Is Window Film Tacky? (No For The Most Part)

The main reason you’d install a window film is to cut the amount of the sun rays reaching your living space.

Not only do films protect your upholstery, but also go a long way to reduce your cooling costs.

An average window film blocks about 80 percent of the sun’s energy.

Hence, Is Window Film Tacky?

To some extent, yes. However, some of the “drawbacks” of window film you will hear out there are false. In fact, the purported tacky side of these films is based on myths that have been debunked (more on these later). Also, if you choose the right kind of film for your windows and hire an experienced professional to do the job, you might never regret it.

Let’s start by debunking the purported tacky side of these covers:

1. Window Film Makes The Exterior Window Slippery

Your windows may get slippery during the cold and wet season with or without a tinting film on them.

Some users believe that because the film cuts the amount of heat reaching the interior spaces, it makes the interior of the home colder and this somehow causes the exterior of the window to get slippery.

However, the film indeed causes the interior temperatures to fall a little, but that’s just it – it doesn’t cause the windows to get slippery.

Windows may become slippery depending on the cleaning frequency among other factors far away from tinting.

Frequently cleaned windows don’t accumulate debris, meaning they are less likely to feel slippery when touched.

Many homeowners only start to scrutinize the windows once they’ve installed the film.

Therefore, any sudden changes can be immediately attributed to the film, sometimes erroneously.

2. Window Film Gets More Ugly With Age

If you heard or strongly think that tints always form bubbles and end up discolored shortly after installation, pause and think again.

First off, let’s admit the obvious: cheap and badly installed films will always produce awful results no matter what. That’s why it is recommended that you go for the highest quality product available and hire an experienced professional to do the job.

With that said, I think it would fair to blame the real culprit – DIY window tinting films.

The common DIY films may stick just as perfectly as premium options if not better, but they will either form bubbles or loosen on the edges a bit prematurely.

Bear in mind that premium films may peel on the edges as well if your professional rushes to install them. Leave the job to the most experienced experts available.

3. Windows Film’s Too Dark

Another common misconception is that films make the windows dreary and dark.

This would have been true if films didn’t come in shades. In fact, most of the tints you will find in the store are virtually clear to the eye but still filters out a lot of heat plus and don’t compromise on their traditional benefits.

However, it is important to understand that darker films filter out more UV light than clearer ones. Still, the buyer gets to decide the best shade for their needs.

While you are free to choose whatever shade of film suitable for your home, you should know the benefits of darker films:

  • It makes the interior of your homeless visible to a person outside
  • Furniture and fabrics (such as those on window treatments) can be sensitive to extreme sunlight sometimes, so a darker film is necessary to protect them from fading
  • It can filter out the sunlight and let night-shift workers sleep better during the day

Perhaps the most ridiculous misconception you’ll hear – or have heard already – is that tainted windows kill indoor plants.

While darker films are designed to block as much sunlight as possible, they still permit just the right amount of light for indoor plants to thrive.

However, if you’re nervous about it and would go to any length to safeguard the health of your indoor plants, go for lighter tints instead.

4. Window Film Filters Out All Ultraviolet Rays

This is probably the only myth that came closest to the truth.

Modern window films have been engineered to eliminate as much as 99 percent of the UV rays that come with sunlight.

If you go for a product with the highest UV filtration abilities, you can be certain that you won’t get skin cancer while basking under your windows.

With such films, you can be almost certain your furniture won’t be damaged no matter how long they stay under the sun.

5. Burglars Can’t Smash Windows With Film On Them

Sadly, window tinting doesn’t protect your windows from impact.

The number of layers and intensity of the shade doesn’t matter – your windows are still breakable.

However, some types of films and tints can make your windows somewhat hard to break but are never impact-proof 100 percent.

The best thing is that window films, especially the darker sort, make it hard for an outsider to monitor the activities happening in the home.

This way, they help deter burglary to some extent. Many burglaries are offenses of opportunity, where the offender spots an item of value by chance and goes for it once they confirm your absence.

If the windows are sufficiently tinted, the items in your home can’t be seen easily compared to if you didn’t have a tint. This makes the burglar reconsider their moves before taking a risk.

6. Window Film Inflicts Damages

As recommended earlier, hire the most experienced professional available.

If applied the right way, window tinting actually enhances your glass instead of ruining it.

However, if the film is applied wrongly the DIY way or by an unskilled person, the window glass could be ruined.

Fortunately, most windows nowadays come with a long warranty that replaces them if they are damaged.

Be sure to check if the warranty covers for damages arising from tinting because some brands do the opposite – they void your warranty if you add a tint.

Having a professional installer undertake the project can reduce the likelihood of damages.

So, What’s So Tacky About Window Film?

As long as you apply the film without trapping air bubbles or moisture (never apply it on a moist window), the final product will be great to look at. Also, pray hard your pets don’t get to land their claws on it.

Here’s the undesirable side of window films:

1. Darker Film Restricts More Beneficial Heat Energy

If your home is situated in colder northerly regions, you want all the solar heat from the sun to get indoors.

This means adding a tinting layer to your windows is more likely to work against your intentions.

Fortunately, you don’t need to restrict your choices to darker films.

The main motivation behind the invention of transparent films was to provide an alternative to the commonly used dark films.

Also, different levels of darkness can create an array of results one of which will work for your windows. However, the more choices you have the more careful you should be.

It is only wise that you apply different tinting levels to each part of the house based on the extent of exposure to the sun.

2. You Might Need To Replace Windows/Glass At A High Cost

Save for the damages sustained during the installation process, you might need to remove old windows with new units before you get the project started.

Films don’t look great on cracked glass or old rusty windows with loose panes.

The real pain is the cost of the whole project.

Tinting professionals are known to charge exorbitantly for their expertise.

If you combine the cost of hiring the installation guy and window replacement, you are looking at a price tag in the excess of $2,000.

This may vary depending on where you are and the quality of material you choose.


So, is window films tacky?

Yes, but not entirely. Some of the “drawbacks” of window film you will hear out there are false.

The purported tacky side of these films is based on myths.

For example, it is believed that film makes the windows dreary and dark.

This would have been true if films didn’t come in shades. In fact, most of the tints you will find in the store are virtually clear to the eye but still filters out a lot of heat plus and don’t compromise on the traditional benefits of window films.


5 Myths About Residential Window Tinting 

The Pros and Cons of Tinted House Windows 

Window Tint Adhesive