Published on April 15th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


A woody radiator cover

Materials: MOLGER storage stool, Shelf from As-Is section

Description: We are new to IKEA hacking.

Our curious little 1 year old was sure to burn herself on our dangerously hot radiators in our rental apartment. It is apparently NOT the landlord’s job to make these safe. Thus, we set out to buy radiator covers, but I REFUSED to fork out hundreds of dollars (a piece) for two custom-made radiator covers for a RENTAL that we probably were going to leave at the end of our current lease. So this is what came of my stubborn frugality.

WE had a MOLGER stool, and I liked the look. I disassembled the stool. The slatted pieces that made the four sides of the stool were used as the front of the cover and allow for airflow. I then bought a couple pieces of wood to make the sides. I had to measure for the height that I wanted. This radiator cover doubles as a side table next to our couch. I checked the as-is section for a nice looking shelf for the top.

I put the slatted front together first. There are two shapes that come out of the MOLGER stool, one has two legs (U-shape) and one is just a square piece with slats. The piece without legs can be snugly fit in-between the legs to create one long slatted piece. I used tacks to secure the two pieces together. I needed to use a whole Molger M stool and a board from the hardware store in the middle to get the width we needed. Then we just hammered it together with skinny nails. Hammered the sides and top onto that. Hindsight, we should have put a layer of wood glue in-between pieces before nailing. It was an easy hack since a radiator cover is just a three-sided box with some sort of airflow. IT WORKS AMAZINGLY and is actually attractive. Probably someone with more patience or skill would use something more sophisticated than nails, but we are cheap and impatient.

Check the pictures for more details. You will notice the little plastic circles – these are the “bottoms” of what were the legs of the MOLGER stool. They come assembled with these little plastic skid stoppers. We just left ‘em on.

~ Jojo, NYC

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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".

10 Responses to A woody radiator cover

  1. Hopeful says:

    Lol, great idea. This is exactly why I pray for a husband so he can be the man around the house and do projects like this to save us money while protecting my little princess.

  2. Claire Bond says:

    All my radiators in my home have covers because of my two daughters and I decided to buy mine. Maybe one day I will give it a go at building my own. The covers sure do make radiators look a lot better too!

    Derby Heating Engineers

  3. Anonymous says:

    April 18th Anonymous, I’m guessing that the wood that was up against them was caused after YEARS of use. I don’t think there is much to worry about if you make something that leaves the radiator some breathing room and is not pressed up against it.

    Great idea! I’ll be doing something like this for my new apartment…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great hack! I have a radiator in my kid’s and have been looking for a way to cover it for the summer.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not here to criticize, this looks really nice. I can say, though, that the heaters in my college dorm had wood up against them, and were darkened/scorched over time from the heat (although they certainly didn’t burst into flames). You really could see, in various dorm rooms, that the wood had been affected; some had minimal darkening while others really looked almost burnt.

  6. I can appreciate this! I have 3 hideous radiators throughout my apartment. They are all a lovely color of rust! Thanks for sharing!

    Check out my blog!


  7. My 100+ year old high school could have used these. We were constantly seeing burns from radiators!

    - David

    Top 10 Aloe Vera Juice Benefits
    Holistic Nutrition and Health

  8. Martha says:

    The flashpoint of wood is 200°C/392°F. I don´t think a radiator could ever reach this temperature.

    Great hack!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am wondering if the radiator is hot enough to cause concern about fire safety?

  10. Liz says:

    awesome…brilliant idea and well executed! it looks great. :)

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