Lack Heater+step+5a-739043

Published on January 5th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Wall Heater Cover/Bookshelves

Materials: Lack Wall Shelves, Ekby Jarpen Wall Shelves, Ekby Bjarnum Brackets, Tundra Laminate Flooring, Nails, Glue, Aluminum Strip and Plywood

Description: This was a two-fold solution. We wanted to cover our hideous wall heater and needed some sort of storage. We initially had a Expedit shelving unit, but it was a bit bulky. So…here are the steps.

1. Frame out desired area using Lack shelves.

2. Attach plywood to wall (we rent, so we wanted to make this removable without having to do a ton of repair work which would be required if we attached flooring directly to the wall).

3. Glue laminate flooring to plywood.

4. Cover any exposed edges of plywood and laminate flooring with aluminum corner strips. (You can see ours on the right-hand side of the unit where it butts up to the door.)

5. Hang shelves.

6. Decorate!

Oh, and we used a panel from a folding screen I got a few years ago from West Elm. Another idea might be some sort of mesh wiring. Really, anything that would cover over the hideousness without decreasing air flow.

~ Ryan & Lizzie Lewis, Santa Monica, CA

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

20 Responses to Wall Heater Cover/Bookshelves

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is it ok to still cover it up if we don’t use. I have and don’t plan on using it becasue I’m afraid the baby may burn herself.

  2. The covering you got on there looks amazing, but like it is made out of wood or something flammable. Would love to make something like this but got to figure out what I can use as a cover.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Love it!! I’m planning to cover mine now. I’m not worried about how functional my heater will be, don’t plan to use it. I’ll wear a sweater or flannel pjs to make my apartment look nicer!

  4. plumbing says:

    When you decide to purchase a propane wall heater, you want to take this into consideration before you spend money on one. You have have to rearrange the room a bit to find the appropriate amount of wall space.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s a gorgeous and creative hack and I think it would be great to cover some plumbing, etc.

    But nmy fear here is C02! Gas heaters are far more dangerous than electric, but a lot of people think HEAT is the issue. It is, but carbon dioxide is something to be very worried about with a gas appliance, and many people used to electric appliances don’t have much knowledge of this. Blocking any fresh air intake on a gas appliance can be deadly, and you can’t smell C02. I’d have this inspected for safety and buy a good plug in C02 detector asap.

    Also, as a landlord I can say that if there ever WAS a fire, an install like this — even if you have carefully felt for heat — would void any lease agreement and insurance on your goods (if provided) and could lead to you being sued for any fire damage to this and any adjoining units. Not to be negative, but there are quite a few hazards here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That is soo nice! I had a rental with a dumb heater like that right in the middle of an otherwise useful wall. I never even used the heater so that would have been a wonderful way to cover it up.

  7. woolywoman says:

    It looks very nice! I am inspired to do something about the one in my hall. I would imagine that the landlord would want you to leave it, as it is such an improvement. I am thinking of using wire mesh sprayed black as the panel on mine.

  8. dianejwright says:

    Fire-safety comments agreed with and aside, I wanted to re-state the air quality issues with heating up veneers, paints, stains, glues, and MDF in general.

    One couple I know woke with nosebleeds the first night after a similar project. Just ’cause you can’t smell it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    ‘Nuf said.

  9. It’s lovely, but I would install a VERY good fire alarm and outline escape routes if you’re going to leave this up in the winter. If that’s a gas heater, it’s not meant to have any material within several feet of it, not to mention several inches, though I see you’ve been careful to leave some air-space. These heaters have warnings printed on them about curtains, wood and other flammable materials getting too close. As a child I received 3rd degree burns touching the outside corner of a similar model.

    I don’t want to diminish your work in any way (as I said, it’s beautifully done!) but I also don’t want you to suffer a house fire. A friend of our family recently died in a fire caused by a heater catching something, so I’m particularly sensitive to this right now.

  10. Ivy says:

    A classy-looking solution.

  11. Those damn heaters are SOOOO California. I had one in my ‘posh’ Menlo Park apartment. Good old 60′s tech…

  12. lizzie says:

    Oh, and one more thing – we made it so that the screen is removable (ours is hanging from hooks) in case we need to get in there for something – repair, lighting the pilot, etc. In that case, you could put something in front of it that could be removed when the heater is in use.

  13. Joseph says:

    Great idea! I’m going to copy it exactly to hide our horrible wall heater as well. Have you had any issues with the material covering the vent burning or overheating?

  14. lizzie says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. MacMama says:

    Looks very nice. I only wonder if it is safe to put a wooden panel in front of your heater?

  16. lizzie says:

    Thanks for the comments! We made sure there was space between the heater and the shelves. The fact that the shelves are like a cardboard honeycomb on the inside helps insulate the surface against overheating. It finally got cold enough here to turn the heater on all day and there wasn’t even a hint of it getting too hot, but I would be careful of what you put in front.
    I know the picture doesn’t really show this well, but the part in front of the heater allows more than enough air flow.

  17. Me! says:

    I’m confused. Don’t you need the air to circulate for the heater to be effective? Doesn’t putting this in front of the heater prevent that?

  18. Aliza says:

    Thats brilliant! it looks fab!

  19. Anonymous says:

    This certainly looks excellent–really nice. But I can’t comprehend putting that composite/MDF/veneered IKEA material anywhere near a heat source. Chemical off-gassing and fire hazard come to mind. If nothing else I can imagine the constant heat weakening/ruining the materials.

    My family has heaters like this one, and I wouldn’t want to put materials like these anywhere near it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Very nicely done, I like it! :-)

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