Tinting windows is not as easy as it looks, however, there are general guidelines you have to follow to ensure the work gets done properly. We have researched every aspect you need to know about applying window films.
Installing tints should be done by a professional, however, there are simple do-it-yourself ways that can guide you along the process. Here are the steps:
- Clean your window
- Measure and cut the tint
- Peel off the backing
- Attach the film
- Remove the bubbles
- Trim the edges
- Remove excess moisture
Window films are lightweight self-adhesive polyester that has various types and functions. You have to be particular when selecting the best material to use for homes because tints actually require window compatibility. However, do not fret too much because this article aims to guide you in the process.
What Is A Window Film
A window tint is a thin laminated film that is typically installed in glass panelings of automobiles, houses, buildings, and commercial establishments. It is typically made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is a thermoplastic polymer (the same material used in plastic bottles).
Because of its translucency, tensile strength, and longevity, it is the most suited material for a window film.
This material comprises polymer film, adhesive coatings, and an exterior protective covering which are all essential components of a window tint. There are various types, shades, thicknesses, and colors available on the market which basically hold different functions and benefits.
The various kinds of window films absorb and reflect varying degrees of heat which is why it is important to choose the right tint before investing. Most security and decorative films tend to obstruct minimal light and heat, resulting in lesser thermal stress on your windows.
On one hand, the International Window Film Association advised people to avoid using solar tint on certain types of glass windows - clear annealed glass, tinted annealed glass over 1/4 thick, and old insulated glass - because they would not be able to handle the material's high heat absorption rate.
It is always advisable to check your manufacturer's manual for you to know the compatible films for your window. Some companies may void your warranty if you tint your windows that is why it is better to confirm whether or not you are invalidating your warranty.
How To Install Window Films
Clean Your Window
Thoroughly clean your windows with the use of the application solution or a teaspoon of baby shampoo mixed with a gallon of bottled water. This step is crucial in the process. Make sure to remove any dirt, dust, and grime because if you let them be captured under the film, then you would not be able to remove them.
Once you are finished with the cleaning, spray the glass again and clean the window using a squeegee, then wipe the surface using a microfiber cloth.
Measure And Cut The Tint
After cleaning, it is time to measure the window. Place the window film on a flat and clean work area. Always leave an inch of allowance on every side so that you have extra leeway. Record the results. Once finished, carefully cut the material.
Peel Off The Backing
In this next step, you will need assistance. Ensure that the people assisting you are holding both ends of the window tint while you are peeling off the backing. This way, you are not letting the adhesive adhere to the film itself.
While removing the backing, spray the glass side surface of the tint using the same solution you have cleaned it with. You will also need to apply the liquid to the window.
It is advisable to wash your hands and keep them wet using the same solution to avoid any fingerprints on the window tint.
Attach The Film
Carefully attach the moistened side of the film to the wet window. Start with the top working your way down the bottom. Ensure that the upper edges are level.
Remove The Bubbles
This step is a little bit tricky. You will have to be more careful because the bubbles have the tendency to explode, especially if not done properly. The film may not handle the tension.
First, spray the material with the solution, then gently push the bubbles out to the side by using a squeegee or your hand. Always keep the surface moist so that the squeegee can slide freely.
Trim The Edges And Remove Excess Moisture
Trim the edges of excess film using a utility knife. Afterward, moistened the film again and use a squeegee to even out and guarantee that the tint adheres thoroughly. Use a microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture.
Once finished, clean and wipe your window. Normally it will take 30 minutes before the adhesive will fully adhere to the glass while the curing period may last 4 to 8 days.
What Are The Different Types Of Window Film?
Solar films are applied to windows to reduce heat, light, and glare. A sheet of polyester undergoes a delicate process for it to achieve optimum efficiency. One side is covered in scratch-resistant coating while the opposite surface consists of an adhesive that sticks to the glass.
The window tint absorbs and reflects 99 percent of ultraviolet rays from the sun, making it an effective indoor temperature regulator that keeps your home warm during the winter and cools in the summer. This material is often dyed or metalized in order to block UV radiation, visible light, and infrared radiation.
This material comes in neutral shades of silver and copper, and it costs around $8 to $14 per square foot.
A security tint is made up of layers of polyester film that have been bonded and etched together, creating a thick material with high tensile strength. As the name implies, it provides enough security because of how it was manufactured, however, most tints of this kind do not reflect or absorb much heat.
The main binding chemical is responsible for the overall strength of the material. It considerably reduces shattering upon impact by restricting the damage completely, thus, allowing the glass to hold out longer. The thicker the film, the more durable and secure it would be.
Security films cost about $7 to $9 per square foot.
A decorative film is a thin semi-transparent window tint that has varying degrees of visibility. This is the least expensive of the three because it absorbs and reflects minimal heat and does not have any of the extensive features mentioned above. It simply provides varying degrees of privacy and functions as a decor material.
Windows with this design have a matte vinyl film that has an appearance of frosted opaque glass. Other designs include a clear or bold-colored film with various designs and stained glass.
Ceramic Film (Non-Reflective)
Ceramic window films are considered to be the most expensive tinting material on the market because they cost $5 to $10 per square foot. It is an advanced type of tint that is designed for optimum heat and UV radiation protection.
As the name implies, this window film is made of micro-thin layers with ceramic-based nanoparticles that can actually block 3 to 4 times more heat than most kinds of tint. The layers are made up of specialized infrared blockers, and as such, it basically has a similar function to solar tint.
Apart from this, ceramic tints have high tensile strength and can prevent the glass from shattering, making them a more durable option. It basically has the combination of all features of solar and security window film.
Window tints may be tricky to install, however, they offer significant benefits that will surely bring comfort to your home. We hope this article proved to be insightful.