IKEA Radiator Covers: 5 easy ways to DIY a custom cover

You don’t like them. But you need them. We’re talking radiators. Unfortunately many radiators do not look good, especially older versions that may have seen better days.

If you’re wondering how to make them blend a bit better with your home decor style, IKEA radiator cover hacks may be your answer. They are relatively affordable and on the scale of DIY difficulty, accessible to most. You’ll need a few basic tools like a drill and saw and simple materials from your local hardware store such as screws and brackets.

For safety, always make sure there is enough space around your radiator for air circulation.

Be inspired by these radiator cover ideas and adapt to suit your space and radiator requirements. Read on for our 5 IKEA radiator cover tutorials.

1. IKEA Radiator Cover from upcycled metal shelf

I recently moved into a cozy apartment in Brooklyn, which like most pre-war buildings in the city, has its share of heavy, antiquated radiators that were covered in aluminum paint.

There was an especially unattractive one in the dining room, stretching from the corner of the room right up to the edge of the window.

I found scores of charming radiator covers on both Pinterest and IKEA Hackers, but the problem of the window and the size of the radiator made it really difficult to adapt any of the solutions I’d seen.

Radiator BEFORE
IKEA ALGOT Radiator cover - AFTER

IKEA items used:

  • EKBY LERBERG 11” shelf bracket (1)
  • ALGOT shelf 23” x 15” (2)
  • BRANÄS Basket
  • IKEA CD drawers (discontinued)

Storage in an apartment can be a challenge, and after putting up a series of IKEA ALGOT shelving above the radiator, I decided to remove some of them to use for a wall system in the bedroom, and had a couple of the larger ALGOT shelves left over.

IKEA ALGOT shelves

The metal sheets were leaning up against the wall, and as I wondered what to do with them, they suddenly reminded me of old-fashioned radiator covers with the holes for ventilation. The wheels started turning, and there it was – use the leftover shelves to cover the radiator!

The ALGOT system is wonderful, and the shelves attach very nicely to the system brackets, but how to attach them to each other was another problem completely. This was done without any plans, so I basically put it together as I went along.

I had spare pieces of 1×2 wood and bought some wood joiners, which worked to attach the shelves to each without drilling into them. Using more scraps and picking up a few longer pieces of wood, I made a frame for the two shelves which were screwed together on the corners and in the center.

Wood joiners
Wood frame to hold the shelves together
Wood frame to hold the shelves together

Just for extra security, I put some screws into the wood pieces from the front, and painted them white to match.

Screws from the front

Adding a top cover

The frame wasn’t going to be able to support a lot of weight, so I put up an IKEA EKBY LERBERG 11” shelf bracket, and bought a piece of 12” x 1” finished pine, long enough to extend the length of the radiator and up to the end of the window, where two L-shaped brackets connect to a vertical piece of the shelf.

EKBY LERBERG bracket with pine wood shelf

The perforated cover is about an inch or two away from the radiator and the top shelf extends over it by an inch, so it was easy to fasten it to the frame using two more L-shaped brackets. It’s enough support to keep the shelf sturdy and the perforated cover securely in place. A light coat of stain and some oil gives a nice finish to the wood.

The cover is open on either end and perforations in the metal shelves, so there’s no problem with allowing the heat to escape into the room. A little IKEA CD filing unit with two drawers hold small items, with an IKEA basket to hold large bags of potting soil, and an old wood cabinet fits nicely below the shelf to keep plant food and sprays out of sight. So what was a shabby corner of the room that I tried to ignore has become a lovely plant center.

IKEA ALGOT Radiator Cover
ALGOT Radiator Cover

Thank you IKEA!

~ by Jackie Lund


2. HOL lot of heat with this radiator cover

IKEA HOL DIY radiator cover

Cover up an unsightly radiator with this easy DIY radiator cover hack. Edward’s cover is made from a discarded HOL storage cube, disassembled into individual panels. The 3 panels are then joined to each other to form a wide panel using mending plates, secured at the back of the panels. Small L brackets hold up the removable cover. He then attached a LACK wall shelf to the wall as a radiator top cover.


3. Cane woven radiator cover

Sibel wanted to cover an old radiator and came up with this stylish DIY radiator cover project. When she saw the IVAR system she knew she could make it work. The first thing is to cut the IVAR side posts to fit the height of the radiator with about 3 inches of clearance at the top. To further disguise the radiator, she added 1/4″ thick MDF to cover the sides of the radiator. The IVAR is assembled and fastened to the wall. While optional, you can paint it like Sibel to make it look more like cane furniture. The last thing was to add the IVAR doors with cane webbing and it’s done.


4. Free standing cheap IKEA radiator cover

I had been looking for a reasonably priced radiator shelf but as I wanted to cover a storage heater none were deep enough. At first, I thought of hacking a BILLY but wandering around IKEA, I saw the HEJNE and the EKBY which were the perfect size and they inspired me with this creative idea.

I am also in rented accommodation so as I can’t start drilling into the walls to fix a shelf. What I needed was something free standing.

IKEA ITEMS USED:

  • EKBY shelf 119cm x 28cm
  • HEJNE storage – 3 x double 28cm shelf packs
  • 1 x post

OTHER MATERIALS:

  • 35mm size 4 screws

Instructions for Radiator Shelf IKEA hack:

Screw a HEJNE shelf to each short side of the EKBY shelf using the IKEA bolts provided. You will need to drill holes in the shelf ends.

I used one of the HEJNE posts, cut to size with a mini circular saw, at the bottom across the front to stabilise it using the existing holes and IKEA bolts per the IKEA instructions. I wanted to put one at the back too but the radiator I was covering has feet so I couldn’t.

Then, I realised I hadn’t accounted for the skirting board so rather than trying to fashion a cut out for it I used the other HEJNE post across the back, fixing it to the shelves per the HEJNE instructions. I made it slightly higher than the EKBY so I could use the existing holes but you could fix it level if wanted by drilling new holes.

Simple radiator shelf for less than £30

I then used 3 x 35mm screws to fix it to the EKBY shelf for stability. The other 4 shelves were used across the front. I used the IKEA bolts (2 per shelf) to screw the end of the shelf into the EKBY top (holes need to be drilled) and then used the 35mm screws, through the existing holes, to fix to the post across the bottom.

How long did it take and cost?

The radiator shelf took about 4 hours to make. Total cost came up to £28. I am sure my hubby who is an engineer and a whiz at DIY could have done it much more quickly!

freestanding DIY radiator cover

What I like about the radiator shelf hack is its relative simplicity. It’s easy for someone not experienced in DIY to do. The hardest part about this hack was carrying all the stuff home on the tram as I do not drive!

I bought an Allen key attachment for the screwdriver drill which was the best thing ever and made the screwing of the bolts easy.

~ by Liz


5. IKEA Bookshelf radiator cover

IKEA Bookshelf radiator cover

I’ve been looking for ages for a smart radiator cover for my hall. This design perhaps cuts down on the efficiency of the radiator, but the look is just what I wanted. I designed it to contain some useful shelves and storage space. But it could be made narrower by cutting away the rear of the panels and doing away with any shelves.

I bought a secondhand tall IKEA BILLY bookcase from eBay for £15 (as opposed to £55 new), so it was already assembled. First, I took the backboard off then cut off the top of the carcass 30mm above the middle fixed shelf. I retained one of the cut-off sides (this was used for the top covering shelf of my cupboard).

Creating airflow

Next, I needed to create an airflow through the item. So I used a jigsaw to cut part of the front kickplate away, trimmed the shelves to allow the radiator to sit inside the cupboard and again cut a curve on the top undershelf.

base cut out
top cut out

I used the spare dowels from the rejected part of the tall bookcase to fit the top shelf (with a 10mm front overhang and 20mm side overhang). There was a small gap at the back of the shelf to allow further airflow.

Lastly, I fitted the doors (bought new for £70). I also fitted the cupboard to the wall with the brackets provided in the door kits to provide lateral and vertical stability.

There was no need to add any veneer anywhere as my cupboard is left-hand side-on to a wall. But the cut edge of the very top shelf is raw so would need to be covered if in view.

I am so pleased with it I haven’t stopped smiling yet.

For those concerned about heat efficacy, you can cut out the center part of the BILLY bookcase door and add on mesh grating or wooden slats for better heat flow.

~ by Anne