Are you thinking about tinting your windows at home but you aren’t quite sure what the best approach is? Is it something that you can do yourself? If so, how difficult is it? Would it be better to call in the professionals instead? And what brand of window tint is best for homes? How dark should you go?
In this article, we’ll go through residential window tinting in greater depth so that you can decide for yourself. Read on and we’ll cover everything required to get the job done.
Can you tint house windows yourself?
Window tinting is absolutely something that you can do by yourself. However, before going ahead and making any commitments, you should first understand what you are getting yourself into. It isn’t the easiest of DIY projects. In fact, it can be very tricky to apply without leaving air bubbles and creases. Applying the tinted window film properly the first time is essential so if you don’t feel too confident, we always recommend hiring professionals. In any case, here’s a quick guide as to what to expect:
- Cleaning your windows: the first step is the easiest one. Before unpacking your window tint, first, you must go around your home and give your windows a deep clean. Remove all dust or streaks; if you don’t – and then go ahead and apply the film, those blemishes will be stuck there forever.
- Measure your windows and cut the film appropriately: the next step is critical. Take your time to measure all of the target windows, write down the findings and then, of course, measure a second time to confirm that your initial measurements were correct. Once you are satisfied with your findings, very carefully trim your window film into the appropriate sizes – leaving an inch on all four sides to give you some extra wiggle room.
- Peel the backing off: once all the tinted film has been cut to size, you can now peel the back off the tint, thus exposing the adhesive. Remember, it is very easy for the adhesive to get stuck to itself so we always recommend working with at least one other person to hold the corners while you carefully peel the tint away.
- Apply the tint to the windows: depending on your window tint (most adhesives are activated by water), you should follow the instructions and begin the application process. Typically speaking, a spray bottle with water should be gently squirted on both the target window and the window film. Very carefully – being certain to match up the corners with expert precision – apply the tint to the window.
- Remove all air bubbles and creases: once the window film has been successfully applied to your window, inspect for any creases, bubbles, and imperfections. The good news is that all of these can be worked out easily enough by pushing the air toward the edges. You can use your hands, however, for the best results we recommend using a squeegee.
- Trim the excess edges: now that your film has been successfully applied and all imperfections worked out, it’s time to carefully trim the excess film from the edges. Use a sharp Stanley knife for precision and to prevent any snagging.
- Sit back and enjoy!
Again, this process is incredibly tedious and requires excellent hand-eye coordination and a truckload of patience. If you want to try it yourself, make sure you have someone helping you, you have all of the necessary equipment, and you buy a little extra just in case you make any mistakes.
How dark should I tint my home windows?
Of course, an important question before you get started with the application process is what kind of window tint you should go for – in particular: how dark should you go?
As a rule of thumb, you should aim for around 50% or lower. This is ideal for ample security – without going so dark that your windows look as though they are peering into the abyss.
Then again, it really all comes down to your own personal preference.
Just remember the importance of visible light transmission (VLT) when making your decision.
You see, the tint percentage doesn’t refer to how dark the window tint actually is. Instead, the tint percentage refers to how much light will be allowed to pass through your windows.
So, for example: if you tint your windows at 20%, only 20% of the light from the sun will make it into your home, meaning that it will be quite dark inside.
- 20% or below if your main concern is privacy.
- Purely for decoration (no heat absorption/reflection) opt for the thinnest film.
- 50% or below for a balance between privacy and redirecting sunlight.
- For reduced glare, a 20-40% tint can work well.
- You can use multiple tint percentages on different parts of your home (e.g., East-facing windows Vs. West-facing windows).
Which brand of tint film is best for my home?
There are many different brands of window tint film – some of which are better than others for different applications and intentions. For example:
- For security, many people vote for Scotchshield™ Ultra Safety and Security Window Film.
- For climate control, others swear by 3M Thinsulate.
- For solar control (VLT), SolarGard Ecolux™ Low-E is a viable option.
- For privacy, you can’t go wrong with Solyx SX-1004 Clear Ripple Glass.
- And for energy efficiency, an EnerLogic 35 film is rather effective.
That said, most modern tinted window films are of a reasonably high standard. We would recommend anything from a reputable and well-established firm like Solar Graph Glass Tinting.
We hope that you have found this article inspiring and insightful and now have a clearer idea as to whether you want to handle your window tint installation by yourself, or call in the professionals for a clean and easy application. In any case, we wish you the best of luck!