Are Wood Or Metal Floor Registers Better?

Your floor is one of the many systems that work to transform your house into a comfortable home, and of course, that’s where your duct vents are installed.

If you are refinishing your floor and already have the standard metal covers, you might be contemplating whether to retain them or replace them with wood registers.

In this regard, Are Wood Or Metal Floor Registers Better?

Well, while wood floor registers are cost-effective and add to the finished look of your floor, metal vent covers are sturdy to be walked on without any issues. Metal floor registers can also withstand the weight of heavy furniture pieces. Another interesting fact is that, with metal registers, there is also less concern about water damage and molding in wetter areas. As such, it is safe to say that metal floor registers are better than wood ones, particularly when it comes to functionality.

Whether you are building a new home or refinishing the floor of your old house, you want to install floor registers that don’t sacrifice your home’s unique style.

Thankfully, registers come in different designs with varying details to suit the diverse needs and preferences of homeowners.

Read on to learn more about floor registers.

What Are Floor Registers?

Floor registers, also known as grilles, refer to accessories used to cover ducts.

Although most people use registers and vent covers interchangeably, the two are technically different despite serving the same purpose.

Unlike vent covers that simply cover vents, registers have an added functionality of being able to adjust the airflow by moving dampers or flaps usually attached to the registers.

By covering vents, floor registers serve to prevent most things, including critters, from entering the vent, which protects your HVAC system while allowing air to flow into your living space.

Thankfully, there is a register ideal for every floor, whether it is vinyl, engineered wood, or concrete.

Wood Vs Metal Floor Registers

Floor registers are absolutely necessary for any home.

They work to keep critters and large debris from entering your HVAC system while increasing the system’s efficiency in heating and cooling your home.

What’s more, custom registers can enhance the dimensional beauty, decorative cohesion, and personalized feel of your home.

That said, when installing your air conditioning system, most HVAC companies will use the coated metal drop-in vent registrars to cover the vents.

This is not an issue of concern as metal vent covers or registers are considered standard and do their job satisfactorily.

But How Do They Compare To Wood Floor Registers?

Well, while metal registers are not a bad option for covering your floor vents, they don’t do much to your interior décor, particularly when installed on a prefinished wood floor.

That’s where wood floor registers come in.

Wood registers and vent covers come in a wide range of styles sure to complement virtually any wood floor.

Whether you go for wood or metal options, flush (drop-in) covers look nicer, giving your floor a more finished appearance.

Flush registers provide a seamless transition and unparalleled style, regardless of the details in the register.

Wood or metal each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Generally, metal floor registers win when it comes to functionality, whereas wood registers provide an unmatched sense of style.

Why Would Any Homeowner Consider Metal Floor Registers?

Changing your floor registers is a simple and inexpensive way to upgrade the look of your home.

Here are reasons why you may want to for detailed metal floor registers:

  • Metal registers are exceptionally durable and long-lasting
  • Metal floor registers are easy to maintain
  • Metals handle different temperatures pretty well, so they won’t be damaged when hot or cold air is pumped through them for an extended period. Cast metal options win in this case.
  • Metals registers work perfectly for bathrooms, kitchens, and other spaces where water damage is a serious concern.
  • The strength of metal floor registers makes them a perfect option for areas with high traffic. Strength also ensures durability even when your HVAC system is projected to work most of the time.

Metal floor registers come in many styles, including

  • louvered
  • manhattan
  • charleston
  • Brooklyn
  • wicker
  • victorian
  • and marquis.

They are available in a range of finishes like

  • steel
  • cast iron
  • brass
  • abs resin
  • bronze
  • pewter
  • and nickel.

With proper care and maintenance, metal floor registers can last for many, many years.

Some registers are prone to rust, which can be a serious issue in high humidity areas.

The Six Benefits Of Wood Floor Registers

Matching your registers with the floor can add more aesthetic value to your home. Wood floor registers allow you to do just that without sacrificing functionality.

Here are benefits and reasons why homeowners might prefer wood floor registers over their metal counterparts:

  1. Wood registers come in a wide variety of designs and finishes to add to the beauty of your interior décor.
  2. Wood floor registers tend to be cheaper than their metal counterparts.
  3. The finishes of wood provide a timeless yet modern feel
  4. You can buy unfinished wood floor registers and paint them to match your existing interior design.
  5. Wood registrars can be designed into complex shapes as desired.
  6. Wood registrars are lightweight, which greatly reduces their chances of harming you during installation.

While it is typical for HVAC companies to install metal floor registers during the very first installation, many homeowners nowadays are opting for wood covers because they offer beautiful solutions without sacrificing functionality.

Unlike metal registers, wood registers disappear into the floor, particularly if you have flush options and give them the same finish as your floor.

All in all, wood registers are considered durable and more suited for covering wall and ceiling vents.

If you choose to use them to cover floor vents, keep them dry as they can easily get damaged by moisture.

The Three Types Of Floor Registers

Wood or metal, vent covers and registers come in different types, depending on how they install. Here are options you can expect to find in the market:

1. Self Rimming

Have a rim or flange extending beyond the hole

2. Flush Mount

They lay flat on the floor, providing a seamless transition and look

3. Drop In

Also known as surface mount registers, these are covers that take shape and design drainage lids.

Most metal registers are louvered and designed to be dropped into place, covering vents. However, depending on your preference, you can find detailed options.


Deciding between wood and metal floor registers is tricky.

Metal registers are more functional and provide a more traditional look contrasting your floors.

On the other hand, wood floor registers are cheaper and disappear into the floor, ensuring the beauty of your home.

Considering that wood cannot handle traffic as metal, it is safe to say that metal registers are a better choice for covering floor vents.