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Retrofitting Guide

baseboard heater retrofitting guide

Installation Is A Snap. Here’s What You Need To Know.

There have been so many finned tube element manufacturers over the last seven decades it’s likely you have no idea which company made your baseboard heaters. The majority of these firms are long gone – along with the possibility of getting replacements for parts that went missing or need replacing. To solve this problem, Baseboarders® use a simple one piece, one-size-fits-most design that complies geometrically to about 95% of all hydronic (hot water type) baseboard heaters ever made. The overall objective of the Retrofitting Guide is to confirm that the existing finned tube element will be completely covered. The guide is applicable to all product series except Premium TALL (see the notes below to know when this taller version is necessary).

  1. Remove one endcap and the front panel.
  2. Measure between the finished floor and the top of the baseboard heater.
    Objective: 7-1/2″ or greater.

    If this measurement is less than 7-1/2″, the alternative mounting method that uses WB001 wall brackets will be needed. The wall brackets will bring the height up by a minimum of
    1-1/4″.  Note: Units with a height of 9" or more from the floor to the top of the back plate will need to use Premium Tall.
  3. Measure between the bottom of the heating element and the top of the baseboard heater.
    Objective: Between 5″ and 6-3/4″.

    If this measurement is less than 5″ it is likely the floor to top height is less than 7-1/2″ as noted in step #2. In this case, the WB001 wall brackets should be used to bring the mounting height up for proper coverage. If the distance is 6-3/4″ or greater, the BB003 Premium TALL profile should be used.
  4. Measure between the outside face of the finned tube heating element and the back plate.
    Objective: Less than 3-1/8″.

    It is very uncommon to fail this final check. If the larger 4″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ commercial style element is in place, a picture-framing in a wood molding as shown here will solve the depth issue.
choosing baseboard heater

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No Back Plate? No Problem!

If the original backplate on your heating unit is not available for a quick and easy slip-on installation (you might have a new construction environment, an electric baseboard heater or a totally gutted renovation) we have a simple solution using our easy-to-install wall brackets.

The backplate is the piece of metal secured to the wall that hangs over the pipe/fins at the top. Most backplates installed prior to the 1990s are nailed in place, but even if screws were used, it's still not an easy job to remove as the finned tube element is normally positioned in a way that makes accessing the screw heads difficult to reach.

If you're looking to remove your backplate, or you don't have a backplate/the original has already been removed, follow these guidelines for using our Wall Brackets (WB001)to install our replacement panels (these brackets can be used on all styles).

*Note, if you also need brackets to hold up your pipe/fins, we recommend buying them at Lowes or Home Depot as we do not supply brackets for the pipe/fins.

  1. Ensure the wall behind the baseboard heater is patched and painted up to 8" above the finished floor.
  2. Locate the nearest stud (or some solid material behind the sheetrock) at both ends of the heater.
  3. To make the job easy, locate and drill a pilot hole 7.5" above the finished floor. This is only a recommended height (this will accommodate the standard endcaps which are 7.5" tall). Ultimately you can decide how high to mount the Baseboarders® panel.
  4. Using the screws provided, secure one WB001 wall bracket at each end of the heater for 2' to 5' length panels. 6' and 7' lengths need (3) wall brackets for additional support.
  5. The wall bracket will produce a thin gap between itself and the wall. This gap will receive the lip on the back side of the Baseboarders® panel as illustrated.
  6. Once installed, snap panel on over the wall brackets and enjoy your new baseboard heater covers!
baseboard wall stud
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