Yesterday the sun was shining so brightly it gave me hope that spring is just around the corner. It also filled the living room with so much light that I kept staring at the radiator and remembered again just how happy it makes me since we replaced it. Yes, yes. I am that geek that loves attention to detail and slowly working round the house replacing radiators is one of those projects that seems fairly mundane but has a surprisingly stylish effect.
When I was researching the type of radiators we wanted, I did a lot of crowd-sourcing and so thought I’d share some pearls of wisdom in case it helps any of you who might be thinking about doing the same.
1. What Style?
For most of the rooms in our home we’ll probably be opting for a fairly traditional style which is in keeping with the age of the house. We’ve only replaced the living room radiator so far and have chosen the three-column cast-iron effect (it’s a replica rather than an original). If you have a much more modern home you may want to go for a designer style, the list is endless. If we ever get round to our ground-floor extension it will be very modern and so we’ll either have underfloor heating or perhaps a long, tall radiator instead of the standard design. I love the radiators I’ve seen in bathrooms that almost look like coat-hangers.
2. Don’t Forget The Accessories
This is where my um, anal retentiveness comes into its own. I’ve seen SO many people fit beautiful new radiators and then keep the same shoddy 1980s valves, or don’t bother to coordinate the pipes. Rooky mistakes guys! It’s so cost-effective to finish the look off even if your radiator manufacturer doesn’t have valves that you like. Our radiators come from Mr Central Heating, but I didn’t like any of the valves that they had so I purchased separately from Best Heating UK. The pipe cuffs we bought from Screwfix to complete the look and it may sound crazy but it makes all the difference.
3. Pick A Colour
Gone are the days when radiators need to be white (or even worse, a faded cream). Colour matching your radiator to the walls is very on-trend at the moment and I have to admit it does look amazing. Until you want to change the wall colour. It’s totally possible to spray radiators yourself and massively reduce the cost but I wouldn’t be brave enough. We had our living room radiator custom-sprayed on manufacture in ‘gunmetal’. Yes it’s expensive but my goodness, the finish is out of the this world and I haven’t seen a ready-made grey anywhere that I’ve actually liked enough. Damn my expensive tastes.
4. Think About The Heat Output
As much as I love older homes for a million and one reasons, the permanent feeling of cold is not one of those. It feels like all the radiators we have are so inefficient and on replacing just one we’ve really noticed the difference. Make sure you do a little bit of research on heat output and any effect it may have on your central heating bills, too. I always thought putting radiators under windows was the most stupid design flaw but apparently it’s because this is the coldest point in most rooms and cold air disperses warm air around the room. Who knew?
5. How To Fit Them
Ok, I know it’s Radiator 101. But you may find that your new radiator is considerably heavier than your old one, or the brackets fixing it to the wall are in a different place so the pipes need extending. We’re so grateful to our very clever plumber neighbour who it makes it all look so easy but without him we’d be flummoxed I can honestly say that starting “Project Radiators” has made so much difference to our living room. It’s much cosier now and well, it sure is pretty to look at. My OCD is at peace, for now.
I hope this helped but if you ever have any questions about radiators just drop a comment or ping me an email.