A quarter-million experts and novices discuss topics in over 120 categories on our free DIY forums, so to help with popular projects, we highlight some of the most active posts. This transcript has been lightly edited.
Original Post: Can I replace baseboard covers only?
renaud - Member
Just found this site while searching google, seems to be a lot of helpful info here.
I am in the process of remodeling a bathroom which has a single hot water baseboard heater in it. The house was built in 1980 and while most of the heaters are white, a few of them are painted a dark woodgrain look. I would like to replace the woodgrain one in the bathroom with a basic white color. Can I simply replace the sheetmetal or is there more involved? Where could I buy the parts?
Rockpro - Member
I often replace the enclosure when I remodel a bathroom. I get mine at a local plumbing supply house but I have seen some brands at home centers. Take an end cap with you as this may help to identify the manufacturer.
md2lgyk - Member
If you Google "baseboard heater cover" you'll have more info than you can imagine.
I have a similar situation in a bathroom I'm remodeling. My house was built in 1959 so the odds of matching the cover are likely slim. I intend to just strip it and spray paint it white.
Check Out Baseboard Heater Covers on Amazon
Ed Imeduc - Member
For the cost I'd just repaint it.
adamplghtg - Member
It will look nicer to replace them than to paint them. It doesn't take too much work removing the cover then sliding the back one up along the wall. Just don't cut yourself.
renaud - Thread Starter
Where is the best place to get them? Do HD and/or Lowes carry standard lengths, or will I have to go to a plumbing and heating place?
jack horner - Former Member
I agree with Ed and md2; you can save yourself a ton of money & get covers that look like new by simply spray painting them the desired color.
The thing about baseboard covers is that they are made of thin steel, which provides an extremely smooth surface; this means that you'll get a professionally-looking job when you spray paint.
adamplghtg - Member
You can buy baseboard that doesn't include the fins since you don't need them. I don't know if Lowes or HD would have them or not. But HD's baseboard is ugly! I'm not sure about Lowes.
Joe C - Member
Lowes and HD both sell replacement baseboard covers. HD has the Slant Fin brand and you can find it in the plumbing and heating section in brown boxes. The white boxes are the complete setup(heating element included). Lowes sells the same thing except its a different brand wich I can't recall right now.
ragefear - Member
The brand at Lowes is Hydrotherm.
I know this is an old post but I am doing the same thing. I actually bought the lowes brand covers only. My problem is that the fins are to wide and don't fit in the cover. I can't clip the bottom half of the front of the baseboard into the bracket. My house is a 1950's era. Any suggestions? Thanks.
letsrenovate - Member
This evening I just purchased the new cover set from Lowes/ HD didnt have the 4' one that I needed. Problem is, the fins are too wide. Mine are approx 3" wide...the newer covers are made to fit smaller fins. So tomorrow I must return my purchase, and I'm going to try this new site I found...xxxxxxx
They look like they will work for me, though a bit pricy, I'm sure its cheaper that calling a plumber to replace my heat in that room. I read they clip on to the back of the existing cover and its that simple. They come in various sizes in alluminum or steel, not sure which is better. But after searching the net for ages tonight, I think this might be an excellent solution. Good luck to any of you with similar problems!!!
Joe C - Member
When I renovated a small half bath last year I used the Lowes BB covers with no problems. My circa 1964 fins fit on the support brackets in a way that the cover could go on. Also you can cut to length as needed, the end caps will cover the cut.
brewaholic - Member
If you go to a supply house that carries slantfin, you can get the multi 80 series enclosure or the 70 series should also fit the 3" fins these are light commercial grade baseboard enclosures.
mackenzie642 - Member
ragefear - Member
Well Greg, if you were following along you would see that you can get them at lowes, home depot, or most plumbing supply stores and probably most any other hardware stores. Older homes have just a bracket that's nailed to the wall which holds the front piece and a piece running the length of the baseboard over it. Newer homes have the whole back plate that is connected to the top piece that holds the bracket.
Honestly it isn't that hard to replace you just have to dig in.
Also note that newer baseboards are thinner and shorted than older ones so of ur painting or refinishing take that into account. Also some fins might be wider than others. I couldn't find any that fit mine so I cut about 1/4 inch off mine and haven't noticed any difference. The only reason why I cut them was because they went around a corner. My bathroom is just 1 unit and doesn't have any bends so I just hung it off the top brackets and you wouldn't know the difference.
rbeck - Member
Do you know they make baseboard for bathroom which protect from rusting out from acids (urine splash). I might be wrong but I think it is made by slant fin
old woman - Member
So, I read some of the messages and I've just sort-of installed a baseboard heater cover in my hallway. I had 3" fins and the previous covers were Slant Fins. So I went to a plumbing house and bought a 3 foot cover and end caps, model Multi Pac 80, and they fit over 3" fins.
Here is the problem...Slant-fin has a louver (damper) on the top of the cover. They used to have a separate piece that slid into the side of the louver, but now it's just part of the bracket.
I don't know what kind of moron designed this, but you have to have hands like a gorrilla to get it off and put it back on. I called customer service and they told me to press really, really hard, with the louver in the open position. I checked their installation guide on line, and they don't even mention this. Trust me, it's impossible to get off or put back on. Of course, you have to remove the louver, to remove the brackets. The backer slides in behind the fins, then the brackets slide into the backer. You have to remove the louver. I eventually tapped them out from the side and got the thing installed, but now can't get the louver to snap into place.
I was told by their customer service person that it's much easier to just replace the entire heating unit, fins, pipe and all. Boy, that's just great advice. You'd need to drain your lines and cut them and buy the entire replacement package. I've got copper pipes, and hate to part with them. Also, the old Slant Fins rusted like a metal boat, so there's no painting or saving them. I thought about spray paint, but they're so pitted it's disgusting.
You would think that with all the older homes on the market, they would design a better product. Most people don't want to replace the entire system. They've had enough complaints about this, so you'd think they would come up with a better way. Other than this one glitch, the job wasn't too hard, even for an old woman.
I'm waiting for my gorrilla to get home from work, and maybe he can force the louver into place.
Just a heads up for those of you planning this job.
tony121 - Member
You can also purchase wood baseboard covers which fit right over the existing baseboard shells. I got mine from Home Page. I also purchased a couple of cast iron radiator covers from them for the main (older) part of the house. Great company to deal with.
When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commissions at no cost to you.