Home > Windows > Home Window Tinting: Cost, Types, Pros & Cons

Home Window Tinting: Cost, Types, Pros & Cons

Updated Nov 9, 2022

Updated Nov 9, 2022

Home > Windows > Home Window Tinting: Cost, Types, Pros & Cons

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Home window tinting is something that can help with energy efficiency, privacy, and even the aesthetics of your home. Residential window tinting involves using a window film that can easily be installed within days. If you are curious about home window tinting costs, types, and pros and cons, we have all the information you will need.

Find a contractor near you to help with window tinting your home.

What Is Home Window Tinting?

Home window tinting is also known as window film installation. This process is done for sun control and to lower the energy costs of the home. However, there are products such as security window film that can lower the chances of shattered glass and keep your home safe as well. Some homeowners use decorative window film to change the aesthetics of outdated or poor-looking windows.

Cost of Home Window Tint

The cost of a home window tint typically runs between $400 and $1000 for a complete home. The product is priced between $2 and $14 per sq foot. However, installation can increase the total cost that homeowners will pay for window tinting.

Factors that affect Home Window Tint Cost

Several factors will affect how much the home window film or window tinting project can cost.

Labor

Labor rates vary from one location in the country to another. If you are handy and have some patience, there is no reason to hire someone to do the window tinting for you; you should be able to do it on your own.

Materials

The number and size of the windows in your home will also impact the costs of your window film. Most of the time, you will need some excess material to ensure the window is properly covered. For homes with larger windows or even sliding glass doors, expect costs to be higher.

Detail Work

The shape of your window can increase the cost of window tinting. If you have rounded windows, some film options may be unavailable, and you could be left with limited options.

Type of Window Tinting Film

Whether you choose a window tinting film to help increase privacy or a protection film to ensure that glass windows won’t shatter as easily, the project’s total cost will change. In addition, when trying to reduce cooling costs and heat gain in the home, you will pay a bit more for the quality of the product.

The Different Types of Home Window Tint

The key to a successful window film installation is ensuring that you choose the proper type of home window tint. Truly there are hundreds of window tint options on the market, but most of these can be broken down into several categories.

Window TintBenefits and Details 
Metalized Window TintMetalized tints are made of copper, aluminum and sometimes nickel; they work like solar tint and have thermoregulation properties
Ceramic Window TintExpensive and modern selection that is non-reflective and non-conductive, will cut down on UV rays, and also increase the strength of the window
Mirror Window TintThe mirror window tint makes your window look like a mirror, this is done for privacy but will add a glossy look to the window
Glare Control Window TintThe suns glare can be incredibly strong and the glare control is a popular choice in businesses and even schools where the sun becomes too bright to work
Safety and Security Window TintIf you are worried about shattered glass because of a storm or a burglar this window tint is thick and helpful for improving overall strength
Decorative Window TintDecorative window will change the look and coloring of your window but it may not impact the overall heat properties, this typically used for decorative or privacy purposes
Solar Window TintSolar window tint is the most popular choice used for homeowners that are attempting to make their home more energy efficient

Solar Window Tint

The market’s most popular type of window film is solar window tint. The cost to heat and cool your home only gets more expensive every year. In addition, harmful UV rays can cause sun damage to your furniture and create hot spots on the floor of your home.

One of the best ways to avoid this is with a solar window tint. Solar heat can be hard to block out, and it can also be hard on the glass that you are protecting. It’s crucial to ensure that your glass is compatible with solar window tint before installation.

The solar window tint can be done at several levels to ensure that you still have some visibility while blocking the ultraviolet rays. The sun’s heat is intense, and air conditioning is expensive solar window tint is often a solution.

Solar window tint does come in several different types of residential window films, so expect to see some ceramic and mirror options that are also solar-friendly.

Safety and Security Window Tint

The safety and security window tint is less about energy savings and more about preventing breaks in’s. This will be the thickest of the window tints on the market, and it will often require professional installation.

Expect safety and security window tint to help increase your daytime privacy but also ensure that in case of a storm, your windows will not shatter.

Metalized

Metalized window tints will have several different types of metal options for homeowners to choose from. The natural reflective properties of the metalized window tinting will help to keep the sun out but still allow for some natural light.

With the design of these metalized window tinting products being a bit more involved, expect the pricing to be a little close to that $8 to $14 per square foot range.

Ceramic

Ceramic window tint is a multi-purpose product known for reflectivity, strength, and preventing damage during poor weather. Up to 50% of harmful UV rays can be blocked with the natural UV protection of ceramic windows.

However, be prepared to pay closer to $10 or more per square foot of the ceramic window tint. Since this window film checks so many boxes, homeowners have no issues paying a bit more for it.

Mirror

The mirror window tint will make your interior windows look like mirrors. This can be done to have a more frosted look or a very reflective mirror. The problem with this type of privacy window film is that you will lose your view out of the window. The mirror window film functions as a one-way mirror when installation is complete.

However, this type of film in some workplace situations becomes a great choice.

Glare Control

The sun coming through the windows of your home typically requires window treatments to help you see and be able to work and enjoy the interior of your home. However, glare control tinted windows will help to keep the sun from causing you too much discomfort, and they may even help your energy bills lower just a bit.

Decorative

A decorative window film is there to help ensure that your windows have a look and design that matches the rest of your home. Many choose a decorative film because they are tired of their windows’ look or notice imperfections in the windows themselves.

Some of these decorative window tinting treatments can have solar benefits, but many are there just for the look. Sometimes you can choose something like a stained glass window film to transform the look of the window.

Window Tint Percentage: Which is best?

The best window tint percentage will depend on what your ultimate goal is in your home. If you are looking for window tinting services to help reduce the amount of light and heat in the house, then you will want 50% or more window tint percentage.

For security purposes, homeowners should look for around 50% window tint percentage. Most of the time, decorative window tint or privacy window tint will be 20% or less. The amount of window tint percentage you choose could have an impact on your window warranty, so that is something to consider.

Pros and Cons of Home Window Tinting

Window tinting has a lot of great benefits, but as with any home improvement project, there are some problems that can end up costing you more money than you had originally planned to spend. Here are the pros and cons of home window tinting and things that all homeowners should consider before starting the installation process.

Window Tinting Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can promote better energy efficiency
  • More comfortable temperatures
  • Sun protection for carpets and furniture
  • Skin protection
  • Privacy during the day
  • Glare reduction for electronics
  • Enhanced safety and security
  • Outside noise reduction
  • Better lighting in rooms that are too bright

Cons

  • Can void warranties on the windows
  • Installation can be a little tricky
  • Could break your glass if the wrong film is installed
  • Will block outside view
  • Could interfere with HOA regulations

Pros of Home Window Tinting

The main pros of home window tinting include better lighting, more comfort in the home, and decreased electricity bills. Some people love window tinting for the privacy it provides, as well as the natural cooling look that it can give.

Window tinting is a relatively affordable process when you look at the grand scheme of things and calculate the costs of new windows. Although there are some setbacks that homeowners will come across when you look at the installation, the possibility of doing this on your own is a real one.

Cons of Home Window Tinting

The biggest concern of home window tinting is voiding the lifetime warranty on any window you have. One thing that many homeowners don’t think about is the way that the window tinting is installed.

The tint is installed on the inside of your windows and essentially pushes the heat out. However, this heat is also absorbed by the glass, and it cannot escape through the window film. For some types of glass, this can be a major problem and even cause it to break or warp.

Homeowners also need to consider that although DIY installation is faster, it does not always go according to plan. In fact, when you see how badly an incorrectly tinted window can look with bubbles and imperfections, it may have you looking for a professional to complete this project.

DIY or Hire a Professional

The DIY or professional window tinting decision comes down to your confidence level in home improvement projects. However, we will admit that it makes sense to hire a professional if you have a large project where you want to do all of the windows downstairs or back of your house.

If the sun is simply bothering you in your office and you want to try this on one window, go ahead and give it a shot.

When these projects get big, they can take a lot of time, and they will also require plenty of patience; if you don’t have it, leave it to the professional. Windows are expensive to replace, and you won’t want to choose a window film that creates a significant issue in the home.

Final Thoughts

Window tinting using home window films is an excellent solution for so many homeowners. Window tinting is a great solution if you are on a mission to make your home more efficient, safer, or more comfortable. With the relatively lower costs and the instant effectiveness, this is a project that you could start this weekend. However, before you do, check the type of window you have and the compatibility with the film you choose. 

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