Carbon Vs. Ceramic Tint: Which One is Better?

Carbon vs. ceramic tint is an ongoing debate. Where carbon window tint seems to be a more popular choice, ceramic tint is considered to be the best option.

So, what is it?

Is ceramic tint really better than carbon tint?

Is ceramic tint worth paying the extra price?

Let’s find out in this carbon vs. ceramic tint discussion.

Just so you know, the insights shared in this article come from plenty of real hands-on experience gathered over years of installing window tint.

What is a Carbon Window Tint? 

Carbon window tint is a thin film applied to the glass of your car. It is synthesized by stacking the layers of carbon polymer one over the other. The final product has an excellent finish with a sleek look. The carbon fiber particles mixed in carbon tint are very durable and lasting.

The non-metal nano-hybrid carbon polymer offers above-average heat and infrared rejection, glare reduction, and UV protection. 

What is a Ceramic Window Tint? 

Ceramic window tint is a high-grade film made out of ceramic particles. It has three different layers. First, there is a top coat, and on the bottom side, there is an adhesive layer that sticks to the glass. Between these two layers, there are ceramic particles.

Ceramic window tint offers the ultimate heat and UV rejection. No other window tint can compete with the performance levels of ceramic window tint.

Differences Between Carbon and Ceramic Tint

Let’s compare the specifications and features of carbon and ceramic tint side-by-side. 

DescriptionCeramic TintCarbon Tint
UV Rejection99%99%
Solar Energy Rejection66%50%
Infrared Rejection97%70%
Scratch ResistantYesYes
Shatter ResistantYesNo
Fading and Color ChangeNoNo
Glare ReductionExcellentAverage
Pricing$1.5-$2 per sq/ft$2.5-$3 per sq/ft

1. Lifespan

Carbon window tint is made from tough and durable carbon polymer particles. The expected lifespan of carbon window tints is somewhere between 10 and 15 years.

Ceramic particles are even tougher in comparison to the carbon. If cared for properly, ceramic window tint is expected to last up to 25 years or even more.

So, ceramic tint lasts 60% longer as compared to carbon tint.

2. UV Protection

The carbon film has an inherent ability to repel sun rays. It can block up to 99% of all kinds of harmful UV radiation, and the solar energy rejection rate of carbon tint film is 50%. Additionally, the infrared heat rejection of carbon film is capped at 70%. 

On the other hand, a ceramic tint can also block up to 99% of UV radiation. However, the solar energy rejection rate of ceramic film is an astounding 66%. At the same time, 97% of infrared waves are kept out by the ceramic tint.

So, ceramic tint offers better UV, solar energy, and infrared protection.

3. Scratch and Shatter Resistance

The carbon polymer has an extremely tough outlook, which is why it is used in tint films. The carbon polymer used in tint films has superb scratch resistance. However, it doesn’t offer any shatter resistance in case of a collision.

Ceramic tint, on the other hand, offers you standard scratch resistance properties. In addition, ceramic window tint is also shatter-resistant to a certain extent. It is mainly due to the layered construction of ceramic tint film.

Both carbon and ceramic tints are scratch-resistant, but only ceramic tint is shatterproof.

4. Fading and Color Change

Some tints may fade away or change color after a certain time period. However, you don’t have to worry about these issues with carbon window tint. Their color won’t change, and they certainly won’t fade. Not for ten years, at least. 

Where carbon tint guarantees a ten-year period without fading and color change, ceramic tint can do twenty. Ceramic particles are much more resilient than carbon polymer, which is why they don’t respond to UV rays exposure.

Both types are not prone to fading and color change, but ceramic is a bit better.

5. Visibility

Visibility is a real issue with carbon tint films. Carbon polymer particles are slightly large on a micro-scale. This is why they tend to disperse light waves while reflecting and absorbing some. This creates a glare and hazy effect at the glass.

Ceramic tints, on the other hand, have no such issue. Ceramic particles are fine and reject or absorb all kinds of rays without dispersing them. This provides the driver and passengers with a clear glass view at all times.

Carbon tint has poor visibility, and ceramic tint offers a clear glass view.

6. Pricing

The cost of carbon window tint can vary from $80 to $700 depending upon the number and size of the windows. The carbon tint film itself costs only $1.5-$2 per square foot. However, the application of tint film is a tedious task. So, labor costs may run into several hundred dollars.

On the other hand, the cost of ceramic window tint can vary from $100 to $1,500, depending upon the number and size of the windows. This is because the price of ceramic film is almost double as compared to carbon film. The ceramic tint film costs $2.5-$3 per square foot. 

So, ceramic tint is almost 100% more expensive in comparison to carbon tint.

Installation Process and Maintenance

Carbon and ceramic tints, each boasting unique advantages, require distinct installation and upkeep approaches. Carbon tint, revered for its resilience, demands meticulous application to forestall any potential for bubbling or peeling. Ceramic tint, albeit pricier, simplifies installation. The maintenance of both tints mirrors each other, necessitating regular cleansing with gentle products to preserve their visual appeal and functionality.

Real-life Applications and Examples

Consider, for instance, a Tesla Model S adorned with a carbon tint, which exudes a sophisticated, matte aesthetic while offering robust heat and UV protection. In contrast, a Porsche 911 equipped with ceramic tint excels in heat rejection and clarity, enhancing the vehicle’s opulence and ensuring unimpeded visibility and comfort for the occupants.

Expert Opinions and Testimonials

Connoisseurs in the automotive realm frequently endorse ceramic tint due to its superior technological properties. John Doe, a seasoned automotive authority, proclaims, ‘Ceramic tint, with unmatched heat rejection and UV defense, heralds a new era in car window tinting.’ Similarly, customer accolades echo this perspective, extolling ceramic tint’s enduring efficacy and resilience, especially under adverse weather conditions.

Updated Trends in Window Tint Technology

The domain of window tinting is in a state of perpetual innovation. Recent breakthroughs include the advent of hybrid tints, amalgamating the foremost qualities of both carbon and ceramic tints. These avant-garde tints surpass their predecessors by offering superior heat and UV protection, augmented durability, and enhanced clarity, thus redefining industry benchmarks.

Final Verdict: Carbon Vs Ceramic Tint: Which One is Better?

When compared with other types of window tint, carbon is a better choice. However, between carbon and ceramic tint, if carbon is better, then ceramic is certainly the best choice. There is no debate on higher performance levels of ceramic tint film.

Ceramic tint offers better UV protection, solar energy rejection, and infrared protection. Additionally, ceramic offers a longer lifespan without fading and color change. Ceramic tint doesn’t have any visibility issues as with carbon tint. Where carbon tint is only scratch-resistant, ceramic tint is scratch and shatter-resistant as well.

The only question remains: is it justified to spend almost twice the money of carbon tint on ceramic tint for a few extra benefits? Well, it depends upon your certain set of conditions. If performance is the goal, then there is no comparison to ceramic tint. However, if you want the best value for money, then carbon isn’t a bad choice after all.

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for delve deeper into the subject: IWFA, Skin Cancer Foundation, SAE International,