The typical manufactured home has a real floor and a subfloor beneath it. The subfloor is almost always wooden. The real floor can consist of multiple flooring options.
Your choice of a floor register can depend on the type of flooring in the home.
Why Would You Need Replacement Manufactured Home Registers?
Why would you even install a floor register in a manufactured home? Well, if your home has an A/C system or any other cooling and heating system, you definitely need the floor register to assist in ventilation. Basically, you’d install floor registers for the same reason you would with site-built homes. Sometimes you might want to add floor registers just to add a few dollars on the home’s current value before selling. Either way, you still need floor registers specifically designed for the type of flooring in your home.
Types Of Floor Registers
There are 14 types of floor registers. They fall into two broad categories.
Types Of Registers Based On Style
This style is characterized by simple vertical bars in the frame of the floor register. These floor registers resemble a tiny barbecue grill.
This style is characterized by a pattern of heart-like vents closely packed together in the register’s frame.
The louvered style looks very much like Brooklyn style – many vertical bars enclosed in a frame – except that one large bar is placed in the middle to separate two sides of small bars.
In this style, vents are designed to look like interlocking bricks. The two extreme ends end up in a larger space or a continuation of the brick pattern
Here, the vents are designed to look like a series of rhombus-like structures within squares. These squares repeat themselves throughout the register.
The vents in this floor register are arranged to look like damask Victorian florals. They are probably the best-looking registers you could ever install
They closely resemble the Manhattan-style – interlocking brick pattern – except that each “brick” has a few tiny square spaces.
Types Of Registers Based On Finish
These floor registers come with a thin steel finish on top. The steel can be polished, matte-like, or plain just like crude industrial steel
These registers are coated with a thin layer of filamentous ABS resin (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – a thermoplastic resin) to give them strength and shock resistance properties.
These floor registers are finished with a layer of cast iron to give them ductility and greater tensile strength.
These registers come with a layer of brass on top of whichever metal the manufacturer chose to use. Brass further improves corrosion resistance and resistance to wear and tear.
These floor registers are coated with bronze to offer less friction to metallic loads that may come into contact with the surface.
These registers take advantage of nickel’s fair good thermal and electrical conductivity but excellent magnetic properties at high temperatures.
These registers are coated with pewter, a bluish malleable metal often mixed with copper or antimony, to boost thermal conductivity.
Manufactured Home Registers – Four Shopping Factors
Bear in mind these factors when shopping for a floor register:
Factor #1: What’s the size of the duct opening?
Believe it or not, floor registers come in a variety of sizes. There is no standard size you would say fits all or most duct openings without taking any measurements.
So, the first thing you should do is measure the dimensions of the duct opening before even deciding any other attribute of the floor register.
If you are replacing old floor registers, still measure the dimensions of the duct opening, not the old floor register.
You may ignore the height of the opening but be sure to take the width and height.
These measurements help the contractor or seller recommend the best options for you.
Factor #2: What type of finish do you want?
It is easy to overlook the importance of the finish when shopping for floor registers, but be aware that the coating has a bigger say on the overall properties of the floor register such as resistance to scratching, toughness, and even the general appearance.
The finish can complement the décor of your home or look completely out of place when wrongly selected.
Hence, evaluate your floor or ceiling and determine the finish that would look great on it before selecting one.
The manufacturer can choose to use virtually any metal or plastic as a finish, but these are the commonly used finishes:
- Antique brass
- Satin nickel
- Dark oil-rubbed bronze
- Polished brass
Tip – When replacing a register in a room prone to high humidity such as the bathroom, consider buying high-impact decorative registers. This class of registers tends to come with quality finishes and are mainly rust-free.
Factor #3: What’s the material of construction?
Just like the finish, the material of construction has an influence on the properties of the floor register.
For instance, it doesn’t make sense to install wooden registers in your bathroom or kitchen because wood is prone to rotting.
Wooden registers may also not be as tough as metallic registers.
Plastic registers are in the middle of wooden and metallic registers.
Metallic registers are strong but can be prone to rusting if you don’t choose the right metal with the right finish.
Consider the conditions and kind of the floor you have in your home before choosing the register.
Factor #4: Raised or flat floor registers?
While most of the floor registers you’d find in the store are flat, there exists the raised sort that some homeowners often choose just because they look cool.
You’d normally install flat floor registers because they are the most often used type.
For the raised sort, it is important to seek the advice of your contractor before installing as they can form tripping points.
One small thing…“Standardized Size’ vs Oversized
What the industry calls the “standardized size” of floor registers is a spectrum of sizes, meaning you will still have to choose from an array of options between two margins.
The range is 2-1/2 in. W x 10 in. L and 8 in. W x 12 in. L.
The most commonly used sizes are 4 in. W x 10 in. L, 4 in. W x 12 in. L, 6 in. W x 10 in. L, and 6 in. W x 12 in. L. in medium-sized spaces such as the dining room and bedroom.
Smaller sizes may be selected for such spaces as hallways, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Large gathering areas like the family room and living room require floor registers bigger than 8 in. W x 14 in. L.
Large size registers are called “oversized register” or at least that’s the term the supplier would interpret better.
These “oversized registers” can be in the region of 6 in. W x 22 in. L and 9 in. W x 22 in. L. in a rectangular configuration or 10” x 10” up to 15” x 15” in square configuration.
Any size larger than 15” x 15” is generally called air return grilles or simply as “grill only,” which means it contains no adjustable dampers or louvers.
Best Floor Registers for a Manufactured Home: Three Scenarios
Scenario #1: Best For An All-Wood Floor
Wooden floor registers are not prone to rusting like metallic dumpers but are vulnerable to water damage.
They go well with an all-wood floor. Install these vents if the floor entirely consists of wooden parts
If your flooring is made from hardwood with 3/4″ thickness complete with groove structure and tongue, this is the right floor register for it. It was designed to fit on duct openings of 4 in. W x 12 in. L – note that the overall size of flush mount vent with the frame is 6-3/4 in. W x 14-1/2 in L.
You might love the fact that it is made from unfinished solid red oak in a louvered design.
Also, you will reduce accidents significantly by the fact that 1-square inch of this register is strong enough to support the weight of an average adult person – basically, it won’t cave inside when you stand on it.
Accord Select Oak Dark Oak Floor Register (Duct Opening: 4 in. W x 10 in. L; Outside: 5.5 in. W x 11.5 in. L)
The attractive dark espresso-like stain on this floor register would look great on any darkly finished wooden floor.
The solid Oak construction is sturdy enough to withstand weights (human weights maybe, I don’t expect you to position the leg of a heavy sofa on it).
The maker allows you to choose from a variety of finishes and sizes, meaning you can opt for lighter brown alternatives if you don’t like the default dark stain.
The high-quality Oak hardwood construction of this floor registers brings the durability you’d want in a floor register meant for high traffic floors.
The attractive crafted modern design is appealing and makes it one of those registers you’d install on your wooden ceiling if you’re done working on the floor.
It comes with smooth guide technology that ensures easy dumper access and quiet airflow.
If you are looking for an impressively designed 1-way air diffuser for floor or ceiling, this is one of the best choices you can pick.
This register is made from plastic but with an Oak Wood finish on top. You don’t need tools to install it, just drop it in the air duct – if the size is correct, you’re done installing!
Décor Grates, the maker, offers it in multiple finishes, so remember to specify your favorite combination when ordering.
Note that the filter and the filter retainer are sold separately.
Scenario #2: Best plastic floor registers
Vinyl tiled floors go well with plastic registers. Just like wood, plastics aren’t prone to rusting like metallic dumpers.
If your floor consists of vinyl parts, consider one of these floor registers:
The vents in this dumper are curved slightly outdoors to give it a unique style that might complement the pattern you may be having on your vinyl tile floor.
The white powder finish may look delicate but is surprisingly durable and resistant to scratches from your cleaners and shuffling feet.
The manufacturer insists that it was made for A/C systems with which it will promote maximum airflow.
If you glance at the price tag, however, it is an unbelievably cheap floor register you’d install for pretty any ventilation and draining purpose.
If you are looking for the best one-way floor register (instead of the traditional two-way deflection vents that move air both right and left), this is one of the best plastic registers for the job.
Besides the next-to-nothing price tag, another impressive thing about this cute floor register is the lattice design which would look nice on both decorated and undecorated floorings.
The solid plastic grid construction alone is commendable.
The manufacturer was thoughtful about finishes – they are availed in about 10 different finishes: almond, black, frost grey, bone, caramel, frost gray, oak brown, oak caramel, taupe, white, and tan mahogany.
This floor register is made from high-impact polystyrene which makes it competent enough for installation on any floor that receives a lot of violence, like your heavily packed storage room.
The best thing is you can also install it on the ceiling by knocking at each extreme end.
It is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
You are free to choose from three sizes: 2 1/4” W x 12” L, 4” W x 10” L, and 4” W x 12” L. Imperial has been producing dumpers since 1979, so there is many years’ worth of experience in their designs.
If you are a fan of gothic styles and would like to have an elegant dumper designed as so on your floor, wall, ceiling, this register might be the best choice for you.
The fine powder coating can complement virtually any style you have on your walls.
Although it is titled as metallic, this dumper is made from high impact plastic.
Scenario #3: Metal floor registers
Most of the metal floor registers you’ll find in the market are steel-based although there are manufacturers who still use aluminum and bronze.
This type of floor registers is not floor-specific.
Rather, they are an attractive option to a homeowner looking for heavy-duty and durable floor registers better than wooden and plastic alternatives.
There are four likable things about this floor register.
- Firstly, it comes with a lever that lets you adjust the air supply – you don’t see this often in floor registers.
- Secondly, it is incredibly heavy-duty, supporting a long time of sustained walking and scrubbing.
- Thirdly, the premium scratch and chip-resistant finish ensure that it remains shining for longer.
- Fourthly, and most importantly, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty – it means the product is highly durable.
The Copper Factory Solid Cast Copper Decorative 4in.X 12in. Floor Register with Damper in Satin Nickel Finish
This industrial standard floor register is suitable for the most heavy-duty floors of your home, such as the garage.
It is made from solid cast 100 percent copper. The surface is finished with an attractive coating of Nickel.
It was designed in such a way that it can be screwed on a powder-coated adjustable steel dumper.
The cost, however, looks a bit too much for a floor register in its class, but it’s worth it if you consider the materials of construction.
You might be impressed by the fact that it is handcrafted by Copper Factory’s own artisans.
Prima Decorative Hardware VR 102 Cast Aluminum Floor Register for Home Decor – Handcrafted, HVAC Floor Vent 4″ x 10″, Satin Finish Look – Removable Metal Damper, Sand Casted
This floor register comes in a simple grilled design.
Handcrafted from cast aluminum, it is lightweight enough to be installed on the ceiling although you’ll need to screw it there to prevent it from falling.
It also comes with a pre-attached metal damper that you can remove when you see fit. The powder-coated matte flat finish doesn’t look bad at all.
Related: Can You Put A Rug Over A Floor Vent?
If your manufactured home has an HVAC system, you need floor registers to assist in ventilation.
There are a lot of options to choose from including a wide variety of materials of construction, styles, and outer finishes all of which contribute to the functionality of the floor register.
Among other things you should bear in mind when shopping for floor registers is the size of the duct opening.
That’s partly because even the standardized size of registers is available in a range of measurements.
Do not install raised registers no matter how cool they may look unless advised otherwise by your flooring expert.
It also makes sense to consider the cost of each unit especially if you are in need of a large of floor registers.