Window Tinting and Window Film
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Last updated: Friday, April 11, 2008 | 3641 Views

Maybe you’re concerned about privacy but hate interfering with the flow of natural light into the room.

Perhaps you saw a room with tinted windows on an interior design show or in a magazine.

Or maybe you’re looking for a more streamlined window treatment that won’t overwhelm your rooms.

Whatever your reasons, you’re thinking about window tinting or window film for your home. It’s a terrific idea.

While many of us only think of window tints for cars, window tinting for the home is really on the rise.

Window Tinting Basics

To put it simply, window tints and tinting films are applied directly to your windows.

They can serve a variety of purposes. They can be decorative, in the case of films with cutouts or stained glass patterns. They can work to repel heat in the summer and retain it in the winter. They can help to preserve your privacy from the outside world. They can even help to protect precious furnishings, artwork, and other window treatments from fading due to sun exposure.

There are films made for each of these purposes; depending on exactly what you want to accomplish, you simply need to select the right film for the job and apply it.

Applying Window Film

It’s very easy to apply window film yourself if you take your time and plan ahead. Simply follow these steps:

  1. First, determine what kind of film you have. Some films are designed to be applied to the inside of the window and others to the outside. There are even films that have varying application instructions depending on your window type. So the instructions for a single pane window are different from those for a double pane. Add storm panes to the mix, and it can be confusing to figure out exactly where the films go. Take the time to fully read the instructions to make sure that you are installing your films on the right surface.
  2. Collect all of your materials and read the instructions fully once you begin. One of the things about installing window tints is that it’s really a two-handed project. It’s a good idea to have a helper, but if you don’t, it’s particularly important to read all of the instructions in full before you start.
  3. Select a time to apply when the glass is cool, but isn’t going to freeze in the next few days. This insures that the film will adhere properly.
  4. Next, you’ll need to make sure that your film is trimmed properly. If you have a made-to-order film, it might be tempting to skip this step. Don’t. Even a slight overlap onto the casing can result in buckling, creases, and poor adhesion. Besides, if you’ve selected a decorative window film or a stained glass window film, you’ll need to make sure that the pattern lies the way that you want it. Even if there is no pattern, take the time to put the dry film onto the window to see how it looks. Trim the film if necessary to make sure that there is a slight gap between the film and the edges of the window. This gap is necessary to get all of the water out from under the film to assure correct adhesion. Also, the gap will allow the window to naturally expand and contract without removing the film.
  5. Your film should come with instructions, but generally, the process is to apply an adhesive/water mix to the window and keep it wet while applying the film. The film is placed onto the window, and a squeegee is worked from the center of the film outward to remove all of the excess water and air bubbles. Then, the film is left to cure over a few days. And voila! Your window film is installed.


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