Transformative and Functional Ideas for Covering Radiators

Transformative and Functional Ideas for Covering Radiators

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When it comes to home decor, radiators can be a bit of an eyesore. Not only are they often bulky and take up valuable space, but can also be difficult to incorporate into the overall design scheme of the room.

That's where radiator covers come in, they are an easy and inexpensive way to add style to your home while being the perfect way to hide ugly radiators and protect children from burns.

That said, some people like their radiators, especially if they have a highly decorative cast iron one or an ultra-modern piece, which these days are often more like an art installation than a radiator!

But I am not talking about those pretty decorative or modern radiators. I am talking about the bog standard radiators that are generally in most homes across the country, and fitted in the majority of new builds.

Radiator covers can be purchased in a variety of styles, materials and designs, and can also be completely custom-made to fit any size of radiator. Or if you have some DIY skills, you could probably build a radiator cover yourself.

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Here are a few of my hand-selected ideas for covering radiators and creating a better aesthetic appeal:

Make Use of a Folding Table


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Fitting a folding table above and around a kitchen radiator can provide an additional workspace or seating area in a small kitchen and creates the perfect multifunctional space.

By attaching the table to the wall above the radiator itself, it can be easily folded down when not in use allowing you to seamlessly hide the unsightly radiator, whilst also letting the radiator still function efficiently.

When the folding table is open, however, it can be used as a breakfast bar, a place to study or work, or simply as a cosy spot to sit and relax.

MDF Radiator Covers

When it comes to radiator cover ideas, MDF radiator covers are the most widely available, both online and in hardware and DIY stores.

They are a popular option because they're durable, easy to work with, and inexpensive compared to other materials. You can easily spray paint or stain them to match your decor, and they'll give your room a more polished and finished look.

Radiator cover designs can be very clean and simple, to detailed and elaborate, depending on your taste and budget. If you're a keen DIYer and handy with tools, you can even make your DIY radiator cover using MDF (medium-density fibreboard) and some fairly basic electric and hand tools.

Oxford White Radiator Cover


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Vida Designs Oxford Radiator Cover White Traditional Painted MDF Cabinet, Medium (H: 82 / W: 111 / D: 19 cm)

The traditional cross grill pattern design of this radiator cover aligns its compatibility with various styles and home decor, while the crisp white finish gives your room a refreshed appearance while serving the primary purpose of covering your radiator.

Arlington Grey Radiator Cover


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Vida Designs Arlington Radiator Cover Grey Modern Painted MDF Cabinet, Slats, Grill, Wood Top Shelf, Medium

When it comes to radiator cover ideas for the modern home, this Arlington radiator cover design boasts a beautifully crafted grey finish with a wooden top shelf.

Not only does it aesthetically improve the look of your radiator space, but its traditional vertical slat grill pattern also adds a fresh and stylish look, giving your room decor a new life.

High Gloss Black Radiator Cover


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Kingwudo® Wooden High Gloss Radiator Cover Modern Decorative Cabinet S/M/L/XL Black (Black, X-L—172X19X82CM)

For a more contemporary look in your home, I recommend incorporating strong black cabinetry, such as this slatted black radiator cover, into your room design. This bold look adds a touch of sophistication to any decor and helps to create a clean and sleek look.

Modern Horizontal Slat High Radiator Cover


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Radiator Cover, Extra Large Radiator Cover Modern Slatted White Painted MDF Wood Radiator Heating Cover Horizontal Slat Cabinet Shelf Living Room Furniture (H 82 x W 172 x D 19 CM)

This White Modern Design 82cm High Radiator Cover will add a sleek and stylish touch to any room and easily transform an ugly radiator into a beautiful focal point.

Elegant Cross Slat White Radiator Cover


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ELEGANT Radiator Covers Large Modern White Cross Slat Painted Cabinet Radiator Shelve for Living Room/Bedroom/Kitchen, LARGE

This elegant white radiator cover features an intricate cross-slat design and not only serves to conceal your radiator but also serves as a decorative surface for displaying photos, flowers or other decorative items. It is a versatile and stylish solution for any home.

Monsoors MDF Diamond Radiator Cover


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MZM Monsoors Radiator Cover, Cabinet MDF Rhombic Diamond/Criss Cross Modern Design White Decorative for Living Room Dining Room Bedroom (Large 152x19x82 cm, White Rhombic)

This Monsoors modern rhombic diamond design radiator cover is a worthy addition to any home decor. The white cover, made from high-quality medium-density fibreboard, adds a touch of aesthetic styling, while also serving as a practical solution to hide an unsightly radiator.

The unique geometric pattern of the crisscross design adds a contemporary edge to your space, while the durable MDF material ensures long-lasting durability.

Add a Storage and Display Unit


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Building a shelving unit or storage unit on the top of the radiator cover is a great solution, for not only covering up ugly radiators but also making use of a living room wall that would normally be a dead space.

Not only do you no longer have to look at an uninspiring radiator, but you now have more practical storage space for your home decor than ever before!

Create a Seating Area


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Covering low-lever heaters or radiators with additional seating is not only a great use of the space but will also create a warm and cosy place to sit in the process!

The black metal tubing of the radiator cover frame and horizontal oak slats are a beautiful and modern way to decorate the structure.

PVC Finished Radiator Cabinets and Covers

If you’re looking to make a statement with your radiator covers, with a bold modern design, PVC-finished radiator cabinets and covers could be the solution. PVC covers are not made solely from plastic but are wrapped in a vinyl foil sheet around the engineered board.

PVC is a more durable and hardwearing coating than a painted finish and is also fully waterproof, which is a bonus if you are covering a bathroom radiator for instance.

Probably due to the price, which is unfortunately much higher than other options, there is a smaller range of patterns and colours available than the alternatives. However, you will find some interesting and detailed three-dimensional patterns, which have a textured, almost sculptural look and feel.

Multifunctional PVC Radiator Cabinet Cover

Elegant Double Door PVC Radiator Cover

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Elegant Double Door Radiator Cover: White Hollow Carved, Breathable, PVC Waterproof Wall Cabinet Shelf with Slatted Grill (Size: 50 * 70 * 20cm)

PVC Radiator Cover with Slatted Design

White PVC Radiator Cover Horizontal Slat Design

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Classic White PVC Radiator Cover - Horizontal Slat Design for Home or Office (Size: 70x80x20cm)

Modern Grey 2 Door PVC Radiator Cover Cabinet

Modern Gray Waterproof PVC Radiator Cover

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Modern Gray Waterproof PVC Radiator Cover with Wood Top Shelf - Large (60x70x20cm)

Add a Shelf Above the Radiator


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Although adding a radiator shelf obviously won't hide the radiator itself, it will add a practical space for either putting things down or a display area for perching framed photos, artwork or decorative objects.

Let's be honest, if you are not going to hide the radiator, you may as well make the space around it look as good as possible!

Printed Glass Radiator Covers

Radiator covers that are made of glass are a modern-day alternative to traditional wood, MDF or metal radiator covers. Turning what can often be a practical need into a work of art, that makes a statement on the overall decoration of your room.

Although glass is considered a poor conductor of heat, it is better than wood and MDF, so there are added benefits to using it.

Wine & Grapes Glass Radiator Cover


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Glass Radiator Cover Printed - Wine and Grapes - Made by Premier Range in 620mm Wide x 640mm High

Home and Heart Glass Radiator Cover


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Glass Radiator Cover Printed - Home and Red Heart - Made by Premier Range in 1420mm Wide x 640mm High

Do Wooden Radiator Covers Reduce Heat?

It stands to reason that surrounding any heat source with a solid object will affect the amount of heat that can escape into the room. However, a radiator cover will not block too much of that heat, as long as it has sufficient gaps within its design for heat to escape, and warm the air around it.

On a positive note, a well-designed radiator cover will undoubtedly have included enough gaps for the warm air to travel out from. Some radiator covers include a reflective foil backing, which would improve the overall heat efficiency. If it doesn't, it is a simple DIY task that you could do yourself before the cover is fully fitted.

Cheap Ways to Cover a Radiator

One of the simplest and most affordable ways to cover a radiator is with a piece of fabric, a large scarf, or even a piece of cloth draped over the radiator can do the trick.

However, for safety reasons, always steer clear of hanging flammable materials, or ones that will melt directly on the radiator surface. Use a towel rail or wall hooks to hang the fabric in front, so that there is a clear circulation gap.

If you want something a little more substantial, you could try hanging a tapestry or simply place a folding screen or console table in front of the radiator. This will not only cover up the eyesore but also add some visual interest to the room.

You can of course paint your radiators, which assuming you already have the tools needed, will be a cheaper option than purchasing covers. If this is a viable option for you, make sure you avoid these radiator painting problems.

My Final Thoughts

Whatever radiator cover ideas you choose, covering up unsightly radiators will give your home a more finished and polished look. And who knows, you might even find that you like the space again once they're covered up with radiator covers!

Author: Matthew Chiappini

Author Bio: Matthew studied art and design at Stamford college, including interior design and colour theory. He still has a great love for art, home decor and interior design and is a keen DIYer, having worked as a carpenter after leaving school. Matthew has been writing home and home decor articles since 2020.

Find him on: LinkedIn or Facebook