Professionally Installed Window Film Costs for Homes & Businesses Vary

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Commercial Window Tinting

This window tinting price guide may be used as a general guideline for figuring installation costs for various window tinting films on homes or businesses

Consult with your local window tinting professional for an actual proposal.


Geographic Region: As a general rule, most northern states have a higher rate per square foot for installation. This is because the demand is for solar control film is lower compared to hot southern states. Southern states have a greater customer demand. Window film prices in the south are more competitive. Southern customers want to reduce the sun’s heat and lower cooling costs year round. Prices may vary from $1.00 to $2.00 per sf depending on the region of the country

Ease of Installation: If a 400 square foot project is composed of only 12 large windows or glass doors, an installer can lay lots of square footage very fast with only having to make 48 cuts along the edges. If this 400 sf project contained 400 individual small French Colonial style windows, the installer would need to make 1600 cuts. The easier job could be completed in one day. The complicated French pane job could take a week or longer.

Volume: The larger the job, the lower the price per square foot. This is based on discretion of the estimator. Very large projects involving thousands or square feet are usually bid down to very low competitive prices, sometimes into the low $3.00 per sf range unless other factors call for a higher rate.

Competition: Be sure to get at least three estimates before selecting a window film contractor. Home window tint prices, quality of installation, quality of material and overall relationship with contractors all vary. The lowest price is not always your best deal. Lowest prices are often (but not always) accompanied with some grief.

Market Conditions: When is the best time of the year to have windows tinted? During the cooler winter months of the year. This is when window film prices drop due to a lack of demand as customers are less motivated about keeping cool and more motivated about the holidays.

Type of Film: Most standard lines of professional quality “Solar Control Window Films” are in the same general cost range to most every contractor. The contractor’s costs for material can range an average of $1.00 per square foot, give or take .50 cents. Key elements to compare is performance and warranty. You probably wouldn’t want to pay 50% more to get only a 5% or 10% difference in performance with the same warranty.

Brand of Film: There are at least six major manufacturers of window film and list is always growing. With the exception of paying an excessive premium price for what’s known as  “brand recognition”, virtually all window films have similar performance and warranties. The largest companies usually have less if any warranty claims because they use better, higher cost, quality raw materials.  This give the film greater longevity. Better quality films usually have a higher visual clarity as well. Some manufacturers offer films that other manufacturers don’t and visa versa. Many manufacturers offer an exclusive premium line of films which cost considerably more. Premium window films such as Sunscape by Madico offer slightly higher performance and give a greater selection. These films are only sold to authorized contractors and may cost about $1.00 more per sf. than stand films.

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Calculating Residential or Commercial Window Film Installation Costs


High Altitude Work: Add .50 cents per sf for windows 10″ to 12′ high. Add an additional .50 cents for windows 13′ to 16′ at the highest point. This is only a general price guide guideline. Estimators must consider the added time and risk or climbing up and down ladders. For very high installations, special hydraulic lifts or scaffolding may be required. These setup and mobilization costs will also add to the overall time of the project.


French Pane Windows: Add $2.00 per sf or more to standard installation rates depending on volume, etc.

Awning Windows: Add $2.00 per sf. These small to mid size windows were installed through the 1960s to 1980s. They frequently have excessive old caulking and silicone that is time consuming to remove.

Window Film Removal Price Guide: Add $1.50 to $2.50 per sf. The longer the film has been on the windows the harder is usually is to scrape off. Window film removal requires considerable physical effort, skill and added time.

Spectrally Select Films: Add $1.00 per sf. These new sophisticated window films cost considerable more than standard film. Construction of these films allow for more light to be transmitted with less exterior reflection while still reducing significant heat. These films are often proprietary in nature and contain a mix of several types of metal.

Security Films: These tough films come in a selection of shades and thicknesses. They can cost 50% to 200 % more than standard window film. Materials and installation costs are considerably higher. Security film prices could run from $4.00 per sf to well over $10.00 per sf depending on the installation, your needs and selection. Films over 8 mil thick may require an “edge attachment system” to secure the film and glass to the frame. This provides greater safety in the event of an unwanted intrusion by nature or a perpetrator. Be sure to contact your local window film professionals for more information and a price quotes.

Window Obstructions: Calculate for the possibility that heavy furniture or other objects may need to be moved and returned to their locations to allow the installer to access the window areas. If the installer needs to take extra time it could cost a bit more.

Window Tinting Price Guide Conclusions: As you can see there are many factors that a professional window film estimator must take into consideration when pricing a project. Hopefully this comprehensive flat glass window tinting price guide will help you understand how to calculate a rough estimate prior to, or after getting more accurate quotes from contractors. As a broad range rule of thumb, you can figure $3.00 to $6.00 per square foot to install standard flat glass window film. $4.50 per sf would not be an unreasonable average as long as you take into account the factors disclosed in this price guide. These are average market prices for the year 2015. Short term year to year increases are likely to be insignificant.

This flat glass window tinting price guide was created by: Frank Arena, Certified Master Window Tinter

We welcome feedback and questions from consumers and window film professionals to further the accuracy and completeness of this price guide. Click Here.