Well if you like a good old fashion brawl then this article will fulfill many of your expectations. In one corner we have the dominating ceramic coatings trusted by many detailers. Stepping into the ring, however, is the relative newcomer graphene coating.
What are the benefits between ceramic coating versus graphene coating? Does one excel in your car’s protection more than the other? I’ve poured over the reviews, read the articles, and aim to answer that for you once and for all.
So polish up those reading glasses of yours. Maybe do some stretches, or not it is just reading after all, and let us explore the ceramic vs graphene coating debate, shall we? Read on.
What Is Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coating hit the scene around the early 2000s and became widely popular after that. In the early days it was offered as a premium add-on when having your car detailed but like everything else lower-cost versions became more accessible and now it’s all over the place.
Ceramic coating is basically a strong step up from wax and offers great paint protection for your car. It protects your car by basically giving it an outer shell to protect against the weather and other potential stuff your car can come across.
Does ceramic coating actually work? Absolutely it does, a product doesn’t survive to be around this long without being able to do something. Ceramic coating is made up of silicon dioxide, a compound that really helps provide better protection than your traditional waxes and sealants.
Using the power of nanotechnology it has allowed the ceramic coating to bond to everything on a super big science word level or molecular for short. You can use a ceramic coating on the outside and inside of your car providing fine glossy protection all over inside and out. What chemical do you know that can do so much?
The short answer is ceramic is the protection you should be using in, out, and around your car care and detailing this whole time, or at least consider it. Before you leave this guide however to go read reviews, and add a bottle to your cart let’s talk about the type of ceramic coatings that are out there.
Ceramic Coating Options
In our wide beautiful world, there is no shortage of options on almost anything. The same holds true for ceramic coatings. A popular method of paint protection has become readily available for quite a few DIY detailers out there. Available in both economical options as well as professional-grade versions. Here is a list of some of the more popular options.
- Adam’s UV Ceramic Coating Kit – This ceramic coating is expensive but lasts a minimum of 5 years and is very easy to apply thanks in part to the UV additive and UV flashlight that help you ensure you get good consistent coverage.
- CQuartz UK 3.0 – Well-loved by many, this ceramic coating is known for its excellent performance. Hydrophobic properties and gloss are at the top of the pack. The price is very attractive as well. The big downfall of this very popular ceramic coating is that it doesn’t last as long as some of the newer ceramic coatings on the market today. It usually begins having trouble after 2 years.
- Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light – Crystal Serum Light is another DIY community fan favorite. It’s extremely easy to apply since you can work on larger sections without the worry of it flashing too quickly and becoming difficult to remove. This speeds up the application process. It performs similarly to CQuartz UK 3.0 and lasts about as long.
There are many, many more ceramic and ceramic-based coatings available in the market. Any detailer should at least look into the different kinds, brands, and options available.
Are Ceramic Coatings Expensive
Any coating done by a Pro will most likely be expensive. If you think about it though detailing, in general, is expensive anyway, which is why we are learning to do it ourselves right? This way you become the pro and the ceramic coatings are as expensive as the product you choose.
Everyone wants to use the same material their pro detailer uses but in reality there are some inexpensive products, high-quality midrange ones, and top-notch ones that are all within the affordable range for any DIY detailer. You don’t have to be a professional to use professional like products nor do you have to spend the same cash. Just do some savvy research such as reading our guides, and you’ll be the guy everyone else calls, talking about professional.
As for ceramic coatings and their costs just as there is a range of products available so are the prices. Some are as cheap as fifteen bucks all the way up to over sixty. It is more important to read reviews and make educated decisions so you pick one that you can be happy with. It’s far from buying a home, but using it to protect your car and well, maybe your home too, it is important to make a sound decision.
How Long Do Ceramic Coatings Last?
To answer this question it is also based on the product you choose. Sometimes going cheap means you only get a ceramic coating that lasts months. While shelling out to purchase a higher grade material may last years.
Professional-grade ceramic coatings that can only be applied by a certified professional detailer typically last longer than consumer-grade ceramic coatings. This comes at a big price though. Not only do you pay more for the product but you have to pay for the labor as well.
Consumer-grade DIY ceramic coatings typically wear away quicker but recently some have gotten very durable, like Adam’s UV Ceramic Coating Kit that lasts at least 5 years.
Ceramic coatings with the best material and properties it is bound to wear off eventually, but some can certainly last longer than others especially the higher grade ones. One thing that will help quite a bit is the cleaner you keep your car the better.
Benefits of Ceramic Coats
In addition to keeping the ceramic coat clean, your car will just be cleaner in general. Some detailers use it on the plastic trim as well. Known for protecting against UV rays and everything else I mean it only makes sense to use It on the interior of the car too. Even professional applications will do the interior.
Having a good professional grade ceramic coating will help protect your paint, your trim, and really any surface you put it on.
One of the downsides of ceramic coats is that it could retain heat, which in turn will end up causing a water spot. Being prone to water spots it is important to try and keep the car away from sunlight where the surface could heat up. The most professional-grade ceramics can fall victim to heat and make your paint look bad.
What is Graphene Coating?
Graphene coatings, the latest and greatest stuff to hit the automotive industry. This stuff is supposed to be as strong as diamonds, and as flexible as rubber. Compared to ceramic coatings graphene is the strongest material in the world.
From one atom to another graphene coatings have a honeycomb structure which gives it all that strength. It’s actually referred to as a “one atom” structure which makes it thinner and stronger. Thanks to its properties it has really is taking detailing to new levels. This material, with its properties, really outshines its ceramic counterpart.
This carbon-based nano stuff claims it will last 10 years, but due to it not having much of a test run some detailers and professionals are not yet convinced. With most new products there is always a first for everything. With graphene coating it is no different it is just starting to show the auto market what it can do, and nothing ever really was figured out in months or years, it just takes decades to really know especially in this product’s case.
Graphene coating is used similarly to ceramic. You apply it to your car much the same way to keep it cleaner and the surface looking great. It protects from UV rays, has anti-static attributes.
Are Graphene Coatings Expensive
Graphene coatings are still new to the detail and automotive markets. With this comes one hefty price tag. This kit made by Ethos Car Care is highly rated and almost as expensive as the Adam’s UV Ceramic Coating Kit. It is known as a true graphene coating rather than a “graphene ceramic coating” hybrid. It is more than the price of most other ceramic coating kits though. The Adam’s kit comes is a little unique due to its UV additive and UV flashlight to help beginners ensure they have good coating coverage. This adds to the cost. A cheaper and universally loved alternative ceramic coating is CQuartz UK 3.0. While it’s a lot cheaper it usually begins failing after the 2 year mark.
How Long Do Graphene Coatings Last?
With the right application, graphene coating will last several years all the way up to a decade on cars, or so they claim. There are still skeptics out there and graphene is still pretty new to the auto industry so it hasn’t been used as much as ceramic. What is certain is that graphene is much better than just paste wax and has the potential to be one of the best products out there.
With it being so new and due to it being less tested time will tell if it can go the distance.
Benefits of Graphene Coating
Some of the graphene coatings benefits are as follows:
- High water contact angle – A high water contact angle simple means more beading. With the water contact angle so high water just rolls right off.
- Anti-Static – Due to its electrical and thermal conductivity properties it can be called anti-static. This means it repels dust, also with its anti-static properties you may avoid one of those static shocks that no one likes.
- Highly flexible – Due to it being that “one atom thick” and feeling like rubber it helps to prevent any cracking or chipping.
- Easy to apply – This stuff is so easy to apply you can higher your kids to do it.
- Durability – Even if it doesn’t last 10 years graphene coatings are rated to go 5 to 10 years. The world’s strongest material on the auto market today also lasts a while it seems.
Ceramic Vs Graphene Final Thoughts
Graphene has ceramic beat in several areas. Graphene is less prone to a bunch of water spots, has an easier application process, reduced heat absorption on treated surfaces, and just that longer durability. It would seem that any surface treated with graphene is virtually unstoppable.
However, as mentioned graphene coating is still new, and ceramic is tried and trusted by many. Could the new outshine the old? We shall see where this will take the future of vehicle coating, even in a few months there could be a better new solution available so who knows.
When it comes to cars or anything it’s always a good idea to stay on top of your research and share it. All things come and go in time and what we used one day could change the very next, unfortunately, which is why I share my knowledge with of you. Ceramic struggles with heat absorption, which can lead to water spots. Water spots could lead to having to wash more often.
However, that water spot could matter very little when you compare the costs between graphene coating and ceramic. With graphene being so expensive it may justify sticking with the car wash and ceramic spray. Professional-grade ceramic will still protect your paint, but at half the cost. Even a tiny paint correction here or there may be more cost effecting than surface coating graphene.
There is still a lot of testing going on especially on cars. Blog after blog is weighing in on these graphene products but no one knows any better than the next blog. Vehicle care continues to improve and better chemical properties are still being discovered not only with graphene or ceramic. Whichever product ends up on top it is your vehicle that matters and the care you put into it by doing your research. Find good products and stick with or find new products and test their limits, that’s how you’ll discover what’s the best.
So the next time you and your buddy Adam go to detail a car which will you choose? Maybe it’s presumptuous to assume you have a buddy named Adam but regardless of that, your car care is important. Protecting that paint is important. Regular service is important. Protect your vehicle and keep it clean, it does get you to your job, and everywhere else you need to go. Right?