The Privacy You Need Without Compromising on Aesthetics

When it comes to privacy window films, not all are alike. In fact, there are many options and features available when it comes to privacy film for residential and commercial projects. This article will cover these options, the benefits, drawbacks, and how they work to help you select the best option for your project. If privacy is your number one priority, you’ll be glad to know your choices are far from limited.

Why your design project needs privacy windows

Whether yours is a commercial or residential project, installing privacy window films can have a variety of benefits for either your home or business.

As a business owner, you may require some extra privacy in your restrooms, boardrooms or other meeting spaces. Privacy window films can also give your professional space a more intimate ambience, or block a large front window facing a busy street. For homeowners, you may want as much natural light as possible while maintaining enough privacy to keep nosy neighbours at bay.

In both cases, privacy window film can prevent furniture upholstery, art and other belongings from daily sun damage. Window films can also improve energy costs, keep too much heat from entering and even protect your windows from damage in inclement weather.

Privacy window film options:

Solar or Sun Control Window Films

Solar or sun control window films are one of the most popular choices among consumers. They are tinted, so you will still have plenty of natural light entering the room without the heat or UV damage. In fact, solar window films have up to 99 per cent UV protection! For the sake of privacy, you should choose something a little darker to keep people outside from being able to see in.

Solar window films tend to have higher exterior reflectivity, creating a shiny appearance on the exterior. This could be considered an eyesore, but it ultimately comes down to preference. Another drawback to consider is that solar window films are still transparent, so privacy can only be guaranteed during the day. If there are lights on in the room, the interior may still be visible from outside at night.

Privacy Mirror Films

A privacy mirror or one-way window film is an excellent choice for offices with glass partitions and other commercial settings, where you may want to obscure certain rooms from view. You will be able to see out from inside, but those outside will see a mirrored surface.

Although this is a great option for the interior of a building, we do not recommend privacy mirror films for exterior windows. The reflectivity is extremely high, which means it will absorb the heat from the sunlight and bring heat into the building. It will also put additional stress on the window’s glass, which can be dangerous.

Frosted Films

If you’re looking for a total privacy solution for your home or business, consider frosted window films. They come in blackout, whiteout or translucent varieties, perfect for creating total privacy while still allowing diffused natural light to enter. This is a popular choice for bathroom windows.

While frosted window films completely block anyone from looking into a room, they will also block you from looking out. If you aren’t willing to compromise on your view, frosted films may not be the way to go.

Decorative Window Films

If you’re not willing to sacrifice style for privacy, you can easily achieve both with a decorative window film. Decorative window films offer an inexpensive hack for customizing your glass without the hassle and expense of replacing it with stained or etched glass. There are hundreds of designs, colours, and patterns available to choose from, without sacrificing any privacy.

Using a decorative window film is bound to give your room a unique, one-of-a-kind look. Just keep in mind that decorative films tend to be more expensive than other window films and some colours or patterns can obscure your view.

Application process and tips

Privacy window films come in both adhesive and non-adhesive varieties. Non-adhesive window films are the best choice if you’re renting and don’t want to leave any residue behind, or if you would like to reuse the film eventually.

For non-adhesive films, make sure the window is clean and dry. Then, cut the pieces of film so they measure about half an inch larger than the panes being covered. Spritz the pane with water, remove the backing from the film and stick it to the window. The water makes it easier to position the film and helps hold it on the window. Then use a flat tool such as a small squeegee or even a credit card to push out any air bubbles. When the film is flat and correctly positioned, use a sharp utility knife to trim the edges.

Adhesive films are much easier to stick on and you won’t have to worry about any bubbles, but it does leave residue behind after removal and is difficult to reposition after laying it down initially. Just make sure the window is clean and dry before installation!

The Takeaway

Window films are a convenient, low-maintenance and inexpensive privacy solution for both residential and industrial design projects. When deciding which type of film to go with, it all comes down to personal preference. Plus, you’ll be able to kiss UV damage and inflated energy bills goodbye.