How to Choose the Right Window Film for your Glass Applications
Decorative window films are a fantastic way to enhance any glass application. Whether you’re looking to capture the look of cut or textured glass, change colour, or block natural light transmission, there's a window film available to suit your application.
Before beginning, it’s important to take into consideration what window film you will need and what will work best for you.
What application method will you use?
To properly apply window graphics you can use either a wet or dry application method.
Most window graphics use a wet application method, and this can be used regardless of the graphic size. Using a wet application method will ensure you position the graphic accurately without it sticking to itself and without causing air bubbles, making it a lot easier to handle. This application method takes slightly longer before it’s properly adhered to its surface, as the application fluid needs to dry out. Consideration needs to be given to the type of adhesive on the films when wet applied, and water-based acrylic adhesives can cloud up or go milky when they come into contact with water.
A dry application method typically uses transfer tape to transfer a graphic from its backing paper onto glass. There is little room for error in this application method, as moving or repositioning the graphic is much more difficult, and can damage the film. When applying graphics with this method, there is a greater chance of trapping air bubbles.
Easy apply (bubble free)
Using an easy apply (bubble free) graphic allows an even easier application method. These graphics are applied dry and are easier to reposition on glass with bubble-free application, due to the air channels in the adhesive giving the film less initial contact to the glass. Once in place, you simply squeegee out any air bubbles. Graphics with this technology are also useful when applying in cold or wet conditions. It’s important not to try and apply air release films wet, as water can get trapped in the air channels and be very difficult to remove. Depending on the application, the air channels in the adhesive may be slightly visible after application when viewed close up.
Are you applying it externally or internally?
It is important when choosing window film to decide whether you want to apply it internally or externally. When applying graphics to the outside of windows, it’s important to consider the colour of the adhesive/backing of the film, as this can be seen when looking through the opposite side of the windows. A grey adhesive could make the inside of the glass quite dark.
Durability is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration if you decide to apply your graphics externally. Ensure you choose a film that is able to withstand harsh weather conditions and other external elements to ensure it remains in top condition and lasts its suggested time frame.
If you’re looking to add extra protection to your graphics, lamination can be a great way to do this. This can be used on top of both internal and external graphics to provide an additional layer of protection.
What finish are you looking for?
Deciding on your choice of finish is another important factor to consider. Understanding the purpose of your window graphic can help to determine which finish is best for you. Are you looking to increase privacy? Do you want to enhance the appearance of your windows? Are you looking to reduce sunlight and block UV rays?
These films often feature a frosted, reflective, perforated or coloured surface in various degrees of darkness. These films are popular in offices or meeting rooms, preventing viewing from the outside in and in some cases, reducing incoming light and outside views.
If you’re simply looking to enhance the appearance of your windows or enhance your brand identity, decorative window films are the way to go. These films give ordinary glass an upscale look of stained, etched, frosted or textured glass, with anything from a high density finish to a sparkling design.
Solar films are a great way to reduce heat, glare, light and UV rays. These films can block up to 99% of UV rays whilst helping to reduce cooling costs in offices or working environments where keeping cool is essential.
Whatever you’re looking for, at ADAPT we stock a wide range of high-performance window graphics from the industry’s leading brands.
For more information on how to choose the right window film for your glass application, get in touch today.
Call us on 0115 982 9770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.