The first thing to do when you have grilles to replace is identify the type and style. Is it a supply where the air blows out of the register? Or is it a return that the air gets sucked back into the system? Next is to identify the style. There are 3 basic styles to choose from. There is stamp faced, where the louvers have been stamped into and raised up out of the metal. Bar style is where the grille has a frame and individual bars making up the louvers. Then there is curve blade, where the blades actually extend out from the face of the register and curve, creating a more direct and intentional air flow.
When it’s time to replace your grilles, which are often also called vents or registers, the information needed is pretty basic and easy to get. Many people will measure the overall size of the grille, but this is the incorrect way to go about it and will land you with a grille that is just too big to fit. The proper way to size up your register is to actually remove the register from the wall, floor or ceiling and set it aside for now.
Next, you will actually be measuring the cut out, or hole size. You will need to get the width as well as the height, and then present the measurements in this order when obtaining your replacement. For example, let’s say you measured a width of 16″ and a height of 10″. If you ask for a 16″x10″, you will get the proper size. But, if you ask for a 10″x16″, you will wind up with a register that is 10″ wide and 16″ tall, so the orientation will be backwards. It will still fit, but the air flow will not be proper for your application. And it will look kind of funny and out of place.
The overall dimension of the new grille will be larger than your measurements, and this is fine. That is why we measure the hole and not the overall dimension. There will be a 1 7/8″ lip going around the whole grille, and this is to cover paint marks, holes etc.
And that’s really all there is to finding a replacement register. You can take a look at all the various types and styles by clicking on the link for supply grilles, and for returns. And if you are interested in some specialty wood or decorative grilles, you can click here.