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Will wooden shelves above my radiators be safe and keep heat in the room?

I have radiators fixed onto external walls with no cavity wall insulation and a lot of heat is lost through the walls. I am considering getting some radiator shelves made to contain the heat inside the rooms and to double up as extra storage. Do I need a special wood to handle the heat of the radiators? Will it be safe to use the shelves to store books or will it be too hot? Does the wood have to have a special treatment to handle the constant heat?

R - HA3

Asked: February 28 2018


Shelf above the radiator does help circulate the rising warm air out into the room but more heat will be being lost via the back of the radiator, maybe be fit refelective foil insulation behind the radiator as well as a shelf above. Things on the shelf may warm up a little.

Ross Property Maintenance

March 11 2018

Any shelve above a radiator is a bad idea! It affects the air circulation of the radiator. Cool air enters at the base and has it warms up it leave or rises to the top pass the vains and circulates the warm air into the room. A shelf fitted above interrupts the air flow. It might look good but it isn't efficient.

Inspiration Central Engineering

March 09 2018

Hi Any timber will be ok They do not have to be treated They will take the weight of books but depends on how many and shelf brackets Regards jim


March 08 2018

Any wood is fine to use treated or untreated makes no difference. Regards dan

D J Carpentry & Joiners (Norfolk)

March 08 2018

Shelves above radiators are quite common although would not help to contain heat within the rooms. The amount of heat escape through walls depends on the make up of the wall. I would suggest the shelf be at least 50mm above the top of the radiator to allow heat and air to flow as heat rises up and circulates. Anything stored on the shelf will likely get warmed up the extent depending of course on how hot your radiator setting is.

Jep Property Ltd

March 08 2018

I strongly recommend do NOT fit any shelves above the radiators as they will limit airflow circulation.Also high temperature is very aggressive environment for your books.


January 19 2020

Would suggest fitting specialist insulation behind radiators to help with heat bleeding out through walls. Shelves are readily available online or from larger diy stores.

JH (Builders)

March 08 2018

Hi please can you contact me 07960920532 thanks

Blana Floor Sanding

March 08 2018