Friday, March 8, 2013

Professional Installation of Wall and Ceiling Heat Registers And Air Intake Covers

Installing wall and ceiling vent covers is so easy that anyone can do it, right?  Sure, but there are a few "tricks of the trade" that can make your do-it-yourself installation look like it was done by a skilled professional.  Today, we will discuss installing wall and ceiling heat registers and air intake covers (or air return grilles) to provide a polished, professional appearance.

Choose registers and air return grilles with screw holes for wall and ceiling installations.  The screw holes will be necessary to secure vent covers to walls and ceilings.  Lightweight aluminum grilles work especially well for wall and ceiling vents.  Aluminum grilles are economical and can be painted to blend in with walls or ceilings or faux painted to provide a unique design element.  Shop 4 Classics recommends Classic Grills white aluminum registers and white air intake grilles or Reggio Register light gray aluminum air return grilles for custom painting.

If you are replacing an existing vent cover, remove it to expose the register box (ductwork).  If the vent cover has been in place for many years it may have paint built up around the edges.  Carefully score under the edges of the current heat register or air intake grille with a utility knife so it can be pulled away without damaging the wall or ceiling.  Unscrew the vent cover and lift it away from the register box.  Recycle.

Clean the inside of the register box with warm soapy water or a household cleaner.  Dishwashing detergent with a degreaser works particularly well for cleaning old ductwork.  Cleaning the register box behind the vent cover prepares the ductwork for painting.

Unless you are going for an industrial look or prefer the metallic gray backdrop of sheetmetal, paint the register box with a flat black spray paint.  The flat black paint will darken and soften the background behind the register or air intake.  Choose a direct-to-metal spray paint such as Rustoleum.  When painting ductwork behind a vent cover, it isn't so much the quality of the paint but the quality of the spray can.  Any ol' brand will work but cheaper paints often come in cheaper spray cans that can spit and sputter causing a bigger problem than they solve.  Mask around the duct opening to protect walls or ceilings from overspray.  Those skilled in the use of spray paint can shield around the register box with a piece of cardboard.

With the new vent cover in hand, run a light bead of painter's latex caulk around the bottom of the vent cover rim.  Latex caulk is recommended because it is easier to apply and clean up than silicone caulk.  Press the register or air intake grille in place over the vent opening.  All Shop 4 Classics vent covers with screw holes also include matching screws.  Secure the vent cover to the ceiling or wall with the screws provided.  Apply latex caulk around the edges of the grille where its edges meet the surface.  Smooth out the caulk seam with a damp paper towel.  The caulk not only helps to glue the vent cover to the wall or ceiling, it also provides a subtle seamless transition between the grille and the wall or ceiling.  This technique is especially effective for hiding gaps created by textured ceilings or uneven plaster and lathe walls.  Professional painters and trim carpenters use this same trick around door trim, window trim, and baseboards to correct for uneven walls.

Often, vent covers are installed as an afterthought that detracts from a room's appearance.  Following these simple tips will instead enhance walls and ceilings to create a professionally finished room.

The supporting images and many of the tips covered in today's post were provided by the vent cover experts at Classic Grills.  Classic Grills produces the finest art quality aluminum and bronze air intake grills and heat registers.  Each Classic Grills vent cover patterns feature a handcrafted look and feel that you and your guests will admire for many years to come.  Shop 4 Classics offers the complete catalog of Classic Grills heat registers and air return grilles.  In addition to discount prices and free shipping for orders over $100, Shop 4 Classics offers the HARDWARE5 promotion code for an additional 5% discount on Classic Grills orders of $500 or more or the HARDWARE10 promotion code for an additional 10% discount on Classic Grills orders of $1,000 or more.

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