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How Much Does Home Window Tinting Cost?

We are a professional window tinting company located in Chicago. We have applied numerous brands and styles of film throughout the years and are offering this general advice to help educate the public about window film. Professional window film is usually priced by the square foot, with the cost including the film and the installation fees.

On typical residential installations (100-300/sqft) prices will usually fall right around $7/sqft for standard semi-metallic  films. On installations close to and over 1000 square feet, prices can fall as low as $6/sqft. Using these prices as a base, installation cost can go up as much as $2/sqft more, depending on the difficulty of the installation.

Typical “square” windows with clean edges that can be accessed without the use of stools, ladders or scaffold and do not have obstructions in the way should be installed at the low end of the price scale.

Things that can raise the base cost of installation:

  • Excessive putty, paint or silicone on the edge of the glass to be filmed
  • Glass that does not have a frame on some or all of the edges
  • Odd shaped windows
  • Skylight application
  • Removal of existing film
  • Storm window application
  • Ladder or scaffold use
  • Window/Door hardware  removal/replacement
  • Applications that require seaming (usually if window is over 72″ in two directions)
  • Windows blocked by immovable obstructions

Square foot price is usually switched to a per-unit price when dealing with “french-pane” windows. Individual preparation and filming of each of the units is labor intensive, so the prices can range from $15-$20 a pane depending on the condition of the glass and the type of film used.

Shades, blinds & curtains are standard obstructions and the price should not be affected by their presence. The service should either work around or remove and replace these obstructions as part of the service.

Spectrally-selective films fall in a higher price range. Less effective films such as 3M Prestige can range from $8-$11/sqft while the higher performance films like V-Kool can range from $12-$20/sqft. The “70” series of each of the manufacturers is the most popular. The “70” refers to the nominal percentage of light allowed through the glass after the  application of the film. This level of light reduction is nearly undetectable to the human eye, so the fact that these films can reject up to 56% of solar energy is impressive. These films also act as an after-market low-E coating, which can reflect heat back into the room, saving energy in the winter.

Less effective spectrally-selective films block less heat, block more light, and in some cases, add distortion to the glass. Review our article about spectrally selective films for more information

If you live in the Chicago area, visit us at to get a free estimate for your window film project.


  • By kostas, March 11, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    I live in Vernon Hills, IL. I just had a couple of companies to come out and give me estimate on my windows. I read here that my french pane windows should cost $10 to $20 each, but they are asking for $30 and $40! My windows are clean and there is nothing in the way. The films they showed me are prestige and v-cool. Are these prices correct or is there another film that I can get that can be clear and still protect my furniture and floor?

  • By Administrator, March 15, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    Unfortunately it is not uncommon for some companies to charge this much for french panes. In some cases they are trying to avoid having to take the job because of the high labor involved or because french panes are harder to do without getting a lot of dirt stuck in them. In other cases companies that would normally charge a lower price up their rates to take advantage of the fact that their competition is doing the same thing. In reality the price should never be that high, even with an expensive film like V-Kool, especially if you are having a significant number of them done.

    You are in our service area. Please give us a call at 800-683-8468 so that we can give you another quote. We only charge $20/pane for french panes with V-Kool, as long as each pane is less than a square foot each.

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