How To Window Tint: 2 Stage Or Bottom Load?

How To Window Tint: 2 Stage Or Bottom Load?

There are two popular methods for installing window tint: 2 stage and bottom loading. In this post I will talk about the age old question which is better 2 change or bottom loading. And you decide which one is right for you.

The 2 Stage Method

The 2 stage method is a process where the window tint installer does not take apart the door panel on the vehicle at all. Instead, the installer heat shrinks the tint to mold to the curve of the glass. The installer then puts the tint on the top section of the window with the window being down about 1-2 inches from the top gasket. This is the first stage. The installer squeegees the tints and takes out the soapy water with a squeegee. Then, the installer rolls the window up and installs the lower section of the tint. This is the second stage, hence the term 2 stage.

Travis Myers utilizing the 2 stage method 


The benefit of the 2 stage method is that it does not require the installer to take anything apart. However, it requires a methodical approach, and the installer must have a process in place when installing. If one step is missed, the installation can be messed up because the installer is out of sequence. The 2 stage method requires constant repetition and technique to master, like any new skill.

The Bottom Loading Method

The bottom loading method is a process where the installer removes the door seal or the entire door panel. The installer does not need to heat shrink the tint because the seal is out and allows the tint to lay flat, so this saves time on the install. After the window is thoroughly cleaned, the installer can install the window tint in one piece and slide it into place to fit the pattern of the window.

Similar to the 2 stage method, the installer squeegees the top section of the window, then rolls the window all the way up and pushes out all the soapy water with the squeegee. The benefit of bottom loading is that you can drop in the window tint without any obstructions like the seal (sweep). Any tight side gaskets can be easily bypassed because of all the room on the bottom of the seal, and the ability to press gently on the glass while sliding the window tint in.

The downside of bottom loading is the risk of breaking expensive door panels or scratching these panels. It's important to try both methods and see which way you like. Whichever method you choose, the more you do it, the better you get.

In my opinion, choosing the right method for installing window tint can make all the difference. The 2 stage method requires a methodical approach and constant repetition to master, but it does not require the installer to take anything apart. The bottom loading method is quicker and easier, but there is a risk of breaking expensive door panels or scratching these panels. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and experience. I am personally a bottom loader and comfortable taking apart $700,000 Rolls Royce to a Honda Civic. But there are some cars that I will not attempt to take apart like the 2020-2023 Mercedes Benz S Class because of the tights panels and if removed will never go back on the same. 

Bottom Loading Video:

2 Stage Video:



  • chacha

    Wow, this blog post is like a hidden gem in the vast expanse of the internet! It’s refreshing to stumble upon such insightful and thought-provoking content. and also check this article i found online its definitely worth to read.

  • Anthony Perez

    This is awesome! Thank you for sharing these videos. This is also the reason why I availed services from the pros. They can make sure that they can do the work right. I had my car tinted by – I can’t do DIY, so I asked the help of the Pros, grateful for the services received. I was satisfied with the quality they rendered. I decided to avail myself of the services to reduce energy heat in the car and increase security and interior protection. Lastly, to enhance its appearance.

  • Bryan Prato

    Great Blog Marco. We had the film trainer come to ATD Detailing Inc. and he had one of our new installers tinting on the second day. We are bottom loaders. Anyone needing an installer Marco is one awesome trainer. Reach out to him.
    Bryan Prato
    ATD Detail Inc
    Raleigh, NC

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