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Installation Instructions for Decorative Grilles

Decorative Grilles can be installed with or without a damper. If you are not using a damper we strongly recommend painting the duct work directly behind the grille with flat black paint. Flat black paint does not reflect light, therefore making the duct disappear. If you are installing a grille with a damper, the damper is painted flat black and may not require additional painting of your duct work (see our instructions for installing dampers). If for any reason you still see ugly duct work, paint it flat black, before installing the grille.

Grilles come with pre-drilled screw holes and all necessary hardware for easy installation. Grilles 16” and under, come with four screw holes pre-drilled in the four corners. Larger grilles come with six to eight screw holes in the four corners and in the middle of long sides. The screws we provide are 1-5/8” flat head drywall type screws, since they do not require a pilot hole and can even cut through the sheet metal flange on the duct, directly behind the drywall.

We also try to match the color of the screws or tabs with the finish on the grille you ordered. For instance, if you purchase a bronze finished grille, we provide black drywall type screws and bronze colored tabs to cover the screw heads. White grilles come with black drywall type screws and white tabs to cover the black screw heads. In the case of gold finished grilles, since no one makes gold tabs, we provide brass screws, plus black drywall type screws. Since brass screws are softer than the black steel screws, they tend to bend easily. So we recommend first installing a gold finished grille with the stronger black screws, then one by one removing the black screw and replacing them with the brass screws. This way the stronger black screw cuts the hole for the softer brass screw. This is the only way, we know to prevent brass screws from bending.

Never Use nail guns, Velcro, double sided tape, magnets, Liquid-Nails or any unapproved method of installing Beaux-Arts’ grilles. Follow the above instructions for the best trouble free professional installation.

Decorative Grille Preparation and Installation Instructions


First remove your old grille by removing the screws. It may need to be pried off with a screwdriver if it is sticking to the wall paint.

Clean dust from plenum or duct with a damp rag and some house cleaner like 409.

Be sure to paint duct behind the grille with flat black paint so you will not see the duct through the pretty grille.

Screw the grille into wood or metal behind the drywall on the wall or ceiling.

Use plastic tabs or touch up paint for the screws depending on the finish.


Damper Installation

Before You Start: The adjustment control can be located at the top or the bottom of the damper depending on which way it is turned. The damper adjustment is controlled by a screwdriver. Some of our grille/damper combinations work best when the control is on the bottom, others on the top. Place your decorative grille over the damper and insert a screwdriver through the grille to the adjustment control. Determine the best way to turn the damper and position the grille to allow the screwdriver to control the damper adjustment. Now you are ready to install.

Installing Dampers: The Opposed Blade Dampers that Beaux-Arts sells fit inside the duct. The screws we provide are self cutting and should be used to secure the damper to the side of the galvanized steel duct. Two screw holes are located on each side of the damper. Use a power screwdriver to screw the screws into the side of the duct. This type of screw will easily cut through the sheet metal duct and secure the damper. One screw per side should be enough to hold the damper firmly in place. Make sure the damper is not sticking out from the wall, because the grille needs to be flush to the wall. We paint the damper flat black prior to shipping. Sometimes you will also need to paint the duct flat black also, depending on how much unpainted galvanized steel you can see through. Because of the flat black paint the opposed blades on the damper may be sticky at first. To unstuck the blades move them with your fingers. If the screw driver adjustment used to open or close the damper blades doesn’t line up with an opening in the decorative grille, don’t worry. You can just stick your fingers through the grille and move one of the damper blades. By moving one blade you move all the blades. Since adjusting your damper is an infrequent event, this should be no problem.


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