Here’s the thing, ceramic coating options can get overwhelming. It’s hard to know what works and what’s snake oil.
We will guide you through some of the hardest ceramic coating options on the market to better understand what’s out there.
What does hard ceramic coating do?
Ceramic coating is a chemical polymer applied to the exterior of your vehicle or other surfaces and is basically a hard shell.
The best ceramic coating protects your paint job from various elements.
- Water stains
- UV Rays
- Extreme Heat
- Scratches and Swirls
- Air Quality
- Road Grime
- Bird Droppings
- Bug Guts
Pencil Hardness Test
The pencil hardness test determines the hardness of a material and tested using actual graphite pencils.
Typically the scale is 9H, followed by 8H, 7H, 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, and H for ceramic coatings. It means you’re looking for a pencil hardness grade of 9H for the best protection.
10H Hardness Level
9H-rated ceramic coating resists scratches with the strength of a 9H pencil. A 9H pencil is the hardest and sharpest pencil ever made.
Gtechniq’s Crystal Serum Ultra resisted scratches at the highest level test level meaning that it is technically “harder than 9H”. So for branding, we like to think of it as 10H hardness.
The Mohs Hardness Scale
The Mohs hardness test measures which metals and minerals do damage to one another. It is really basic and starts with talc as the softest and diamond as the hardest.
Even the human fingernail has a Mohs rating (2.5).
The evaluation shows that a 9H rating on the pencil scale is incredibly hard and to beat this, Gtechniq is in a category all on its own.
4 Hardest Ceramic Coating Options on the Market
1. GTECHNIQ Crystal Serum Ultra
GTECHNIQ is a popular professionally installed ceramic coating that provides optimal UV protection and water-sheeting. Combined with a professional paint correction, it keeps your vehicle looking newer-longer. All while protecting the finish and making it incredible hydrophobic.
Crystal Serum Ultra lasts up to 9 years, making it one of the longest-lasting coatings on the market.
Professional Grade Ceramic Coating
For many people, pro-level ceramic coating is out of the price range. But, it is a good investment considering that a professional-grade ceramic coating can last up to 9 years.
You likely don’t have access to controlled environments, expensive equipment, and certified staff, which is what it takes to apply the ultra-high-end sealant.
The cost of professional-grade ceramic coating ranges from $500-$3000. You always want to get a quote before hiring an installer.
2. Gtechnic C2v3 Liquid Crystal
GTECHNIQ also offers a popular spray-on ceramic coating that provides optimal UV protection and water-sheeting. When you apply multiple coatings, it even helps you hide minor surface imperfections like swirl marks.
The C2v3 Liquid Crystals last up to 8 months, making it one of the longest-lasting spray coatings on the market.
3. Nasiol ZR53
If you’re looking for a one-coat solution, Nasiol ZR53 ceramic coating may just be the thing you’re looking for. It can last upward to 2 years if applied correctly.
The nano-technology helps this ceramic coating bond to all types of auto paint.
Nasiol ZR53 is expensive and may not be as easy to apply as other options on the market.
4. Last Coat Black Ice
Last Coat Black Ice ceramic coating is a streak-free spray that you can apply to glass, chrome, fiberglass, gel-coat, and vinyl.
The Last Coat Black Ice leaves a super glossy finish, providing a hydrophobic tight water beading pattern.
The downside is that it takes seven days to cure, while many only take 24 hours.
Last Coat Black Ice ceramic coating only lasts 12 to 18 months.
Common Questions and Misconceptions
Can I DIY my ceramic coating?
You can totally apply ceramic coating yourself. It is mostly easy, but it takes a while to install.
Choose the right tools. Your ceramic coating supplies should include a microfiber towel, a cleaning brush, and a safe wash mitt.
Perform a quick pre-wash look-over. It is the way you search for new scratches that will complicate the process later. The pre-wash check is also when you knock off dirt clods and mud.
Clean the dirtiest parts first. It makes the entire car wash easier and more thorough.
Give it plenty of time to dry. You want it to completely dry so you can wipe away any residue left behind, and those pesky water spots.
Follow the instructions on the label. Always read the labels of your ceramic coating. Instructions may vary from product to product. But, there are simple steps that you will likely always follow.
Does ceramic coating make my vehicle bulletproof?
Ceramic coating is for you if you want to protect your car from scratches and swirls.
If you’re looking for bulletproof abilities, it isn’t what you want to go with.
The highest rating coating is 9H and can’t in any way stop a bullet.
Do I have to do maintenance to my ceramic coating?
Even if you choose to go with a professional-level installer, a ceramic coating isn’t going to last forever, and you still gotta wash your vehicle.
You don’t have to deal with car washing as often, but you still have to get the grime, pollen, and bird poo off the surface.
Also, you will want to reapply your coating according to the instructions if you are doing it yourself.
Does a ceramic coating hide every imperfection?
Ceramic coatings aren’t magical. It isn’t going to cure preexisting conditions like faded paint, swirls, and scratches. It doesn’t erase permanent market, either. The point is to make your paint job look glossier and protect it from further damage.
When you apply a ceramic coating, those things are locked underneath. It is why pre-checking your vehicle for blemishes is so important. You want to correct them before installation.