We recently came across these custom air register covers made by Aria Vent while walking through the flooring section at Home Depot. They seemed very interesting, so we got our hands on one to review it. if you haven’t seen it, it’s basically a frame that can be dropped into an existing floor vent, with a hole on top that you can lay any type of flooring onto. They come in two sizes, colours and retail at CAD$ 23.44 for the 4″x10″ one.
What’s Great About Aria Vent Covers
Even though these products by Aria Vent are direct alternatives to our custom made, top mount air register covers, we have to give it to them for their creativity. Adaptability is its main selling point, Aria’s vent covers will work with any flooring, including laminate, vinyl, hardwood, tile, carpet and even drywall.
With a starting price of just over CAD$ 20, they don’t cost much more than the other metal vent covers sold at HomeDepot. It’s also worth noting that they are made in Canada; and in times like this, we should all be supporting local businesses, especially manufacturing.
However, the versatility Aria vent covers offer does come with trade-offs.
Not a Turnkey Solution
Since the product is meant to be customized by owners, it’s not a turnkey solution. To prepare these Aria vent covers for installation, you need to cut the flooring plank or tile to size, and if the flooring runs in a different direction to the vent, multiple pieces may be required. Secondly, you’ll need to insert a filler such as a piece of plywood to make the inserted piece flush with the frame. Without proper tools and the skills to use them, it would be hard to make precise cut and the result may not be as elegant as you’d like it to be. Even if you could achieve a fine finish with basic hand tools, you would have to repeat the process for additional vents. The alternative is to hire an installer, but that would drive up the overall cost.
The Look Isn’t for Everyone
You can see on the packaging that Aria calls their products the “minimalist vent covers for the perfectionists.” We think this is quite subjective, because the product’s thick frame reminds us of older smartphones and TVs. In our opinion, its bezel would need to be thinner for us to consider it minimalist or modern. And while Aria does offer flush mount versions with a frameless design, they need to be mounted prior to flooring installation, and costs CAD$ 50 to start. In comparison, our flush mount vent covers can be retrofitted after flooring had already been installed.
It’s Made of Plastic
Perhaps it’s rigid enough to withstand the weight of a person stepping on it, and durable enough that the colour won’t fade over time; but plastic is still perceived as a cheap material and they would probably look out of place in a million dollar custom home. Another problem is that plastic isn’t very environmentally friendly, and since you have to glue down the material, chances are the frame cannot be reused. To be fair, Aria does sell metal versions of these on their website, but they cost CAD$ 75 each.
Sizes & Colours
While Aria offers more choices of sizes and colours on their website than in-store, selection is still quite limited. If you need an odd-size air register, cold air return, or prefer a colour other than black, white and grey, then it won’t work for you.
Final Thoughts on Aria Vent Covers
There’s no doubt that these vent covers from Aria are innovative. It’s certainly a way to achieve a more custom look if you have the tools and know-how. That being said, it still has its limitations. If you want something truly unique, timeless and elegant, consider our made-to-order grilles for air registers and cold air returns. You can choose from one of our popular designs or create one that’s truly yours. Our CNC machine can work with vector files and mill out complex patterns. To inquire, click the button below.