designer radiators buying guide

Designer Radiator Buying Guide

If you want to make a statement in a room, then a designer radiator could be just what you’ve been looking for.

Designer radiators go further than functionality, they add style and can be fitted in various rooms throughout your home. They come in a range of colours, types and sizes, meaning you can find a designer radiator to fit every space and any decor.

To help you out, Plumbworld has written this complete guide to designer radiators. We’ll discuss how they’re different from standard models, the design types, how to install them and answer some crucial questions you may have before buying.

Read on to find out more about designer radiators and what they can offer your home…

What are designer radiators?

what are designer radiators?

Radiators have always been a household item that performs a vital purpose - heating your room - but rarely make any other impact. They are very much function over form, meaning that, aesthetically, they can often be plain to look at and not a part of your decor.

The majority of radiators come in a limited number of colours - white and cream being the most common options. The easiest way around dressing up standard radiators is to use a radiator cover. The alternative to this are designer radiators.

Read more: Radiator Covers Buying Guide

Designer radiators combine a dramatic focal point that has a real visual impact with heating efficiency. Designer radiators are ideal if you want to make a statement in a bathroom or kitchen, for example. 

However, there's more to them than just good looks - these radiators are not a case of style over substance. Designer radiators also provide a fantastic heating outlet that will help keep you warm during the colder months, being just as efficient as other radiator types.

What are the types of designer radiator?

what are the types of designer radiator?

Designer radiators can come in either traditional or contemporary designs creating incredibly eye-catching centrepieces while excelling at basic jobs, like heating your home. Most designer radiators are, however, modern in design.

Our collection of designer radiators are available in horizontal and vertical styles in a range of sizes. This ensures you can get the right size for the space you’re trying to heat. Too large, and you are paying excessive money to heat it. Too small and you aren’t getting a return on the heat you’re paying for.

A variety of colours are also available, depending on the colour scheme you’ve got in your home. This can include the traditional white or cream through to the stylishly modern grey anthracite options that can be contrasted against your furnishings or work with bright decor colours.

Finally, for modern designer radiators, you have the option of flat panel and oval designer radiators. For flat panel radiators, the sleek appearance is the perfect complement for any modern home and gives these radiators the flexibility of being fitted in any room. Oval designer radiators add an eye-catching style while allowing for more space.

Column Designer Radiators

column designer radiators

If you’re looking to add or retain some period charm in your home, a column radiator can give a traditional feel to your room. 

Similar in style to old cast-iron radiators that came from the Victorian era, these modern models keep the look but provide much better heat efficiency than their predecessors. With finishes in crisp white or dark anthracite, you can match your decor with ease, while the low-carbon steel ensures they are durable and long-lasting.

Vertical Designer Radiators

Vertical radiators are designed specifically for vertical hanging and are built to an extremely high-standard using low-carbon steel for added durability and strength.

Vertical flat panel radiators are great as the slender projection means they can be fitted into the smallest of spaces, providing you and your family with an effective heating solution that still looks great. Vertical radiators are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens where you will often have limited wall space available.

Where should I fit designer radiators?

As we’ve said, due to their often vertical shape, designer radiators are ideal for bathrooms because they often have limited wall space. Not only will they only take the vertical space offered in any room. Due to their vertical reach, they will provide efficient heating for the entire room space, taking less time to eat the room.

Designer radiators aren’t just for the bathroom, they’re suitable for living rooms, dining rooms, landings, kitchens and even hallways. They are perfect for anywhere that you might consider fitting a standard radiator but want to save on space and add a piece of decor in themselves. This is especially true if you choose a bold design to break up the wall.

Are designer radiators efficient?

are designer radiators efficient?

Designer radiators are efficient, however, as some or many don’t feature convection fins, as you would see in a standard radiator, they aren’t always as efficient.

Aside from the lack of convection fins, designer radiators are also limited by their colour - grey or chrome finishes aren’t as efficient as white radiators when it comes to emitting heat. Though they aren’t as efficient as standard radiators, designer radiators are still an effective heat source, depending on where you use them. You can find a designer radiator that has a high BTU rating and is made from high-performance materials.

You should also be aware that due to the nature of some designs, they might require a bit more maintenance to make sure they look their best. This is because it's easier for dust to become trapped within the grooves. While it may not be a huge issue, this will slightly spoil the look of darker radiator finishes if it's allowed to build up, so it's a good idea to give them a regular clean.

Installing a Designer Radiator

Installation is easy and direct, allowing you to plumb them straight into your central heating system. This ensures you are provided with something that’s powerful, efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

How to fit designer radiators

how to fit a designer radiator

Your designer radiators will fit into your existing central heating system and we’ve made a step-by-step guide to installing a designer and vertical radiator.

You can find out how to remove and replace a radiator in our full guide.

  1. Switch-off your heating system - your water supply - this ensures safety while installing the radiator. You should allow the water in the system to cool.
  2. Choose where you want to place your radiator - close to current pipework and away from doors. Make sure you’ve checked what’s behind it with a digital detector. This will let you know whether there are any pipes, cables or studs.
  3. Check the bracket distance by marking the distance between them. This will show the distance to the centre of the radiator. Then drill where the brackets will go.
  4. Fit your brackets and ensure they’re in position and can support the radiator before attaching it to the wall. This will allow you to fit your radiator to the wall but always do so in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Fit the radiator valves nearest to where your current pipework is, or pipework will be; wrap the valves in PTFE tape. It's always best to install your valves before attaching your radiator to the wall to make the job easier.
  6. Tip: An extra pair of hands will help with marking the position to install the radiator and the actual fitting.
  7. Check it’s level using a spirit level and mark where the centre is on the wall with a pencil - then mark the top and bottom of the radiator.
  8. Connect your vertical radiator valves to your heating pipework, making sure that everything is secured and tight. Make sure the manual control and bleed valves are fully open and open the bleed valve to allow water into the radiator.
  9. Once the radiator has stopped ‘gurgling’ and is full, open the lockshield valve by the same amount of turns as you needed to close it earlier.
  10. Check all the joints and sealings are dry and waterproof, tightening them if necessary. Now, you can turn your heating back on and fill the system, making sure to check it works and for any leaks and that the radiator is evenly getting hot.

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more bathroom advice…

Smart Thermostat Guide | How to Decorate a Bathroom | Radiator Covers Buying & Fitting Guide