Radiator covers serve several purposes in the home. One principle benefit of covering a radiator is concealing the unattractive device with a cover that fits the room's general décor. Radiator covers also provide a safety barrier to prevent pets and children from touching the radiator's hot surface.
Wooden Cover Ideas
The most common radiator covers are made of wood with mesh screens in the front for heat to pass through into the room. Purchase metal screens in square pieces in specific colors or paint the screen the color of your choice. Or, instead of metal screens, use upholstery fabric to cover the opening. Another option is to construct narrow wooden slats vertically or horizontally to cover the opening.
Use wood that matches other wood in the home to integrate the radiator covers into the general décor. Stain or paint the wood as desired. Build an additional structure above the radiator cover if room is available. Build a bookshelf with four or five shelves that extends up from the radiator cover. Make the radiator cover wider and construct a bench with a cushion on top for additional seating.
For a decorative touch, use an ornate fireplace screen that will fit the dimensions of the opening in the radiator cover.
Radiator Cover Basics
Measure the dimensions of the radiator. Write down the depth, the height and the width of the radiator. Add at least three inches to each dimension for adequate heat circulation.
Measure and cut the front, top and side pieces of the radiator cover. Place the front piece onto a work surface, and draw the portion of the front to cut out for the screen. Cut out the front opening, and then construct the front and side pieces with nails. Attach the top piece with nails, making sure all edges and sides fit flush.
Sand the wood, and either paint or stain the radiator cover. Allow the wood to dry completely, and add a second coat if necessary. Allow sufficient drying time again.
Place the cover so the inside of the front opening is facing up. Stretch the mesh screen or upholstery fabric across the opening and staple it into place so it is taut.
Fit the cover onto the radiator and check for fit and accuracy. Attach brackets to the inside side pieces and attach the other side of the brackets to the radiator to hold the cover onto the radiator securely.