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Buying Bathroom Radiators – Three Big Points to Consider, by Paul Madill


Paul Madill
February 27, 2014
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I do not care what brickbats impugning my masculinity that come my way, I’m going to state something right here and now: I wouldn’t leave bed in the morning if my bathroom hadn’t been pre-heated. Hold back a second – it is February, and the snow is sifting in towering drifts against the windowsill as I type. I’m not being particularly soft, I’m just being particularly sensible. So there.

Now, I have put together a number of technical buying guides over years, from talking up taps to nudging you towards your perfect L shaped bath, so I thought I’d do the same for bathroom radiators. Away we go.


You’d think this would be self-evident, but a lot of people disregard the construction of the unit and focus on the aesthetic. This is a mistake. Experience tells me that low carbon steel is the finest material with which to form radiators from. The foremost reasons for this are the serious corrosion resistance and strength the material provides. This, in turn promises longevity.


Pushing the base materials to the forefront does not mean I sideline finishes and their composition completely. Now, the first thing a finish should do is look good, and thus chrome – also popular on towel rails and waterfall taps - and other high glosses are very popular. The additional technical aspect here that is extremely welcome is that, when properly applied, these provide an extra layer of protection for the frame, sealing and toughening it. Look for triple-plated finishes for the best of this bonus.


I’m not going to tell you whether to go either electric or standard power for your radiator, when it is clear you can have both. I often advise making some radiators in your home dual fuel, as it increases the functionality of your heating while also saving you some money in the long run. By installing an electric element in a bathroom or utility room radiator, you can then use that radiator in isolation, for drying clothes or whatnot. This means you do not have to have your central heating activated and eating energy, something of more import in the summer months.