HOW TO SPOT QUALITY TINTING: THE GUIDE TO GET THE BEST OUT OF WINDOW TINTING
One of the most essential investments that you can buy into for your vehicle is window tinting. Tinting has become part of the framework for defining the value of your vehicle. Consumers can now purchase a window film based on several factors: reduction of harmful UV lighting, blocking of natural light through darkness of tint, materials, and price point.
But how do you determine what your shopping agenda should be? Should you be aiming for the most cost effective option, or the most expensive option? Here’s a quick guide that can help you spot quality window tint. Check out these points that you should know:
1: VISUAL CUES
Quality window tint should come very close to the edge. Without too much inspection, you shouldn’t be able to notice that there’s a small gap in between the top of the window and where the tint begins.
There are a few schools of thought on installations of window tinting with reference to sharp edges and clean lines. The way that most professional installers get a crisp, clean line is by using machines that cut the tint almost perfectly. There are however some installers that have been doing tinting for so long that they’ve mastered the art of hand cutting film.
As a general rule of thumb, computerized cutting trumps low experience, but often, years of experience can trump computerized cutting.
Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your professional about their process, and how they do their work. Remember that as the customer, your comfort and satisfaction should be the number one priority.
2: PURPLE IS BAD
Unless you’re talking about Prince, purple is bad.
As your car’s tint ages, a purple hue is a sign that your tint is less than quality. Essentially if you discover that your tint is purple, it’s not much more than a sheet of vinyl with dark dye. This isn’t going to do much for protecting you against UV rays, and as your car ages, it’s going to look bad. Stay away from this, and warn others.
If you’ve ever tried to put on a screen protector on your phone, you’ll know how annoying bubbles can be. Quadruple that when it comes to bubbles on windshields.
My very first tint was on a beautiful 2014 Camaro Z28, one of my favorite cars in the world. I was terrified that the tint would bubble up and look awful. An install with low quality tint or low quality adhesive can begin to bubble up in as little as 6 months. Obviously look out for big bubbles, but keep an eye out for even the smallest bubble.
4: CHECK THE DOTS
Like crossing your T’s, you’ll want to check the dots… on your windows. Those dots usually create a 3D texture on your windshield that create issues in adhesion.
For a while, some installers began sanding down those dots to create a more flat surface for the tint. They’ve began realizing that if you tint your windshield and place tint on those dots, you’ll eventually experience issues.
Most installers – regardless of quality – won’t sand down those dots. If you’re tinting your windshield, expect issues with that spot.
5: THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST
The fading of materials from light is caused by a combination of 3 things.
- UV light (non-visible)
- Visible light
Because of this, there’s some consideration that you’ll need to put into what type of tint you invest in.
Some installers offer 99.9% UV block on all of their tints. In this case, regardless of the level of darkness that you purchase, you can be sure that fading in your vehicle is reduced as much as possible.
If that’s not the case, then don’t always assume that the darkest tint has the best protective properties.
Also, did you know that some of the darker metallic tints will interfere with your phone’s reception? It’s true. In all cases, darker isn’t always better. Keep this in mind.
Finally, it is legal to put some very clear window tint on your windshield, but not in every state. Refer to our blog post about the laws behind windshield tint and the AS1 line.
6: DON’T TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT
The last tip we have for you is to make sure that the installer doesn’t take the easy way out.
Some installers will cut out sections of the tint to go around registration or inspection stickers. This is unnecessary and in fact, unsightly. Ensure that your installer removes your stickers, cleans your windshield, then reapplies your stickers to a clean windshield.
A FINAL NOTE
Perhaps our best tip to you is to always consider the warranty behind your tint. Reputable installers will offer you a lifetime warranty on your product and labor to install it. This does two things:
First, you can be sure that an installer that’s offering you a lifetime warranty will likely want to minimize how many installations they have to perform on your car in the future, due to faulty products or installs. A job well done is only done once.
Second, if in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you can rest assured that a simple appointment will get the problem fixed without you having to pay for it.
If you don’t hear anything else, hear this. Before you sign or pay, be sure that you understand the warranties that you get with your product.
SunBlock Inc has been helping customers with their window tinting needs since 1992, and is dedicated to the highest level of quality and service. If you have any questions, be sure to contact us for more information.