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All You Need to Know About Top-Down-Bottom-Up Shades

Top Down Bottom Up Shades

Top-Down-Bottom-Up Shades

When rummaging through different shades and blinds and exploring the different possible solutions for your windows, it is possible that you came across something called Top-Down-Bottom-Up shades. Sounds rather funny, doesn’t it? You must have wondered aloud what kind of shades is that. These shades achieve a unique functionality quite unlike any other that we have come across till now.

The top-down-bottom-up shades are also known as TDBU in short and they are named so for a reason. These shades open on two sides. They open right on top of the window frame and they open near the window sill at the bottom. When you are opening it at the top, the shade is moving down from the top and hence the name top down. When you are opening it at the bottom you are pulling the shade up from the bottom and hence the name bottom up. This allows you additional functionality as you can cover the bottom half of the window while leaving the top half exposed, or have the fabric free-floating along the middle of the window.

Top Down Bottom Up Shades

How do They Work?

So how do you think these shades work? Well, they work like all other corded window shades. The only point of difference is that two different cords are attached to two separate rails. There is one mounting rail similar to all other window treatments. It has a cord which when pulled the bottom, part of the shades is raised up. The second is the floating rail. It has a cord which when pulled gets disengaged from the mounting rail and assists in lowering the top part of the shade. It is a simple but ingenious mechanism.

Top-Down-Bottom-Up Shades are Ideal for…

The need for privacy and light vary during the course of the day. Most times the need for light and privacy clashes and you are at wit’s end how to achieve both without any hassles. You are busy running around pulling the shades up or down. These top-down-bottom-up shades are extremely versatile and ideal for all windows. They help you to achieve that balance with ease. They are specifically great for the following windows and rooms:

Apartment on Ground & First Floor

If you have an apartment on the first floor or ground floor, finding that perfect balance between protecting the privacy and allowing natural light to pour into the rooms. You just don’t know how to achieve both with a single-window treatment. This is where something like top-down-bottom up shades becomes so important. You could keep the bottom part of the window closed thereby protecting your homes from the prying eyes of the passerby and by keeping the top open you allow natural light to fill your rooms.

Rooms Exposed to Morning or Afternoon Sun

These shades are perfect for rooms that receive the glares of morning or afternoon sun. They help to block out these harmful glares without cutting out the much need light and warmth that is needed for your rooms.

Bathroom Windows

They make a great window covering for bathrooms. By adjusting the shade you can preserve the privacy required for your bathrooms while lighting up the bathrooms.

Types of Top-Down-Bottom-Up Shades

If you are looking for top-down-bottom-up shades, there are three types to choose from, namely:

  • Cellular shades
  • Pleated shades
  • Roman shades

Top-Down-bottom-Up Cellular Shades

These are a great addition to your houses. Cellular shades are the perfect window treatments for your windows that need insulation. They provide added insulation, look smart and classy and you can choose from an array of fabrics like a blackout, light-filtering, etc. If you want added insulation then you could also opt for double cellular shades. Adding these top down bottom up shades makes the windows even more versatile. The light filtering fabric will allow warm light to filter in from the top or the bottom while the blackout fabric will help to cut out light completely.

Top Down Bottom Up Cellular Shades

Top-Down-Bottom-Up Pleated Shades

Pleated shades are just as gorgeous. The crisp pleated look of these shades increases the aesthetics sense of your room and looks neat. These shades are used as semi-sheer shades and you can add different liners to serve your purpose like room darkening, blackout, etc. Using pleated shades for your top-down-bottom-up versions will give a whole new dimension to it and make it more functional.

Top Down Bottom Up Pleated Shades

Top-Down-Bottom-Up Roman Shades

Roman shades are one of the classiest and most elegant shades that look good in all rooms. They are ageless beauties and you could never go wrong with them irrespective of your home décor. Top-down-bottom up roman shades not only look great but is more functional as it gives you greater control over light filtration and privacy.

Top Down Bottom Up Roman Shades

3 Things to Keep in Mind While Purchasing These Shades


All shades a need a mechanism for raising and lowering them and the most obvious ones are cords. The problem that corded ones pose is that the length of these cords changes as the shades move up and down causing it to pool on the floor. This could be dangerous if you have kids or pets in the house. This problem becomes even more severe in top-down-bottom-up shades as there are two cords to operate them. So if you have 3 windows in the room there will be 6 cords looping and tangling on the floor. Apart from the safety concern, it also doesn’t look as good. So when purchasing these shades, make sure that you get a cordless top down bottom up shades for yourself. It will make the operation easier and address safety issues.

Leveling System

Over a period of time due to repeated use, the rails in the shades tend to no longer remain straight which affects their leveling. The shade height is too long or short and the rails appear uneven. Choose a brand that offers the best leveling design and is equipped to make these adjustments. Some brands provide tools that will help you correct the levels and have them functioning well again.

Magnet Closure between Middle and Top Rail

As we have already discussed it is the middle rail that helps the shade perform the top-down functionality. Sometimes this middle rail does not sit well with the top rail. The result is a gap between the two. This does not look nice and can sometimes affect the aesthetics of the window. Opt for a design that provides magnetic closure between these two rails. This will ensure that the two rails make a snug fit and there are gaps visible.

Top-down-bottom-up shades are an extremely functional window treatment that helps to solve your longstanding problem of finding that middle path between privacy and light filtration. Often you have to sacrifice one for the other and these shades help to solve that exact issue.

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