An Easy Guide To Installing Window Film

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Window film can help with home privacy and UV resistance of your windows. They can also help regulate indoor temperature. However, you’ll have to install it correctly to get the full benefit of window film. So, how do you install window film? 

To install window film, clean the window to remove any dust particles. Then, remove any leftover or grime, cut the film to the size of your window and carefully apply the film. Finally, clean your film for an excellent finish. For larger jobs, consider a professional installer. 

Want to learn more? If so, let’s discuss why you need window film, how much it will cost, and when you should hire a professional to install the film. 

What is the Purpose of Window Film?

Professional worker tinting window with foil

The main reason why most people install window film (example on Amazon) is for additional privacy. Most window film isn’t transparent and can protect your home from stealthy eyes. It also filters out sunlight, keeping your home cool in the summer. 

Since window film has UV reflective properties, it also protects the window finish from fading, saving your bugs by reducing repairing or replacing costs.  

You can also reduce your energy bills and improve home comfort by installing a heat-control window film, as the film will keep the indoor temperature balanced. You can also enhance your experience on television, computer, or mobile screen using glare-control window film. 

Window films are also available in various colors, designs, and stylish patterns, which can also improve the interior decoration of your house without blocking natural light from coming inside. 

How Much Does Window Film Cost?

An average window film installation costs $8-12 per square foot. Depending on the window film type and quality, this cost may be as low as $5 and up to $25.

Decorative window films can cost more because they have more color adhesive. 

Other factors affecting the installation cost for a window film include a warranty, product clarity, and longevity. In addition, if you want professional installation, you’ll have to pay extra fees, which can also increase your installation cost. 

How to Install Window Film

When installing window film, it’s best to have a professional do it for you. However, you can also install it yourself, especially if you have a DIY installation kit.

Just be careful with the window glass and the blade, as misusing it can damage your window glass or cause injury. 

Follow these steps when installing window film: 

1.) Clean the Window

Cleaning the window is essential before you start because the dust and debris on your window glass can affect the performance of the window film. A well-cleaned window will also let the film stick easily to the glass and remain there for longer. 

Here’s the correct way to clean glass windows: 

  1. Pour 1 teaspoon of a cleaning solution into 1 gallon of bottled water. Alternatively, you can use a ready-made window cleaner. 
  1. Spray the solution thoroughly over the window glass, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. 
  1. Use a clean cloth to rub the window surface, and wash it with water again. 
  1. Use a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to dry the window. 

Don’t use hard tap water when cleaning your windows, as it can leave spots or scratches on the glass. Also, remember not to use any cleaner that contains vinegar or ammonia, as it can damage the window film.  

2.) Remove Any Remaining Debris

Once the window is cleaned correctly, look for any debris remains or grime spots that the cleaning solution couldn’t remove. 

You can use a razor blade to scrape off hard-to-clean debris, but be careful not to scratch the glass. Carefully move the razor side-to-side over the affected area to prevent uneven results.

You can also use a cleaning brush with sharp teeth or any needle-headed tool as an alternative to razor blades. 

Periodically use a clean cloth to remove the scraped leftovers, so you know how much dirt remains. Lastly, use a paper towel or a microfiber cloth to absorb excess moisture for a final finish.

3.) Cut the Film

Once the window is cleaned, it’s time to cut the film to the size of your window. Cutting the film correctly can save you money and prevent the film from falling off. 

Follow these steps when cutting window film: 

  1. Measure the size of the window area you want to cover with the window film. 
  1. Deflate the film roll on the floor or any other smooth surface. 
  1. Mark the measurement you want to cut, and start cutting the film. It’s recommended to cut the film 1-2 inches longer and wider than the size of your window to avoid any maladjustments.

Use a sharp blade to cut your window film, as a dull cutting side can tear the film. Also, change the blade after cutting 10ft of the film to get cleaner cuts.

During this stage, you’ll have to cover the window, so it doesn’t get dusty or wet. 

4.) Apply the Film

Once you cut the film to size, you can then apply it to the window. You’ll need to be careful when doing so, or you’ll end up with bubbles in the film. 

Follow these steps to apply the window film correctly: 

  1. First, carefully remove the adhesive side of your window film from the top corners. 
  1. Place the upper side of the film to the level of the window’s upper edges so that you won’t have excess film on the top. 
  1. Once the upper side is correctly placed over the window glass, start taking off the adhesive from the remaining film, working down the window to put the film over the entire window surface. 
  1. Carefully smooth the film on the side edges of the window so that the film gets properly placed. 
  1. Once the film is placed, quickly remove the bubbles before the film gets hardened. Spray the solution over the film. Push any bubbles from the top to the center and then to the sides using your hand or a squeegee. 

(During this stage, keep the surface of the window film wet to allow it to glide easily. Also, remember not to use an abrasive material to remove the bubbles, as it can tear out the film.) 

  1. Next, use a knife or razor blade to trim the excess film at the edges and the corners of the window. 
  1. Finally, use a microfiber cloth to absorb moisture over the film surface. This will also give your film a fine finish. 

5.) Clean the Window

When the film is correctly placed on your window, use a soft cloth to clean it. This will remove any leftover film particles, dust, or moisture, giving your film an excellent finish. However, don’t be rough; it can glide the wet film and ruin its adjustment to the window. 

The film usually takes around 30 minutes to stick to the window properly, but you’ll probably have to wait a week before you can start cleaning it regularly.   

Should You Hire a Professional?

Professional workers tinting window with foil

While you can install window film yourself, it’s best to use a professional if you want a long-lasting result. Also, unless you have considerable DIY experience, it’s best to hire a professional to avoid mishaps. 

With a professional window film installation, you won’t have to worry about durability, and the film will last longer in most cases. A professional will also know how to install the correct type of window film for your window type and ensure that the film has a smooth finish. 

Some professionals offer warranties on installation, so it’s best to do it through them to avoid mishaps. 

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