I would like to add a vent above the door to my laundry room because it gets fairly warm in there when the door is left closed for any significant amount of time. All that's there is a single layer of drywall that I have punched through for other projects like running cables.

In my head, I'm picturing something like this, but everything I find online when I search for "drywall vent" or "air vent" seems geared towards hooking up to an HVAC duct which is not what I want.

sample floor vent

The space above the door is 8" x 32" and I would like to try and fill most of it with the vent. Here's the front and back view: Door front image door rear image

Is there a product out there that would fit my needs and I simply am searching for the wrong terms? Or am I going about this the entirely wrong way?

  • 3
    Attaching to a duct or drywall does not make any difference. They are made for ducts since that is what most people use them for. Get one that is the right size for you. Might also look for grilles
    – crip659
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 20:35
  • 1
    Yeah, vent grill (or grille) is the typical term for that application.On the other hand, not having drywall on the face of the walls in there is somewhat of a fire risk, and the NM/B cables are not run in a code compliant manner. Or are those data/low voltage? Looks like 6x30 or two 8x16 are available.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 20:52
  • 1
    adding one vent up high won't do much. Adding two vents, one high, one low, will do a lot.
    – dandavis
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 20:56
  • They're ethernet cables
    – 5E4ME
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 21:01
  • 3
    Keyword that may help you find/design what you want: "transom". Transom windows above doors were common when people were more dependent on natural light; many of them could be opened for flow-through ventilation. I don't know how high your ceilings are, but this remains a nice design detail.
    – keshlam
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


Common HVAC grilles are routinely installed directly to framing (or even drywall, with hollow wall anchors). Cold air returns are traditionally just framing voids. This situation is really no different. (The one in your photo is probably mounted this way--they don't actually connect to the duct except where the mounting screws happen to hit a flange.)

Pick one up that suits your needs (closeable or not and in the size you prefer), then cut a hole to the size of the vented area. Take the time to level and center it well. Float some scrap lumber behind the screw holes if there's none there and screw it on. Easy peasy.

Note that high return grilles are often installed with the slats oriented upward so that from below there's less of a visual black hole effect.


Don't. Buy a same-size and same handedness door with the vent built in. Remount the hinges and you are done.

  • 5
    That sounds rather expensive. And finding door slabs with perfectly positioned hinges is not always as easy as it sounds. Of course, you'd have to reinstall the latch hardware, too.
    – isherwood
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 21:59
  • 5
    @gbronner, So you're suggesting spending , say $300 instead of buying a $10 grill?
    – RMDman
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 22:28
  • 2
    $10 grill, plus a lot of effort to make it look nice, and venting all the steam from the bathroom into the wall behind the sheetrock. I could be wrong, but that door looks like a thin-shell printed to resemble a 5 panel.
    – gbronner
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 15:01

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