Where can I source a (nice!) replacement vent grill for my bathroom?
October 30, 2013 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I live in a co-op building (built in 1960) and the bathroom has a metal grille covering the bathroom vent. I'd like to replace the old, nasty grille with a nice stainless steel or brushed nickel version, but my google-fu is not turning up a suitable replacement. Anyone know where I can find one or have one made?

The dimensions of the grille: 8" square. The vent holes are inset 1.5" from the edges, with the exception of the one larger vent hole at the lower right. It is elongated to allow access to a louver adjustment screw.

Google closest matche to what I want: this (but it's the wrong size and no elongated vent hole)
posted by dudeman to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You might have better luck with the search term "register" instead of grille, and it might also be easier to to plan on removing the existing louvers and find a register that has integrated louvers (or none at all if that works for you) instead of hunting for one that has an elongated access hole in just the right spot.

I have an old house and have been doing a bit of register window shopping myself, and have discovered that these things are very unstandardized and come in a huge array of dimensions, and nobody seems to provide a simple way to search across manufacturers for a particular size.
posted by contraption at 2:15 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, registers are typically listed by the dimensions of the duct opening they fit rather than the dimensions of the outer bezel, so you should measure the duct to get the right size.
posted by contraption at 2:17 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here's another that lacks the louver hole, but if there's somewhere on the internet that has what you're looking for, Vent Covers Unlimited is probably a good place to start.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:17 PM on October 30, 2013

Best answer: These guys are kind of the hifalutin register place. Generally, exhaust fan grilles are part of the exhaust fan assembly, so it might be tough to find something that fits it if the size and fittings are really proprietary, but in a fan that old it might actually be less of an issue.

These guys are more industry standard type regsiter manufacturers.

These guys are probably the industry leader for exhaust fans.
posted by LionIndex at 2:30 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I like the hifalutin register place, it's possible they have an exact fit solution (assuming the vent interior dimensions are 6" x 6", I"ll check that later.).

My other option is to strip the paint off the existing grille and repaint it with Rustoleum. Might work, might look horrible. If I'm going to replace the grille/louver anyway, can't hurt to try.
posted by dudeman at 2:46 PM on October 30, 2013

My vote is to strip the paint, clean and polish that register. It'll look 10000% better when clean and without two decades of paint and grime.

On preview, you have the right idea. SoyGel has worked well for me, though I know others have used CitriStrip to good effect. Strip and polish, or strip and repaint with clean white paint for metal.
posted by barnone at 2:50 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Rejuvenation has them too.
posted by brujita at 3:11 PM on October 30, 2013

As you've said about de-gunking, stripping and shining it up, but patching the wall all nice will make just as huge a difference. Maybe replace the old screws with some nice new round heads or use flat screws with countersink washers. I think countersink washers look pretty slick.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:23 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Patching the wall is definitely going to happen. Patch and repaint everything, new toilet, GFCI outlet, medicine cabinet, regrout.
posted by dudeman at 4:26 PM on October 30, 2013

Having it sandblasted might work. It would probably leave it with a "brushed" or anodized finish rather than shiny. Try an appliance resurfacing business for price range, which is generally not very expensive. The plus side is if you don't like the blasted finish, it's perfect preparation for paint.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:52 PM on October 30, 2013

That grille may be nice brass under all that paint. Take it down, soak in soapy water, scrape off some paint, and see if it's salvageable.
posted by theora55 at 7:59 PM on October 31, 2013

I had a heater grill that needed refurbishing, so I took it to a shop that sand blasted it and then powder-coated it (looks like paint, but much tougher and heat resistant). You could also possibly get it chrome or nickle-plated, although that would probably cost more.

I'm quite satisfied with the way that mine turned out.
posted by Daddio at 3:42 PM on November 1, 2013

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