The last 20 years have seen radiator designs take leaps forward. No longer do homes have to have ugly white rectangles installed. These days we are able to choose from hundreds of designs and styles and can even choose from a range of different colours and materials. However, when it comes to making the right choice for your home, it’s not all about appearance, although that does play a large part.
So, whether you are going for a modern yet traditional look and feel, or a more contemporary, out of this world look, below are some handy tips that you should keep in mind when considering which radiator is going to best suit the different rooms in your house.
Find out what the Heat Output requirement for each room is
Even though we now have many increasingly stylish radiators to choose from, we should not forget that the main aim of these appliances is to heat up our homes. Before you ever purchase and install new radiators you must firstly find out how much heat each of the rooms in your house needs.
You can do this, either by hiring a plumber or heating engineer to work it out for you or you can use any number of online calculators and do it yourself. This calculation will be done in British Thermal Units per hour (BTU/h) and you will then be better placed to know what size and type of radiator you are going to need.
Consider Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)
TRVs are one of the best additions that you can make when purchasing any kind of radiator because they not only allow you to set all of your radiators, throughout your home, to different temperatures but they also, very cleverly, monitor heat output. This means that if the air temperature of a room gets too high, then it will automatically reduce the flow to the radiator.
Having these valves installed can also have a positive impact on the amount of energy your home uses and therefore result in cost savings over the years on your household bills.
Always consider the specific location for each radiator
Of course location will play a huge part in determining what kind of style radiator you choose, however, you should specifically focus on the following points:
Radiators should be positioned at the coldest part of the room. This normally means underneath or next to a window, which usually means that the radiator is also installed on an outside wall, which allows the heat to be pushed around the room by the cold air. Although, these days most homes have double glazing and great insulation, which frees up a lot of other possibilities for radiators to be located.
Available space is most definitely a factor you need to consider when buying radiators, as generally, the larger the radiator, the greater the heat output is going to be. So if you do not have much horizontal space, instead of installing a small radiator, you should consider a larger version which can be installed vertically. Not only will this solve your horizontal floor space issue but it will produce a good amount of heat and keep whichever room, be it your bathroom, bedroom or kitchen, nice and cosy.
As we become more and more advanced in designs for our home heating appliances, it gets harder and harder to choose and many people find themselves overwhelmed, which makes them stick with what they already know and they end up with a mundane, plain steel panel design. Whilst steel is still the cheapest choice, you can mix it up a bit and vary the shapes, colours and especially the sizes of the radiators you end up choosing for your home.
If steel isn’t your first choice, you can look at aluminium, which you will find can be shaped into extremely smooth and luxurious panels, which look incredibly stylish in any home. You can also get aluminium designer radiators which are sculptured into shapes that look more like pieces of modern art than heating appliances! One thing to keep in mind is that whilst aluminium does heat up quickly, it also loses heat quickly once switched off.
For the more adventurous, stone and glass radiators are also becoming more and more common and are not only very energy efficient for the home but they also look incredibly stylish and will most definitely be a talking point for any guests that you have over. Using these materials also makes it a lot easier to incorporate your radiators into your interior design plans because they look so good.
If you are keen to keep to the more traditional style then cast iron radiators are still a good choice and although they do take a while to heat up, they actually retain heat for a lot longer than other materials do. Also although cast iron is more traditional, you will still be able to find a lot of great designer varieties if you do fancy something a bit out of the ordinary.
Think about your existing styles and decor
Of course appearance has to play a large part when it comes to making the final decision as to which designer radiators you choose. So you have got to be sure about how you want each room to look, what colour schemes you’re going to use and most definitely how modern or traditional you want the rooms to look.
You’ve got to decide how much, or how little, you want the radiators to stand out and how you can arrange them so that they don’t look out of place within the space you’ve chosen for them to be installed.
We are extremely lucky that we now have such a great selection of radiators to choose from and that whether you want designer or standard radiators, you’ll definitely be able to find what you’re looking for.
Laura Harrison is an interior design and home improvement fanatic. When she isn’t blogging about the latest wallpaper designs she’s often found at the gym, working off her chocolate habit.