Professional Grade Ceramic Coating vs Consumer Grade Ceramic Coating – Which is Right for You?
You just bought a new vehicle or are looking to make your gently used vehicle shine again – what to do? You see a ton of Ceramic Coating options for pennies on the dollar compared to the professional shops. It’s quite a dilemma.
Pro-Grade vs. Consumer-Grade Ceramic Coating: Introduction
If you are early in the research process – congratulations on finding this post and saving some time. Maybe you have been mauling this over for weeks and just found this post, at least you can stop searching now. To confront the elephant in the room: Yes, Kings Valet installs professional-grade Ceramic Coating. No, the summary of this post will not say you should buy professional grade ceramic coating every time and there is no reason to ever stray away from spending your money with me. There are lots of great reasons for both versions of ceramic coatings and determining which is right for you – is up to well… you!
Pros and Cons of Professional-Grade Ceramic Coating
Biggest advantage? You do none of the work! You give Kings Valet a call, pay a small deposit and drop your car off. Then pick it up 25 hours later when it is shining and protected. Another advantage Professional-Grade Ceramic Coatings have is an amazing lifespan and they are typically backed by some form of a warranty. An example is our warranty here: Kings Valet Lifetime Ceramic Coating Warranty. Professional grade coatings also offer better resistance to mother nature like; bird droppings, bug guts, corrosion and more. Using a professional will also ensure you have proper prep, like paint correction before installation of your Ceramic Coating.
The biggest disadvantage of professional-grade ceramic coatings? They are expensive. You are paying for the company’s overhead including; training, marketing, labor of installation and so on. Pro-grade coatings start at about $1,000 and can run up to about $3,500 depending on the size of your vehicle and add-ons purchased. For Perspective: Our average invoice at Kings Valet is about $1,800 and this DOES include an add-on package.
Pros and Cons of DIY (Consumer-Grade) Ceramic Coating
Biggest advantage? Saving a LOT of money. Most DIY coatings cost under $100; all-in with some other chemicals / required supplies you could probably do a full installation yourself for about $200 (assuming skipping paint correction). Some people; Stephen and I included, genuinely enjoy working on their own vehicles. In this case a DIY coating is perfect for you. You will have something to brag to your friends about the next time you are out to dinner.
Biggest Disadvantage? Ultimately, It is Short-term protection. Most DIY Ceramic Coatings are rated for 1-2 Years WITH proper care. For the time being invested you really aren’t getting a ton of protection. If everything goes perfectly smooth and you don’t do any form of paint correction – it will be a long day and possibly drag into a two day process. The first day will be spent preparing the vehicle and the second spent on installation of the actual coating.
You also do not have the eye of a professional before installation. Prep is absolutely everything and part of the prep is Paint Correction. Many seek out Ceramic Coating to fix dull paint – but this is not the proper fix. Read More on The Science of Dull Paint: Reflection versus Refraction. A professional coating will include at least a polish and will have additional options to restore shine before coating.
Is Installing Consumer-Grade Ceramic Coating Hard?
No – at least from a professional’s perspective it is very easy compared to the coatings we install. You will have a longer flash and work time which makes it very user friendly. It will require some patience, ability to follow direction and a few hours of availability. Again, prep is everything. The guide I am releasing for installing Ceramic Coating at home will cover all the way up to the physical installation of the coating. This means I am covering the full exterior detail, how to buffer apply polish, how to perform a dectomination wash and more.
Why is a Professional-Grade Ceramic Coating Company Teaching DIY Coatings
Kings Valet’s Mission Statement; Instilling Confidence – One Coating at a Time. My job is to educate on ALL aspects of Ceramic Coating; and the DIY market is part of the Ceramic Coating Industry. “Aren’t you scared you’ll lose potential clients to DIY coatings by publishing a DIY Ceramic Coating guide?” Here is a secret: I know our ideal client. Very rarely (if ever) are they on the fence about doing this themselves. Our typical clients prefer to pay for the convenience and the peace of mind we provide at Kings Valet. Yes, there is a small market segment that overlaps and could go either way. If this is you and you elect to go DIY more power to you! Have a question along the way? Email me, I would love to help! George.Hunt@kingsvaletind.com.
While this post is one of the shorter ones I will write – the goal here was to introduce you to the fact that you can do Ceramic Coating yourself. Installing a consumer-grade coating is not as scary as many will make it seem. DIY Coatings will not have all the bells and whistles that are included with a professional ceramic coating service like Kings Valet, BUT it will be something you can take pride in and should get easier every time you reinstall. If you do have an interest in doing your own Ceramic Coating keep your eyes peeled on Monday (8/7) for part 1 of Ceramic Coating at Home; full exterior detail and paint decontamination. (I will add a link here once I have released part 1). I hope you have an awesome day!