Radiator Covers? Looking for input.

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Forum topic by JL7 posted 04-03-2011 07:30 PM 2059 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8399 posts in 2382 days

04-03-2011 07:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: radiator covers

A good friend of mine is in the habit of buying old homes and fixing them up for rentals. His wife wants “covers” or more specifically “shelves” built over the top of old radiators.

I have done the google search on this (plus the LJ search) and have found lots of ideas for covers (front, sides and top) but not as many ideas for just a shelf.

The woodwork in the house is all Oak, some finished and some painted, and there are 11 radiators, all of various sizes.

Just looking for ideas on design:

1. Should the shelf be lattice or solid?
2. How to attach to the wall? In many cases there is only 2 inches between the top of the radiator and the bottom of the window trim.
3. Is Oak a good choice for this application?
4. Should I politely decline from this project?
5. They also want a mantle built for the fireplace – again a topic I know nothing about – how to attach, etc??

Here’s a couple of photos of the offending radiators (and fireplace)- and thanks for your comments….......


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

5 replies so far

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2097 days

#1 posted 04-03-2011 11:44 PM

I don’t think it would be a good idea to put a shelf above the radiators in front of the window.Unless there energy efficient windows and judging by the looks of things I would have to lean towards not. They put the radiators in front of the windows to keep the windows from frosting up.

As far as the fire place you can use concrete anchors…depending on what the wall is actually made out of.

-- New Auburn,WI

View JL7's profile


8399 posts in 2382 days

#2 posted 04-04-2011 12:06 AM

Hey Scott – that’s a good point – they are however, going to replace all the windows, so not sure if that will be an issue.

She’s a very determined woman – so I am guessing that one way or another she’s going to get her radiator shelves.

I guess I’m leaning toward a simple design with angled brackets at each end so nothing touches the radiator.

The fireplace is plaster made to look like brick – I’m not sure what is behind the plaster….guess we’ll be drilling some holes to find out….

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2361 days

#3 posted 04-04-2011 04:57 AM

I do love grating or lattice shelves. But I don´t think they´ll work over the radiator. What it is supposed to be on the shelf: a book, flowers,... Heat won´t be any good for that.
Different the case of the bathroom. Either a lattice shelf together with barrels to let towels heat.

When I move to my home 20 something yrs ago, all the radiators were built in an oak case with a pivoting door

Among some refurbishments I made, I have them embedded in the wall. And kept the oak door. Still look the same.

like so

I don´t have any other experience with other materials

-- Back home. Fernando

View JL7's profile


8399 posts in 2382 days

#4 posted 04-04-2011 08:21 PM

Hey cr1 and Fernando – thansk for the great info. I will definately have another talk with her about the cons of restricting the air space.

Really not sure what she thinks will be put on these shelves, and since it will be a rental, it wouldn’t be her place to decide what goes on the shelves.

Fernando – the towel idea is really good – I’ll mention that on – she was also talking about a granite shelf for the bathroom, so we’ll see.

Appreciate the comments!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2085 days

#5 posted 04-04-2011 08:34 PM

I saw an article for those covers in a Magazine
Don’t remember witch one, or was it New Yankee Workshop
One or the other
I think there was metal in top

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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