Closeup of a floor vent installed in a wood floor

Floor Vents and Registers: Your Questions Answered

Do you need to improve air circulation in your home? Or perhaps you are getting ready to begin a floor installation project. Either way, floor vents and registers should be top of mind.  

It’s crucial to make the right floor vent installation and placement choices so that your HVAC system remains effective without disrupting the room’s aesthetic. To help you move forward with a successful project, we are sharing our answers to some of the most frequent floor vent and register questions.  

Related Topic: Flooring Tools Checklist 

What Is the Difference Between a Register and a Vent? 

A floor register gives you the ability to adjust the airflow by opening or closing the flaps or damper located at the bottom of the register. You’ll typically find registers either low, near the wall’s base, or high, near the ceiling. The term “vent” refers to all HVAC system supply and return sources. Registers fall under the vent category.  

Can You Add an Additional Vent Register on a Duct? 

To maximize climate control throughout your home, you may consider adding a vent to existing ductwork. In most cases, you can safely add the additional vent, but it will be important to make sure your HVAC system can manage the addition before you proceed. A qualified home services technician can help you determine if this vent add-on is right for your home and HVAC system.  

How to Measure Floor Vents 

Do you need to know the size of your floor vents to purchase new covers? Here’s how to measure floor vents: 

  • Remove the existing vent cover by loosening the screws and pulling the vent out of the opening. 

  • Use a measuring tape to measure the width and length of the floor duct opening. 

  • Match your measurements with the size listed on the vent product. The product will have a label with the width and length measurements. 

How to Cut a Hole in Laminate Flooring 

If you are installing new laminate flooring or a new floor vent, there are specific steps to take to cut the right size hole in the floor for vent placement. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Remove the existing vent cover by loosening the screws and pulling the vent out of the opening. 

  • Install or place laminate flooring all the way to the vent opening edge.  

  • Measure the vent opening and use those measurements to measure the cut you will make in the laminate. 

  • Use a utility knife to score the vent opening cut line. 

  • Use a circular saw to make swift, clean cuts, taking great care to avoid damaging the subfloor. 

Can You Cut Holes in Floor Rugs for Vents? 

Yes, you can and should cut holes in floor rugs or carpeting for vents. Avoid covering a functioning air vent since it can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system or lead to system damage. After removing the vent cover, use a measuring tape to measure the length and width of the opening. Then, use a utility or carpet knife to cut the rectangle out of the rug. Place the vent cover through the rug hole and into the opening for a snug fit.  

How to Cover Unused Floor Vents 

If you have unneeded floor vents in your home, you may want to know how to cover them or how to fill them in. Start by permanently blocking heat registers by using a jigsaw to cut through the subfloor. Then, tear up the old subfloor and replace it with a solid square of plywood of the same thickness. Finish by replacing the finished flooring. 

Other options to cover unused floor vents include rugs, furniture, or magnetic vent covers. 

Can I Put Furniture Over a Floor Vent?  

While it is safe to place furniture over an unused floor vent, it is not the best practice to cover functioning floor vents with furniture. Placing furniture on top of a floor vent inhibits the flow of air and can cause the HVAC system to work too hard, resulting in a higher energy bill or premature system replacement.  

Can I Put Filters in Floor Vents?  

If the floor vent is a return vent, you can install a filter to serve as an additional layer of air quality protection to remove particles from the air. A properly fitting air filter will keep the air handling unit and ducts clean and can reduce overall dust accumulation. However, if the floor vent is a supply vent, filter placement is not suitable and can negatively impact the flow of climate-controlled air into your home.  

Related Topic: Flooring Types: Pros and Cons 

Save Yourself the Hassle and Hire a Pro 

Even after you have the answers to your pressing questions about floor vents and registers, you may decide you’d rather let someone else tackle this home improvement project. At Mr. Handyman, our home service experts will ensure you achieve the desired result. From installing floors to improving air circulation, we know how to get the job done right the first time.  

When you choose Mr. Handyman, you can take advantage of our Neighborly Done Right Promise. Call us at (877) 685-1377  or submit a request online to schedule floor services.

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