Frequently Asked Questions

Rather than trying to stock over 900 possible combinations of sizes and styles, your grilles are built when you order them. All of our product ship from North Carolina in 10 days or less. Ask our customer service representative for lead times on custom orders, as they will vary.

A Return Air Filter Grille has an outer frame with a louvered door that opens and closes to allow access to the metal housing that holds your air filter. This is for applications where the filter in your house is located in the wall or ceiling. Other homes have the filter located in the HVAC unit itself, usually in the attic, basement, etc. In this case, you only need a Fixed Wood Air Panel because it doesn't need to be opened.

If your filter is located in the wall or ceiling, you want to measure the inside of the metal return air box located within the sheetrock. It will typically be just a little larger than a standard filter size. As a standard operating procedure, sizes are measured width first, then height. For example, if your opening measures 14 ¼" wide and 20 ½" tall, it was designed to accommodate a 14x20 filter, and you should order a 14x20 Return Air Filter Grille. You will also want to ensure that you have 2 ¼" clear spaces around the opening for the frame to overlap. If you have less than 2 ¼" clearance around the opening, call our customer service, as there are often easy ways to accommodate tight clearances depending on the situation.

If your filter is located in the HVAC unit itself, you will want to order a panel that overlaps your opening. Again, it is customary to measure width first, then height. To follow the same example, if your opening measures 14 ¼" wide and 20 ½" tall, you will want to order a 14x20 Fixed Wood Return Air Grille, which has an outer measurement of 15 ¼" x 21 ¼" and will overlap your opening.

If you need more assistance on how to measure your opening please reference our How To Order How To Order page.


No. Wood Return air grilles are for wall and ceiling use only.


Our grilles are constructed of select-grade pine, which was selected because of its reliable structural properties and its exceptional ability to accept most paints and stains. All grilles are shipped and ready to finish. Follow your paint or stain manufacturer's instructions for the best results.


We are happy to accommodate other wood species where possible. This is done on a custom quote basis. You can email us at [email protected] or call our customer service at 888-400-3187 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST to request a quote. Lead times will vary.


We can build a grille to a specific width". We can customize heights to the nearest ¼" above a whole inch. For example, we can build a 23 ¼" height, but we can't build a 23 ½" height due to the geometrical limitations of our equipment relating to louver spacing. This is done on a custom quote basis. You can email us at [email protected] or call our customer service at 888-400-3187 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST, to request a quote. Lead times will vary.

Additionally, the filter housing of our Return Air Filter Grilles can be offset to accommodate situations with tight clearances.

NOTE: If you are ordering a Return Air Filter Grille, we encourage you to order a standard size wherever possible. The reasoning behind this recommendation is that those sizes are designed around standard-size filters. Customizing the size, though sometimes necessary, may mean having to order custom filters or having to modify a filter every time you have to change filters. Most would prefer to buy a filter off the shelf from their favorite store, stick it in and be done.


In some situations, the housing is not needed or may need to be repositioned to accommodate a tight clearance. The metal filter housing is stapled onto the back of the frame. Using a small screwdriver or a 5 in 1 painter's tool and a pair of pliers, gently pry out the staples and remove the housing. If you are repositioning the housing, use screws or 18 gauge trim staples if you have access to a pneumatic stapler.


If the height is equal to or more than the width, the hinges are mounted on the side. Both sides are drilled hinges and both sides are mortised for magnets. To reverse the door, remove the hinges by removing the screw to the side of the hinge and loosening the set screw within the hinge. Remove the magnet and move it to the other side of the door. The metal strike plates are already installed on both sides. Insert the hinges on the opposite side and tighten the set screw within the hinge just enough so that it doesn't move in and out of the hole freely. Shut the door and align it to your preference. Open the door, finish tightening the set screws and install the retaining screw to the indented side of the hinge.

The louvers are ¼" thick and are spaced at 1" intervals.