Monday, September 13, 2010

Knock on Wood: Flush Mount Wood Floor Registers Keep A Low Profile

Floor heat registers are often ignored when planning a new hardwood floor or refinishing an existing wood floor. The astute remodeller reviews the floor plan and recognizes the location of heating and air conditioning vents but may not consider the register that will cover the opening. Without giving it a second thought, we assume a surface mounted floor vent cover will do the trick. A self-rimming floor register, perhaps even a wood self-rimming floor register, will certainly suffice but if we are refinishing a wood floor or installing a new hardwood floor, a flush mounted wood vent cover may provide a better option.

Unlike a surface mounted register whose rim rest on the floor, projecting slightly above its finished surface, a flush mounted wood heat register includes a special frame that permits the register to sit level with the surface of the floor. Flush mounted heat registers provide a smooth continuous flat surface. The low profile of a flush wood register is less likely to be scratched or scuffed by shoes and vacuums than the raised grill of a surface mounted register and the level surface eliminates the minor tripping hazard posed by a surface mounted register's elevated grill.

Flush mounted floor registers do require planning. The wood floor is typically fitted around the flush mounted floor register's frame during installation of the hardwood floor. Although you can install a flush mounted register after the wood floor has been laid, it requires cutting away the floor to make room for the frame without cutting through the subfloor the frame will eventually rest on. Flush mounted floor register frames are 3/4" thick to match modern 3/4" thick wood floor planks. In a retrofit application, the surface of the frame and grill may need to be sanded to match the thickness of the refinished floor; especially if the floor is an old floor that may have been refinished on multiple occasions. The frame is permanently glued and/or nailed to the subfloor. With the frame in place, the floor is stained and coated to ensure a consistent finish. The wood grill is finished separate but drops into the frame to conceal the vent. The wood grill easily lifts out of the frame to permit cleaning of the vent.

Shop 4 Classics offers flush mount floor vent covers from Tailored Vents and Reggio Register. They are available in the most popular wood species to ensure an appropriate grain blend. Flush mounted wood floor registers and wood air return grills are offered in the most common duct sizes. As with any vent cover project, make certain to check the dimensions of each duct to guarantee an appropriate fit.

True to their nature, flush mount wood floor vent covers won't upstage your wood floors but will instead subtly enhance their overall charm.

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