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Radiator covers and cabinets are one of the most popular uses for decorative grilles. When used for this purpose the panels of mesh themselves are often referred to as radiator grilles or radiator cover meshes.
Our steel and brass grilles are all made to measure and can be purchased on-line by choosing one of the three traditional types of radiator cover grilles; the woven grille, regency grille or perforated grille.
Decorative panels can also be used in radiator covers and as radiator screens in any design or finish. If you would like to choose one of our styles of decorative metal panels to achieve either a traditional or contemporary look for your radiator cover then please choose from the selection on the decorative panels page.
Brass radiator screens can be created by weaving brass wires together to form a lattice. To create different styles of woven grille, different metals can be used as well as different sized wires, different methods of weaving, different hole sizes and orientation.
If you would like a radiator cover grille that is very open in style then choose a large hole and a narrow wire. If you would prefer a radiator mesh that obscures the view through the radiator cover mesh then choose a wider wire with a smaller hole.
If an even greater level of obscuration is required to make sure than none of the radiator behind the cover grille is visible then choose to include a backing mesh. The most obscure style of backing mesh with the smallest holes is the ‘fine’ backing mesh. Once the fine backing is attached to the front grille they become one complete radiator cover grille with a combined obscuring effect that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. If a large hole with narrow wire grille is chosen, then much of this fine mesh will be visible through the grille but very little of the radiator itself. If a wide wire and a small hole are chosen, it will already be quite hard to see through to the radiator, but once the fine or coarse mesh is added to the back then it will be virtually impossible to see anything through the combined grille without getting up extremely close to the grille, which would be rare during their normal use.
The technical specuification for the backing mesh is:
* Fine Mesh: 16 wires per inch (0.375mm wire) - 58.35% open area
* Coarse Mesh: 8 wires per inch (0.63mm wire) - 64.25% open area
Woven radiator grilles are manufactured with either a diamond or square pattern. An additional feature that can be added to the manufacturing process of the diamond woven radiator mesh style is to have the woven grille squashed laterally. This achieves a narrower and more elongated shape of diamond. It should be noted that this style will relax into its natural state during transport so the panels that are delivered may appear to be too wide and not tall enough for the apertures for which they are intended and for which the sizes were provided. It is necessary therefore to squeeze the panels laterally during fitting until they again achieve their natural shape and size. It is also possible to provide laterally wider diamonds but having them squeezed longitudinally but this is rare.
The use of round wire is also a possibility for creating an open style of radiator mesh panel. The round wire is available in 1.6mm and 2mm wire diameters in brass and stainless steel. All hole sizes are available in the 1.6mm (916 gauge) wire but only the larger sized holes are available in the 2mm wire. As it is so open it would most often be used in combination with a backing mesh.
As well as in domestic cabinets and radiator covers, and library cupboards doors, round wire grilles were a popular choice for early automobile manufacturers. When the round wire is given an extra crimp between the joints it makes the overall panel more rigid and this made it particularly suitable for making stone guards for headlamps and car radiator screens as they allowed sufficient light and air through them whilst protecting that which was behind them from being chipped by stones thrown up from the road by other vehicles. We still manufacture grilles of this nature and sometimes it is the vintage and veteran car enthusiasts who choose to have similar vehicular style grilles in their houses.
Sometimes the word mesh is used instead of grilles. The meaning of these terms overlap but generally when talking in terms of woven products, meshes are regarded as being of a finer nature than grilles, meaning that the materials from which they are constructed are of a smaller gauge and the holes are smaller. Radiator cover grilles therefore refers to those made with coarser materials and with larger holes. Where Brass radiator grilles are regarded as being too ‘open’ then smaller gauge meshes are added to them in an additional layer to provide increased hiding qualities to the whole radiator panel. Please view our woven grilles page where you can choose and purchase styles of grilles and meshes online.
There is sometimes confusion over the spelling of the word grille. We occasionally receive orders for grills instead of grilles. So far as we are aware a grill is used for cooking. A grill describes a cooking implement that makes some use of parallel metal bars for either resting the food on while it is cooked or for applying direct heat to the food. Grilling describes the act of cooking the food in this way and a venue where food cooked in such a way may refer to itself as a grill. Though some restaurateurs still insist on using the word grille instead of grill in the name of their restaurants, presumably to sound more interesting or upmarket. To give someone a grilling however is not to cook them but to ask them a series of questions in an intense way. To confuse matters further a grill is apparently now also a cosmetic device worn by people who don’t think that their teeth are decorative enough. It is a small metal plate worn over their front teeth, that provides them with the opportunity to entertain others which their ability to house jewellery in their mouths. Whether or not they can enjoy a grill in a grill whilst wearing such a grill is beyond this author's authority on the matter. It is likely that all these other definitions of the word grill actually originate from the original word grille. We are happy to stick with that one.
Regency radiator cover grilles are most often used where people are choosing grilles that are suitable for an historic environment or to help reproduce one.
Our regency grilles are exact replicas of original grilles that were designed and used in the regency period. We use the same materials, patterns, assembly methods and manufacturing techniques.
The regency style of radiator cover grille comes in 4 sizes of diamond, two sizes of square and the ellipse style, which changes in size according to the size of the panel required. The diamonds are higher than they are wide and when measured from the centre of pin to centre of pin across their width are 35mm, 51mm, 61mm and 80mm. To make the complete assembly that represents a regency radiator grille, three essential components are required: the front grille made from 1/8 inch solid brass square rod, fixing pins, also in brass and a fine or coarse radiator mesh that is attached to the back using the pins that hold the grille together. The pins can be either small plain dome headed rivets for a simple look or one of two type of decorative headed rivet, being either floral or circular in design. The size of the head of the small plain rivet is equivalent to that of the profile of the grille material (1/8 of an inch) so does not overlap it. The size of the head of the decorative rosettes is around 10mm and so overlaps the joint at the corners of the diamond both hiding the intersection and creating a significant decorative feature at the same point. The decorative rivets can be placed on every joint for a highly decorative appearance or alternated with the plain rivets for a less busy look.
Sometimes the regency style of radiator cover mesh is used for other purposes such as in the doors of library cabinets where it is desirable to see though the grille to the books behind. In this case the regency brass radiator grille will be supplied without any backing mesh. This style, especially when chosen with the largest style of diamond would represent our most open style of decorative radiator grille.
When regency grilles are being used as radiator cover grilles then radiator mesh is usually applied to the back of the radiator grille. This mesh is available in two styles and is made from narrow gauge round brass wire. The two styles are called fine and coarse. The fine uses a finer wire and has 16 small holes per inch and the coarse uses a slightly heavier wire and has 8 holes per inch. The fine with its smaller holes is more opaque.
All our regency grilles are can be made in any of our standard finishes. All styles and finishes of regency radiator cover mesh are available for purchase on line on our regency radiator grille page. Here you can buy regency radiator cover grilles and meshes where all the components are in the same finish. So for example if ‘bronze’ is chosen then the grille and the rivets and the rosettes and the backing mesh will all be bronzed to form one uniform bronze radiator panel. If you require a less conventional combination where different finishes are required for different components of the grille, for example a brass grille with bronze rosettes and chrome mesh (not a combination we have yet be asked for) then please get in touch by phone or email or post, specifying your exact requirements and we will deal with your special request directly.
Perforated grilles are made by punching multiples of holes in a repeating pattern across the surface of a thin sheet of metal. This is the only style of grille, which is made in advance in sheets form from which we will cut your grilles. As such it is often the first choice when the delivery of decorative brass radiator grilles is an urgent requirement. The fastest delivery can be achieved when the finish chosen is that of the natural state of the grille rather than a finish that requires an extra process. The natural finishes for perforated radiator meshes are brass, stainless steel and aluminium. Brass is best for a gold colour requirement. Stainless steel is best for a polished silver or chrome type requirement and aluminium is best good for a matt silver colour. Stainless steel is also available in a satin finish. Not all perforated mesh panels are available in all metals. In the perforated style stainless steel mesh is only available in the square or square diamond patterns. These styles are most suitable for contemporary style environments which best suit the stainless steel mesh choice. Other perforated metal mesh finishes which take a little longer to produce but are still available at relatively short notice are antique brass, and bronzed brass. These are chemically treated to achieve an aged mesh panel where a slightly darker, less shiny look is preferred. The finishes that take the longest, regardless of what style of grille or metal work is chosen are bright nickel, satin nickel, chrome and finally pewter (antique silver) which takes the longest.
In aluminium only two patterns are available: small club and cross. These are two of our most popular mesh panel patterns. Aluminium is amongst the most economic metals from which to order decorative perforated grilles. It is a good choice, therefore, if it is intended that the grilles will be painted.
In the brass range we stock the widest variety of metal mesh panel patterns. Whilst all our perforated mesh panels are suitable for use as radiator grilles, those available in brass are also available in antique brass and bronzed brass, as brass is the base metal for these other finishes. The patterns available in brass are hexalong, inner circle, small club, cross, square, diamond and fleur.
The final type of radiator cover mesh which allows the greatest variety in look is the bespoke decorative metal panel style. For this style we can cut any pattern including family crests or corporate logos into flat panels for use as personalised radiator grilles. This style of radiator panel can be designed to suit a wide variety of interior styles. Simple slots, repeating designs or geometric patterns can be used for a modern or contemporary looking radiator panel, or traditional patterns like damask can just as easily be cut to create stunning traditional looking grilles. In both cases the chosen pattern can be scaled up, down or repeated to suit the size of the radiator panel required. When used in combination with our special finishes and backing meshes this style really can create the most dramatic and exciting effects that stand as eye-catching artworks in their own right.
For examples of bespoke patterns that can be used to create decorative radiator panels take a look at our decorative panels page.
If you have your own pattern or a motif that you would like us to include please forward it to us by email.