Yuk. I've held off dealing with this regular inquiry for a while now. The all too common question most folks are embarrassed to ask straight up. "Will your baseboard heater covers really resist rusting, even if they get peed on?" The answer of course is yes. Urine is pretty nasty stuff, but it cannot get through the two layers of finish we apply to Baseboarders.
Baseboard heating and bathrooms are a difficult combination. Bathrooms for the most part are tiny rooms where all sorts of electrical and plumbing fixtures are crammed in. This leaves a minimal amount of available floor space to locate a baseboard heater. Convection heating needs a decent chunk of clear floor space to be effective. The real estate around the toilet is normally available, so that's why heaters are placed in the line of fire, so to speak. The bathroom also poses additional harsh conditions on baseboard heater covers. Hot showers punch up the relative humidity in the air and all that moisture can easily shorten the life of an original baseboard heater cover by getting under the paint and starting the rusting process.
It's no surprise that the first call for Baseboarders starts with a bathroom renovation project. We sell more 4' length panels than another other length; a length of baseboard heater that is pretty much standard for bathrooms. While not all baseboard heaters rust out quickly, the heaters in a bathroom will likely rust first. Baseboarders are the exception as they have a much different line of defense against rust. The importance of using a two layer coating over mild carbon steel baseboard heater covers cannot be emphasized enough. A zinc plating treatment known as Galvanizing creates a strong barrier against chemical attacks from the acidic urine and moist air moving through the cover. A good everyday example of this type of metal finishing can be observed by taking a look at a stop sign post; it's doubtful you'll spot any rust. Galvanized coated steel also does well in extreme temperatures. Adding a layer of flexible epoxy resin that is baked in an oven for twenty minutes at 390°F only strengthens the protective barrier around the steel. This is the basis of our industry leading warranty. The other low cost alternative is paint, but be aware of its short term only results. The paint-over-the-rust method will only hide the problem for a few weeks/months as the rust will quickly spread throughout the metal cover.
Bathroom renovations require a lot of patience. While guys like Matt Muenster, host of the Reality TV show Bath Crashers, makes it all look easy, bathrooms are widely considered the most challenging room in the home to renovate. The renovation treatment you give the decrepit rusty old baseboard heaters shouldn't be one that takes much time or planning. Baseboarders will transform the old bathroom heaters nearly instantly. It will be the easiest part of the renovation.