My hardwood floor will be removed and new engineered wood will be installed.

  • I have 4×10 registers that are regular registers and you can either buy them or build them yourself, so those are not a challenge.
  • I have 2 air returns 29”x6” that will be a challenge to build because they are large and there are only two of them on the upper floor.

I was watching some videos and the wood flush mount registers seem to introduce a problem when compared with the regular registers and that is because the grates need to be thicker otherwise they will collapse when you step on them. If you make them thicker that the metal or plastic ones that will reduce the airflow.

Watch this

I think the problem is going to be even bigger for the air returns when these are big like the ones I have this register which is 29"x6"

enter image description here

Did anyone of you guys deal with this? What was the solution?

  • Usually you want to keep the area of air flow the same, so with thicker members, will need to increase the total size. Instead of 29x6 might need 36x8(just example, not hurting my head on math). Think I would just buy off the shelf and get some wood grain shelving paper to make look good.
    – crip659
    Sep 4, 2022 at 17:04
  • I am considering sinking this in the floor and then cove it with wood cut a little bit thicker than the grates. I wish I could buy this. I will actually have to do some calculations becaue I just realized that the openings in the underneath main duct (large rectangular) might be smaller so I need to calculate the square foot area for those and match it above ....it might result in smaller registers
    – MiniMe
    Sep 4, 2022 at 17:26
  • The wood registers you linked to do look nice, but did you notice the title of the video?
    – crip659
    Sep 4, 2022 at 17:32
  • That is one of the reasons of my post here,while they look nice they cripple the HVAC system
    – MiniMe
    Sep 4, 2022 at 17:57
  • Made the same size yes, but double the metal one's size should be close to right.
    – crip659
    Sep 4, 2022 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


Here is how I plan to do it The current floor is nailed in diagonal boards sitting on joists The floor will be removed the diagonal boards will be tightened and 3/8" plywood will be installed on top. The register/vent in the picture from the question will be screwed to the subfloor and used to support the matching wood register that will sit on top of it Hardwood floor will be installed and a picture frame will be built around the metal register. There is two openings in the return duct. I will calculate the area of those openings and compare with the total area covered by the openings in the metal register in the metal register. Whichever is smaller that will dictate how much I have to leave open in that wood cover that will sit on top of the vent

enter image description here

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