Interested in getting window film installed in your home? Here are some things to consider to help you make a final decision.
Window film, commonly referred to as sun control film or window tint, is a thin and transparent layer of a polyester-based film with a scratch-resistant, reflective coating. Window film is a convenient, affordable option if you want to improve the level of privacy in your home or office without blocking the natural light to reach inside.
There are two basic application choices for installing window film: do-it-yourself (DIY) installation and professional installation. If you want to install it yourself, we recommend that you follow the installation steps mentioned below. We also recommend comparing the installation charges of different service providers so that you can make an educated decision. It’s imperative that you know all of the warranty information on both your windows and the window film before installation to avoid any future problems.
With that being said, we’ve outlined the pros, cons, and other factors to consider that will help you make your final decision on how to install window film.
Do-It-Yourself Installation Considerations
- Most home improvement stores typically sell the most affordable films, which results in a selection of low-quality products
- Many homeowners may not know if the film they choose is safe for the type of glass they’re installing it on or have the tools and equipment to perform the installation properly
- In most cases, warranty coverage only applies to the cost of the window film
Professional Installation Considerations
- Professional dealer installers, like U.S. Film Crew, have film-to-glass recommendations from their manufacturers to assist the customer in selecting the correct film for their windows to achieve the desired product benefits
- Professionally installed films look better, last longer, and are usually more likely to perform to specifications for their warrantied lives, or even longer than those improperly installed
- Professional window film installers have the experience and training to help them identify unique or unusual circumstances that may affect the installation or performance of a particular product in a given situation, which might otherwise go unnoticed
- U.S. Film Crew offers a Lifetime Transferable Warranty, including labor, whereas window film purchased elsewhere will likely only be covered for the cost of replacement film in the event of a problem or product failure
- Professionals have the knowledge of which window films work with certain glass types to avoid damage
Do-It-Yourself Window Film Installation Steps
Once you’ve made a decision and purchased the window film, here are the window film installation steps you can follow for both adhesive and non-adhesive window film.
Step 1. Clean the Window
Clean the window thoroughly with a window cleaner solution. Do not use typical household glass cleaners to clean the window. Also, remember not to use hard tap water, which can leave spots or scratches under the film. Use a rubber-blade squeegee to wipe the window properly.
Step 2. Remove Debris
Use the single-edge utility razor blade to scrape off any leftover of remains or grime from the windows. You can also use a paper towel to absorb excess moisture at the corners of the window for better window security film installation.
Step 3. Cut the Window Film
Once the windows are clean and dried out, measure the size and cut the window film 1 inch larger than the window size. Make sure to use sharp straight-edge razor blades to cut the window film as a dull blade can tear the film. Change the blade after cutting 10 feet of window film to get clean cuts.
Step 4. Place the Film on the Window
Follow the instructions guide to remove the adhesive side from the film carefully. Once you have removed the top five to ten centimeters of liner, place the film onto the window surface.
Start by putting the above the corners of the window, and once the film is properly placed on the above portion of the window, begin taking off the rest of the adhesive for the film little by little.
Step 5. Flatten the Film
Use a squeegee to flatten the film out onto the window. The best ways is to start the squeegee in the center of the window and push it out to the edges applying a little pressure.
Step 6. Trim the Excess Film
Use a ruler and a utility knife to trim off the edges of the excess film around each side of the window. Once the film is placed securely, take the squeegee to remove the air bubbles.
Professional Window Film Installation Steps
Below are the standard procedures and steps that most professionals will take when installing window film:
Step 1. Professional Window Film Consultation
Schedule a professional consultation with a window film expert and once the window film has been selected, the installation process can begin. A date is selected at which time installers will arrive on site with all materials and tools required for a complete installation.
Step 2. Work Area Preparation
The window film installation process is straightforward. The first concern of the installer will be window accessibility.
The windows may be floor level with no obstructions, have blinds, or draperies that require removal, have furnishing in front of them which may need to be temporarily moved or a ladder may be necessary due to height. Once accessibility to the windows is gained, the installation may begin.
Step 3. Window Cleaning
The initial setup of the window film installation is the cleaning of the glass surface. The installer will either razor clean or scrub clean the glass to be filmed. After the glass is properly cleaned, a final squeegee will ensure the glass is free of contaminants.
The installer may then towel dry the edges of the glass with a lint-free cloth as a final preparation prior to the film installation.
Step 4. Window Film Installation
The next step of the process is the installation of the window film. The film is pre-cut slightly larger than the glass surface area. The glass surface is then saturated with a non-toxic slip solution.
The film’s liner is removed and the film is placed on the glass surface and trimmed to the exact size. The window film is then thoroughly squeegeed, removing most of the slip solution. The slip solution run-off is contained by drop clothes set beneath the working area.
Step 5. Window Film Polishing & Wrap-Up
Finally, the installer will perform a thorough polishing of the installed film. Once completed, the installer will gather their tools and supplies, rearrange the room if necessary, and leave the area where the installation occurred in the same condition as when the installer arrived.
Here’s a look at how we install window film for our clients:
If you want to learn more about the process of having window film professionally installed, please contact U.S. Film Crew today at 412-961-TINT and one of our professionals would be happy to assist you.