All About How To Dress A Radiator Cover To Look Good

It’s well known that radiators are vital in houses during winter. Even if you don’t have a central heating system, there’s still a way to warm up your place. You can use oil-filled radiators, electric radiators, gas, infrared or electric heaters. When you don’t use them, you can store them away. But that’s not the case with a built-in radiator. Yet, there is a way to hide them, too. How? With radiator covers.

A radiator cover in bedroom under a window

The problem with covers is that they aren’t always so attractive. You don’t need to worry about it, though, as there are many ways to beautify them. Do you want to know how to dress a radiator cover to look good? We have 8 radiator cover ideas, plus a few more details about the covers. Ready to find out? Let’s dive in!

Why cover radiators?

Radiator covers make ugly radiators more attractive. But is that their only purpose? Or are there more reasons homeowners should think about using them? To tell the truth, covers aren’t improving only the interior design of your living space. They have more benefits.

1. Childproof your space

If you have curious toddlers running around the house, you know that every corner can be hazardous for your kids. Radiators are one of these dangerous spots due to extreme temperatures – they can reach up to 100 degrees Celsius. Many parents surround the radiators with safety gates. But this solution can stop neither children nor pets. A radiator cover is the best solution to protect them from burns.

2. Provide extra storage space

Radiators, whether they are built-in or not, take up space in the room. And for most homeowners, space in their apartment is very important; in some cases might be luxury. A radiator cover provides a solution in a situation like this. Due to the flat surface on top of the radiator, it can be used to display books, picture frames, or even plants. Interesting, right?

3. Reduce noise

Living in an older home, you should probably know that radiators can be a bit noisy. However, a cover can act as an insulating means, minimising the pops and gurgles old radiators make.

Wooden radiator cover

4. Make a room more stylish

Who wants an old cast iron radiator in the living room? Yet, a cover is the best low-cost way to boost your home decor. Choose designs from metal to wood depending on the overall design of your space and turn your ugly, old radiators into the focal point of the room.

What is the best material to use

The best material to use for a radiator cover is wood. It might not be the best conductor of heat as it will absorb some; however, it is the best to protect you, your kids and your pets from getting burnt. Metal covers are great for heat conduction. Yet, they don’t work so great at protecting someone from burns. Therefore, get a wooden radiator cover as long as it has lines and gaps to help better warm airflow.                                                                          

8 radiator cover ideas to dress a radiator cover

There are many ways to cover your radiators, beautify them, and align them with your interior design. You can either get ready-made radiator covers or make your own if you’re an experienced DIYer. 

1. The pallet style

Pallets are extremely low-cost crafting materials used for almost any DIY project. Due to their ultra-versatile nature, they have been used to making everything from a wine and shoe rack to garden furniture and a bookcase. This project uses the narrow profile to cover the radiator whilst the wide slats transmit the maximum heat to the room.

2. Wood-aluminium combo

Wood isn’t the best transmitter of heat. On the other hand, aluminium is the best. That’s why you can combine these two materials and create a unique radiator cover to stand out or blend with the rest of the decor. Make an MDF frame to direct heat through the centre opening and have a stamped aluminium grille to transmit heat to the room and hide the radiator.

A wooden radiator cover with aluminium grille

3. Console table

If you aren’t fond of covers, you can cover your radiators by placing a console table over them.  It’s a modern style of enclosure without making the room feel cramped, and at the same time, creates a surface to place your things.

4. A radiator cabinet

Or you might want to disguise the radiator as a piece of furniture. Hence, you can purchase a radiator cabinet. In a nutshell, a cover that looks like a cabinet, as it has doors and panels. This type will hide the radiators while creating surfaces for decorative items.

5. A DIY window seat radiator cover

Unbelievable but still possible. You can make a cover to camouflage your radiator and at the same time have a stylish window seat. You can either use this DIY radiator cover as a bench by adding a few cushions or as a radiator shelf for your indoor plants to bask in the sun. 

6. A bookshelf 

An easy DIY way to give your radiator a low-cost makeover is to affix reclaimed wood over your radiator and turn it into a bookshelf where you can place books and other objects. If you have a radiator in your entryway you want to hide, have a floating shelf on top of the radiator and place on it a diffuser, flowers, small baskets to put your keys, sunglasses and other things you want every time you are on the go or come back home.

7. A sideboard

If your radiators are fixed to plain walls, you can transform them and hide your radiator with a slide board. Paint the sides the same colour as the walls and keep them invisible. 

8. Paint them

Probably the simplest way to camouflage your unsightly radiators is to paint them. It’s the most cost-effective way. Just be sure you choose a high-heat spray paint or oil-based paint as they’re more resilient to heat and high temperatures than latex and water-based paints.

Hand painting a radiator with paint brush


1. Do radiator covers improve efficiency?

Not all covers improve the efficiency of your radiator. Well-designed ones leave enough space for hot air to pass through the radiator and be pushed around the room. A cover that helps a radiator make the most of the heat should include a heat-reflective foil backing. 

2. How much space do I need to leave between the radiator and the cover?

For better efficiency of your heating, you need to ensure enough spacing between the radiator and cover. Experts recommend the radiator cover to be larger than the radiator by at least:

  • 40mm in width
  • 30mm in height
  • 20mm in depth

These let the heat come off the radiator and pass through the room.

3. Can I put a TV above the radiator cover?

Yep! It’s safe enough to put a TV above the radiator cover. The cover will prevent the TV from getting too hot.

4. Are radiator covers a fire hazard?

A well-designed cover isn’t a fire hazard. It acts as layer protection between the radiator and anything it might touch. It protects you from burning yourself, plus the curtains, upholstery and other fire hazards from catching fire.

An elegant bedroom with a dark radiator cover under the window

Radiator covers can reduce noise, protect you from burns and make your space more attractive. Choose one of the above 8 ideas to style them up. We promise that your living space will be more efficient and appealing.

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