Friday, August 31, 2012

One on One With Wood Flush Mount Vent Covers for Wood Floors

We've said this before but it bears repeating, vent covers are selected by the size of the duct opening they are intended to cover.  Oh sure, there are exceptions but despite their installation, flush mount wood vent covers aren't one of them.

Flush mount wood floor vent covers are built into the wood floor when the floor is installed.  One might think that the overall size of the frame is more important because of how the frame integrates into the floor but one would be wrong.  One might also think that the size of the insert would be most significant.  One would be 0-2 in one's attempt to size a flush mounted wood vent cover.  To avoid striking out in one's attempt to choose a flush mounted wood vent cover, one must measure the duct opening in the floor.

The frame for a wood flush mount vent cover is always larger than the duct opening.  If it were not, the whole vent cover would simply drop into the duct.  The frame's length and the frame's width will vary depending on the size of the duct opening and the manufacturer of the vent cover.  Normally, these dimensions would not be important.  Wood floor experts install the flush mounted vent cover over the duct and then adapt to its dimensions by cutting the wood floor planks around the frame.  Where one might require the dimensions of the frame in addition to (but not in lieu of) the duct size is if one were replacing a flush mounted vent cover in a previously installed wood floor.  Replacing a flush mounted vent cover isn't a simple endeavor and it typically requires refinishing the floor.

The wood flush mount vent cover's frame serves as a border enclosing the duct opening.  The frame's opening is centered over the duct to allow air to pass through the vent cover.  The opening in the frame will often match the size of the duct; however, this is not always the case.  Depending on the manufacturer, the frame opening may actually be larger than the duct opening.  Unless one is replacing a previously installed vent cover, the length and width of the frame opening is irrelevant except to once again remind oneself that it is the size of the duct opening that ultimately determines whether one has chosen a correctly sized vent cover.

The inside of the frame is cut away to provide a shelf for the insert.  The shelf allows the insert to rest in the frame whereby its surface is flush with the wood floor.  The slots in the insert should be centered above the duct opening to provide efficient air flow.  This is especially important for a flush mounted wood register because the louver assembly will likely drop below the frame into the duct opening.  The flush mount wood vent cover's insert will be larger than the duct opening but, again, the insert's length and insert's width are usually immaterial.  Just as the frame's length and width mattered only when replacing a previously installed flush wood vent cover, the insert's length and width will only be important if one is replacing an insert without replacing the frame.  And even then, the insert's dimensions are required in addition to (but not instead of) the duct size.  I should mention here that inserts aren't typically sold separately so one may need to purchase the complete flush mounted vent cover just to acquire the insert.

Shop 4 Classics offers flush mounted wood air return grilles and flush mounted wood registers from All American Wood Register, Tailored Vents, and Reggio Register.  If one finds oneself in the market for wood flush mount vent covers, visit Shop 4 Classics to purchase one.  Or two.

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