In today’s world of building and design, new and increasingly innovative products are popping up everywhere. A product that has been very popular for us at American Marble and Granite has been our custom tile heat vents (registers). We’ve been producing these vents for local customers, contractors, and designers all around the country for years now.
They’re functional, unique and provide a great aspect for design. Imagine your new tile floor having an option of using the tile itself as a heat register, flawlessly blending into the flow of the floor.
But how do they work?
Well, essentially, all of our vents are custom. Meaning any size within the size of the tile you’re using for your floor will work. Even then, we’ve created vents that were much bigger than the tile used by utilizing seams into the design, so really, the possibilities are endless. The vents are backed with ¼” aluminum to give them strength and rigidity so they can be stepped on without breaking.
As far as the process goes, you’ll need to provide us with both the size of the finished heat register and the tile we’ll be using. We design the vent in CAD, and we’ll either go off of your request for the design of the louver size and border size or do it ourselves if you’d like (we’ve drawn up quite a few of these).
Once everything’s into the production phase, the tile will be cut 1” bigger than the finished size, and a piece of aluminum will be cut to the same size as the tile. Then the tile and aluminum are laminated together using an epoxy resin. The next day, after the glue has cured, the heat register gets cut to its final size on our ultra-high pressure waterjet as one piece. This process provides a nice clean cut through both the tile and the aluminum while following exacting sizing.
And BAM! There you go. A beautiful, functional, and very custom floor tile heat register.
How are they installed, you ask?
Well, that’s an excellent question. We recommend either tiling up to the vent or leaving a rectangle opening for the vent (nice and square please) where the vent can be installed after the floor’s been set. Also, there should be no backer board in the rectangle where the register will be placed to allow for the aluminum. As far as leveling is concerned, a very useful trick we’ve discovered is to place a screw at each of the four corners where the vent is going to sit, screwed into the substrate of the floor. The screws can then be unscrewed as required to work as shims for leveling. For final installation, the vent can be simply grouted in to the surrounding tiles using the same grout used on the rest of the floor. This also works well as if you ever need to remove the vent, all you’ll need to do is simply cut out the grout, and the vent will become free.
Of course, these are custom, and we run into situations all the time where we have to use some innovative thinking to produce the register. So if you have any concerns about your specific application, just give us a call or come in and see us and I’m sure we can figure it out.