Radiators are often seen as an essential piece of equipment in the home, and they’re often difficult to make look nice. Most people will typically opt for a simple looking white panel radiator when they need a new one. While there’s nothing wrong with their simplicity, if you want something with a bit more pizzazz and you want to liven a room up, a unique looking radiator can help.
When I say “unique” I mean having specific qualities; its design, color, features or material used.
With radiators being an infrequent purchase, knowing how to find a unique radiator can be easy if you follow these tips. And don’t worry, I won’t be suggesting going for crazy looking radiators, just doing some detective work to figure out how to make a radiator look its best in your home. Even with just a few simple suggestions, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to add a radiator that is unique and adds some character to your home. Here is how to do it.
Table of Contents:
1. Learn the radiator lingo
Know your offset rails from your curved? Could you easily tell the difference between a four-column and double panel radiator? The world of radiators has its own terminology which can all too easily get you confused over what to look for. When shopping for radiators, some of the most important design terms to look out for include:
A. Finish – this is the colour the radiator will be
B. Direction – this is telling you if you’re buying a horizontal or vertical radiator
C. Offset – your radiator only has one vertical column (i.e. the design of offset)
D. Satin/Polished/Chrome – these are the varying tones for the polish of a radiator.
E. Angled/corner/straight – the varying ways pipes connect the radiator. Important to know which connections you have to know which radiators fit your home.
F. Dual-fuel – radiators which can be plumbed in or used independently by plugging in to an electric source.
When you learn some of the terminology, you’ll be able to hone-in on unique styles which suit you best.
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2. Get a bold color/finish
To me, a radiator with a unique finish is going to look amazing, regardless of whether it’s cheap, a traditionally styled panel radiator, or a high-end designer piece. You’ll be amazed what swapping out a plain white radiator for a bold or bright colored one can do in a room that needs a burst of color.
For example, take a look at these copper radiators from Trade Radiators. It’s a striking color that most people would never think of having on their radiators. And even though it makes it appear as though the radiator is bare, you’re looking at a painted radiator. Some of the other finishes (remember, this is what those in the radiator world call colors) to cast an eye over when you want a unique radiator at home include:
a) Anthracite – almost slate-like, it looks great in kitchens
b) Black – usually reserved for rooms where you already have strong black features
c) Lacquered – where the radiator is bare and covered in a protective layer
d) Satin – gives a unique metallic finish without looking shiny
After knowing your finishes, you could use any color other than white, and you’ll have a standout radiator that injects some liveliness into the room.
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3. Opt for Aluminium
Most radiators are made from steel. It is a dependable material which can be shaped, moulded, and hold heat quite well. It helps as well that it is quite cheap to source for manufacturers. A step above that is stainless steel, which is what your cutlery is made of – it has a lower risk of oxidation.
Many designer radiator brands though will go one step further and use aluminium for their radiators. Why does this matter? Well, there are a few reasons.
Aluminium is easier to shape than steel, allowing for designers to have a greater degree of freedom on what form a radiator can take. If you ever see a designer radiator that has an odd shape, it is usually made from aluminium. The material is lighter than steel too, making it easier to move around and hang on walls.
It helps as well that aluminium will react/ heat quicker than steel, although it won’t retain heat for longer after the heating is turned off. This makes it a good choice in rooms you’d want to have heat up quickly. The only real downside to choosing aluminium is that it is much more expensive to source than steel, so aluminium radiators tend to be more expensive.
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4. Don’t change your radiator
How can keeping the same radiator make it unique? If you know how to add the right accessories, you can give a radiator some personality without taking it off the wall. I highly recommend spending the money on getting better-looking radiator valves. Most radiators have those tiny white cap valves that look cheap and are prone to discolouring. Also, dust loves to cling to them. Getting a large valve or one with an ornate handle will instantly make your radiator look different.
If you have a vertical radiator or towel rail in your hallway or bathroom, some robe hooks add functionality and give your radiator a purpose that gets noticed. Even something as simple as a radiator tile, which sits on top and keeps your tea/coffee warm in the evening can make your radiator seem more purposeful, which adds to its uniqueness.
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5. Get smart with home improvement
I hope some of these tips help you when it comes to buying or accessorizing your radiators at home. If you take the time to think about more than just the size of the radiator you need, you’ll be surprised with how many options you have.
Also, remember to check our Home Improvement section for the latest articles on improving every room and adding value to your home. Please feel free to share this article on your Facebook page so other can benefit from it as well. Thanks in advance!
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