The Ugly Baseboard Heater
This first blog post is an opportunity to share my experience from six years ago trying to figure out what to do with a house full of hydronic baseboard heaters that were an eyesore yet perfectly functional (and greatly appreciated in winter). I was aware that replacement covers were available, but they required the old covers to be completely removed – yuk! I wanted a quick solution that would transform my plain old baseboard heaters into something of an architectural feature. Painting seemed like a good idea, except it would only buy time before the rust inevitably showed up again. I knew there had to be a better mouse trap out there somewhere, yet my research found nothing.
The idea of installing something completely new over top of the existing old back plate that was already nailed securely to the wall was starting to show potential as a possible alternative. I knew a better solution had to:
- have an attractive design that would match and compliment most home decor themes.
- be heavy duty. From kids walking on them to vacuum cleaners banging into them, the solution had to stand up to abuse over a long period of time without showing it.
- utilize a rust-proof material and finish.
- encourage proper and unobstructed airflow around the heating element.
- cost less than those dummy covers sold at the big box stores. They’re cheap to buy but installation can be tedious and ultimately very expensive when a contractor or plumber is hired to do the job.
- offer a super easy Do It Yourself installation.
- fit the vast majority of all hot water baseboard heaters currently in existence.
We fabricated a good number of prototypes in our Vancouver sheet metal manufacturing facility during the fall of 2007. To ensure a proper fit on the hundreds of different models of baseboard heaters that are currently in use throughout North America, an extensive amount of research was done to identify geometries from heaters going back all the way to the late 1940’s.
By the spring of 2008 we had come up with the one-size-fits-most easy slip-on baseboard heater cover. The product line complete with every kind of accessory possible was made commercially available through our website baseboardheatercovers.com.
And it was at this time when I realized it wasn’t just me looking for a better way to rejuvenate ugly baseboard heaters.