Tinting a commercial building’s windows can provide a lot of benefits, but not all window tints are created equal.
Before you decide on a window tinting film for your property, you should understand the differences between ceramic tint and regular tint. This will allow you to better decide what window film is best for your needs and goals.
Ceramic Tint vs Regular Tint: What Film Is Right for You?
What is regular window tinting film?
For years, the most common type of window tint material was sheets of window film dyed different colors. This is what we call “regular tint.”
The sheets of tint are typically made from polyester or another laminate material and can be dyed in varying shades (from very light to very dark) for different levels of window tinting.
The most common shade of regular tint is black, but it is also available in other colors and shades, such as gray and brown.
The levels of regular tinting are known as gradations, and range from about 10% to 90%, with lower percentages being darker shades.
The primary purposes of regular window tint film are to block sunlight and add privacy to vehicles, homes, and businesses. You can think of it as sunglasses for windows and other glass surfaces.
What is ceramic window tinting film?
As window tinting technology has advanced over the years, new types of tints have emerged, including ceramic tint.
Ceramic window films are similar to regular films in that they are typically made from polyester- or laminate-based sheets and available in a variety of shades and colors.
The key difference between ceramic tint and regular tint is that the ceramic variety is coated with ceramic particles at the end of the manufacturing process.
Ceramic window tints also block visible sunlight and add privacy, but have added performance from this special coating. They block harmful UV rays, glare, and heat, thus drastically improving the performance of your windows and other glazings.
Ceramic tint vs regular tint: what’s the superior window film?
Ceramic-coated window film is far more high-performing than regular window tint. In fact, there are several problems with a regular tint that should make you think twice about ever using it at all.
For starters, regular tint film does not reflect UV rays or heat, and it can actually raise the thermal stress on your glass, or make it hotter than it would be if it wasn’t tinted.
If your windows receive too much sun and heat up too much, the added thermal stress can even cause them to crack and break.
Regular tinting sheets are also far less durable than their ceramic counterparts. They have an anti-scratch coating to help them last longer, but the coating breaks down eventually and you may find yourself re-tinting your windows more often than you’d like due to scratches and another marring.
Window films with ceramic coatings are far superior to regular window films because they are more durable, don’t add thermal stress to glass, and very efficiently block UV rays, glare, and heat.
Summary of ceramic tint vs regular tint:
- Both are made from polyester or laminate sheets
- Both available in a variety of shades, colors, and gradients
- Both block visible light and add privacy
- Regular window film only has an anti-scratch coating
- Ceramic window film is coated with durable ceramic particles
- Ceramic film blocks harmful UV rays, glare, and heat (the regular film doesn’t)
- Regular window tint makes glass heat up more (the ceramic film doesn’t)
Are there any other types of window tint?
There is another type of window tinting film that we should mention, so you’re aware of it: metalized tint.
Metalized window tint is coated with metallic particles, which makes it outperform regular films.
However, there is a big problem with metalized window films: the metal particles can affect signal transmission and reception for electronics.
Because of this, it’s always recommended to go with ceramic window tinting film over metallic films — it won’t interfere with your cell reception or WiFi signal at all.
What’s the Best Ceramic Window Film on the Market?
If you want a top-of-the-line ceramic window tinting film for your property, we highly recommend the 3M Prestige series.
3M Prestige window film is a high-performing sun control window film that allows natural light into your building while blocking out infrared light, harmful UV rays, and solar heat.
This provides a whole range of benefits for you and your space, without compromising on natural light or visibility and outdoor views.
Benefits of 3M Prestige solar blocking window film:
- Allows high transmission of natural light
- Blocks up to 97% of infrared light
- Rejects up to 60% of solar heat
- Keeps out 99.9% of harmful UV rays
- Reduces glare
- Lets you enjoy views
- Can provide energy savings
- Helps maintain indoor comfort
- Doesn’t interfere with electronic signals
By blocking out so much infrared heat (the sun’s light that you feel) and solar heat gain through your windows, Prestige window film helps you maintain comfortable indoor temperatures and can reduce your reliance on AC to stay cool.
Though not as effective at improving energy efficiency as low-emissivity window film, sun-blocking window film still greatly improves the performance of your property’s windows.
Also, you don’t have to worry so much about indoor furnishings fading from sun exposure over time. This type of fading is caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays, the majority of which are blocked by Prestige window film as well.
If you want to let light into your property, but not heat, as well as be able to maintain visibility through your windows, 3M Prestige series window film is the way to go.
In the fight between ceramic tint vs regular tint, ceramic is the clear winner. Though regular tint is cheaper, there are several problems with it that make it the inferior choice and can even make it a more costly choice over the long run.
Ceramic tint outperforms any other type of window tinting film on the market by leaps and bounds, and its performance and benefits can even help save you money in the long term.
At Campbell Corporation, we have authorized dealers and installers of a full range of 3M window films. Contact us to discuss your window tinting project and get it started today.