Let me break it to you in the beginning: ceramic tint is way better than a regular tint, otherwise known as dyed window tint. In fact, there is no comparison between the two when it comes to performance characteristics such as UV and infrared protection and glare reduction.
But the question that should really be asked is what works best for you.
Can you make it do with a regular tint?
If yes, then do you need to spend big bucks on a ceramic tint?
These questions will be answered in this ceramic vs. regular tint discussion.
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. Additionally, ceramic tint gives you the best glare and infrared reduction. No other window tint can compete with the performance levels of ceramic window tint. It’s certainly the best!
What is a Regular Window Tint?
Regular window tint is more commonly known as dyed tint. In dyed tint, a protective layer of dye is applied between the glass and the tint film. You can choose the level of darkness by varying the color and amount of dye. This gives you different VLT (visible light transmission) levels.
Regular window tints don’t offer as many benefits as ceramic window tints. It gives you the appearance of having a tint; however, in reality, most UV rays will keep entering your cabin. You will have your privacy, but at the cost of a hot cabin with a fading interior.
Differences Between Ceramic and Regular Tint
Let’s compare the specifications and features of ceramic and regular tint side-by-side.
|Description||Ceramic Tint||Regular Tint|
|Solar Energy Rejection||66%||N/A|
|Fading and Color Change||No||No|
|Pricing||$2.5-$3 per sq/ft||$0.5-$1.5 per sq/ft|
Ceramic window tint is made from tough and durable ceramic particles, which is why it lasts much longer than other types of window tint. If cared for properly, ceramic window tint is expected to last up to 25 years or even more.
On the other hand, regular tint has a relatively shorter lifespan. It can last as long as five years. This is less than almost all other types of window tint. They are prone to fading and color change. So, the actual lifespan might be even shorter.
So, ceramic tint lasts five times longer as compared to regular tint.
2. UV Protection
Ceramic window tint offers UV, infrared, and solar energy protection like none other. It can block up to 99% of UV radiation. 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.
No substantiated data is available on the UV protection levels of dyed film tints. However, it is a common understanding that dyed tint let the majority of UV and infrared rays into the cabin. The higher cabin temperature is proof that only negligible UV rays are blocked by dyed tint.
So, ceramic tint offers better UV, solar energy, and infrared protection.
3. Scratch and Shatter Resistance
Ceramic particles are extremely tough. Plus, the addition of a topcoat makes the ceramic tint film nearly impenetrable. This is why the ceramic tint is scratch-resistant. Ceramic window tint is also shatter-resistant to a certain extent. It is mainly due to the layered construction of ceramic tint film.
Regular tint, on the other hand, is covered by an anti-scratch topcoat. However, this topcoat comes off after some time, exposing the tint. So, regular tint remains scratch-resistant for some time only, and there is no question of being shatter-resistant.
Ceramic tint is both scratch-resistant and shatterproof, whereas regular tint is neither.
4. Fading and Color Change
Ceramic particles have exceptional thermal and chemical stability. This is why they are not prone to color changes and fading. Where other types of window tint offer you a few years of no fade, the ceramic tint film will go much longer without exhibiting any color changes.
Fading and color change is the most common issue with regular tint. When exposed to UV rays, the dye inside the tint tends to change its color and appearance.
Ceramic tint will neither fade nor change color, whereas regular tint faces both these problems.
Ceramic particles have very low density and high porosity. This makes them naturally inclined to reflect or absorb all kinds of rays without dispersing them. Ceramic tint is extremely effective at glare reduction. It doesn’t obstruct the view of the driver during the nighttime.
On the other hand, there are no visibility issues with regular tint. They will not block many lights during nighttime, but there won’t be a glare either.
Ceramic and regular tint both offer a clear glass view.
The cost of ceramic window tint can vary from $200 to $1,500, depending upon the number and size of the windows. The ceramic tint film itself costs $2.5-$3 per square foot. This makes it one of the most expensive window tints.
On the other hand, the cost of regular window tint can vary from $50 to $300, depending on the number and size of the windows. It is one of the cheapest window tint options on the market. The regular tint film costs $0.5-$1.5 per square foot.
So, ceramic tint is almost five times more expensive in comparison to ceramic tint.
Final Verdict: Ceramic Vs. Regular Tint: Which One is Better?
Ceramic tint offers major advantages over regular tints, otherwise known as dyed tints. Ceramic has better heat, UV, and infrared rejection rates than regular tint. It is a scratch-resistant and shatterproof tint, unlike regular tint, which is prone to fading and color change.
It is no revelation that there is no comparison between the performance of ceramic and dyed tint. However, ceramic tint is five times more expensive as compared to regular tint.
So, is it a wise decision to get it anyway?
Well, it depends on your pocket and specific use case. If your area gets longer winter than summer and you don’t want something long-term on your windows, then regular tint isn’t a bad choice after all. However, it doesn’t even come close to what ceramic tint can offer.