Unfortunately, the appearance of even the most modern heating devices is not always aesthetically pleasing and sometimes cannot fit perfectly into the interior of the room. The desire of owners to eliminate this drawback is quite natural.
Before closing the radiator, it is necessary to understand all the subtleties of the issue. Otherwise, the cost of home heating can significantly increase. In our material we will tell you how to do it without much financial costs and heat loss.
Content of the article:
- Masking radiators and the laws of heat engineering
- Requirements for decorating heating radiators
- Ways to decorate heating batteries
- Option #1 - budget painting
- Option #2 - using fabric
- Option #3 - building a rigid screen
- Option #4 - building boxes for radiators
- Variant #5 - locating radiators in niches
- Variant #6 - arrangement of radiators in bathroom and kitchen
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Masking radiators and laws of thermal engineering
The main objective of any radiator heating is to heat the room. The goal is achieved by the combination or separate use of two methods - infrared radiation and convection. They create a comfortable environment. Infrared provides the transmission of heat to the objects in the room, convection heats the air.
We can feel the heat energy if we put our hand in close proximity to the radiator. Convection ensures air circulation and uniform temperature distribution throughout the room. You know this from your school physics course - warm air rises up and displaces colder air.
The radiator screen performs several important functions: it connects the device to the design, protects it from damage and from settling dust, which releases toxins when burned
It should be understood that almost any method of hiding pipes and radiators will result in an imminent loss of heating power. The simplest example is the use of an artistically painted glass screen.
It would seem that the task of decorating the radiator has been completed successfully, but the room immediately became noticeably colder. This happened because the glass almost completely negates the infrared radiation.
The ingenious way to disguise the radiator helps to extend the sill and use the structure as a piece of furniture
The deeper and more secure the radiator is hidden, the greater the loss.
This statement also applies fully to blind screens which prevent both longwave infrared radiation and shortwave convection.
Maximum perforation of the grill and the existence of gaps in the upper and lower parts of the overlay are the guarantee of the normal convection
The same is true for the blind boxes above the radiator top: they are an insuperable barrier for the warm air upwards (convection method not working). The conclusion is inevitable - the larger the area of the holes in the overlay, the less heat loss will be.
Originative ideas for decorating and masking heating devices are presented in a selection of photos:
A gallery of images
Building a screen on the principle of blinds
Effective decor for a panel appliance
An option masking the cast iron radiator
Design under the \"soft\" window sill
Disguising the radiator in the wall niche
Battery screen as an art deco object
Decorating the radiator against a blank wall
Factory-made plastic radiator screen
Recoration requirements for radiator wall decoration
Accessibility of pipes and batteries is another important point after the heat technology requirements. It is well known that the heating radiator, namely the connection to the pipe, is the weakest point. In addition, the radiator itself due to improper installation and operation, or due to a number of other reasons can leak.
In emergency cases, it may be necessary to remove the radiator for repair or replacement. From a plumbing point of view, the overlay or screen should not have a fixed attachment, ideally the use of attachable screens.
Even if you decide to disregard the advice of a plumber, still listen to the gloss of reason, which tells you that any weak points of the system are the connection points. The presence of a revision (plastic door) can greatly simplify the task of maintaining the radiator and heating system in the future.
The decorative grille should provide the easiest and quickest access to the radiator or connection point to allow for repair operations
Ways to cover the heating radiator
A great number of ways to cover the heating radiator are known. To choose the best variant is not easy, but quite possible. Let's start with the simplest and most affordable ways.
Option #1 - budget painting
From a designer's point of view, the combination of colors is very important. More often than not, the radiator is painted white, so it will hardly be noticeable on light-coloured walls.
If the walls are a uniform dark color, there will be no problem here either. It will be enough to pick up a heat-resistant paint of the right color and perform the painting of the radiator. If you do not manage to match the tone perfectly, then it will not be a problem, the difference in a few tones on the general background seems almost imperceptible.
If the wallpaper on the walls have a pattern, then the radiator must be made to match them. Most often one or two walls have an ornament, and the rest are finished with wallpaper of different texture in the same tone.
In this case it is necessary to cut strips from the remnants of all the wallpaper used and glue them to the radiator. The thickness of the strips and the alternation should be chosen experimentally on site, trying to harmonize the resulting pattern with the interior of the room.
The radiators are painted with a heat-resistant composition that does not rub off and does not emit any harmful substances when heated. The use of stencils, templates and ready-made stickers makes the process of decorating a radiator much easier
When it comes to masking heating radiators in a nursery, you can let your imagination run wild and paint them to match the surrounding interior. Ready-made stencils will come in handy in case of insufficient experience with a brush. Don't forget that you should only use heat resistant paints.
Option #2 - Use fabric
Another tried and very successful way to mask the radiator is the \"floor curtain\". Previously, this method was the easiest and most popular due to the fact that heavy, thick curtains were in vogue. Now it is customary to use dense fabric that is fastened with Velcro to the wall or window sill.
It is best to fasten the curtain from wall to wall, behind a light curtain it will look great. You can do the same by replacing the curtains with vertical blinds.
The screens made of metal frame and fabric in the tone of wall decoration are an inexpensive spectacular solution that has almost no effect on the thermal performance of the device
Option #3 - rigid screen arrangement
One of the easiest ways to cover batteries is using attachable screens. A variety of materials or whole combinations can be used to make them.
We should take into account, however, that the screen by itself against the wall can look ridiculous, so you need to think carefully about its appearance and properly fit into the interior. It is easy to find ready-made screens in the store and use them to cover the radiators.
If a screen is planned, then a correction factor depending on the way the construction is installed is applied when calculating the necessary power
The following screen types are the most common.
Metal screens for batteries
All these are made from stainless steel or the elements are chromed. Such products are characterized by good heat conductivity and durability.
With a relatively low cost and good functionality, their appearance leaves much to be desired. Without additional finishing such screens are suitable for the decoration of the room in the high-tech style.
Metal designs are highly thermal conductive and will not greatly affect the thermal performance of the appliance
Wooden radiator grille
This option is considered the most win-win as wood easily fits into the interior of almost any room. It is best to buy not a ready-made standard screen, but to make it to order. The appearance of the wooden screen should match the style and color of the furniture or be a part of it.
The appearance of the wooden screen resembles a wicker lattice and looks spectacular and stylish. The wooden lattice is best suited for masking the battery located under the window. Such a construction with a sufficient number of holes does not prevent warm air from entering and provides good convection.
Wood is a material with high insulating properties. When choosing a wooden battery screen, it is better to prefer a construction with a high degree of perforation
Decorative glass screen
Decorative glass will give the interior of any room a look of lightness and casualness. Rooms with a decorative glass screen take on the appearance of being well-groomed and finished. But besides the spectacular appearance, this screen also has a big disadvantage.
The decorative glass screen fits perfectly in any room, but the absence of perforation, even with gaps at the bottom and top, reduces the heat transfer to a great extent
The glass screen reduces the heat transfer by almost half. So you have to choose between effectiveness and efficiency. If the decision is right, a screen made of decorative glass panels is the best way to achieve the best concealing effect and the highest heat permeability.
Gypsum board screen
If earlier we talked about screens as prefabricated products, a gypsum board screen can be made yourself. The drywall screen is considered the most budget-friendly option. Anyone can make it and the fixing with the subsequent finishing should not cause any particular difficulties.
As the version of the screen from plasterboard is considered the most universal, its construction will be considered in more detail. The following tools and materials will be required to create and install the screen:
- Канцелярский нож
- Ножницы по металлу
- Наждачная бумага, level
- Gypsum plasterboard sheet
- CD and UD profiles
There is a little secret - it is not recommended to use drywall without pre-treatment. This is because this material does not have sufficient thermal conductivity. In addition, under the influence of heat, it breaks down and crumbles.
Correct the situation by treating 2-3 times a sheet of drywall with PVA glue. This treatment will not only effectively prevent drying out, but will also greatly increase thermal conductivity.
Step 1: Frame construction from profile
Step 2: Fastening the drywall sheets to the frame
Step 3: Removing the radiator to arrange the niche
Step 4: Reinforcing the corners and joints of the plasterboard wall
Step 5: Treating the arranged niche with plaster
Step 6: Fixing the radiator and finishing the wall
Step 7: Decorating the battery niche with a screen
Step 8: The option of decorating the niche with a screen
The work of arranging a screen made of gypsum board begins with the installation of the frame. To make it, you have to cut the UD guide profiles and fix them to the floor and the window sill with self-tapping screws. To ensure that the surface of the screen coincides with the surface of the wall, the frame must be recessed to the thickness of the plasterboard plus the thickness of the finish. Normally, this value is 13-14 mm.
After that, it is necessary to fix the CD profiles, taking into account that the distance between the vertical profiles must be slightly greater than the size of the grid. Armed with a pencil and a tape measure, you must mark the dimensions of the blanks on the sheet and cut them out with a box cutter.
Properly installed UD and CD profiles help you to mount the plasterboard under the radiator grid without any difficulty
The cut blanks should be screwed to the frame with self-tapping screws. Fastening must be done very carefully, as excessive penetration of the self-tapping screws can cause a tear in the drywall sheet. It remains to fix the grid and finish the screen.
The drywall or plywood sheets can be fastened with wooden battens. The picture shows how to fix them correctly
Avariant #4 - construction of battery boxes
Boxes that hide the radiators are best made when you make a repair or install a heating system.
The following materials are suitable for making the box:
- Boardboard. One of the most common materials. Has a low cost, easy and simple to handle. There are many ways to finish the surface with drywall. This material can be puttyed and painted, wrapped with wallpaper and film, decorated with stucco.
- Panels MDF. Another budget option for decorative cladding. MDF is not afraid of sharp temperature fluctuations and is not subject to drying out. Usually, the design of MDF panels imitates the wood of exotic or rare species of wood, which makes it easy to fit into the interior of the room.
- Fanera. This material is very light and easy to process. It can be used to quickly make a strong and lightweight radiator screen. Plywood can easily be cut and decorated. Finishes can include lacquering, painting, foil or wallpaper, decorative plastering.
- Laminated chipboard sheets. This material is more difficult to work with, although there are never any problems with its fastening.
- Wood.The environmental friendliness and naturalness of this material are in favor. With the help of wooden bars and slats you can make a beautiful box without any work skills or special tools to perfectly cover not only the radiator but also the heating pipes. Moreover it is much easier to work with slats especially in places difficult to access.
The box can become not just a decoration and disguise for the radiator but also carry a functional or aesthetic load. If you consider functionality, for example by using chipboard sheets and rails to make a full width cupboard in the room.
The optimum height of such a cupboard should correspond to the height of the window sill if the radiator is under the window.
The central part of the box cabinet effectively masks the heating radiator, while the remainder of the box is used as a bookcase
The aesthetic load of the box is more difficult to realize, but quite doable. A radiator against the wall can be made to look like a fireplace. In this case it is not necessary to use masonry and install a wrought iron grille. You may proceed in a much simpler way, and make a box from a cut sheet of plywood or hardboard.
With attention to proportions and without deviating from the scheme, you can make a frame for a decorative fireplace from wooden slats and plywood and decorate it in only a few hours
After fixing the wooden slat frame and fitting the cut sheets of plywood, you only need to put film over the fireplace. You can go further, and inside the fireplace glue painted flames or glowing embers, it all depends on the flight of your imagination.
Battery box with frontal shelves
Masking radiator as a takhta
Box with attached desk
Corobe as extended window sill
Fitting a corner window sill with radiators
Corobe insertion between bookcases
Equipment of desk with box
Displacement of traditional window sill
Option #5 - placing radiators in niches
One of the most laborious ways to hide radiators and heating pipes is realized during construction or renovation. This method suggests the placement of pipes and radiators not on the wall, but inside it.
Of course, this will inevitably lead to a reduction of usable space in the room and an increase in heat loss, but there is no need to puzzle over how to decorate radiators and heating pipes.
You can go even further and do away with radiators and pipes altogether, replacing them with underfloor heating. If the heating efficiency is insufficient, you can supplement the heating system with invisible convectors mounted in furniture, window sills, plinth, floor, etc.
Concealed radiators can compete with the standard heating systems with pipes and radiators
Option #6 - arrangement of radiators in bathroom and kitchen
In the bathroom, the radiators are best hidden in some furniture. Wall-mounted cabinets are the best for this purpose. If for some reason you cannot hide the radiator in a cabinet, it is better not to resort to making hinged boxes. They will look absurd on the wall. In this case, it is better to simply paint the radiator in the tone of the walls.
With regard to placing the radiator on the floor, you can limit yourself to installing a screen. MDF and plastic are good for the screen, it can also be glass and chrome metal - these materials go well with the sterile cleanliness and gloss of ceramic tiles.
In the kitchen most often radiators are masked under the window sill - tabletop. This method allows not only to hide the radiator, but also significantly increases the work surface. If we are talking about a small apartment, then this method can be considered a powerful bonus. Here it is difficult to argue which aspect is more important: the functional or the aesthetic.
The functionality of the kitchen is increased by installing an additional work surface in the form of a worktop and cupboard
There is also the option of adding a folding table. In this case the color of the table top and the walls should be the same. The disadvantage of this design is that it is impossible to make the table top design perforated. Having a gap between the tabletop and the floor, as well as between the tabletop and the window sill, will help ensure normal convection.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Video review of masking designs made of decorative glass:
Painting a heating radiator is demonstrated in the video:
The video introduces interesting options for decorating heating devices, which you can handle with your own hands:
When performing masking in any of the suggested ways, you should not forget about the main functional task of the heating battery - heating and heat distribution. Improperly chosen material, installation scheme and decoration can increase heat loss by several times.
Do you have any questions or suggestions about masking radiators? Or maybe you have built a screen for the radiator with your own hands? Please leave your comments or additions to the material in the block below.