Is There A Difference Between Window Film And Window Tinting?

So, you realize your home life could be better and more comfortable with the simple addition of window film on your Chicago home.  Maybe the glare got to you or even more so–the really high heating and cooling bills. At this point in your research, you have likely heard or seen the terms window film and window tinting and maybe there is a little confusion about which is which and which is right for you. Don’t worry– you are not alone.  Most people don’t know the difference and to be honest–the words are pretty much used interchangeably. Right or wrong there is a difference and choosing the right one is important. It really boils down to asking what the main issue you are having on with your Chicago home’s windows and whether there may be other issues you could solve at the same time.  

When to Use Window Tint Vs Window Films

For the most part homes and window film go hand in hand. This is because window film is able to solve more of the problems homeowners here in Chicago want to fix.  Things like energy efficiency, UV protection, and security being the primary ones. Whiles some tints solve these problems, tinting is more of a privacy or glare application; having a modern, sleek or mirrored appearance which appeals mostly to our commercial clients. Window films, in contrast,  are clear or in some cases very slightly tinted. Furthermore, if window tints solve the same issues that window films do, they will typically not be as powerful as a film for the same purpose. Below we provided a guide for your review.

A Guide Whether To Use Window Tint Or Window Film In A Home

Home Privacy:  Window Tinting is actually a fantastic way to get privacy and privacy alone–in both commercial or residential structures. However,  decorative films are also a beautiful solution for more home privacy since they mimic the appearance of etched or sandblasted glass. For homeowners, this type of glass finish is a much more attractive home look, than say, mirrored window tint–and is definitely better for interior privacy applications.  

Glare Control:  Window tinting definitely cuts back on glare through windows.  While this is true of tint, it is often, as mentioned before, shiny or mirrored in appearance–which is simply a more commercial look.  Window films, for the most part, are perfectly clear and lovely on homes and do more than just block glare. Some window film redirects glare as well and/or provide energy efficiency and UV protection too.

Energy Efficiency:  Window film is far superior to window tinting in this category and puts more money in the pockets of homeowners because of it.  In fact, this is the primary motivation of homeowners when considering window films and window tints. Window film is so potent it actually reduces your heating and cooling bills by up to 60 percent and pays for itself in as little as 2  years!

Home Safety And Security:  Will window tinting offers a small modicum of protection to glass,  the reality is– window films are engineered to be sturdier and give far superior protection from intruders, natural disasters and home accidents and greater UV protection too.  Again, window films have a number or corresponding benefits for homes too–making it a ubiquitous choice for homes.

At the end of the day, window tinting is a very valuable tool for specific applications that are often niches and cater to commercial needs. Window film,  in contrast, tends to solve a number of issues at once and is more attractive on homes. So, Chicago homeowners looking for a number of protections and controls while saving them money will, by and large, want to choose films rather than tints.

For more information on either window tints and window films for your Chicago home and/or commercial property contact us at Window Film Chicago.  We carry a wide variety of films and tints and we will be able to provide something for nearly any application you may need. Plus we will walk you through choosing the right film at the right price for your budget and needs.  


Mike Kinsey

Mike Kinsey has more than a decade of experience installing window film in the Chicago area. His years of experience have allowed him to develop a deep familiarity with all of the different types and styles of window film on the market including the various security, privacy, decorative, and energy efficient options. Together, he and his team have completed hundreds of commercial and residential installs, totaling an accumulation of over 250,000 square feet. In addition to being an expert on top brands such as LLumar, C-Bond, HDClear, Solar Gard, Solyx, and Huper Optik, Mike is also certified by 3M, EnerLogic, and AIA for continuing education.