Three Fun Uses for Antique Grates and Floor Registers

Three Fun Uses for Antique Grates and Floor Registers

by LWW on July 25, 2012

Are you into upcycling? We love seeing repurposed versions of the beautiful yet obsolete fixtures of architecture past: things like old candleholders and antique ceiling medallions are always in hot demand. Old floor registers, on the other hand, are relatively underappreciated – but we definitely see the beauty in these old relics.

If you like decorative vent grates and floor registers as much as we do, this list of DIY project ideas might inspire you to hit the thrift store circuit this weekend to dig for interior design treasure.

1. Large and Small Platforms

You can repurpose any grate or floor register by turning it into a pretty pedestal. Use a screw to attach small feet or legs to the original threads – your grate is now a handy little trivet, candleholder, spice platform, or even plant pedestal depending on the size and style. The look is versatile and very much full of rustic fun.

2. Concealing Central AC Vents

Modern air conditioning units and vents are definitely more attractive than those produced just a decade ago, but those of us stuck with the older models need to get creative. Old vent grates of the past can become fabulous breezy cabinet doors – a backless cabinet installed over an unsightly vent or wall unit is a great way to allow airflow while blocking a bad view.

3. Simple Family Crafts

Get creative. If you can pick up a set of old floor registers at a garage sale, you will end up with no shortage of fun ideas. You can turn a rectangular grate into a cast iron shelf for books, attach a small clock motor to a square register and add decorative numbers to create a functional and nostalgic timepiece, or find a way to tuck pictures and notes between the ornate grilles as a creative bulletin board alternative.

So many options! Antique grates are so much fun to up-cycle. Cast iron floor registers are so good at surviving the test of time that you can find very vintage goodies in surprising places.

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