This informational resource is a home guide that contains everything you need to know about window film installation services, all in one place. It is designed to enable residential and commercial property owners to make informed decisions when it comes to investing in window film.
We’ll teach you about the different types of window film, the benefits of window film installation, and also provide valuable insight on how to find superior service providers that will get the job done to your satisfaction both efficiently and affordably.
1. The Different Types of Window Film
The three most common types of window film include decorative, safety and security, and solar.
Decorative Window Films
Decorative window films are a great way to entirely transform your home, office, or retail space. They can be used to help control design, privacy, sunlight, glare, and more. Plus, they’re cheaper than investing in specialty glass replacements for your windows.
Frosted window film is designed to give your windows a ‘frosted glass’ appearance. They are a great way to add privacy to your home or business and come in varying levels of transparency and shades of color.
Gradient window film is designed to provide a soft transition from transparent to opaque. Similar to top-down blinds, they allow a fresh open feel while providing some level of privacy. They can be oriented in any direction depending on what you wish to conceal or reveal.
Patterned window film helps personalize your space, adding style and personality. They can be used in either traditional, transitional, or modern environments to deliver a variety of moods from sleek to striking, or serious to playful.
Textured window film mimics the look of expensive glass finishes. It comes in a variety of styles, including but not limited to crackled, brushed, or satin textures, and provides a great way to add a simple but elegant statement to a room.
Other specialty window films are available in a multitude of solid colors or dramatic designs to turn your living space or workspace into a work of art. Some are entirely translucent, while others might block or alter the passage of light entirely—leading to exciting interior effects.
Safety and Security Window Films
These types of window films are designed to upgrade your property’s defense. Engineered to be thin and barely noticeable, safety and security films provide a tough protective coat that can stand up to all kinds of beatings and will hold broken glass together. They provide an effective solution for safeguarding your property against break-ins, robberies, accidents, and inclement weather. Commonly designed to be clear, these films are also available in different tints or shades, and with varying levels of solar heat, glare, and UV ray control.
Solar Window Films
Allow the outdoors to brighten your interior, while taming solar heat and blocking dangerous UV rays. Designed to reflect away the harsh UV rays, heat, and glare that radiates through unchecked windows, it helps protects you and others. Additionally, this type of film improves comfort by reducing spikes in the temperature and protects interior furnishings from becoming faded over time. Solar window film is available as clear, tinted, or mirrored and comes in varying levels of insulation for improved energy efficiency.
2. The Benefits of Window Film Installation
Many modern homes and office buildings are designed with floor-to-ceiling windows to let in natural light. Despite the beauty associated with these windows, it is important to remember that the sun’s UV rays can still travel through windows. Therefore, it remains essential for property owners to provide the appropriate protection for their own and other’s benefit.
Depending on the brand, installing solar resistant window film can help block up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. This helps in protecting your skin from dangerous cancers and also prevents the fading of interior furniture or flooring.
Another added benefit is that by controlling undesirable solar energy from traveling through your windows, you also block up to 80% of the heat generated by it. This means reduced air conditioning and heating costs, along with added comfort.
Installing window film is a quick and simple way to enhance the appearance of your property exterior and interior. It is available in many different shades, styles, and strengths of tint, allowing you plenty of choices when it comes to customizing your home or office.
One of the largest benefits of security window film is that it helps to avoid unwanted break-ins or robberies at your home or place of business. It provides your windows with an additional protective layer that makes your glass more difficult to penetrate. Plus, it is designed to withstand multiple blows and hold shattered glass together. This makes it harder for unwanted guests to gain entry to your property and discourages them from continuing their efforts at the risk of being caught.
Choosing a security film that’s tinted will also help to obscure the view into your property. This makes it more difficult for people to see if anyone is home or if there’s anything worth stealing, reducing the likelihood that your property will become the victim of a break-in or robbery. See demonstration videos below.
In the event of an attempted break-in, an automobile or boating accident, inclement weather, or even children playing, window film helps hold shattered glass together. This keeps glass shards from being thrown when the glass is broken, protecting those nearby and reducing the extent of the clean-up job. See demonstration videos below.
In addition to securing shattered glass in the chance of an accident, applying tinted window film can enhance your safety by reducing nearly 95% of the sun’s glare while driving—decreasing the likelihood of an accident occurring in the first place.
As mentioned previously, tinted window films also act as a form of sunscreen. They reduce the dangers of UV rays, allowing you to sit at ease in sunlit areas without having to worry. Further, they help to maintain the temperature inside your home, office, or retail space which reduces the chance of heat-related illnesses and instead translates to increased comfort for everyone inside.
Decorative and privacy window films are designed to subtly change the look of your windows while giving you the level of privacy that you are seeking. From the inside, you will still have the natural view of the outdoors that you desire but now with the added pleasure of increased privacy.
Installation is Painless
Once you have done the research and decided on the type of window film you want to install, reach out to a local professional with any questions and to have it installed both quickly and painlessly.
Security Film Demonstration and Testimonial
3. The Average Cost of Installation
Typically, window film is priced by the square foot, where on average the cost will work out to between $5-$8 per square foot. However, there are a number of factors that must be taken into account when determining the cost of your window film installation, including:
Type of Window Film
The price per square foot often depends on the brand and style of window film that you decide to invest in. For example, a standard home film that you find at Home Depot or Lowes is likely to be cheaper than a professional-grade film.
Size and Shape of Windows
The larger the window, the greater the amount of window film. Additional charges may also apply to any uniquely shaped windows your home, office, or retail space might have.
Height of Windows
Oftentimes, professional contractors will charge more for the second floor of windows. Windows that require a ladder or scaffolding to access are also likely to incur an additional charge.
Number of Windows
The final cost you encounter will primarily depend on the number of windows that you wish to install window film upon.
4. Car Window Tinting
Getting into the car during the summer months is all too similar to sitting in a sauna. Fortunately, car window tinting can help. By blocking the amount of solar heat that enters your car through its windows, car window tint helps keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable for you and your passengers.
On top of that, car window tinting can also increase your privacy and protect you from being exposed to dangerous UV rays. In fact, according to the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, “Nearly 53% of skin cancers in the U.S. occur on the left, or drivers’ side, of the body.” Investing in car window tinting therefore not only gives you the opportunity to accent your car but also helps benefit your health.
On average, the cost of applying window tint to your car is between $100-$200 for a standard tint and upwards of $500 for a premium tint. Similar to the window film options for residential and commercial buildings, the pricing for car window tinting is also dependent on the type of tint you invest in along with the number of windows you are covering.
Main Types of Car Tints
Dyed tinting is the most affordable type of tint. Providing the privacy that many people seek, it is best for appearance rather than functionality. Although it does help in resisting solar heat and UV rays, it is less effective than other types of window tint. In addition, it is prone to fading over time and will need to be replaced.
Metallic tinting is durable and provides high resistance to solar heat and UV rays by using tiny metallic particles to block sunlight. It also reduces glare and increases shatter resistance while giving your windows a sleek and shiny appearance. One of the downsides to metallic tinting, however, is that its metallic properties can interfere with a cell phone or GPS signal.
This type of tint is comprised of both dye and metallic particles. It is designed to provide privacy and to resist heat and UV rays while reducing the negative aspects associated with both dyed and metallic tints.
Carbon tinting is useful in blocking the UV rays and solar heat that warms and fades car interiors. It is highly durable and leaves your car windows with a matte finish.
Known for their high-quality and high-performance, ceramic tints block up to 50% of solar heat and up to 99% of UV rays from entering your car. They have a strong glare resistance, increased shatter resistance, and are believed to provide the best protection without blocking visibility.
If you are happy with the current shade of tint on your car’s windows but wish to increase your protection against UV rays and solar heat, this is the choice for you. This type of tint is clear and will appear as though no tint has been applied at all.
It should be noted that each state has its own laws that restrict how dark the tint on your car can be. Be sure to do your research before you apply tint to your car, otherwise you risk receiving a ticket and having to remove the tint.
When to DIY or Hire a Professional
1. Why Consider Hiring a Professional?
Professional contractors are here to help. They use their knowledge to provide streamlined services for your convenience and safety, after all, ascending a ladder or setting up DIY scaffolding to install window film can be dangerous. Why else should you consider hiring a professional?
To Achieve Superior Outcomes
Installing window film is easier said than done. Instead of wasting time tracking down the correct equipment and supplies before doing the job yourself, consider hiring a professional. Professional contractors bring their own professional-grade supplies, along with the proper training and equipment to reach your windows safely.
In this sense, they not only save you the hassle of purchasing the supplies, but also the time and effort that would have been spent on doing the job yourself. With their expertise, trust us, you will notice the difference between your DIY job and theirs!
To Save Your Time and Energy
It may seem more cost-efficient to do it yourself but, unless you’re a professional, chances are it’s not. When it really comes down to it, you could waste time trying to do the job right and still end up with bubbled windows. Plus, you may be tempted to cut corners out of frustration.
Think about it this way: Trained window film professionals are used to installing window film on a day-to-day basis. They have the experience to not only get the job done quickly but properly as well. On top of that, many service providers rely on their reputation for new or repeat business and will strive to uphold it by ensuring that all of their customers are satisfied—including you.
It Can Be Affordable
The cost of a DIY window film installation project can add up when taking into account the necessary equipment and time spent on the job. Since many professionals are able to purchase their materials wholesale, their expenses often work out to be less than what you would pay.
On top of that, professionals are experienced in what they do. DIY window film installation can be a lengthy and frustrating process, whereas professionals are used to doing it day in and day out. So, unless you already have all of the equipment and the energy to get the job done, hiring a professional may actually be the most affordable and reliable solution.
In general, professional contractors have access to the training and resources that most do-it-yourselfers do not. They have been trained for the job and hold certifications along with proper liability insurance. Save yourself the trouble (and time!) by locating and hiring a contractor you trust, who can get the job done properly, in a fraction of the time that you might take to do it.
2. How to Find a Quality Window Film Installation Service
Pricing can vary across service providers, but this usually depends on how long they have been in business and the types of supplies they utilize. For example, anyone selling window film could easily pass as a window film installer, but that does not mean they have any experience. Below are a number of tips to help find a quality window film installation service:
Get and Compare Quotes
Always get quotes and detailed estimates in writing because if something were to go wrong, a verbal quote would not provide you with any form of protection. In cases where it is hard to get an exact estimate, it is not unreasonable to get an over-run percentage stating that the job will not exceed 15% of the original amount quoted. Be sure to be consistent when talking to each contractor in order to help you compare quotes. Comparing quotes can be useful when deciding which contractor you will choose for the job.
Ask for Customer References
You can tell the quality of a contractor by the satisfaction of their customers. If a contractor’s customers are willing to provide positive reviews then that is a sign that they are not only skilled at their job, but also reliable.
Read Reviews and Customer Testimonials
Many customers will post reviews of their experiences with service providers online or on social media. A number of sites well-known for reviews include: HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, and Google.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If they want your business, then they will be happy to answer all of the questions you have for them. For a list of questions to ask in the hiring process, click here.
We recommend that you use your best judgment when hiring a window film provider. Although it is true that you will often pay a premium for quality services, it is still worth comparing quotes and reviews. True professionals will answer your questions, do the job right, and then advise you on how to best protect your investment for the future.
3. Questions to Ask in the Hiring Process
Are you licensed?
Some states require window film installers to be licensed.
Are you insured?
This protects you if any accidents were to occur on your property. We recommend that you have proof of insurance emailed to you prior to the job’s start date.
What chemicals do you use?
This is important if you have any family members or pets that are sensitive to chemicals.
How much experience does your team have?
The more experience, the better!
How long will the job take?
This can be unpredictable and often depends on the number of people on the team, how many windows the film is to be installed upon, the size and shape of the windows, as well as the weather on the day of the installation. Even so, the amount of time that they propose should be reasonable.
When can you come?
It is important to find a contractor who is available and willing to work with you and your schedule.
How much will it cost?
Be sure to get an estimate in advance. You may even want to compare estimates across different companies, but be sure to also take into account other factors such as their experience, availability, reputation, etc.
Do you have references?
In addition to checking online reviews, it can be helpful to reach out and speak to some of their satisfied customers firsthand.
Will you provide a written contract?
Having a written contract can protect both parties and also helps to ensure that the job will be completed as agreed to and on time.
1. Related Resources
Check out Total Shield Protection’s blog for updates on industry news, educational tips and resources, and trends in window film products and services.
2. About the Author:
Founded in 2015, Total Shield Protection began as a window film company and today has expanded to several services. Since opening, we have accumulated over 100 positive online reviews on websites like Home Advisor, Thumbtack, and Google. This wealth of positive feedback is a testament to our company culture of dedication to customer satisfaction. No matter which of our services you are in need of, we work with you to determine the best fit for your project requirements, budget, and schedule. Our service technicians are highly skilled at what they do and are fully insured for your peace of mind. Our team strives to provide quality services that exceed your expectations.
Locally owned and operated, Total Shield is your trusted source for solar rejection, impact resistant, and privacy window film installations as well as professional window washing, pressure washing, and paver brick sealing. Our ultimate goal is to improve environments for living, working, and recreation, while providing meaningful career opportunities in the communities we serve.
Join our many satisfied customers.
Contact us today at 941-894-7138 or schedule a free estimate