Radiator covers: advice and ideas to consider before you buy
A radiator cover is a stylish and safety-conscious addition to a room - here's what you need to consider before buying. Plus, the best modern and rustic radiator covers on the market right now...
A radiator cover is a practical and easy way to hide an unsightly radiator, and can even itself become a stylish addition to your home thanks to the range of aesthetically-pleasing modern and rustic designs now on the market. They're also handy to keep young children or inquisitive pets away from touching your radiator when it's going full-blast.
Plus, if you're short on space, the upper panel can often act as an extra shelf and can be used as storage to hold anything from a key dish to ornaments or books.
Read on to find out what you need to consider before buying a radiator cover and get answers to all your questions, including their effect on energy consumption and how to measure your radiator to find a cover that fits.
Plus, we'll share our pick of the best radiator covers available on the UK market, in both modern and rustic designs.
Are radiator covers energy efficient?
With rising gas and electric prices on everyone's mind at the moment, it's natural to wonder if radiator covers waste energy - after all, they cover a heat source. The verdict is still out as to exactly what impact, if any, a radiator has on heat circulation. However, many freestanding radiator covers don't fit tightly to the wall, and most have slats or gaps in the front to allow warm air to flow freely, so opt for one of these models if you want to be extra sure.
If you want to maximise your radiator's efficiency, consider attaching radiator foil to the wall behind it - this will reflect heat back into the room which would otherwise escape through the wall.
How to measure for a radiator cover
Measuring for a radiator cover is a simple job - all you'll need is a tape measure. As a rough guide, there should be 20mm (2cm) gap on either side of your radiator and a 30mm (3cm) gap at the top. Simple measure your radiator from one side valve to the other, then add on 40mm (4cm), then measure from the floor to the top of the radiator and add on 30mm (3cm). Now you know your minimum dimensions for a radiator cover!
If possible, look for a cover that's slightly larger than this minimum clearance, as this will allow more room for warm air to circulate.
How to fit a radiator cover
Most flat-pack radiator covers come with assembly instructions, but they can sometimes be sparse or unclear. For a general purpose guide to putting together a standard model, check out our tutorial for installing a radiator cover.
Modern radiator cover ideas
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Rustic radiator cover ideas
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