Upgrading Floor Registers

I never gave much thought to floor registers. They’re a grate for which air passes through…. big deal. They’re just there, quietly doing their job, and looking pretty unimpressive while doing it. However, after Aaron tore out the rotten floor in the laundry room, and installed a beautiful slate floor, I then took notice of the vent hole in the floor. The wheels started turning. Pictured here is the register throughout the house. Yup, like I said pretty unimpressive with some slightly bent grates….

Cheap Floor Register

Floor Register Styles Are Endless

I got online and did some intense floor register reading. I’m serious. They can be made of wood, aluminum, steel, cast iron, and I even saw some ‘homemade’ (redneck) ones crafted from flattened beer cans and chicken wire. The material a register is made out of is a big consideration with regards foot traffic – we’ve all seen it, some yahoo builder installs a floor vent in the middle of a hallway, or two feet out into a room, and when a register made of wood or softer metal is installed, it doesn’t take long for there to be broken or bent grates. Why? too much foot traffic over it. No foot traffic = you can get away with wood or soft metal registers. Foot traffic = get yourself steel or better yet, cast iron registers. Floor registers are like most things in life – you get what you pay for. The costs can be as cheap as $5 to well over $60!

Even though the vent in the laundry room is close to the wall, it’s next to the only pathway through the room and will still have to endure the occasional foot stepping on it. That means wood is out of the question, as is the aluminum ones. So steel or cast iron it is. After shopping around I naturally fell in love with a pretty pricey one. We have somewhere around 7 registers in our house, so it was going to cost over $300 to upgrade them all. Nope. I’ll just take one room makeover at a time thank you very much. I chose this beauty by Signature Hardware….

Cast Iron Floor Register

It’s their ‘Mission‘ style register with louvers. That sucker is heavy duty! Perfect for walking on, and it’s in keeping with our rustic vibe in our laundry room. When we redid the floor in here, we had tossed the original grate, which means there was a gaping hole in the floor for weeks, causing daily visions of one of us stepping in it breaking our ankle. I was so happy to have a register over it again!