FLOOR GRILLES - CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Great care will be taken in the manufacture and handling of your grilles. To make sure they arrive with you in excellent condition they will pass through numerous inspection and quality control stages. To ensure a satisfactory end result that meets our high standards and gives you long term enjoyment of your grilles we ask that you handle them with equivalent levels of care and attention both before and after they are fitted.
Our grilles and vents are designed to require extremely low maintenance. Provided these simple instructions are followed they will require virtually no attention.
Unless you have ordered grilles that are specifically designed for a damp environment please ensure they are never stored in one and that they are not subject to damp once they are fitted. They must be kept dry and will never need to be washed or mopped with water or liquid cleaners. If the area around them is to be washed, care must be taken to prevent them getting wet or they should be removed during that process. Take particular care of the decorative face and make sure that the grilles are not placed face down on any surface or stacked on top of or against each other without protection between them. We recommend that they are fitted into their final location as soon as possible.
Our standard grilles and vents are designed for internal use only. Please specify if you require grilles or vents for external or damp area use: Those will be made from different materials with an alternative set of finishes.
General Rules for Maintenance:
Please use a soft slightly damp cloth if somehow muddy, otherwise a soft dry cloth or dry floor polishing mop to keep them dust free. An occasional buff with a wax polish will keep them looking their best. Care instructions Specific to each grille or vent finish can be seen below:
Mirror / Satin Brass
Often, the gradual ageing of un-sealed new brass is regarded as an attractive feature but if a constant new look of polished brass is required long term then tarnished areas can be brightened with occasional use of a brass polish such as ‘Brasso’ together with a soft dry cloth. Once the desired level of shine has been achieved the Surface can be sealed with a wax polish. When caring for a satin finish it is advisable to go with the grain.
Antique Brass / Bronzed / Antique Bronze
Never abrade the surface with any kind of scouring or polishing materials. Remove any foreign materials with a soft cloth and apply occasional wax polish using a polishing cloth.
Bright / Satin Stainless Steel
Use a stainless steel polish together with a soft dry cloth.
Bright Nickel / Satin Nickel
Use a chrome polish together with a soft dry cloth.
Apply occasional wax polish spray using a soft cloth.
PLEASE NOTE: If your grilles suffer stain or scratching damage, we recommend you use a wax polish around the affected area to reduce the visibility of the problem and to protect it from further damage.
Our floor grilles are unique to us and come in a variety of patterns, all of which can be adapted for use as radiator grilles. If you would like to use them for another use other than floor grilles it is best to contact us directly with your specification as the prices will be lower than those quoted for floor grilles.
Shaped Floor Vents
If your requirement is for a circular grille, a round grille, an oval grille or any shape other than square or rectangular, you will need to send us details of your requirements and possibly a template if the shape is complicated. Circular grilles are obviously not a problem. If you would like an idea of what the cost might be, just enter height and width sizes for a panel into which your grille would fit. e.g. If you require a circular grille of 150mm diameter, enter a height of 150mm and a width of 150mm. This will give you a rough idea. In some cases there might be a small additional artwork charge. Please note that we cannot accurately quote for frames for odd shapes until we have a template.
Floor Vent Cover Uses
Floor vents are designed to fit over holes or trenches in floors. Most often these holes or trenches are there for heating, air conditioning or ventilation purposes and sometimes lighting, so may contain trench heating units, air conditioning, ventilation ducts or lighting equipment. Our grilles and vent covers are also used in other applications where media and other audio equipment is housed. The floor grilles provide a strong, protective hard surface that will not only protect whatever is below and prevent large objects from falling through them but also act as decorative elements in themselves, whilst allowing instant easy access when necessary. As the floor grating is made from solid metal it is an excellent conductors of heat, radiating all of the heat absorbed while allowing the rest to pass freely through the decorative holes.
Floor Grille Patterns
The choice of pattern for a floor grille is usually made by taking aesthetic preferences into account. Some floor vent patterns and finish combinations are chosen to achieve a subtle almost invisible effect that blends into the surface appearance of the floors into which they fit whilst other combinations are selected to show off the floor grilles themselves and make them stand out as beautiful pieces of decorative metalwork in their own right.
If a particular airflow is required for heating and ventilation purposes then certain patterns will be more suitable for these applications. If you have a specific 'percentage open area' requirement, please let us know and we will guide you towards the patterns that are most appropriate for you. Some of the grilles have a larger percentage open area than others. However as all our grilles are bespoke, almost any pattern can be adapted to suit almost any requirement. If we are given all the details of what you hope to expect from the look and performance of your floor vent then we will make recommendations and advise you on what we believe will be the most appropriate patterns and combination of metals and finishing techniques that we will apply to achieve the best result.
Floor Grille Structure
Floor grilles can be made from a single solid metal or a combination of metals. The choice depends on the appearance and performance result required. Originally floor vent covers were often cast from single metals such as iron or bronze alloys. This is still done today especially where original castings are to be matched. The cost of manufacturing grilles in this way, however, can be prohibitive, especially on smaller jobs where the cost of pattern making for the casting process can more than double the prices of the work as it is not set off against a larger production run. The cost of the most attractive metals can also figure in the decision as to whether a grille should be cast or made in another way. Copper is a metal commonly present in many of the more attractive alloys such as brass and bronze. As it is also commonly used in the manufacture of circuitry for electronic devices its price has increased significantly in the last few decades, thus pushing up the price of its related alloys. To this end newer designs and manufacturing methods have arisen that allow for a combination of metals that enable not only reproductions and replacements of old grilles to be supplied but also a whole new range of desirable styles and appearances. This combination of metals allows the beauty of one metal to be combined with the strength of another for maximum effect and performance. James Gilbert and Son is at the forefront of this development process. By constantly pushing the limits of what is possible we allow clients to have floor grilles and other decorative metalwork that would previously have been far beyond their budget and possibly even their imagination.
Floor Vent Cover Thickness
Not only can our floor vents be specially made at any size or shape, in any pattern or finish, their thickness can also be adjusted to make sure they sit exactly flush with the floor surrounding them. This also applies to the frames. If you have already cut a rebate into your stone , wooden or flooring substrate of another material or you are restricted by other factors, fear not. Just let us know the depth you require your floor grille and its frame to be and we will make sure the combination of the floor grille and its frame match the depth of your rebate exactly. When all is fitted, the floor and the top edge of the frame and the top face of the grille beneath it will all run smoothly at the same level. The frame will be the same depth as the rebate itself and the grille within that will be the same depth as the rebate minus the thickness of the material from which the frame is made. The result is stunning and entirely free of any trip hazard or inconvenience that might detract from the use of the floor grating. It is assumed that the finish of the frame will be the same as the finish of the floor vent unless specified otherwise.
The standard types of grille frames that are available for our other types of grilles are also available for floor grating. The most popular type for floor grilles is the loose angle frame which comes as a separate item to the grille, it consists of an inward facing angle profile which is fitted permanently into the aperture first, then the grille is lain into that such that it rests on the inner lip of the frame. Once in place the grille obscured the view of most of the frame apart from a very discrete 3mm strip of metal around the edge of the grille. This is the most subtle and elegant type of frame, which and allows for all the metalwork including the frame and grille to sit flush with the floor. This makes it not only the neatest looking frame option but also the most practical and especially suitable for high traffic areas.
T SECTION FRAME
A T section frame can also be supplied. In this case the grille is permanently fitted to the back of the T section frame so for maintenance and access purposes the whole assembly including the frame would be lifted. The advantage of the T section frame is that it allows for a wider and deeper looking frame. The standard width is 19mm and the standard thickness would be 3mm. This means that when viewed from above the 19mm face is visible surrounding the floor vent and it sticks up 3mm from the face of the grille, which is level with the floor. This 3mm raised frame gives a deeper looking three dimensional, more robust look to the framed grille but also provides a slight trip hazard so is more suited to lower traffic areas such as the corner of rooms, around fire grates and in the risers of steps. Other types of frame can be made to order, more information including pictures of frames can be found on our frames page.
The finish of floor vents is usually determined by the finish of other metal fixtures and fittings in the room into which they are to fit. In some instances the purpose for which the floor grille is intended can determine the metal used. Shower grates and outdoor grilles are both instances where metals like stainless steel would be recommended over our other more decorative finishes like brass and bronze, which are more suited to indoor environments. As with all our decorative grilles the finishes can be adapted to match your requirements. Where historic grilles are to be reproduced for listed buildings we can analyse original materials or photographs and use our detailed knowledge of historical metalwork to make sure the most appropriate floor vent or wall ventilation cover is supplied. In modern environments the choice of finish for floor vent covers usually tends towards either a silver looking metal like satin or mirror polished stainless steel or a painted finish. Aluminium, whilst a popular choice for wall and ceiling grilles is not a good choice for floors as it is a softer metal and will suffer more from being under foot. Where it is preferable that the floor vent covers should be as subtle as and invisible as possible a painted effect may be desired so that the floor grating matches as closely as possible the colour of the substrate into which it is fitted. In this case a colour finish that can withstand constant abrasion is required and one that can exceed the durability of normal paint. Where a specialist coloured finish is required on a floor vent cover, we recommend powder coating. The easiest way to specify the colour you would like your floor vent cover to be powder coated is to quote us a RAL number (which can be found online or at your local paint suppliers. We would also need to know if you would like your floor vent cover to have a matt, satin or gloss appearance. All our floor grilles in all the decorative metal finishes including a variety of shades of aged brass and bronze can be fitted with matching frames that either fit beneath the grille with only a thin edge of the frame visible or fit over the grille to cover both the edge of the grille and the hole into which the grille and frame fit. Where it is of greater concern that small objects should not fall through the holes in the grilles or greater obscuring of the view through the holes in the grilles is required; a fine mesh can be fitted to the back of the floor vents. The mesh can either be coloured to match the grille to which it is permanently attached or be finished in a contrasting black so as to effectively 'disappear' into the darkness of the hole. This effect can be used by way of contrast to enhance the brightness of the surface of the grilles if that effect is desired. We can also adapt any of our decorative floor grille patterns for other uses such as vertical wall grilles or decorative screening panels. In these cases where the grilles are not required to be so strong to withstand the weight of being walked on, or having furniture placed on them, they do not have to be so strong and can, therefore, be made more economically. If you are interested in using our floor grille patterns for a purpose other than as floor grilles please get in touch with your ideas or specifications and we will happily work with you to achieve your requirements as economically as possible. Please also see our decorative panel pages for more inspiration. Floor grating is sometimes used purely for ventilation or decorative purposes. In the instance of them being used purely for ventilation there may be no equipment in the void beneath, just a duct that leads from the trench to the another grille or vent cover on the outside of the building that allows stale air to be drawn out of the building and circulated with fresh air the grille that finds the same way in. Both the external vent cover and the floor vent itself serve the purposes of allowing air to pass through them whilst discouraging the ingress or egress of larger objects or animals. To hinder the mobility of even smaller creatures like insects and spiders a fine mesh can be attached to the back of the floor vent. Where the floor vents are used solely for decorative purposes, there may be no trench or duct below the level of the grille at all, merely a dark (usually black) painted surface designed to give an impression of depth.
If you like one of the floor vent cover patterns above but would like to use it for an application other than for floor vent covers, please let us know as it is possible that we can offer you a more economical solution. Where the application is a decorative panel, which does not require the same strength with which our floor vent covers are imbued, it could be that we might suggest alternative metals or thicknesses more suited to your particular project. If you would like to see some photographs of floor vent covers in situ, we have a small selection on our floor grilles page.
If you have pictures of floor grilles that we have supplied you with we would be delighted to see them as we generally don’t see them after we have sent them to site. Pictures of any floor vent cover or item of decorative metalwork subsequently displayed on our website will ensure a small discount on subsequent orders.
Heating Vent Covers
Heating vent covers are placed over heating vents in walls, ceilings and floors to create a barrier at the mouth of the vent that allows the air to pass through but prevents anything else from entering the duct. Heating vent covers are made in plastic, wood and metal. It is generally accepted that the plastic ones are the cheapest and the least attractive while the metal ones are the most attractive. We only sell the most attractive metal type. Heating vent covers that are applied to heating vents in walls and ceilings are generally of a lighter nature than those used in floors. When heating vent covers are used in floors they need to be of a more robust nature to bear the weight of foot traffic and point loading from furniture. Heating vents in general are more effective in floors than anywhere else as the heat from them naturally rises to fill the rest of the room. This page is dedicated to heating vent covers for floors. You can order them online here. If you would like to use one of these patterns for a different use then please contact us direclty and let us know that you would like to use one of our floor grille patterns for a wall or ceiling heating vent cover.
Metal Grating and Floor Grating
Where floor grilles are to be used in a purely functional or industrial situation they are often described as floor gratings. This type of metal grating usually has square or rectangular holes and, rather than being cut from a flat sheet, will most often be compiled from separate wires or metal strips which are welded together on an industrial scale. Floor grating rarely comes in a decorative style although it is sometimes perforated to achieve a greater slip resistance and the perforated holes can be made in a variety of shapes. A metal grating is usually regarded as a robust and wear resistant flooring option and does not always have to cover a gully or trench. Metal grating can also be used for walkways, gantries and staircases. Floor grating can now be made of fibreglass and other moulded materials. For the assembled and welded variety a slightly more aesthetically pleasing effect can be achieved by creating a diamond like pattern with the strips of metal. One advantage of this metal grating is that it allows a good amount of light to pass through, so when used as a floor grating on a gantry above areas where people work much of the light from overhead sources still reaches the floor.