Metal or wood radiator covers?
One material conducts heat, the other material absorbs heat. One material does not require regular painting, the other does. One material does not deform, or over time degrade. So why the fixation with wooden radiator enslosures?
Metal is a fantastic conductor of heat, so when the radiator is on, the radiator cover itself begins to conduct the heat back into the room. That is why frying pans are made of metal, in particular aluminium. Obvious really when you think about it.
Which design of radiator cover to choose?
Metal radiator cabinets and radiator enclosures tend to get bad press, largely because they have been historically very badly designed, and located in areas such as hospitals, large office complexes and industrial establishments where the 'design' of the radiator enclosure has rarely been considered. These days however the choice of metal radiator covers are enormous, and designs from companies such as Modern Radiator Covers. Lace Furniture, Designer Radiator Covers and Couture Cases allow designers and homeowners the freedom to express their style and design wishes in very creative ways. You can now select from a range of radiator cabinets and enclosures that include lighting and fabric options, a huge range of colours and textures, styles that range from period and traditional designs to ultra modern, retro, art deco, moroccan and manhattan new york apartment.
Ease of assembly
You must always consider assembly when buying radiator covers. You might have to assemble side panels, front grilles, top panels, hanging features, then consider having to paint the cover in primer, then undercoat, then top coat, with another top coat when dry. You also have to repaint probably once a year to keep clean. Some of the metal radiator cabinets and enclosures you can buy from Lace Furniture and Couture Cases are ready to place onto a wall immediately, so this is something you may wish to consider carefully.
When covering an unsightly radiator it is hugely important to try and reduce heat loss into the room, and maximise the amount of heat that is transferred into the room. A radiator typically radiates 15% of its heat from the large panel front of the radiator - the other 85% is convected air that is directly above the radiator. Why then do most enclosures think it best to place fancy panel designs on the front of the cover, when in reality the most efficient way to get heat into a room is to create holes in the top of a radiator cover. Very few radiator covers on the market do this, except companies such as Modern Radiator Covers. which incorporate perforated holes or slots into each radiator cover top, therefore allowing all the warm convected air to be circulated back into the room.
Performance vs quality
The last yet probably the most important thing to consider. For a homeowner is is nearly always true to say that the location of a cover is often in the most accessible and most used rooms of the property. It is therefore in an area which is most visible, and one which you spend the most time. Why not think therefore of investing time and effort into creating a bespoke cover design that you want, rather than one that you have to put up with?
Innovation and Design
Why not consider metal laser cut lace designs? Why not consider retro 1950's or 1960's design? Why not consider a graffiti artist, an illustrator, a surfact pattern designer, a graphic or textile designer? Why not consider funky patterns, geometric patterns, your own photo or design? All of these options are now available online to increase choice and provide design interest in a room like never before.