Hide Ugly Radiators With These Stylish Cover Ideas

Updated: May 25, 2024

Radiators are large, immobile and often, ugly, but they are effective for heating living spaces. With these 12 unique radiator covers, you can hide the ugly without impeding the effectiveness of your radiators.

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Family Handyman

DIY Radiator Cover

The best way to hide the old, outdated radiator in your home is with a custom radiator cover you build yourself. This project will walk you through all of the steps you need to take to build a radiator cover that will effectively hide one of the biggest eyesores in your home.
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Mid-Century Modern

This two-toned wood radiator cover provides a mid-century look that would complement both modern and classic spaces. With ample room between the front slats to direct the heat outwards and a solid wood top which doubles as a hall console, this radiator cover is attractive and useful. When radiators are covered, you may need to set a reminder so you don’t forget to bleed the radiator for optimum efficiency.

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Built-In Storage

In this bathroom, a built-in bookshelf is a perfect way to increase style while making a radiator cover dual-purpose. You’ll be happy with the added storage, and it’s an easy way to finish off a space that would have otherwise been left with an awkward gap after installing the cover.

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radiator cover baroque design

Baroque Design

There are many big-box stores and custom fabricators that sell custom or ready-to-assemble radiator covers. If you go this route, take advantage of their advanced techniques and indulge in an unexpected design that will make a statement.

Photo: Courtesy of Radiator Cabinets

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Finer Details

Easy DIY doesn’t have to mean boring. You can construct your own radiator covers and accent them with inexpensive aluminum sheeting to allow the warm air out. Easy to cut with tin snips, and available in a variety of designs, you can paint sheet metal to match the cabinet or leave raw for a style surprise.

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Radiators can get quite hot, especially cast-iron steam units. Installing radiator covers will help keep your kids safe at home, but can also provide a bit of style that will look right at home in any space made for little ones.

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Minimalist Shelving

While radiator covers are perfectly acceptable ways to disguise a unit, you will see a slight decrease in their effectiveness. If your units are in reasonably good shape, skip the full radiator cover and opt for a top shelf or floating shelf to provide some storage space without affecting the unit. This is also a great fix for a home that has forced-air heating but still retains the non-working radiators.

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beaded radiator cover
Photo: Courtesy of Extrasoft

Beaded Wonder

If you love bling, this radiator cover will speak to you. Rows of beaded curtains hang from a custom shelf that disguises the radiator underneath the glam. The lightweight materials will help keep your unit working great too. If you happen to notice that the top fins of your radiator aren’t heating up, here’s how to fix the problem.

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Iron Artwork

Iron scrollwork is a great way to accent a space. Whether you purchase new or upcycle an old piece of iron fence, headboard, fireplace cover or another architectural scrap, you will have a unique conversation piece. Just don’t forget to restore rusty metal before painting.

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Glass Accents

A basic radiator cover can be taken to the next level with a sleek glass top. A tempered glass insert can also help protect your radiator from water damage if you plan on keeping potted plants on top of the shelf during months when you’re not heating your home.

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pallet radiator cover
Photo: Courtesy of DIY Bastelideen

Pallet Perfect Radiator Cover

Pallet furniture continues to grow in popularity. This rustic-style radiator cover is the perfect way to add farmhouse style to any home.

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Classic Furniture Style

The beauty of this radiator cover unit is the functional doors which make access to the radiator a breeze. As an added bonus it looks like a fully functioning buffet which is the perfect way to hide all the ugly. The wide top is the perfect place to store extra plates or snacks during a dinner party. Build your own or repurpose an existing cabinet. Just don’t forget to replace the door inserts with something that will let the heat out.

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radiator cover bookcase
Courtesy merchant

Smart Storage

When it comes to storage, if you can’t go out, go up. Most radiators will be strategically placed near windows for optimum effectiveness, but that means you are likely constrained by space. If you don’t have a window in the way, use these bookshelf building basics to bulk up a radiator cover and create a perfect place to display treasures or store books and other miscellany.