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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default How to enclose a hot-water radiator?

    Hey there,
    I'm here on behalf of my parents who want to know how to enclose an old steel/iron radiator.
    We've got about six or seven of them in the house (old house) but I guess something hit their renovation button and now they want to know how to enclose them.
    Any pointers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: How to enclose a hot-water radiator?


    You can Google "building a radiator cover"
    to access several hundred sites that will explain how to build your own, or buy commercially made-up covers.

    It should be noted that there are many purists who advise not to install covers on radiators.

    The reason being that some of the radiant heat emitted from the rad is blocked by the cover.

    I agree--there are two types of heat emitted by rads---one is convective heat, which circulates around the room via air currents; the 2nd one is radiated heat (much like sunlight) that is also emitted by cast iron rads, which gives up its heat when it strikes a solid object.

    Choose a design for your rad covers that leaves some of the rad metal exposed, yet at the same time dresses up the rad's appearance.

    Some designs also incorporate a small metal water tank at the top of the rad cover so that moisture will evaporate back into the room on bone-dry winter days---a good idea---adding water vapor to the room will add comfort to a room & save on heating bills.
    Last edited by JacktheShack; 05-22-2008 at 07:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: How to enclose a hot-water radiator?

    My company BattyBuilt specializes in designing and building custom radiator covers to suit any style, any room. We serve Westchester NY, Manhattan and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.

    As I'm new to This Old House discussion boards, I can't yet post an active link to my site.

    But if you type into your browser you'll be able to see samples of the work we do.

    We use poplar to built our painted radiator covers but can also use MDF. Both are great materials for painting. We use red oak for our stained models. Red Oak is very commonly used for furniture.

    We also apply an adhesive insulation to the interior surfaces of our wooden radiator covers. It's the same insulation used for home heating pipes and ducts. It keeps the wood from getting too hot and helps direct the heat out from the enclosure.

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