A misaligned floor register can be an unsightly detail. This article will explain what went wrong and an easy fix for most applications.
A common floor connection can consist of a duct boot (90° w/ a 4×10 register in this example – see image below), that feeds up through the floor cut-out, and is nailed or screwed to the wood floor or subfloor. An HVAC tech mainly does the install along with the rest of the heating and cooling system.
Now, if the installer doesn’t take care in aligning and sizing the floor cut-out, you end up with a duct boot that doesn’t fit nicely. With the sheet-metal being so thin, it can easily be distorted when trying to conform to an improper floor opening. Not all is lost at this point. If your finished flooring is going to consist of tile, hardwood, stone, etc. you have a chance to make some alignment adjustments with those materials by cutting them to realign the duct boot slightly.
Loose Floor Register Fix
If both the 3/4″ wood flooring and finished flooring were cut incorrectly then there is another option. I don’t like what I consider to be hack fixes, but for some projects they seem the most appropriate fix and that applies here in my opinion.
The floor register itself can be bulked up to fill voids using adhesive backed weatherstripping. Any home improvement or hardware store should sell a variety of: thicknesses, widths, and lengths. I prefer the sponge rubber weatherstrip tape for its denser material that won’t compress as easily as foam, and creates a better hold for larger gaps.
There is plenty of sidewall space on the register (1.25″ – 1.375″), so opt for the widest size you can find to add more rigidity, or add two narrow strips.
- Measure the movement from side – side and forward – backward.
- Based off the above measurements, determine which thickness of weatherstripping best suits your needs.
- Remove the register and measure the sidewall length you want to add the weather-stripping to.
- Cut the weatherstripping to length, peel off the adhesive cover, and attach.
- Replace the floor register to confirm movement is reduced or eliminated.
Adding weatherstripping to just one side or end may not completely fill the void. The weatherstripping does compress, so adding an additional piece to the opposite side may add the extra stability needed. There is a possibility that you now have a very tight fit, so for installation: place the register at an angle initially with one end or side of the register going in first, and then with a little force, push and drop the other end in.
Uneven Floor Register Fix
Following the same steps for a loose floor register, but just place a piece of weatherstripping that is 25-50% of the length, and only place on the end you push in-or-out to help align.
NOTE: If the floor opening was cut at an angle, but not a large opening to adjust as explained; the only fix would be to remove the boot and fix the cut-out in the floor. This is a more advanced procedure that will require access to the duct boot below for removal, and possibly sheet metal work to re-align the duct assembly once the floor cut-out is fixed.
Floor Register is Difficult to Install
Reason: The cut-out of the floor was not made big enough and the sheet metal boot was distorted to fit the hole. Now the register fits too tightly and may be difficult to replace.
Fix: Using a hammer, try to pound the boot out on all edges and increase the opening size. Essentially you are trying to smash the face of the wood flooring behind the duct boot and push it back a little. We aren’t breaking the flooring, just opening the hole up some. (i) A drilling hammer with some more weight can help in projects like this, where there is little room to work and difficult to create force with a large swing. Additionally you have a large side face to hammer with as well for the narrow section of the duct boot.
Reason: A nail or screw that holds the duct boot in place, is not driven in far enough, and the register is getting hung up.
Fix: Install the screw or nail further in. (i) If the current nail fits too loosely, try a longer nail, or pound another nail in a new location. Roofing nails (7/8″ – 1 1/4″) are common use for duct boot installation. The large nail head ensures a secure attachment, without worry of pulling or ripping through the thin sheet-metal, like a small nail head can.
Instructions for Replacing a Glass Shower Door Sweep
A pivoting glass frameless shower door will have a removable and replaceable door sweep along the bottom. By maintaining this shower door seal, you’ll ensure water doesn’t leak in the areas the seal should be protecting.
You’ll only need a few basic hand tools to cut the new seals to exact length, or for a little extra cost you can buy pre-cut shower seals and need no tools at all.
1) Remove worn door seal
Frameless door seals are simply pressure fitted. There are no adhesives or mounting hardware holding them on.
- Over time and use the sweep fin will eventually tear from the main frame and lead to leaks.
- Mineral buildup will also create an unsightly discoloration over time as well in the seal location, which may be cleaned to a certain extent.
2) Assess sweep dimensions
Measure the glass door thickness and the length needed for a replacement.
3) Assess sweep style to order
Based on the existing seal and dimensions calculated in the previous step; determine the proper seal to order as a replacement.
4) Cut new seals to length
- A hacksaw with the proper blade (32TPI) will produce a clean-cut.
- A ratcheting PVC tubing cutter or pruning shear may work, but I’ve had mixed results.
- Using a utility snip or scissors can crack the rigid PVC material and most likely yield in an uneven cut.
5) Insert new shower door seal
- Push new sweep over glass door as original was fitted. If a drip edge is part of the sweep, face it inwards to keep water within the shower stall.
- View full video tutorial for more information.
Shower Door Cleaning
Clean the door sweep area thoroughly before installing a new sweep. Use the same removal and replacement steps above to do a regular cleaning of the sweep and seal area. Soap scum and minerals can build up over time.
Any general purpose bathroom spray cleaner works well when combined with either a scrub brush (utility brush, tile and grout brush, etc.), or scrub pad.
For excess mineral build-up on the glass door, a glass scraper may be required.
- During very cold climates, the door can shift around and leak even if the seal is in perfect condition.
- Point the shower head away from directly spraying the shower door and corner pivot joints as an added measure to prevent water leakage.
- Use of a bath mat will absorb any water that may escape the shower.
- Inspect and ensure surrounding caulk joints are faultless.