Decorative Grilles

Decorative Grilles

Decorative Grilles, Mesh Panels and Radiator Grilles

This decorative grilles page allows you to browse our ranges and purchase, our woven grilles, regency grilles, perforated grilles and floor grilles, vent grilles, brass grilles and ventilation grilles, external air vent covers and wire panels online. We offer the widest range of decorative grilles and air vent covers in the UK and Europe. The pictures that you can access through this page represent a large proportion of James Gilbert grilles portfolio but not the full extent of the bespoke services we offer. A good place to see other products and services is here. If your requirement is for small ventilation grilles you might want to see our air vent covers page. If you cannot find the grille you are looking for, or if you just prefer a more personal service, please send details of your requirements to info at



We accept trade applications from genuine trade customers.  This will allow us to offer a discount to you once a regular trading history has been established. Contact us after you have placed your third order and we will switch that on for you. This discount applies to orders entered via the website on our standard products.



We manufacture the widest range of decorative grilles in the UK. They can be finished in brass, antique brass, bronze, stainless steel, aluminium, pewter, bright nickel, satin nickel and gold. All James Gilbert grilles, metal screens, ventilation grilles and mesh panels can be finished in this way and they can all be polished to a bright or satin finish to achieve either a shiny or matt effect suitable for either historical patination or modern applications. Brass grilles are particularly popular for historical projects. Feel free to choose any style or even suggest your own and ask for it to be finished in any way you like. To see the full range of finishes available, including many that are not shown on the standard James Gilberts grille pages, please visit our dedicated Special finishes page. Here you can view and select from a wider range of James Gilberts grilles finish ranges including more subtle shades of antiquing and more creative options.

Unless otherwise specified, it is assumed that all grilles are to be viewed from the front only and will not, therefore, receive the same standard of finishing on their reverse faces.  If your grille will be regularly viewed from the rear as well and you would like us to finish it to a similar standard as the front, please specify this in the notes.  Additional charges will apply.  This is especially important with antique and bronzed finishes.



External air vent covers as well as internal air vent covers can be chosen, specified and bought on our dedicated air vent covers page. There you can choose the pattern for your ventilation grille as well as the material finish and various framing and fixing options. If you do not see an option for exactly the ventilation grille that you are looking for then please contact us directly and we will create something especially for you. Generally we recommend stainless steel or aluminium as the most appropriate materials for external air vent covers whereas a wider choice including brass and bronze finishes is available for internal air vent covers. That said, if you are happy for your external air vent covers to weather naturally over time then brass and bronze finishes can also be used externally. External air vent covers on historic buildings were sometimes made using brass, copper or bronze and we are often asked to duplicate these to satisfy the requirements of a building's listed status and the requirements of English heritage. Internal air vent covers have been made from plastic for almost a century now but people who care about the quality of their surroundings are increasingly demanding a higher quality solid metal product that matches the finish of other fittings in their environment. Internal air vent covers made from brass also have the advantage of adding an antibacterial surface for the air to flow through before it enters a room.



Radiator grilles are one of the most popular uses of decorative grilles. Our radiator grilles are all made to measure and can be purchased online if you know the measurements by selecting either the hand-woven grille, regency grille or perforated grille purchasing pages. Decorative panels can also be used for radiator grilles. These can be cut in any pattern and finished with any appearance you choose from our list of finishes. Further details of each type of James Gilbert grille that can be seen in the picture links above can be found by clicking on those links and revealing the dedicated pages for each grille type. Here is a brief description of the most essential details of each type in the order in which they are displayed:

Woven Radiator Grilles

Woven grilles are made by weaving wires together, alternately overlapping each one over and under the perpendicular wires to create a lattice.

Regency Radiator Grilles

Regency grilles are made by assembling 1/8" square brass rods cut with angled slots at regular intervals. Most often this is done in a diamond pattern but also in elliptical, square and rectangular patterns. As the wires are not woven together but placed on top of each other the joints are held together with the additional feature of a pin or decorative rosette. These types of brass grilles provide a very open grille so it is most often given the additional layer of a fine or coarse backing mesh fitted behind it.

Perforated Radiator Grilles

Perforated grilles are made by perforating sheets of metal with holes at regular intervals . The thickness of the metals ranges from 0.77mm to 1.2mm. The holes are perforated in a variety of shapes, patterns and combinations to achieve different levels of decoration. In our decorative ranges the most plain and simple designs are those using a square hole. Amongst the most ornate styles are the fleur, inner circle and hexalong patterns. These patterns are perforated in standard size sheets, which are 1m x 2m in size. We sell full sheets and cut sizes. Unless you think you may use most of a full sheet, the most economical option is to let us know the exact sizes you require and we will cut them to exactly that size for you. As perforated grilles are cut from larger sheets the edges will have open holes and are therefore designed to be fitted into panels from behind, either flat on the back face or into a rebate or edged with a beading. If a finished edge is required then choose the metal frame option when ordering. If an integral border is preferred on the same level of the main grille to achieve a pure flat finish suitable for face fixing then this is available by special request.



Floor grilles are unique to us and come in a much wider variety of patterns, all of which can also be adapted for use as radiator grilles. If you would like to use them for another use other than floor grilles then it is best to contact us directly with your sizes, choice of pattern and finish as the prices will be lower than those quoted for those which are to be used for floor grilles. The floor grilles are also made by cutting holes in a sheet but each grille is cut specially to order with it's own integral border. Floor grilles can be ordered without a frame, with a separate angle frame or a with permanently fitted T section frame. It is assumed that unless otherwise specified the frame will be given the same finish as the James Gilbert grilles ordered.



Metal grilles can be used both internally and externally and depending on where they are to be used certain metals are more appropriate. This is the case with most metal products. External ventilation grilles are most commonly used to allow the free flow of air between the inside and the outside of a building. Whilst it is actually the duct that runs between the two environments through which the air spends most of its time travelling, it is the vent grille at either end which effectively provides a type of filter allowing only the air to pass through freely whilst acting as a hindrance to all but the smallest of visible particles and beasties. At the external face of the building a vent grille will be placed over the end of the duct to stop creatures such as birds and mice from gaining ingress. Usually this type of vent grille is plain in design and often of a similar colour to its surroundings so as to render it as invisible or at least unobtrusive as possible. The most appropriate metals for this purpose are stable ones, which are the least affected by the elements. Brass grilles are not often used outside.

The metals that are most suited to use in the manufacture of outdoor vent grilles are stainless steel, zinc, copper and aluminium. Due to their weather resistant nature all of these metals can be found in roofing materials. Higher grades of stainless steel will remain highly resistant to tarnishing for long periods of time, which is why they are used in marine applications. Once polished it will require very little maintenance to keep it that way. It is also extremely hard and can be used structurally. Zinc will start off bright silver and then darken to a dull grey over time.

Zinc is a soft metal and as such is not used structurally, It is used in large flat panels as a waterproof membrane on roofs but it's most common use is as a coating to other less weather resistant materials. This process is called galvanising and is most commonly used to cover carbon steel which would otherwise rust without the aid of a zinc coating.

Aluminium is very light, is used to make aeroplanes and is best if painted or anodised to prevent tarnishing.

Copper is a popular decorative material for external use, being used for ventilation grilles both for its practical benefits and also because of the interesting way in which it tarnishes. When it is new it is a bright shiny orange/pink colour, as it ages it slowly darkens to a flat brown and if left for longer will adopt a patina called verdigris, which is bright turquoise in colour. This effect is often employed for decorative roofing purposes. The turquoise colour is a result of the slow reaction between the copper and the air resulting in copper carbonate. This was used by the ancient Greeks as a pigment in their artworks. Decorative screens and panels can be woven from copper and if used outside will become more striking as they age. Copper ventilation grilles are sometimes seen on historic buildings where they are set into stonework.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It has a bright gold colour initially and then darkens.  Depending on the amount of copper in it can also achieve a verdigris colour. Brass is one of the most popular materials for decorative grilles but most often brass grilles are used internally where the finish on the woven lattice or decorative screen will be more stable. James Gilbert grilles can be made in all of the above metals. We are always on hand to help advise on suitability. Brass grilles form the basis of many of our other finishes. So very often even if you have ordered a nickel or antique brass grille the base material will be brass as it is particularly suitable for patination and plating. Examples of brass grilles that we process in this way are woven grilles, perforated grilles and regency grilles. If aluminium or stainless steel finishes are required then brass grilles will not be used. Those metal grilles are made from those metals themselves. The type of brass grille that is only ever made in brass regardless of what finish it ends up with is the regency style. It is not possible to make this style in aluminium or stainless steel but it is possible to give them the same finish that would make them appear that way. It would be a fairly strange request though as regency brass grilles are usually chosen for their historical integrity in projects of equivalent era so to make them in such modern materials would be incongruous. We do, however, plate regency brass grilles with modern plating metals such as chrome and nickel if that is required. Occasionally special effects are achieved by first making the brass grille, then plating it and applying a backing mesh of a different and contrasting metal and even possibly fastening that with decorative rosettes of a third contrasting metal.



Internally a wider variety of metals and finishes are suitable for making. Brass grilles can be polished, lacquered, patinated or plated, as can bronze, aluminium, steel and stainless steel. These metals can also be made to look similar to each other through these processes. For indoor purposes ventilation grilles can be placed on almost any interior surface provided there is some opportunity behind it to attach the duct that will enable the transfer of air. Ventilation grilles can be placed in walls, floors, ceilings, staircases, skirting boards, cornices, plinths, fireplaces, bay windows, in-built in furniture and many other places within the home. In some places the vent grilles may be used for a slightly different purpose such as in fireplaces where they would be used to allow a greater flow of air directly and specifically to the hearth itself. Vent grilles are also used to transfer air between rooms. Where vent grilles are used in air conditioning they are often referred to as supply and return grilles referring to whether they are covering the section of ducting where air is either drawn in or expelled. James Gilberts grilles are made for all these purposes and indeed most of our grilles are interchangeable to suit a wide variety of situations.



A grille is a sheet or panel with holes in it that has the practical purpose of keeping something out whilst also letting something through. The holes can be in any shape, particularly if they are perforated in a sheet. If a grille is made by weaving wires then holes will be either square, rectangular or diamond shaped. Originally grilles were used for the practical purpose of keeping animals and people out while allowing air in. As the range of applications they could be used for increased so did the variety of forms they came in. Their use for security on larger buildings lead to them becoming more ornate and eventually serving purely decorative purposes as embellishments making buildings look more attractive. Metal grilles were soon regarded as such an attractive and useful feature that they were brought inside and used as decorative features where they screened off whatever was behind them whilst allowing air to flow freely through them. James Gilberts grilles have been made on the same site since 1881.



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