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What do you think about this shelf system?

I couldn't stand the crappy MDF "cabinets" the former homeowners built for our radiators. They didn't even finish most of them with grill material. After having these two powder coated, I decided to top them in granite. I designed these brackets and had them fabricated out of 14 gauge steel. They turned out great, and they work, but I need to tweak them a little. I think if I have some of the outer "wings" folded back to 180 degrees it'd take some of that height down. Future versions will go closer to the wall and protrude less past the face of the radiator. But not a bad start.


  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Not bad

    I think it's a plus that it sticks out past the radiator. It can keep you from getting too close to the hot surface. If you're worried about it tipping and sliding off, you could put a strip of molding across the wall. It might keep papers from slipping down behind the radiator too.

    Speaking of hot surfaces, how hot does the granite get? It's nice if it holds the heat longer, but I'd be worried about it cracking if there are veins in the granite. Soapstone would be more functional, but it's not cheap, and you might not be crazy about how it looks.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    very cool!

    I like it alot...it will probably actually heat the room from the 5ft level down better than an uncovered radiator, like the dust shields do..and the granite should add more thermal mass to the room once the boiler shuts down..i think its a great idea.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • MotownSteamer
    MotownSteamer Member Posts: 110

    The granite gets lukewarm at best. Those brackets seem to be shooting the convection "out". The slabs are very stable on them. It was a guesswork project, basically making prototypes. My main concern was stability. I did not want to run a cleat on the wall because I wanted the option of pulling the slab away in case it was interfering, but it seems great flush against the wall. My only complaint is how visible the brackets are, but they look a lot better than much of the rigged stuff I've seen.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Nice Idea!

    You said the granite only gets lukewarm. My wife loves plants. That would probably be great for keeping the root systems warm in winter. (might even add some humidity in winter. Although if a plant got root rot it might also smell the place up. Altogether, great idea.

  • Polycarp
    Polycarp Member Posts: 135

    This raises a question for me.  I've often wondered about what kind of an impact radiator covers have on performance in general.

    Radiators heat the space via two mechanisms:  radiation and convection.  They radiate heat and that in turn heats the objects in the room .. including the air, the people, the furniture, the walls, the floor.  But they also create a convective current in the space.  They heat the air around them which rises and draws cooler air across the floor toward the radiator where it is heated and on and on.  But any cover with a solid top is going to impact that convective current.  Do these covers just redirect the convective current around them?  impede the current?  stop the current?  Since humans perceive heat more through radiation than air temperature, does any impact on the convective currents have any real impact on thermal comfort?

    I know in my house that had covers, the covers were pretty enclosed and I definitely noticed a difference when I took them off.  But they didn't just have solid tops, they had solid sides and a fairly enclosed grillwork that were impeding radiation too.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    Polycarp, you may be interested

    in reading this, bullettin #192


    it should answer your questions.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

This discussion has been closed.