I have a 1-2" gap in my hardwood floor after I needed to swap a larger register with a smaller one. 1

I need to replace a 12" x 10" supply register grill with a 12" x 8" supply grill (because I need a booster fan grill and the largest size they come in is 12" x 8") leaving me with a 2" gap along the bottom of the register grill.

What's the easiest way to fill that 2" gap in the hardwood floor opening in a way that doesn't stand out? If I can find a nice reducer frame, that would be nice but I can also take suggestions for other simple suggestions as well.

The smaller size doesn't matter with the supply duct since the duct below is a round oval about 10x4... with the supply duct before the elbow being a larger rectangle.

Here is the original supply grill before I will replace it with a shorter grill. enter image description here

Here it is after it's been replaced

enter image description here

Should I put a frame around it to make it look nice and since the floor around the frame needs some cleaning, or can I wedge or nail in some wood in and then finish to match somehow?

  • Cross-posted from Home Improvement.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 6 '21 at 12:28
  • @FreeMan honestly, this probably belongs there as much as it does here. This straddles both places almost perfectly. My gut tells me it belongs over on DIY rather than here, even though some basic woodworking skills would be all that you needed to trim the register out. I'll defer to the community, because x-posting is bad.
    – jdv
    Nov 6 '21 at 13:27
  • No VtC at either location, @jdv, just mentioning it.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 6 '21 at 14:55
  • Ok I’ll delete the one with less engagement Nov 6 '21 at 20:38

Trim it out with a frame. It will be nearly impossible to satisfactorily match the grain and edges of the flooring. And you need the length for enough strength to hold onto the existing flooring and support the heavier register.

Any decent hardwood will do, matching or contrasting with the floor. The real challenge will be how you handle the short sides, because the new register is a squashed rectangle within the original one.

If I'm understanding what I'm seeing in the photos, I think something like this would work:

  • Create a mitred frame that covers the hole but can also support the register.
  • Create a rebate along the inside of the frame that allows the register to be inset into it. This also provides enough wood for your little wood screws at the sides.
  • In order to keep the frame from sliding around we need to take up the space on the top and bottom. I'd use a small block or strip of softwood that runs not quite the length of the underside of the frame (top and bottom) to act as a cleat so that the whole thing slips into the hole but doesn't have a lot of lateral movement.
  • You can try to fasten the frame to the existing subfloor if you want (perhaps through the cleats running the length of the top and bottom, under the trim) before inserting and fastening the register.

Alternatively, you can try to add some flush pieces to "extend" the flooring, though it'll always look like a patch. This is a bit less forgiving, as well, because keying in a piece to fit a rough cut hole is not an easy job. Plus, any way I can think of attaching it firmly to the existing floor and maintaining the flush and tight fit while also supporting the register would be a lot of work for not very good results.

Not to mention that the existing flooring is probably an engineered product which can be painful to work with using woodworking techniques. I'd stay away from trying to "extend" the flooring in favour of simply trimming the register out.

  • Are there any ready-made pieces that can just be cut to size from Home depot... ie some sort of T molding or something similar that is low profile? Nov 6 '21 at 12:42
  • This looks like it'll have to be custom. You will find decent milled (and maybe finished) trim material at the usual big box stores, but the challenge here will be creating the frame and profiling it to fit snugly into the voids at the top and bottom.
    – jdv
    Nov 6 '21 at 13:16
  • @Jvd It might be helpful if you provided a sketch (plan and section) of what you are describing. I am having trouble understanding your description and how it connects to the existing flooring.
    – Ashlar
    Nov 6 '21 at 14:32

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