DIY Tier on Tier Shutters: The Low Down

Yasmeen 4/8/2022 10:14:36 AM Shutter Styles
Tier on tier style shutters are a popular choice because they combine some of the benefits of both full height and café style shutters. With split tiers of shutter panels that operate independently, you can keep your window fully or partially covered with flexible control over privacy and lighting.

They are the most challenging style for DIY installation and may not be a great option for windows that are too small or too large. Here’s what you need to know to decide if tier on tier style is right for your shutters.



Measuring for Tier on Tier Style Shutters

Tier on tier style shutters are simple to measure for following our step-by-step measuring guides for either inside mount or outside mount.

The only additional measurement needed is the divide point – the point at which you want the bottom tier to split from the top tier. You would measure this from the bottom up and provide us with that measurement when you place your order.

You don’t want the divide point to be too high or low, which would limit the number of slats that could fit into each tier and not be aesthetically pleasing.

Tier on tier style is not ideal for any windows under 40” tall, as ideally each tier should be at least 20” tall to ensure the window is not blocked by too much solid material. Keep in mind each panel has a solid top and bottom rail, and the larger the slat size you choose, the fewer slats can fit into each panel.


Generally, your divide point should be around the center of the window opening, or in line with any natural divide or obstruction in the window that you want to cover. For taller windows, you can place the divide point 2/3 of the way up to keep optimum privacy with the bottom tier closed and let some natural light in through the top when the top panels are open.

Designing & Installing Tier on Tier Style Shutters

With twice as many panels as a full height or café style shutter, tier on tier can be a little more challenging to install.

Additional adjustments might be required for proper panel alignment. Specifically, the top tier panel hinges may need adjusting and tightening over time to prevent the top tier from sagging over the bottom.

Because the top tier lacks support on the bottom, and the bottom tier lacks support across the top, a 4-sided frame is essential for a tier on tier style installation.

Bifolding panels have more of a tendency to sag and require lifting to close. For this reason, tier on tier is not an ideal style for wider windows. If your window is 60” wide or more, you may want to consider full height shutters with a mid-rail instead.

Tier on Tier vs Full Height with Mid-rail


Other Tier on Tier Pros and Cons to Consider

Benefits of tier on tier include the following:
  • Optional full closure for full privacy and light blockage
  • Ability to fully open all panels for maximum light entry and visibility
  • Can keep bottom tier closed for privacy and top open to let in light
  • Great for accommodating an obstruction like furniture or a faucet blocking the bottom of the window and still being able to open the top panels
Challenges include:
  • Can overpower a small window
  • Can be difficult to install in a large window
  • Additional expense compared to full height or café style

Contact our team of shutter experts. We are always here to help with any design choices or questions on measuring and installation. Tier on Tier shutters are an excellent choice, but if you’re unsure still about which shutter style to choose, we would love to help. Email us a photo of your window, give us a call on 888-753-8290, or chat with us online for helpful tips and expert advice.


This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants.  Contact our team today for advice on your shutters. We're here to help!