WHAT IS THE BEST CERAMIC COATING FOR CARS?
GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA VS OPTICOAT
How to protect the appearance of your new car? How can you keep it looking like it did the day you bought it.
Here’s part of the answer to that question: Apply a premium Ceramic Coating.
A Ceramic Coating is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to a vehicle’s exterior. After application, the coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with the vehicle’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection. A premium coating will add value to your vehicle and help protect its appearance.
But even if you decide to apply a Ceramic Coating, there’s another question you have to answer: Which one?
There are dozens of coatings on the market, each with its own claims to greatness. Which one should you choose?
In this article, we’ll help answer that question. We won’t be giving an exhaustive review of every Ceramic Coating on the market (nor would you ever find time to read such a thing). Instead, we’ll be comparing two of the top Ceramic Coatings: Ceramic Pro and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. First, we’ll talk about the similarities between between to two coatings. Then we’ll go over some differences. We’ll conclude with some thoughts on how to make the right decision for you and your vehicle.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN OPTICOAT AND GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA
Both Opticoat and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra have gained excellent reputations among Professional installers. Here are some similarities between the two products.
FIRST, BOTH COATINGS PROVIDE HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROTECTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AND UV DAMAGE.
If you go with either one of these coatings, you can be confident you’ll get some of the best protection available in the Ceramic Coating category (keep reading for some of the protection limitations of Ceramic Coatings. Both coatings are efficient at protecting a vehicle’s factory paint from things like chemical stains and etching, or oxidation caused by UV exposure.
SECOND, BOTH COATINGS WILL IMPROVE GLOSS.
Both Opticoat and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra are top-of-the-line aesthetically. Both coatings will enhance the depth and clarity of your car’s paint, as long as proper paint correction was performed before application.
THIRD, BOTH COATINGS WILL MAKE YOUR CAR EASIER TO CLEAN.
Because both coatings create a hydrophobic and chemically resistant surface, they make cleaning your vehicle much easier. Dirt and grime will have a harder time bonding with paint coated by Opticoat or Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. And any contaminants that do bond with your paint will be easier to remove.
FOURTH, NEITHER COATING IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PAINT PROTECTION FILM WHEN IT COMES TO STOPPING ROCK CHIPS.
Despite any marketing claim by either company, neither Opticoat nor Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra can properly defend against things like rock chips and scratches. Even though both Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coatings are quality paint protection products with some overlapping features, they are not interchangeable. If you’d like to learn more about the similarities and differences between Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coatings, drop into our Studio and we can demonstrate the differences.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OPTICOAT AND GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA
FIRST, GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA IS HARDER THAN OPTICOAT.
The Mohs Hardness Scale is used to compare the relative scratch resistance of various minerals. Minerals are measured from 1H to 10H, with 1H being the least scratch resistant, and 10H being the most. For example, graphite is 1H-2H, while diamond is 10H.
Opticoat has long boasted of their Mohs Hardness rating of 9H. Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, however, is rated at 10H.
SECOND, GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA LET’S YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN A HYDROPHOBIC SURFACE THAT BEADS OR SHEETS.
Hydrophobic Ceramic Coatings are built to repel water, but different coatings do so in different ways. Some coatings cause the water to bead, while others cause the water to sheet off. Beading is certainly visually pleasing to watch, and it helps you know you have protection on your factory paint. But the downside is that, if allowed to dry on the paint, water droplets can leave harmful mineral deposits that can damage the coating and shorten its lifespan. Sheeting, on the other hand, leaves less water on the surface, thus minimizing the chance of water damage.
Car enthusiasts have long debated the merits of beading vs sheeting, and ultimately its a matter that comes down to personal preference.
One nice thing about Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra is that you get to decide whether you want a coating that beads or sheets. Standard Crystal Serum Ultra will sheet water off its surface. But if you add an optional layer of Gtechniq EXO (a hydrophobic topper), you’ll see the beading effect. This option is referred to as Crystal Serum Ultra Black.
THIRD, OPTICOAT OFFERS A LIFETIME WARRANTY AT THEIR HIGHEST LEVEL APPLICATION.
Opticoat offers a lifetime warranty, provided you maintain the coating according to their standards and have it inspected annually by an authorized installer.
Gtechniq does not offer a lifetime warranty, but Crystal Serum Ultra does come with a 9 year guarantee.
FOURTH, OPTICOAT HAS BEEN AROUND LONGER AND HAS A LARGER FOLLOWING.
If you’ve done some reading on forums you’ve probably head Opticoat thrown around more than Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. That’s because Opticoat was an earlier player in top-of-the-line automotive Ceramic Coating market. Gtechniq released Crystal Serum Ultra a couple years ago. It has been well received by auto enthusiasts, and is gaining a larger following. But Opticoat certainly has a more established reputation at this point.
OPTICOAT VS. GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA: WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR CAR?
Now that we’ve covered some similarities and differences, it’s time to make a decision on what’s best for your car. Here are some thoughts on how you can go about making the right decision.
AS FAR AS COATINGS GO, YOU WON’T GO WRONG WITH EITHER OF THESE PRODUCTS.
I hope the content we’ve covered so far has made it evident that both of these coatings are premium products, and both will perform at a very high level. If you have an expert apply either one of these coatings, you won’t be disappointed.
If a lifetime warranty is very important to you, you may want to go with Opticoat, however there are conditions to go with this. If you want the hardest possible coating or if you want a coating the sheets instead of beads, you may want to go with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra.
But when it comes down to it, there’s one other factor looming in the background that is really the most important part of this discussion.
WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE QUESTION OF WHICH COATING IS THE QUESTION OF WHO’S PUTTING IT ON.
That’s right. You could swap out these two coatings, or any of the top coating brands, and almost anyone on the planet would not be able to tell the difference.
However, anyone can spot the difference between an expert coating application and a flawed coating application.
Because these two products are permanent, the application process is meticulous, and there are a lot of opportunities for an amateur to make mistakes.
If you do some reading on the forums you’ll see experienced auto enthusiasts come back to this point again and again. Any protective product, be it a sealant, coating, or film, is only as good as the professional who applies it. If you have an inexperienced installer who improperly preps the paint and unevenly install the product, even the best coating product in the world will look terrible and perform poorly.
Do your research on coating installers in your area. Find someone who has been in the business for a long time. Read reviews on their service and reputation. Then ask that installer which coating he or she prefers. If it’s Opticoat, go with Opticoat. If it’s Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, go with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. If it’s one of the other premium coatings like CQuartz Finest Reserve or Modesta, go with that one. And if you’ve picked the right installer, you won’t be disappointed.