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Modern Radiators: Styles, Features, and Costs

Flat panel radiator which is vertical and black

Radiators in the UK have evolved from the old-fashioned, bulky models of the past. Today’s modern radiators are sleeker, quieter, and far more energy efficient due to advanced technology. New materials like aluminium and anthracite offer superior heat conduction and convection. The sleek column design provides better heat distribution while taking up less space. Electric and hydronic flat panel radiators deliver instant and even warming.

Modern radiators also provide much greater control over your home heating. Smart thermostatic valves and WiFi-connected controls allow you to customize temperatures room-by-room. Some models auto-regulate based on your schedule and preferences. These technology enhancements mean modern radiators not only look better, but they can help reduce your energy bills compared to older heating units.

When selecting a new modern radiator, consider the different types, features, costs and proper sizing for your needs. Today’s options allow you to upgrade both the form and function of your home heating.

Towel Radiators

As the name suggests, towel radiators are designed to heat and dry towels. They consist of heated tubes or rails connected to the central heating system.

Towel radiators heat up rapidly and have horizontal rails for hanging towels. They are often wall-mounted in bathrooms. Towel radiators range from around £120 to £400 depending on size and materials.

Designer Radiators

Designer radiators make a fashionable statement with unique shapes and finishes like chrome, glass, or painted metal.

Popular designer styles include column radiators, ladder towel warmers, and flat panel radiators. Designer radiators start around £400 and can cost over £800 depending on the look you want.

Column Radiators

Column radiators feature vertical columns linked by horizontal headers. They have a slim profile compared to old-fashioned radiators.

Column radiators work well along walls and in corners. They cost £150 to £500 depending on height and finish.

White column radiator which is horizontal

Electric Radiators

Electric radiators use heating elements to warm rooms. They connect directly to electrical outlets instead of water pipes.

Electric radiators heat up rapidly, operate quietly, and provide more flexibility on placement. Prices range from £40 for a small unit to a few hundred pounds for larger heaters.

Traditional Radiators

Traditional cast iron radiators with finned panels remain a popular choice in the UK. They emit a natural convection heat.

Newer versions run more quietly than older models. Traditional radiators cost £120 to £300 depending on size and style. Antique-style cast iron radiators cost more.

Chrome traditional radiator

Flat Panel Radiators

As the name suggests, flat panel radiators have a smooth flat surface. They take up less space than traditional radiators, install directly on walls, and have a contemporary look.

Flat panel radiators range from around £120 up to £400 or more depending on size.

Flat panel modern radiator which is vertical and black

Aluminium Radiators

Aluminium radiators have panels made of die-cast aluminium for quick, even heating. They are lightweight and corrosion resistant. Aluminium radiators cost around £150 to £500 depending on output capacity.

RAL Colour Radiators

You can customise the colour of your radiator with RAL powder coated finishes. RAL stands for Reichsausschuß für Lieferbedingungen, a colour matching system.

Any RAL colour code can be applied to radiators. Expect to add £80 to £400 for a custom RAL colour.

Modern radiators combine style, functionality, and energy efficiency. Consider the types of radiators, features, and costs to find the right model for your space and budget.

Modern RAL colour radiator, colour is blue
DesignerStylish decorative optionsMore exspensive£400 – £800
Towel RadiatorHeats towels, smaller sizesLimited heating
£120 – £400
ColumnStylish, adaptable sizingAverage heating
£150 – £500
ElectricNo pluming needed, quick
Higher operating
£40- £300
Pros and cons of different radiator types

When selecting a radiator, expert guidance suggests taking into account the room size and shape.

As a general rule, allocate around 60-80mm of radiator length per square foot of floor space. For example, a 12’ x 15’ living room would need a radiator or radiators adding up to around 1440-1920mm in total length.

Consider window sizes as larger windows increase heat loss. Position radiators under windows when possible. For irregular shaped rooms, obtain professional advice on the optimal radiator capacity needed.

Today’s modern radiators can now be enhanced with smart controls for added convenience and efficiency.

Options like the Google Nest or Tado smart thermostats connect to home wifi networks to enable remote temperature control from smartphones or voice assistants. Some models auto-regulate based on your comings and goings.

Smart TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves) can also modulate radiator heat in specific rooms. These smart controls add to the appeal of modern radiators.

When incorporating modern radiators into your interior design, interior experts recommend complementing the radiator finish with other decor elements.

Interior designer Jenny Stark suggests matching chrome or stainless steel radiators with other glossy metal accents and fixtures.

For black, white or coloured radiators, pull out those hues in your colour scheme, artwork and accessories.

Designer Mike Acton recommends showcasing unique radiator shapes and materials as sculptural focal points, mounting them away from walls if possible. Vertical column radiators work especially well as bold vertical design elements.

Acton also advises leaving breathing room around statement radiators so they don’t feel crowded. Proper clearance allows the heat to circulate properly as well.

2 black bathroom radiators in modern bathroom

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it is a standard unit of measurement used to describe the amount of energy required to heat or cool something.

Specifically, a BTU is defined as the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

BTUs are commonly used to measure the heating and cooling capacity of appliances like furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, and space heaters.

For example, a small bedroom space heater with 10,000 BTUs will heat a room faster than a 5,000 BTU model. When shopping for heating and cooling products for your home, taking note of the BTU rating gives you an idea of the unit’s potential heating or cooling power.

The higher the BTU number, the more thermal energy it provides.

BTU is useful shorthand to compare the capabilities of different HVAC equipment.

With so many types, sizes, finishes, and smart controls now available, modern radiators offer endless options for combining style, efficiency and comfort in your home.

As you upgrade your interior spaces, don’t overlook this key element that can make a big impact, both visually and on your energy bills.

Take time to find the right fit and positioning for modern radiators tailored to your decor, heating needs, and budget. Your rooms will benefit from a blend of sleek contemporary design and smart, customizable warmth.

The wide range of modern radiators means you don’t have to settle for an outdated eyesore just to stay cozy. Unsure where to browse and buy your new radiators? head over to Radiators Online for a wide range from traditional to designer.

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