Scan through the comments section to discover how carefully the seller packages its boards for shipping.
cork boards 2
Boards that combine a corkboard with something like a dry erase whiteboard are known as combination boards.

FAQ

Q. What’s the best type of corkboard mount?

A. There are several different mounts available, and they can vary considerably in overall appearance and how difficult they are to install.

Brackets: Most common are mounting brackets that are either built into the board or included with it. While they have a clean, professional appearance, some are frustrating to use.

Hooks: Some boards have two hooks built into the top of the board. These are typically easier to install — just put two screws or nails in the wall — but they have a less professional appearance. Boards with hooks can also limit the ways you can mount the board, for example only horizontally and not vertically.

String or wire: Even easier to mount are corkboards that have a string or wire that runs from one side of the board to the other. These incorporate all of the positives and negatives of the dual hook system but are less sturdy because only one screw or nail is used to hold up the board.

Q. Are these boards made of real cork?

A. Due to its self-healing qualities, natural cork continues to be a popular material for corkboards. On the other hand, you can also find some boards that use a synthetic material, such as rubber, vinyl, or plastic. Some also use fabric, which provides an interesting design alternative. All of these materials should work in a similar way to natural cork, but if you have a particular preference, be sure to read the listing carefully so you know what you’re buying.

Q. What’s the best way to clean a corkboard?

A. A corkboard can accumulate quite a bit of dirt and grime over time, so it’s important that you clean it periodically. A dry cloth, perhaps with a bit of furniture polish, will often do the trick here. For tougher stains or something like pen marks, you can use some fine-grade sandpaper to restore the appearance of the cork. Just be sure to move the sandpaper over the cork only in one direction (not in circles). Finish by wiping the cork with a slightly damp cloth to blend the sanded and unsanded areas of the board together.

 

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