How To Choose a Good Tint Shop
Most metropolitan areas have an abundance of tint shop choices. In the San Francisco, CA area
alone, there are 30 different tint shops within a 30 mile radius. How does a discerning consumer
choose the tint shop that does quality work? What is the difference between a “Dr. Tint” and a
“Quality Window Tinting”?
How long have you been in business at this location? Do you have other shops in the area?
Good tint shops prosper despite local competition by offering good service at reasonable prices. We
suggest that you find a tint shop that has been in business for 5 or more years at the same location.
This shows a stable business that will be there years down the road if somehow the tint goes bad.
Often times, successful tint shops open car tinting branches in neighboring cities. Although the
installers of the branches may not be the master tinter of the bunch, since opening new shops
means training new employees; however, branches are a sure sign of a successful tinting business.
What types of films do you carry? What warranty do you offer on your work?
Quality tint shops carry complete lines of window film from one or multiple window film
manufacturers. They should carry dyed, hybrid, and metallic window films in a variety of colors and
darknesses. Beware of tint shops that only carry one or two lines of film, and sells them
aggressively. They may have acquired this film on sale, and may not be thinking of your unique
requirements and concerns.
The warranty on the car tint varies depending on the window film you choose. TintCenter
recommends that you install only window film backed with a lifetime warranty for materials and
labor. Most films don’t guarantee color and fading, it is recommended that you also choose one that
For the warranty to take effect, remember to get only legal window tint for your car. Illegal tint can
nullify any manufacturer’s warranty. When you purchase your tint, be sure sure you get a
manufacturer’s warranty card from the dealer with the date, the window film used on each window,
and the total cost of installation as well as the receipt.
Can I visit your tint shop? Can you show me a sample of your work?
Tint shops can sound like the best shop on the phone, but 15 minutes on-site should tell you all you
need to know.
Good dealers pay attention to customer service. They should be happy and willing to spend the time
to talk to you and explain how their shops work. Remember, if they don’t spend time with you now,
will they spend time with you when something goes wrong with your tint job down the road?
A tint shop’s work area should be indoors and clean. Their tools and window films are organized in a
professional manner. If the tint shop is outdoors or in a parking lot, this is a negative since it is
critical to remove all dust and dirt from the windows before applying window film.
Now take a look at a car they have already tinted, and look at the rear window. Is the window film
applied in a single piece or is it cut into strips that surround the defroster lines? The best tint shops
always apply film in a single piece. Now look at the borders of the rear window, in many cars there is
a black ‘frit’ edge on the window, Make sure the window film is securely attached to the frit as well.
Pay attention to side-windows. The window film should be applied to the inside and be completely
flush against all 4 edges of the window. Now look at the window film itself. Don’t worry if the film
looks slightly streaky and discolored, window film takes a couple weeks to dry out and become
completely clear. If there are bubbles of air under the film or the film itself is not complete flat
against the window, this is a sure sign of sloppy tinting.
Get price quotes from each dealer for the exact darkness, color, and type of window film you want.
Never compromise because there are plenty of other dealers out there that will offer your perfect
tint. With these price quotes and your research on each tint shop, make the decision. Refer to the
cost of car tint article to help you rank the dealers.
After you make your decision, remember to always make an appointment with the tint shop before
you tint your car. Even if they say “drop-ins accepted” or “bring it over any time”, you want your
tinter to be calm and prepared for you when you arrive. Tinting may take a couple hours to half a day,
so either arrange a ride or go to a nearby coffee shop with a good book. Enjoy!