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Can I recess a radiator into a wall?

spencerhornet Member Posts: 1
I am looking at recessing a radiator into a plaster wall. The wall is exterior but will be battened out with new plaster board around the radiator to give the effect that it is actually recessed into the wall. I am thinking something along the lines of the picture below:

I am thinking of doing this mainly for aesthetic reasons. The radiator would be a single Flat Panel Vertical Radiator. My questions are:
  1. Are there major issues with recessing the radiator into a wall from a heat efficiency point of view?
  2. Would I be able to use a standard single Flat Panel Vertical Radiator?
  3. Would I need to put some insulation into the wall behind the radiator?
  4. I cant see that many people do this so I assume there are good reasons not to - is this the case? ie is this just a stupid idea!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited May 2017
    You'll probably reduce the output up to 30%. Other than that, I see no major issues.

    Of course, you should insulate the wall behind it.

    Personally, I think recessing it calls more attention to the radiator than surface mounting it.

    I do see one other issue: if the rad has a TRV, then you're gonna throw off its ability to sense and control the room temp.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,443
    1. Maybe. However, if you allow enough space at the top and bottom for air to circulate freely, you'll not lose much.
    2. If it fits, sure.
    3. Yes indeed. And the more the merrier. You really truly don't want to be heating up the outside any more than you can help. I'd insulate as heavily as I could, and put a reflective barrier -- heavy duty aluminium foil -- on the radiator side.
    4. Most folks wouldn't have the wall depth to get decent insulation behind the radiator.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
    The above comments are absolutely correct.
    You might consider Runtal panel rads. They are only about 1 3/4" thick.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein