Ceramic coating can do a lot of good for your car. But at what price? In this article, we’ll look at ceramic coating features and how much it costs to get your car to a professional car detailing company in Vancouver for a ceramic coating treatment.
The benefits of a ceramic coating are many. Ceramic coating product can protect your paint from the elements, UV rays, and dirt, making cleaning your car much easier. But all of these benefits come at a ceramic coating cost.
The Difference Between Price and Cost
Whether a project like ceramic car coating is worth it, the “investment” depends on familiarity with the do-it-yourself approach, financial ability, and personal preference.
Some people are perfectly willing to shell out $3,000 for a ceramic coating installation, and that’s after shelling out $1,000 or so for swirl stain removal and minor paint correction procedures.
In contrast, some people in this world refuse to spend a dime on labour, preferring to do every step of the ceramic coating process themselves. This means spending long hours just on the prep phase, as removing water stains and fixing minor paint imperfections is a must.
But, time is money. So it’s important to consider how much your time is worth before opting for a DIY ceramic coating job.
The price of something is the financial amount a person spends on a particular product or service. For example, the “price” of one unit of the Armor Shield IX ceramic coating kit is $69.
On the other hand, the cost is usually related to the amount of money lost (or time spent) in using certain products or services.
For example, the cost of installing Armor Shield IX would include:
- The cost of all necessary preparation/preparation supplies (car shampoo, clay brushes/mints, polishing compound, isopropyl alcohol, microfiber cloths, etc.).
- The sweat equity of doing the prep work (based on how much money your time costs or how much you are willing to pay someone to do the work).
- The time it takes to apply the ceramic coating itself.
- The total cost of car care (including reinforcement/coating sprays and the money and time spent on a regular car wash)
Professional Ceramic Coating – Cost Breakdown
Choosing to have ceramic coating experts installed eliminates any possibility of an error on the car owner’s part, but it usually comes at a cost.
Professional-grade ceramic coating is specifically designed to be installed by certified detailers, which means the only thing you’ll have to worry about down the road is maintenance costs.
Installing a professional-grade ceramic coating typically takes 5 days and includes everything from surface preparation and paint correction to product application and curing.
Unlike DIY, most professional coating services are sold in “packages.” Regardless of which package you choose, you can expect to get something similar to what is listed below when requesting pricing.
- Preparation work (includes washing the car, removing existing wax, PPF products or ceramic coatings, polishing, paint correction, and isopropyl alcohol wipes down).
- Consumables (includes the ceramic coating and the materials used to install it)
- Labour required to apply the ceramic coating (depends on the complexity of the job and the size of the car)
- Storage of the vehicle after installation for curing
Quick Note: If a car with a professional ceramic coating requires a paint correction, the cost of the work increases exponentially. Therefore, always make sure the price includes all necessary paint correction services.
Total Cost of Professional Ceramic Coating
Hiring a professional to install ceramic coating has its drawbacks, especially regarding reimbursement.
So let’s pull out a calculator and calculate some numbers.
Assuming you choose a professional ceramic coating package with a lifetime warranty and operate your car for 5 years before turning it in for repair, here’s what you’re willing to spend…
- Professional ceramic coating installation = $2,000
- $60 protective spray (x5 years) = $300
- $60 professional car wash every 2 weeks (x5 years) = $7,800
Total cost = $10,100
While you can cut a huge chunk of these costs if you wash the car yourself every two weeks ceramic coating maintenance), you’ll need to consider the “time is money” viewpoint.
Once you know how much your time is worth and the cost of the car cleaning products you need to purchase, you’ll be able to see if you’d be better off having your car washed by a professional.
DIY Ceramic Coatings – A Cost Breakdown
Armour Shield IX in all its nano-technological glory.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to take matters into your own hands, the do-it-yourself ceramic coating method is ideal for you. So, how much are you willing to spend on a ceramic coating application and the products and tools needed to install it?
With the DIY approach, you will be doing all the preparation yourself, so don’t let the upfront cost of all the necessary tools and materials scare you off. This approach is still much cheaper than a professional ceramic coating installation.
For those who value the clear automotive coating of their car, having a few tools on hand to clean the car is not just useful but almost mandatory.
Before you plunge headlong into independent work, consider the following prices.
- Car Wash Supplies ($70-100) For the tried-and-true “two buckets and a beer” method, you’ll need a high-quality car shampoo, a microfiber mitt, at least 8-12 clean microfiber cloths and a wheel and tire brush. Most car owners purchase a kit containing all these items, usually costing between $70 and $100. Since you will use many of the items in this kit to care for your car afterward, this is a good investment.
- Clay Bar/Mop ($30) After washing the car, you must treat the entire car with clay to remove deeply embedded dirt. Lubrication will also be required, so if you choose a clay set for about $30, you’ll get everything you need right out of the box.
- Polishing supplies ($150) For polishing and buffing, you’ll need a variable-speed electric polisher, polishing compound, masking tape, and microfiber discs and wipes. Be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money on these materials.
- Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) Prep Spray ($10)Create your IPA spray kit for less than $10, including the cost of one or two microfiber towels.
Total cost = About $300
DIY Coatings vs. Professional 9H-Rated Nano Ceramic Coating
When it comes to ceramic coatings, you have several options. You can apply it professionally or do it yourself. Since ceramic coating has become more popular, DIY ceramic coating install kits have become common and can be a viable option if you’re on a tight budget. Some are more complicated to install, while others are simple solutions for a quick spray-on and wipe-down automotive ceramic coatings.
Professional ceramic spray coatings from Ceramic Pro starts as low as $300, depending on the package that best suits you. Trained and certified professionals apply these ceramic coatings. The process usually takes anywhere from 1 to 5 days, depending on the initial condition of your paint.
Consumer-grade automotive coatings have been hitting the market lately, making them more affordable for drivers who are more concerned about protection from the elements and ease of cleaning. These products are specially formulated, making them less sensitive than professional-grade automotive coatings, and they can be applied with little to no experience.
However, quality and durability can vary from product to product. It is important to note that there are a lot of low-quality products in the do-it-yourself average ceramic coating application segment with exaggerated claims.
In 2022, the main dispute between DIY ceramic coating manufacturers is over who has more silica or SiO2 in their formulation. The problem is that adding a higher percentage of SiO2 requires a corresponding increase in carrier solvents to cure the coating, which increases the durability and flatness of the coating.
Since DIY coatings remove most carrier solvents from their formulations, making it easier for consumers to install is a waste of the original ingredient. The moral of the story – if you’re looking for the best car coatings for DIY enthusiasts, don’t buy into the marketing hype about the highest percentage of SiO2. They won’t last if you apply Ceramic Pro products professionally.
- Nanoceramics are relatively comfortable and easy to apply
- Ceramic coating of the car provides extremely cost-effective paint protection
- The results are noticeable, but the quality depends on many variables.
- Properly preparing the paint surface can be difficult
- You may need extensive research, as there are many substandard fakes.
- Companies may not provide you with proper application guidelines
- Some companies may exaggerate the benefits