An Essential Buying Guide for Elegant Radiator Covers

October 22, 2021

Radiator Cover White Painted Small

Winter is coming!

A radiator is a permanent feature in a home that helps us stay warm during cold weather.

Yet, while very useful, radiators aren’t the best looking.

However, you can blend radiators with your home’s interior by investing in an elegant radiator cover.

Did you know? A modern radiator is more attractive than its traditional counterparts and doesn't require a cover. However, the traditional steam radiators require a cover because they get too hot to touch and pose a safety concern.

Radiator covers come in a variety of materials and designs. So, it's important to know what to look for before making a purchasing decision.

We’ll address all concerns about radiator covers in this buying guide to help you make the best decision for your home.

What to Look For When Buying a Radiator Cover

Adjustable radiator cover
White Radiator Cover - Adjustable

There are four important steps to follow and look for when buying a radiator cover:

  1. Check for Proper Ventilation
  2. Select a Beautiful Colour and Design 
  3. Check the Measurements
  4. Ensure the Radiator Cabinet is Easy to Install

We’re going to look at these in detail below.

Check for Proper Ventilation

Ventilation on a radiator cabinet
Radiator Cover White Painted Small

Radiators generate heat to warm a house. Therefore, your radiator cabinet should have enough holes in it to allow proper ventilation and heat supply.

Did you know? Well designed radiator cabinets with reflective backing increase energy efficiency by allowing even distribution of heat throughout a room.

There should be at least a 5 cm gap between your radiator and the cover to allow room for airflow and even heat circulation.

A poorly ventilated cabinet will trap heat, both reducing your radiator’s efficiency and increasing energy costs.

Select a Beautiful Colour and Design 

Large white-painted radiator cover
White Radiator Cover - Adjustable

Besides safety, a radiator cabinet improves your home’s aesthetics.

When buying radiator cabinets, select designs and colours that both match and complement the rest of the furniture in your home. This helps to create beautiful interior decor.

Our collection of radiator cabinets are stylish and come in a standard white, so they’re easy to blend with any interior design and colours.

Check the Measurements

Imagine buying a cover, only to find it doesn’t fit on your radiator.

Take measurements of your radiator and compare them to the measurements of the cover. You want a cabinet that covers the entirety of the radiator’s exterior, including additional piping and installation space.

Tip: If you have a small radiator against a big wall, select a bigger cabinet. A bigger cabinet filters heat and helps with even distribution.

Is the Radiator Cabinet Easy to Install?

Installed radiator cabinet
White Radiator Cover - Adjustable

When it comes to selecting a modern radiator cover, simplicity is key.

Most covers come with pre-drilled panels that are easy to assemble. So, select a cover that is easy to install and won’t require too much drilling. Adjustable covers are the best.

Laura James radiator cabinets feature adjustable covers. They can fit into any space and have three moveable panels. The cabinets are also straightforward to install ― you don't need any special tools.

Naomi

“Gorgeous radiator covers

I LOVE them! They have made a huge difference to the space - they look smart and pretty. I built them on my own with no issues and they are very reasonably priced. A very happy customer. Thank you!”

Laura James Radiator cabinets

Types of Radiator Covers

Did you know? The most common material used for radiator covers is wood.

Why?

It’s readily available and affordable!

Let’s have a look at the different types of materials in the below table and talk about their pros and cons.

Type of material Pros Cons
Wood
  • Easy to find as most cabinets are made from it.
  • Wood is affordable, therefore cabinets made from wood are cheaper.
  • Wood is easy to cut and customise allowing manufacturers to make cabinets with elegant designs.
  • Wood is solid and durable.
  • Wood is an insulator and won’t conduct heat as well as other materials.
  • Wood doesn’t do well with moisture so it’s not the best choice for steam radiators.
Steel/Metal
  • Increases your radiator’s energy efficiency since steel and metal are great heat conductors.
  • Steel and metal have high melting points meaning they can hold heat for longer.
  • Steel is very strong and provides high durability.
  • Steel and metal get hot, posing a potential safety issue.
  • Steel is expensive and will cost more than other materials.
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
  • MDF is the cheapest material and most affordable.
  • MDF takes colour easily, making it easy to paint over.
  • MDF boards are eco-friendly since they’re made through recycling.
  • MDF is made of compressed sawdust and is therefore not durable.
  • MDF is difficult to install as it doesn’t take nails and screws easily.

How to Measure the Size of a Radiator Cover

Radiator cover dimensions
White Radiator Cover - Adjustable

When buying a radiator cover, your main goal is to cover the entire radiator so it’s invisible in your space. As such, it’s important to get the correct measurements for your radiator cabinets before buying.

There are three important measurements that will guide you on the size of the radiator cover to buy:

  • Length
  • Width/depth
  • Height

Length of the Radiator 

Length of a radiator cabinet
Radiator Cover Painted White - Medium

First, measure the length of your radiator, including the valves and pipes on either side.

Then, round up the figure and add 5 cm to the result. This accommodates the 2 cm fixing return on the radiator cabinet.

The total measurement will be the required length of your radiator cabinet.

Testimonial from christine Mulkeen

Width/Depth of the Radiator

Radiator cabinet dimensions
Radiator Cover White Painted Small

The distance between the wall and the radiator’s face is the depth. 

Tip: If you have pipework underneath your radiator, take the measurement above your radiator.

Make sure that your measurement begins at the wall and ends at the outermost part of your  radiator.

Round up your figure and add 2 cm to your measurement to ensure your radiator guard is not pressed against the entire system. This total measurement is the required depth of your radiator cover.

Height of the Radiator

Measure from the floor to the top of your radiator. Round up the figure and add 5 cm to get the total height of your radiator cover.

When taking the measurement, you may notice that your floor isn’t level. In this case, measure both sides of the radiator, round up and add the allowance measurement.

Pro Tip: For higher accuracy on uneven flooring, use the largest figure as the height measurement of your cover.

Louise Stenner

Radiator covers

I ordered several radiator covers from your site and I’m very happy with them. They were delivered on time and I was kept informed throughout the purchase. They were easy to assemble and they look beautiful. Just what I wanted. I’m really pleased with my purchase.

Medium white-painted radiator cover
Radiator Cover Painted White - Medium

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Radiator Covers Necessary?

Yes, radiator covers are necessary for a safe home. Copper finned and steam radiators are hot, so they need to be covered for safety — especially in a household that has children.

Traditional iron cast radiators don’t get too hot so you won’t need a cover for safety — but they still make it look better..

Do Radiator Covers Block Heat?

No, well-ventilated covers don’t block heat.

Radiators release hot air or steam through the filters on top, which then circulates to keep the room warm. Hot air is less dense than cold air and will naturally rise to the top.

Are Radiator Covers a Fire Hazard?

Radiator covers are not a fire hazard.

Radiators generate heat through convection rather than conduction, so they won’t set the cover on fire. However, inserting flammable objects inside the radiator cover can cause a fire.

When dealing with heating equipment, a general rule of thumb is to keep the area around the equipment free and clear to prevent fires.

Is it Advisable to Use Adjustable Radiator Covers?

Yes, especially if you live in a rental home. Most radiators come in fixed sizes, and it’s challenging to have to buy a new cover every time you move to a new home.

Adjustable covers give you the flexibility to fit them into any space without worrying about measurements.

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