Joining Forces and Leveling Up: The Fusion of Glass and Window Film

By Chris Collier

The window film industry offers solar, security, decorative and privacy solutions in 2023. It’s a world in which MY Shower Door is fully immersed. The frameless shower door source has nine showrooms throughout Florida and works with several window film installation companies throughout the region to meet various needs.

Enhancing Glass with Film

“When people have [glass] sandblasted, it’s expensive and permanent,” says Bill Daubmann, president and founder of MY Shower Door. “You can use a window film that looks sandblasted. If they [the owners] ever get tired of it or sell the house, they can easily remove that film. The film is a lot better than it used to be. It doesn’t bubble up, and it looks good. You’d have to go up and touch it to feel that it’s not sandblasted.”

In September 2003, the Daubmann family opened their first frameless shower door showroom in Southwest Florida. The company started working with the window film segment over the last 12 years. Daubmann says film can provide safety, privacy and aesthetics.

“When you can put film on top of glass— seeing that it’s tempered glass—if the glass breaks, at least the film holds it together,” Daubmann says. “There are customers who ask for it. We could do a clear film, or we could make it decorative—stripes, a wave or a gradient that gives you privacy.”

MY Shower Door also uses window film to section off segments of restaurants and hotels. Daubmann recommends glass companies gauge potential collaboration with local window film dealers with in-person visits.

“I like to stop by a shop to see what it’s like,” Daubmann says. “I want to see the quality of employees they send to our customers. A lot of times, they’re doing the installation at a customer’s home. There’s more than just the quality of the film to evaluate; there’s the quality of the people and their professionalism. How do they carry themselves?”

A Film Company’s Perspective

“[The connections] happened organically through trade shows,” says Matthew Sandherr, owner of Naples Tint Company in Naples, Fla., which works with several glass companies throughout the area. “Most recently, there were five glass companies at a trade show that had no idea what was possible with decorative films. A trade show is a good opportunity.”

Sandherr says his company plans to forge further into the glass industry by offering gifts to new connections.

“We are putting together a beach bag for glass companies—a tumbler, keychain and things people can use,” Sandherr says. “We’ll introduce ourselves and say, ‘If you ever need someone to decorate your clear glass with a custom glass film, look at this sample.’ It’s a cold call, but it’s friendly.”

Naples Tint Company and MY Shower Door started working together in 2016. “Decorative is a huge opportunity with glass companies because they would rather put clear glass in,” Sandherr says of window film applications. “It’s more accessible and affordable.”

Working Together

Dulles Glass and Mirror in Manassas, Va., works with two window film companies in its area. The company works with these businesses to meet customers’ needs.

“Say we have glass walls and entrances for a conference room,” says John Flouhouse, general manager at Dulles Glass and Mirror. “Sometimes they’ll film the whole thing with a frosted film, or they’ll do it from two feet off the ground to six feet off the ground, so they’re still getting light and the open feeling, but they have privacy.”

American Tinters LLC in Grapevine, Texas, works closely with two large glass companies. “We get three to four work orders a week,” says Steve Watts, owner of American Tinters LLC. “They send us out, and we do a lot of transactions with them.”

In an age of endless spam calls and solicitation, Watts advises film companies against cold-calling glass businesses.

“It doesn’t yield a great return,” Watts says. “I’ve been in sales a long time, and things are different now. It’s difficult to get through to a decision-maker or a meaningful employee. They have a firewall up to solicitors.”

Chris Collier is a contributing editor for USGlass magazine.

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