A heating radiator very rarely can harmoniously fit into the interior, in other cases it has to be masked somehow. In attempts to bring beauty to the apartment and hide the batteries, many make big mistakes, the result of which may be an even greater protrusion of the place where the radiator is located, or a violation of convection air flows. How to hide a heating radiator so as to preserve its necessary functions and make it truly invisible? We reveal the secrets of designers and learn to use them in the independent arrangement of an apartment.
# 1. What needs to be considered?
The radiator, which some do not hesitate to compare with a log in the eye, performs an important function in an apartment, and we must not forget about it, because it is impossible to survive a harsh winter without proper heating. That is why all attempts to decorate the radiator should not go beyond common sense.
When deciding how to disguise a heating radiator, it is worth considering the following nuances:
- whatever the decor, the main function of the battery should not be violated – to heat, therefore, even if the radiator is covered with a screen, there must be holes in it, and the more, the better. It is also advisable to provide slots under the windowsill and near the floor so as not to interfere with the normal air circulation;
- the radiator and threaded connections must remain in the access area, therefore it does not interfere with providing a small window if the screen is non-removable;
- faucet, thermal head and other controls and regulation of the coolant supply should be easily accessible for repair work if necessary.
The easiest way to get an unobtrusive battery and keep it 100% functional is to buy a designer radiator. Such products are made to order and fully correspond to the design of the room. The downside is the high price, which forces you to look for more affordable options.
# 2. Painting a radiator is the easiest way
Painting is the cheapest and easiest way to give your radiators a decent look, but they don’t only resort to this option when the budget is limited. If such an interior style is chosen as Scandinavian or loft, then communications are not shy – they fit well into the situation.
In any case, it is better to paint the radiator so as to maximally “dissolve” it against the background of the walls. It is necessary to use thermal paint, ideally – exactly repeat the color of the wall, but discrepancies by a couple of shades are allowed.
If the walls are not white, then a white radiator, clearly contrasting against their background, is a big mistake. Often, those who decorate the walls with patterned wallpaper also glue them into the niche behind the radiator, thereby emphasizing the latter. In this case, it is recommended to leave the entire niche white: against its background, the white radiator will be almost invisible.
No. 3. Radiator painting
With painting and decoupage, you should be extremely careful, because here it is very easy to cross the line from a simple masking of the battery to its protrusion. If the radiator with the pattern applied to it contrasts sharply against the background of the wall, it will be striking, although a completely different task was originally set. Such a battery, as if, suggests that it greatly interfered with the owners, and they tried to hide it.
Designers recommend painting not only the radiator itself, but also the part of the wall against which it is located. The drawing can be done in any technique and color scheme. If you have talent, then we take paint in our hands and start creating: do not forget that the paint must be resistant to heat. If there are no special artistic talents, then you can use ready-made stencils for drawing, use the decoupage technique or even vinyl stickers. The main thing is that everything looks harmonious, and the battery really turns out to be disguised.
No. 4. Hinged screens (grilles) for radiators
Hinged screens, as a rule, are made of metal, have a lot of holes, so they do not interfere with free air convection. Among other advantages, ease of installation, access to the radiator at any minute, a good range, and the metal heats up quickly. Hinged screens differ not only in color, the nature and size of the holes, but also in some functional features: there are models designed for one-sided and two-sided piping.
It is best to choose grilles with rounded corners to reduce the risk of injury. The disadvantages of this option are not very pleasant sound on impact, but it can be survived. Dust from such a mesh will have to be wiped off regularly. It is also possible to advise taking the screen in the entire width of the window sill, and not in the width of the radiator: in this case, it will be possible to really disguise the radiator, and not mark its location.
The metal hinged screen can be of any color and style. You can even find a forged version or a stainless steel screen with a shiny surface. If the former will look good in a classic style, then the latter will complement the high-tech interior. Forged screens, due to their openwork, provide excellent air circulation, but a radiator is visible through them, therefore they are often duplicated with a metal perforated sheet.
No. 5. Glass screen for radiator
One of the most modern options for masking a heating radiator is the use of a glass screen. They are made of tough tempered fireproof glass with treated corners, so it won’t be easy to hurt or break the screen. This method of camouflage is not capable of significantly disrupting the spread of heat flows throughout the room and will fit into almost any style of interior and any room.
The glass screen is quite easy to install, it is mounted on special screw holders, which are necessarily equipped with elastic gaskets that protect the glass surface. Care for such a screen is minimal and consists in periodically cleaning it from dust from fingerprints, using glass cleaning agents. The only drawback is the price.
To be able to hide a radiator with glass, you need to pay attention to the way of decorating the surface. Of course, you shouldn’t leave the glass without a picture: in this case, the outlines of the radiator hiding behind the screen will be clearly visible, and the screen itself will play the role of drawing attention to the battery. It is desirable to at least give the glass some shade. Among the ways to decorate glass are:
photo printing. You can apply absolutely any pattern to the glass, even a photo taken with your own hands, so it will turn out to perfectly fit the screen into the existing interior;
stained glass window. You can use expensive stained glass techniques (fusing, Tiffany technique or beveled stained glass), or you can create a pseudo-stained glass window using films or paints, which is much cheaper, and the effect will not be worse. Another option is a sandblasted stained glass window, perfect for modern interiors;
- independent decoration. Usually, the decoration of screens is trusted by companies specializing in this matter, but you can decorate the ordered matte screen with your own hands. This is a sticker of stained glass films, rhinestones, etc.
With glass screens, the same rule applies as with hinged metal screens: it must harmoniously fit into the space under the window, so it is advisable to choose glass with a width equal to the width of the window sill. If you select with glass only part of the space under the windowsill where the battery is located, the effect will be the opposite of the expected one.
No. 6. Wooden screen for radiator
To camouflage batteries, you can also use wooden screens, which are made both attached and flat, if the radiator is located in a niche. This option can be called the most environmentally friendly and one of the most attractive in appearance, since screens with the most bizarre patterns can be obtained from pliable wood for processing. Outwardly, such a screen can have any appearance; it can be purchased either ready-made or to order.
Wooden screens are best used in classic interiors, and in order to successfully fit them into a room, they must overlap with other interior elements (furniture and doors), and, optimally, have similar elements. In any case, such an overlay for radiators should cover the space from wall to wall or be as wide as a window sill. The wooden side screen can be used as a stand, table or even a bench. The main disadvantage is the ability to deform and dry out under the influence of temperature changes and with significant fluctuations in humidity.
No. 7. MDF, chipboard and plastic screens
MDF panels are not inferior to wood in many properties, and even surpass it in some, they are 60-70% cheaper and are not so susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature. Externally, such panels can be painted, veneered or laminated, so the variety of appearance is huge. It is better to choose such a screen so that it overlaps with other elements of the room.
Particleboard screens are not very common due to their not very outstanding performance. Outwardly, they are not bad, but for use in a residential apartment, it is necessary to choose chipboard with an E0 or E1 formaldehyde emission level.
Plastic screens are striking in variety and low prices. The main thing is to make sure of the safety of the material by examining the accompanying documentation. For screens, plastic should be used that can calmly tolerate heating up to 60-800C. Such products are perfect for bathrooms, as they are hygienic and not demanding to care for.
No. 8. Creation of a false wall with a radiator niche
If the radiator protrudes above the surface of the wall, then it can be quite difficult to mask it using all the methods described above. In this case, they resort to installation around a plasterboard radiator, the main goal is to create a kind of niche for the battery. As a result, it is possible to achieve an excellent effect, but part of the usable area of the room will have to be abandoned.
You can cope with all the work yourself: a frame made of a metal profile is constructed the same as when leveling walls with plasterboard, or erecting a partition. Plasterboard sheets are mounted on the frame, special attention is paid to the area near the radiator. After all, this is followed by filling the joints, priming and applying the finishing material to the walls. The radiator itself is sometimes covered with plasterboard with a number of small holes for air circulation, but this is not a good option – it is much better to use a metal grill or, in extreme cases, a plastic ventilation grill.
No. 9. Several original ideas
If for some reason standard solutions do not suit you, you can use more original methods:
- stretch the fabric over the picture frame to match the walls and use it as a regular screen. The variant, of course, is suitable for radiators located in a niche;
blinds are a very unusual way to hide a radiator, but in some cases they do. Installation work is minimal;
- creation of a false fireplace above the heating radiator. The fireplace frame can be made of plasterboard or plywood, the hole can be closed with a metal grate. With the right finishing, the structure will resemble a real fireplace as much as possible, and in winter there will be real heat from there.
No. 10. What to do with heating pipes?
Pipes must lead to the radiator. As a rule, there are no problems with them, since they are not as conspicuous as a battery, and in most cases it will be enough to paint them in the color of the walls. If you chose the method of installing drywall, then there will be no problems with pipes – they will hide under the sheets of the structure anyway.
An alternative to painting pipes is decorating. They can be wrapped with jute or hemp rope, decorated with artificial leaves or flowers. The high horizontal pipes are hidden under the curtains, and low – under the floor skirting boards.
Before deciding how to hide the heating radiator, evaluate the reliability and durability of the system. If it does not inspire complete confidence, then the best choice is hinged screens, which provide quick access to communications. Old cast-iron radiators, which have been painted many times, as indicated by smudges, are best hidden behind screens, unless you are ready to remove old layers of paint and sand the surface.