What Is Metalized / Metallic Window Tint? Benefits, Price & Limitations

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Quick Answer: What Is Metalized / Metallic Window Tint

Metalized or metallic window tint includes a layer of film with metallic particles rather than dyes. They offer high durability, shatter resistance, UV protection, and solar heat reduction. However, they are mid-priced, reflective, and cause electronic interference. Before buying, check that reflective tints are legal in your state, or that you have a medical exemption.

There are many reasons you might want to get window tints for your car, but did you know there are several different types of window tint available for you to choose from?

One of the most popular types is metalized or metallic window tint.

Also, there are laws that vary based on window tints, so that is another reason to know what tint you are using.

This guide will go through everything you need to know about metalized or metallic window tint.

What Is Metalized / Metallic Window Tint?

Metalized or metallic window tint uses metallic particles to block some of the light from passing through.
The multi-layered design allows for additional strength, durability, UV, and heat reduction.

An adhesive layer provides the bonding agent for installation, a metalized layer blocks heat and provides the shade, a treated layer helps to block UV radiation, and a protective layer keeps the film free from scratches.

This marketing video from Ziebart shows the multi-layered design noted above: 


One immediately noticeable difference between metalized or metallic window tint versus other types of window tint is that it is reflective rather than matte.

Some people love the stylish aesthetic of reflective tint, but others prefer the matte finish of other types of window tint. The look makes it a unique choice, but not necessarily one that everyone will appreciate.

Most people put metalized window tint as a second-tier choice in terms of affordability versus effectiveness.

It is valued better, and priced higher, than standard dye tints, but does not come near the hybrid and ceramic tints that dominate the premium end of the market.

Benefits of Metalized / Metallic Window Tint

There is a range of benefits associated with metalized and metallic window tint:

High Durability

Metalized window tints are far more durable than traditional, dyed window tints.

The protective layer inherent to the designs prevents any nicks and scratches from appearing on the window, which could otherwise ruin the effect.

The metalized layer adds a greater degree of strength too.

Moreover, metallic window tints do not fade like dyed window tints do, meaning that they will stay looking great for longer.

Depending on how particular you are about how your car looks, a metalized window tint may work out cheaper when you factor in maintenance and replacement.

Shatter Resistant

The strong metallic layer inherent to metalized window tint design gives the film higher structural integrity.

During a crash, windows can shatter and send shards of glass flying through the car. When this happens, the risk of harm skyrockets as tiny shards of glass can cause major damage to the eyes and skin.

Metalized window tints are highly shatter-resistant. Even after a major impact, the film can remain whole and attached to the window, keeping the shards in place after the window breaks, resulting in a reduction of potential harm.

Increased UV Protection

Metallic window tints offer increased UV protection over dyed window tints, though other types can match or exceed this UV protection at a higher price.

UV radiation from the sun causes a wide range of cancers, including skin cancer.

There have been studies that show that drivers in the US are far more likely to develop skin cancer on the left side of their body – the side that the driver-side window is on.

Reducing the levels of UV getting into your car protects your health, but it also protects your upholstery from fading over time, which is especially important with leather interiors that can fade quickly.

Excellent Solar Heat Reduction

The heat that builds up inside your car is caused by infrared radiation from the sun, which enters the car easily but has a harder time exiting.

Metalized window tints are great at blocking that infrared radiation, keeping your car much cooler even during the summer months.

One benefit that many people forget about is the boost in fuel economy from IR blocking window tints.

If you would normally have the air conditioning on, being able to turn it down or even off will save you on the running costs for your car.

Key Limitations / Cons of Metallic Window Tint

There are also some downsides to getting metalized / metallic window tints.

Costs More Than Dyed Tints

Firstly, metalized window tints are more expensive than standard dye tints due to their more complex structure and higher component cost.

Metals, predictably, cost more than dyes.

That being said, they are not the most expensive option on the market either. If you are looking for a high level of UV and IR protection at the lowest price, then metalized may be the way to go.

However, if you are looking for the most cost-effective solution, then you could be priced out.

No Matte Option

Metallic window tints have a unique, reflective look that separates them from the other types of window tints available.

Some people like the reflective look, whereas others prefer the matte finish. If you are in the latter camp who prefer a matte look, then you will need to opt for a different type of window tint.

Interferes With Electronic Devices

Perhaps the most important limitation of metallic window tints is that there will often be a degree of interference with your electronic devices.

The cause is the metallic particles suspended in the film. Metal is a great conductor, which makes it troublesome for electronic devices like GPS, cell phones, and radios.

If you rarely use electronics in the car then this will not be a major issue, but if you like to listen to the radio while driving then it could be a deal-breaker.

Be aware, however, that it is the communication aspects of the devices that are affected, so playing music on your device through a stereo system will be fine.

How Much Metalized / Metallic Window Tint Costs

Prices for metalized window tints will vary from shop to shop, but they should not stray far from the price detailed in the table below.

Most of the cost comes from installation, which can be a tricky process. Therefore, it is usually the vehicle type that has the most effect on the price.

However, you will pay more for metallic window tints than you would for dyed window tints – though not as much as you would for ceramic.

Check out the table below, find your vehicle in the left-hand column, and the average price in the right-hand column.

Table 1: Metalized / Metallic Window Tint Price Ranges For Various Vehicle Types

Vehicle TypePrice For Metallic Window Tint
Single Cab Truck$225
Extended Cab Truck$250
Full-size Vehicles$300
Mid-size SUV / Wagon$375
Large SUV / Wagon$425
Extra Large SUV / Van$500

Be aware that prices will vary. You may also be able to save some money by performing the work yourself.

A word of caution about DIY jobs – if you make a mistake, it could end up costing you more than you were ever going to save.

When To Use Metallic / Metalized Window Tint

Whenever you are looking to get window tints for your car, you must ensure that they comply with your state’s laws.

Laws regarding window tints vary wildly from state to state, so there is no one-size-fits-all ruling on them.

However, the added problem with metalized window tints is that they are reflective on the outside.

In some states, such as Kansas and Indiana, they are illegal unless you have a medical exemption.

Medical exemptions require a certificate from a licensed physician and are usually only applicable for light-sensitive conditions such as lupus.

Once you have ascertained that they are legal in your state, you should use metallic window tints if you want maximum protection at a lower price – and if you like the unique look they boast.


We hope this guide helped you understand how metalized / metallic window tints measure up.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of metallic window tint should help you decide if it is the right window tint design for you.

If you have any questions or comments about this guide or metalized window tints in general, please feel free to leave them in the section below.

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