The Differences and Which Option is Best for You Paint Protection Film vs. Ceramic Coating: Which is Best for You? Detailing your car properly requires knowing your options. When it comes to paint protection film vs. ceramic coating, this guide explains the differences. Keyword(s): paint protection film vs. ceramic coating
The first car was invented in 1886, and ever since then, people have been coming up with all sorts of different ways to protect their cars. Early on, people tried to protect their car paint by slathering it with animal fat, but as you can imagine, this didn’t catch on. Many years later, two main options came around: paint protection film and ceramic coating.
But when it comes to a paint protection film vs. ceramic coating, is one really better than the other? If you’re thinking about getting one for your vehicle, which one should you spend your money on? Keep reading and learn more about the difference between ceramic coating and paint protection film (PPF).
What You Need To Know About Paint Protection Film
There are many benefits of PPF, and there are even several different types of PPF to choose from. A paint protection film is one of the most popular car detailing solutions on the market because it is so effective at keeping cars looking great. Paint protection films are ideal if you want to protect your car against physical damage.
As you drive your car, it will eventually get scratched up by all sorts of things such as stray branches, pebbles, shopping carts, other cars, and so on. Once a scratch forms in your car’s paint, it can be hard to get rid of it even with all the polishing and buffing in the world. For that reason, it is best to try and prevent those scratches and chips in the first place.
This is where a good paint protection film comes in. In general, while both paint protection films and ceramic coating can protect your car’s paint against physical damage, PPFs tend to be more effective in this aspect. Paint protection films are so effective because they are made out of a special and very durable material known as thermoplastic polyurethane.
As soon as you apply a layer of this material to your car, your car’s paint will immediately be far more protected than it was before. Although your car’s clear coat can protect the paint to a certain extent, it can still scratch and chip quite easily. This is not to mention that scratches on the clear coat itself tend to be very visible as well.
When you coat your car with a paint protection film, you won’t have to worry about your car picking up any signs of minor damage.
Of course, this film won’t be able to protect your car against serious damage, but it should protect your car against the most common types of minor damage, such as pebbles and branches. This is not to mention that PPFs have self-healing properties.
Once this film gets scratched by something, the material will soon start to come together and repair the minor damage. This is not to mention that PPFs protect against water spots as well. As a result, it will be easy to keep your car looking flawless.
The only downside is the lack of any hydrophobic properties. Ceramic coatings are known for being very hydrophobic. While some paint protection films are hydrophobic, most are not or are only slightly hydrophobic.
For that reason, water, mud, and other materials won’t slide off your car as easily as they would if you had a ceramic coating. However, if you don’t often expose your car to rain or other liquids, then this might not be a big concern for you. Another downside has to do with the longevity of PPFs.
Despite its self-healing properties, a paint protection film will not last forever. Eventually, you will need to get another coat of paint protection film after it degrades.
What You Need To Know About Ceramic Coating
If you’re wondering about how ceramic coating works, you should know that it is relatively simple. In fact, it works much in the same way as paint protection film. However, there are a few important differences that make it unique.
As with paint protection film, ceramic coatings help to protect your car’s paint. It does this by not only creating a physical barrier over the paint but also hardening the paint itself. Ceramic coatings are made of a special type of liquid polymer.
This material makes ceramic coatings very versatile and durable, especially since it is bonded directly onto your car’s surface. Once you get this coating, you will find that it will be quite the challenge for anything to scratch your car. This coating is even resilient against damage caused by chemicals such as acid.
What makes this coating particularly beneficial is that it is very hydrophobic. It is far more hydrophobic than your car’s clear coat. For that reason, you will notice that most things will simply slip right off of your car’s surface. Any rain that falls on your car will drip right off without leaving any water spots.
This is also the case with mud, bird, droppings, and insect splatters. All of these materials are usually very hard to remove, but with a ceramic coating, it will be easy to wipe them away without a second thought. This is not to mention that ceramic coatings are particularly helpful for protecting your car against the sun’s UV rays.
UV radiation is one of the worst things that you can expose your car to. This is because the sun’s radiation can actually break down your car’s paint and clear coat on a molecular level. As the sun breaks the molecules on your car’s surface, your car’s paint will eventually start to look faded and blotchy.
Once sun damage takes hold, it will be nearly impossible to fix it. But if you prevent it from happening in the first place, you won’t have to deal with the unattractive consequences of sun damage at all. For that reason, your car’s paint should look shiny and new even after several years as long as you have a ceramic coating to protect it.
This is not to mention that a good ceramic coating can improve the appearance of your car. In particular, it can make your car look shinier than ever. It can also make your car’s paint appear richer and more colorful.
And, because ceramic coatings are so hydrophobic, you don’t need to worry about washing your car as much. Most types of debris will fall right off of your car’s surface, so there will be nothing to wash for long periods of time. And, when it is finally time to wash your car, you won’t need to put in as much effort as usual.
Which Option Should You Choose?
Now that you know the difference between paint protection films and ceramic coatings, you might be wondering which one you should get. Keep in mind that both are great options. However, you may prefer one over the other due to several factors.
For example, if you live in a rainy or muddy area, you may prefer a ceramic coating over a paint protection film. This is due to the hydrophobic nature of ceramic coatings. As mentioned before, while some PPFs have hydrophobic coatings, they tend not to be as hydrophobic as ceramic coatings.
On the other hand, if you live in a relatively dry area, you might not need a very hydrophobic coating for your car. In that case, a paint protection film may be the better option. Both of these coatings are also very effective at protecting your car against the sun’s rays.
This is perhaps the most important factor since the sun can damage your car just as much as minor scratches and chips. Many people often choose ceramic coatings over PPFs because of the appearance of the coating. Ceramic coatings are able to make cars look especially glossy and new, as if they just left the factory.
While a paint protection film will add a certain degree of shine to your car, it won’t make it look especially glossy. You will also need to consider the cost. While both can be quite expensive, you might find one to be worth your money more than the other.
Paint Protection Film vs. Ceramic Coating
If you’re debating between a paint protection film vs. ceramic coating, you should know that they’re both very good options. Both can help protect your car against minor damage such as chips, scratches, and sun damage. There are a few differences between these coatings, however.
For example, ceramic coatings are more hydrophobic and offer your car a shiny gloss. Paint protection films are better for preventing physical damage. To learn more about your options, contact us here.