PPF vs Vinyl Wrap - Whats The Difference?
We received a lot of questions recently asking about vinyl wrap versus Ceramic Pro Kavaca Paint Protection Film. Today our goal is to inform our readers on what the differences are, what are the pros/cons, etc. As always if you are looking for the best PPF services in Killeen, Copperas Cove, Temple, Harker Heights or surrounding areas check out our services here!
Protection vs. Apprarance
DOES VINYL WRAP PROTECT FROM ROCK CHIPS?
Something to understand is that vinyl wraps are for appearance purposes, and paint protection film (PPF) is generally for protection (as the name implies). That being said, some clear bra films are, in fact, designed for both. However, let’s discuss the non-appearance PPF films as a general understanding.
Being that we are situated near a large military base (Killeen/Fort Hood), many soldiers drive from one duty station to another when they move across country, covering long distances on rock-filled interstate systems. Locally, however, our city metro area (while they are stationed here at Fort Hood) encompasses (from west to east): Lampasas, Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville, Belton, Temple. A commute may be 30 min each way, on I-14/Central Texas Expressway, navigating tons of TxDOT construction with a lots of rocks and other debris
Ceramic Pro Kavaca adds quite a bit of surface protection. The TPU film alone, which is about 150 microns, is about three or four times as thick as your car’s clear coat, which typically runs between 35 and 50 microns.
So you’re adding quite a bit of protection. Then factor in the fact that the clear bra is self-healing – now you have both the added layer of protection from rock chips, as well as the fact that it heals.
Chrome delete and other appearance options with vinyl
Vinyl wraps, on the other hand, are generally about half or less as thick as paint protection film. They’re primarily meant for changing the appearance of the car, and not to protect the vehicle against rock chips and other debris. It can still provide a degree of protection, of course, as you are adding a layer on top of the paint. You would be surprised at how easily some vinyl films, even from top companies like 3M, scratch and chip.
One of the most popular uses for vinyl is “deleting” the chrome trim of vehicles. We sure wish we knew why manufacturers were still using chrome, but it is what it is. Our own F250 has chrome delete vinyl on it. Our 2020 Ford F250 Lariat had chrome bumpers, mirrors, and other pieces. The rear bumper in this picture is vinyl wrapped and color matched.
Unfortunately, the front bumper chrome delete is full of chips, with the chrome starting to show through in a small amount of places, and will eventually need to be re-wrapped in the semi-near future. It still looks good from a distance, but it’s easily damaged after only about 10k miles (I, too, make similar commutes as the soldiers stationed in Killeen/Fort Hood).
PPF VS VINYL WRAP PRICING
Another difference is cost. Paint protection film, be it Kavaca or any brand, is not a cheap option, because the product is much more expensive. You might spend approximately $3000-4000 to fully wrap your vehicle with vinyl, but our full PPF packages start at $6500 for cars. Depending upon your level of interest in customization, there are similarities in labor costs in that we are removing logos, badges, door handles, and similar. For a vinyl wrap it may even be more labor intensive, but because the product is so much cheaper than clear bra/PPF, the overall cost is generally significantly lower. The reason vinyl is more labor intensive, is because if you are conducting a color change (even a chrome delete like on our Ford F250), you cannot let even a bit of the paint show, or it will create quite a contrast. However, a slight visible seam on Kavaca will usually not be particularly noticeable, whilst still providing the protection required.
As far as chips are concerned, you definitely want to have them fixed by a body shop before we apply PPF. Either type of film will accentuate chips. We use High Quality Auto Collision located in downtown Killeen for our own vehicles. They repainted parts of our C7 Corvette for us before we installed Kavaca paint protection film on our own vehicle.
Vinyl wraps are opaque, generally, and therefore hide scratches or even some sorts of clear coat problems, provided that the surface is still smooth. Any non-smooth imperfections in the paint surface/substrate will be accentuated even by the vinyl.
Our Ceramic Pro Kavaca paint protection film will generally cover up swirls and minor scratches with minimal preparation.
Durability and warranty
Many vinyl wraps are warrantied or expected to be good for about five years. Our Ceramic Pro Kavaca film, however, is warrantied for 12 years. If the paint is in good condition, when you remove the wrap or PPF it won’t be an issue. Sometimes, repainted body parts may lift the paint when they get removed if the paint and body work was not done properly.
PPF vs Vinyl Wrap - Which to choose?
This is ultimately up to you. Vinyl wraps and clear bra are really two different animals, so you have to pick what your primary goal is. If it’s appearance-related, vinyl is the right choice. If it is protection, coming to us for Kavaca paint protection film is the right answer. We do have matte finish PPF that can change the finish of your paint. However, the price is significantly more expensive because of the factors mentioned above (having paint show through).