In answer to my good friend Clare showing an interest in Cast Iron Radiators, I am starting my radiator article with “old school” Radiators. I have always loved them, period properties and industrial lofts with old school radiators are gorgeous and practical design statements, cast iron radiators are returning in popularity for their efficiency.
I am not a clutter person, so I don't have purely ornamental items around my home, but my favourite design ideas are based on transforming an everyday practical item into a thing of beauty. Radiators are a brilliant opportunity to do this.
The science bit…
When renovating our house, I wanted to choose the new radiators rather than settle for the standard options the plumber would supply via his usual supplier. This enabled me to spend more time researching, save some money, and benefit from more choice.
However, I learnt that it is important to ensure the radiator is fit for purpose, I was advised to check the BTU rating the room needed, and the space available on the walls, before starting a search based on design. Very “scientific” and practical (aka boring), but it ensures the radiator does its job.
Traderadiators.com have a brilliant BTU Calculator which I used and will ensure the size of the radiator is adequate for the room.
Cast Iron or Steel?
Another key decision in relation to old school radiators is whether to buy steel or cast iron. I am by no means an expert, but my research has identified the following:
Cast iron is slower to warm up but retains the heat better and conducts the heat efficiently, a cast iron radiator is expensive to buy, it should also last much longer than steel.
Steel radiators heat up more quickly and lose the heat quickly, they are cheaper to buy and appear to come in a much wider range of styles.
Your decision is also impacted by your heating source, please check with your plumber for professional advice, and choose the version that works for your budget, home and heating system.
n.b.The prices I have listed in this article are at the time of writing and should be used as a guide only. Unfortunately I cannot be sure the price is the same at the point of purchase.
Now onto the creative bit…
Best Heating have an excellent selection of traditional old school radiators in both steel and cast iron.
BestHeating.com The Milano Windsor - Horizontal Triple Column Anthracite Traditional Cast Iron Style Radiator 600mm x 785mm x 100mm 4,729 BTU £234.95
This radiator is a beautiful example in powder coated steel.
Bestheating.com The Milano Alice - Classic Cast Iron Column Radiator - Antique Brass colour- 660mm x 767mm 4,585 BTU £469.95
An example of the traditional cast iron column radiator, notably similar BTU, double the price.
Trade Radiators are an excellent supplier I have used previously. I found them highly competitive and offer quick delivery which is very useful when the plumber is on site. Trade Radiators have a huge range of choice in Cast Iron & Steel Column radiators.
Clarendon Cast Iron Radiator, 440mm x 967mm - 1 column, 15 sections, with a similar BTU - 4725 and is £414.00.
Available in multiple finishes; I am showing the silver below because I love it, I like the modern twist.
Trade Direct Contour Column Radiator, Anthracite, 500mm x 1132mm BTU- 4433 £262.36
I absolutely love this modern twist on a column radiator in anthracite steel.
I have always wanted a designer style radiator. In every home previously the radiators were so ugly and we never got round to changing them.
When renovating our current house, we created a new entrance and needed a significant output radiator in our hall. It had to be a tall and a double radiator to ensure the correct BTU output within the limited wall space. I eventually selected this one from Agadon Heat & Design. It costs £784 which I know is a lot for a radiator, but for a piece of colourful, functional art I was thrilled with it. It looks even better in real life and friends who visit don’t realise it is a radiator.
There is a huge range of styles and you can send them a photo to use for a bespoke finish. Agadon also have a design radiator sale, based on showroom models or cancelled orders, worth looking at. https://www.agadondesignerradiators.co.uk/designer-radiators-sale/glass-radiator-clearance-special/
For those with an extensive budget I found this Bisque Arteplano in Etched Copper £1390.00 for the 453mm x 1813mm size. This is available via multiple online stores, at the time of writing the best price I could find was at hotinteriors.co.uk
Our compact utility room needed a radiator and virtually every wall was crammed with storage leaving a slim space by the door, close to the sink. We chose this tall slimline radiator which literally blends into the wall, is unobtrusive and keeps the room very warm.
Reina Slimline Designer Radiator, White, 1170mm x 300mm £126.00
And finally, here are some additional ideas and sites I found that may trigger your imagination.
TheHeatingBoutique.co.uk have some really pretty options.
Hex - Black Vertical Designer Radiator £422.00
H1200mm x W486mm - Single Panel
Neva - Chrome Horizontal Radiator £131.00
H550mm x W413mm - Single Panel
Bestheating.com feature this lovely surf board shaped radiator among many other options.
Lazzarini Way - Tavolara - Mineral White Vertical Designer Radiator £669.95
1728mm x 535mm
Living House also have this stunning
Flower Feature radiator it comes in multiple colours.£1468.80
1200mm x 320mm
I love the white with gold and the white with black.