Radiator covers buying guide

Radiator Covers Buying & Fitting Guide

If you have tired-looking radiators or want some extra space for storage, a radiator cover could be just what you’re looking for.

If you have older radiators in your home and don’t want to fork out the amount of money to replace them - which can be costly - simply covering them can solve the problem. Plus, not all radiators are designer-inspired if you want a statement in a room or hallway.

So what can you do? Radiator covers are the obvious answer that can spruce-up a room by covering a radiator and providing a focal point or additional shelving. Plumbworld is here to explain everything about radiator covers and what to look for when buying.

Read on to find out more about radiator covers with Plumbworld and the key considerations…

What are radiator covers?

Radiator covers are a perfect way to cover your tired-looking radiators while adding a useful shelf at the same time. They are made from MDF wood which means you can paint them however you want to match your decor or buy them pre-painted, often in white.

Do radiator covers block heat?

No, a cover does not block the heat from your radiator. A radiator heats a room through by warm air rising from the radiator to the ceiling, which is then moved around the room and heating it.

Do radiator covers reduce the efficiency of radiators?

No, radiator efficiency is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) and adding a radiator cover cannot change that. However, obstructing the radiator enough could stop warm air from being distributed evenly, which is why you need slots in them.

For your radiator to stay efficient, enough space between the radiator and cover needs to exist. The radiator cover should, if possible, be wider than the radiator by at least:

  • 5cm in width
  • 3cm in height
  • 3cm in depth

This will allow for the heat emitted from the radiator to be evenly distributed around the room despite the cover being on it.

How to measure for a radiator cover

how to measure for a radiator cover

Get your measuring tape and a phone to take pictures, this may help you with picking out the right cover to fit around the radiator and match your decor. You need to note down the following measurements:

  • The length of your radiator, including valves
  • The height of your radiator
  • The depth of your radiator from the wall
  • Any skirting boards or window ledges near the radiator

Add these measurements to those we’ve noted above - an additional 5cm in width, 3cm in height and another 3cm in depth. When measuring, particularly if your radiator stops near a window, make sure your cover won’t be pressed up against anything large. This may prevent it from sitting properly or even going into place. You may have to do some cutting as a result.

Why should I buy a radiator cover?

There are many reasons why people choose to use a radiator cover, ranging from safety to more aesthetic reasons. We’ve picked out some of the key reasons to buy a radiator cover.


Radiator covers can help to protect against burns and scalding, which is a key concern for homeowners with children. A heated radiator can be dangerous and high risk if it is touched by a small child.

Read more: How to Fit & Replace a Radiator

You can find a way around the safety concern by installing childproofing features, including gates and radiator covers. When you buy radiators online, you should always consider the safety features which you may need to accompany them, including covers.


Radiators are not always aesthetically pleasing, which is what leads to people exploring options for covering them or buying designer radiators. Designer radiators are more attractive than older models, but it’s not always an option to buy them for aesthetics alone.

Read more: Designer Radiator Buying Guide

This is where radiator covers come in handy. They can be bought unfinished, which means you can paint them in a range of colours to match your decor. Plus, there is a selection of styles available with radiator covers so you’re bound to find one to pair with your home.

why should I buy a radiator cover?

Space & Storage

Radiators are an important piece of household kit, but they can also take up room, depending on their size. This is particularly important in smaller properties. Radiator covers can help to reclaim some room by providing storage or a display area.

You can think of radiator covers as additional shelving space for photos and trinkets. This makes them a handy piece of extra furniture for a hallway or living room.

Durability & Protection

However sturdy and secure a radiator may be, it is still at risk of being broken if treated in the wrong way. Damage can occur during DIY, or in homes with children and pets as well as any accidents that may happen which could leave you with serious problems.

Piping and radiator valves are often vulnerable, so this is another reason to safeguard your radiator with a little extra protection from a radiator cover.

What are adjustable radiator covers?

what are adjustable radiator covers?

Adjustable radiator covers are just like a standard cover but you can change the size, by almost double, simply by extending both sides with a gentle pull. This allows for easy fitting with almost any size of radiator and means you can keep your cover should you buy a larger radiator in future, saving you the cost of a new radiator cover.

What are the radiator cover styles?

what are radiator cover styles?

Plumbworld stocks a range of adjustable and static radiator cover styles, all of which are guaranteed to be a match for your home decor.

Diamond Pattern Radiator Cover

This pattern produces a traditional radiator cabinet style, which works well in period properties and rooms with traditional decor. 

Horizontal Line Radiator Cover

This design is a safe choice, working well in both traditional and contemporary home designs.

Vertical Line Pattern Radiator Cover

The vertical line pattern has the air gaps arranged vertically. This style is more suited to contemporary flats and homes where the clean lines fit in with a more minimalist style

Radiator Cover Finishes

There are often two choices of finish for radiator covers, the standard white or unfinished, which means you can choose your own finish.

Unfinished Radiator Covers

These come in natural MDF without any paint applied. If you want to match a particular design scheme and you are happy to spend the time painting them yourself then this is the ideal choice.

White Matt Radiator Cabinets

The white matt option is ideal if you don't want the hassle of painting the radiator cover yourself. An attractive matt white that blends into virtually any design scheme.

How to fit a radiator cover

how to fit a radiator cover

In most cases, you will need to assemble the cover, as they often come flat-packed. This will likely be a simple job of screwing the sides and the top shelf together. The front grill can be screwed in place or be attached by magnets - allowing access to the radiator for laundry.

Some radiator covers come with fixing brackets to be attached to the wall. Follow the instructions included with the cover to fix the bracket to the wall as suggested.

Many radiator covers aren’t actually fitted, they are free-standing. This allows access to the controls. This is much easier to fit - simply lift into place - but will not be as secure, so check it first before putting anything valuable on top.

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more bathroom advice…

Smart Thermostat Guide | How to Decorate a Bathroom | How to Unblock a Bathroom Sink