How To Measure Your Radiator for a Radiator Cover

There are many reasons someone may choose to install a radiator cover. Not only can they improve the aesthetic of your home, but they are also an excellent way to provide safety for families with young children. In some cases, a cover can even help to reduce noise.

No matter the reason for installing a radiator cover, the measurements must be correct - including the measurements of the skirting boards, the height of your radiator, and the length of your radiator.

A poorly-measured radiator cover can waste space or look bad. Thankfully, we are here to help. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about measuring a radiator for a radiator cover.

Why install radiator covers?

Why install radiator covers

Radiator covers aren't for everyone. However, they can provide excellent benefits. One of the main reasons that people install radiator covers is to improve safety.

Other reasons people install radiator covers are that radiators can get extremely hot to the touch, and families with young children or pets can benefit from a radiator guard. Radiator guards fit around the radiator and won't be dangerous to touch. Much like a guard that protects people and animals from open fireplaces.

Radiator covers can also provide additional display space as they typically have a shelf on top. Which makes them an excellent addition to properties that lack space.

Are radiator covers energy efficient?

One of the reasons many people are put off from installing radiator covers is because they think they block heat.

Energy efficiency in the home has never been a more prevalent topic than it is now, due to rising energy costs and environmental issues. Therefore, many homeowners are looking at more efficient ways of heating their homes.

Completely blocking off a radiator will decrease your central heating system's efficiency. This is why radiator covers are designed to offer protection while allowing the heat to escape and heat up the room.

Slots and gaps allow the heat to escape easily. Ensuring your radiator is not blocked by furniture will also help to improve efficiency.

The best materials for radiator covers

The best materials for radiator covers

Choosing the right material for your radiator cover is important. Using metal will negate any safety benefits as it will quickly heat up. This will cause the same hazards as a regular radiator.

Plastic is not recommended for use near radiators as it can become compromised in extreme temperatures.

The best material to use for radiator covers is wood. This is because it won't be hot to the touch, is easy to work with, and looks great.

Hardwood - Hardwood radiator covers are a relatively expensive option but look great. Many people choose hardwood for a natural finish that complements the more traditional property.

  • MDF - Medium-density fibre board is an engineered wood that is significantly cheaper than hardwood. It is easy to work with and can also be painted. This is excellent for modern properties with specific colour schemes.

    Measuring your radiator for a radiator cover

    Measuring for radiator covers will help you achieve the perfect look for your room. It will also help to improve functionality and performance. To get the accurate height and length of your radiator, measure using our steps below.

    Tools needed to measure for radiator covers

    The first thing you need to know before measuring for a radiator cabinet or guard is the tools you need to do it efficiently.

    The tools required for measuring new radiator covers include the following;

    Tape measure

  • Contour survey sheet

  • Pencil

  • Paper

    If you are planning bespoke new radiator casings, taking pictures of the area will also be helpful.

    Measuring the length of your radiator

    When measuring the length of the radiator, you need to include the valves on either side.

    As well as measuring the radiator's full length, including the valves, you should allow an additional 40 mm to 50 mm.

    Measuring the height of your radiator

    When measuring the height of your radiator, you should measure from the floor surface to the top of the radiator.

  • Always measure both sides of the radiator to ensure you get accurate dimensions. If your floor is not level, this could cause problems.

  • If the height of your radiator is above 1800 mm, you should always measure it on both sides.

  • An additional 50 mm should be added to your measurements.

    Measuring radiator depth

    When measuring the depth of a radiator cover, start from the wall and go to the farthest point that reaches out. This should include any pipework or fixtures that will be beneath the cover.

  • Add an additional 65 mm tolerance should be added to the measurement of the radiator depth.

  • This tolerance allows for an access door, the radiator frame, and additional clearance.

    Measuring cut-outs

    Skirting boards and vinyl flooring may require cutouts to ensure a better fit. The cutouts will take place during the manufacturing of the radiator cover, so measurements must be accurate.

    The skirting board measurements needed for cut-outs include the following:

    Cut-out height

  • Cut-out depth

  • Cover radius

    Always check both sides of the radiator. This will help to protect you from differences that can ruin the aesthetics.

    Cut-outs for skirting boards will typically appear curved at the top and cut in to accommodate the width of the skirting board.

    Measuring for thermostat access

    You will also have to consider access to your radiator's thermostat during radiator guard installation.

    Most modern heating systems will have a separate control system. Many people won't even use the radiator valve thermostats. However, you should still be able to access them to fully control your central heating system.

    Most radiator covers can be easily removed. However, easy access to the radiator valves via a small door is significantly more convenient.

    Measuring the height and depth of the valve will allow a hatch to be cut in the correct position. Advising the person or company manufacturing the radiator cover of which side the valve is on is also required.

    PlumbNation radiators

    Ensuring your property's central heating system is in good working order is essential. One of the best ways to improve the heat in your home is by investing in modern radiators and boilers.

    We have an excellent selection of great radiators, boilers, and radiator accessories at PlumbNation. This makes it easy for you to enjoy energy-efficient heating throughout the year.

    Choose from an excellent range of radiators that includes;

    Column radiators

  • Central heating radiators

  • Designer radiators

  • Flat panel radiators

  • Low surface temperature radiators

    We also stock an excellent range of towel radiators to suit all bathrooms.

    Shop with PlumbNation to find the perfect way to heat your home. We have excellent options for all budgets and a huge range of styles.


    How long does it take to measure for a radiator cover?

    It won't take long to measure for a radiator cover. By following the advice provided above, it should take between 10 to 15 minutes per radiator.

    If you plan to install radiator covers throughout the home, you should measure each individually.

    While the radiators may have the same measurements, there may be discrepancies caused by un-level flooring. The installation of radiators can also cause differences in measurements.

    Is it easy to measure for a radiator cover?

    Measuring for a radiator cover is easy when you follow the advice we have provided.

    The main thing to ensure is that the measurements you take are accurate. Taking the time to double-check them will help to guarantee accuracy and won't take long.

    Clearly noting the measurements you plan to take will help to keep you on track. You will then be able to add the measurements as you go along.

    What are the internal radiator cover dimensions?

    The internal dimensions of the radiator cover relate to the space around the radiator. When the radiator cover is in place, the internal measurements should allow airflow.

    What are the finished radiator cover dimensions?

    The finished radiator dimensions refer to the external measurements. This will be larger than the measurements of the radiator and any extra space allocated. This is because the thickness of the materials used to create your radiator cover will also need to be considered.

    The top shelf of a radiator cover will typically overhang by a certain amount. This will usually be around 20 mm, depending on your preference and available space.

    The finished radiator dimensions will ensure the radiator guard encases the entire system.

    Why should there be a gap between radiators and new radiator covers?

    Allowing space between the radiator and radiator cover lets heat disperse evenly.

    If a radiator cover touches the radiator at different points, it will cause the materials used to heat at different rates. This can cause the wood to warp or split, so it should always be avoided.