Do Roller Shades Roll Over Or Under?

Are you planning to install roller shades on your windows? Maybe you are wondering if the shades should roll over or under. You’ve come to the right place, as we’ve conducted thorough research on this question. 

Roller shades can roll over or under—it’s up to you. Both roller types function the same way. A roller shade consists of fabric attached to a tube. With a shade that rolls over, the fabric is attached to the top of the tube. With a shade that rolls under, the fabric is attached beneath the tube.

Keep reading, as we will help you have clear ideas about how roller shades work and the best way to roll them. We will also add more insights about window shades for your reference. 

collab photo of a roll over roller shade or a roll under roller shade, Do Roller Shades Roll Over Or Under?

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Do Roller Shades Roll Over Or Under?

Roller shades are made on a hollow steel tube. The fabric of the shade rolls around the tube. Once you pull down the shade, a ratchet in the tube locks it up.

The tension is adjustable within the tube spring, creating proper tension for each side once the shade is installed. There are two ways that shades can roll: over roll (also known as front roll) and under roll (also known as back roll).

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motorized roller shades interior automatic blinds

It’s up to you to decide which type works best for your home. Each type of roll has significance on your preference and the type of your window.

Over Or Front Roll

motorized roller shades automatic blinds beige

With an over-roll shade, the shade’s fabric is hung in front of the tube. Here are the pros and cons of this type of shade.


  • Create a gap between the roller shades and the window, which is ideal if your window has a lock or a handle. 
  • They can help with your home insulation.
  • You can choose a shade that suits your style and preference, impacting your home aesthetic.


  • Less privacy, as there is a space between the shade and the window.
  • Exterior light can penetrate your room due to the space between the shade and the window.

Under Or Back Roll

wooden jalousie interior decoration detail natural

Under roll means the fabric runs behind the tube and is hung close to the window.


  • More privacy, as the shades hang close to your window.
  • Blocks exterior light so you can sleep better.


  • Not ideal if your window type has bars, locks, and handles.
  • It might sabotage your style preference if you are keen on style details due to the fabric backing colors.

Should Roller Shades Be Mounted Inside Or Outside A Window Frame?

roller blinds glass window white micro

You might be wondering if you should you mount your roller shade inside or outside the window frame.  This depends on the measurements of your windows. The type of mount you choose will also create a certain vibe in your home.

Here are some factors to consider to help you decide:

Inside Mount

  • Shades inserted inside the window frame look neat and stylish. 
  • The shade will take up less space, giving you more space for other decorations.
  • This option is energy efficient as it helps insulate your home by ensuring outside air cannot enter.
  • Good choice for layering as it does not hinder curtains or drapery.
  • Note that this option won’t work if there are barriers on your window and a lack of depth on the window frame.

Outside Mount

  • This option is good for concealing any damaged or worn window trim.
  • It can make the window look bigger.
  • Good choice for room darkening, as the shade covers the whole window and the frame.
  • Suitable for shallow window frames. It also makes any handles and locks on the window easily accessible. 
  • Keep in mind the this option covers the window trim and takes up more space.

Can You Reverse A Roller Shade?

white curtains roller blind use sun shade

It is possible to reverse a roller shade so that it unrolls over or under, depending on your preference. Keep in mind that the fabric of some roller shades is different on the front and back, so reversing a shade may switch the colors.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Detach the shade tube from the bracket on each side.
  2. Pull the plugs from each end of the tube using pliers or a screwdriver. For cordless shades, pull out the round and flat peg on each side.
  3. Put the plugs back in. Each plug should go on the opposite end this time, so that you can reverse the shade. Make sure the plugs are tight.
  4. Put the shade back into the brackets. It should be entirely reversed.

Installing Roller Shades

handyman tape measure installing roller window

If you’re planning to install roller shades, you have many things to consider. The process is not that hard, but it can be tricky, so calling a professional installer is recommended.

Here are things to consider when installing roller shades:

  • Know your window dimensions
  • Get shades that are the proper size
  • Decide which way you want the shades to roll
  • Decide if you want an inside or outside mount

You can follow the simple instructions below to install roller shades yourself:

  1. Decide on the positioning of the roller shade in the window and use a pencil to mark where the brackets will go. 
  2. Make small holes for the brackets using a nail and hammer or a hand drill.
  3. Place the brackets precisely over the small holes and secure them with  nails and a hammer or a hand drill and screws. 
  4. Insert the shade into the brackets. Make sure it is rolled up properly. If it doesn’t roll properly, remove it, roll it up correctly and slide it on the bracket again.

For a visual demonstration on installing a window shade, watch the video below.

What Shades Are Best For Blocking Heat?

Your window treatments play a vital role in conserving energy. Excessive heat during summer can make your home uncomfortable and increase your electric bills for air conditioning.

You might wonder what window treatments are energy efficient and helpful for blocking heat. Here are some suggestions:

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are translucent panels that reduce heat and light. They put you in control over the amount of sunlight entering a room.

These shades are often called honeycomb shades. Their panels are made of  hexagonal cells that trap hot air. Cellular shades can help reduce heat by up to 80%, making your room cooler during summer.

Check out this cellular shade on Amazon.

Solar Shades

Solar shades are made of fabric that can help deflect heat and UV rays.

This type of shade won’t block your view. It will help prevent fading and deterioration of upholstery, carpeting, artwork, and hardwood floors caused by sunlight.

Check out this solar shade on Amazon.

Roman Shades 

Roman shades are typically made of thick material that helps insulate and keep out heat.

They’re available in both classical and modern designs, allowing you to achieve the cool temperatures you want without sacrificing style.

Check out this cordless roman shade on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

collab photo of a roll over roller shade or a roll under roller shade

Roller shades can roll over or under—it depends on your preference. It is best to assess your current window situation and which way to roll your roller shades before you install them.

Your choice of mounting shades will give a different vibe to your home, so you mount them according to your style and preference.

If you want to save energy, you can find shades that effectively block heat and help insulate your home. If you are still unsure about what window shades to install, you can call a professional installer to assess what will suit your home.

If you found this post helpful, check out these related articles:

What Are The Best Blinds For A Kitchen Window?

Roller Shades Vs Cellular Shades: Which To Choose?



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