How to Cut Steel Baseboard Heater Covers

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Baseboard heater covers require cutting to length.
Baseboard heater covers require cutting to length. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Covers keep debris from entering the coil of a baseboard heater while hiding the heater’s inner mechanics. Steel baseboard covers are stronger than their aluminum counterparts, but the stronger steel can rust after extended use. When exchanging a rusted or outdated cover for a new cover, it may be necessary to cut the baseboard heater to length. Luckily, thin 22ga steel is used as a base material for baseboard heater covers. Metal this thin does not require specialized cutting tools to be shortened to the correct length.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Combination square
  • Aviation snips

Measure the length of the baseboard heater fins by hooking a tape measure on one end of the fins and pulling it to the other side of the fin. Add 1 inch to the measured length.

Lay the extended tape measure alongside a new baseboard cover. Ensure the end of the tape measure aligns with one end of the cover. Mark the measured length plus 1 inch on the face of the cover with a permanent marker.

Align a combination square blade with the length mark. Pull the permanent marker along the square blade to mark a cut line.

Place the metal inside the open jaws of a pair of aviation snips. Ensure to match the aviation snip to the cut direction. For example, select a pair of snips with the lower blade sitting to the left side of the top blade if the line is marked on the left side of the cover.

Cut along the line with the snips while ensuring not to cut with the tips of the snip blades. Cutting with the end of the snip blades will cause small nicks on the face of the baseboard cover.

Discard the cutoff section of the cover.

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