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Traditional Radiators Guide

Welcome to Designer Radiators Direct, your one-stop shop for all your radiator needs. We sell a range of radiators, from modern to traditional radiators. We commonly receive a number of questions regarding traditional radiators; so here, we have answered these questions for you. 

1. What are the advantages of column radiators?

There are many advantages in choosing column radiators such as those in our traditional section of the site. From an aesthetic perspective, they are by far the most attractive style of radiator, and they add elegance to any room. Anecdotally, people often claim that column radiators perform better than non-column radiators, emitting greater heat output than other styles of radiator for equivalent energy output. Finally, they are easy to customise as you simply add or remove columns depending on your size requirements.

Paladin Kensington, Paladin Clarendon, DQ Adara

2. What are the advantages of a cast iron radiator?

Cast iron is widely accepted to be one of the most important metals in engineering as it offers a range of benefits. It has a fantastic strength to weight ratio, meaning that it is stronger than most metals at specific weights. It is relatively inexpensive to produce, and so has a low environmental impact in comparison to other metals, as well as enabling retailers to sell their radiators at a lower price. It has high resistance to stress, meaning that it is durable and long lasting; in fact, most of our cast-iron radiators come with a 10-year guarantee for this very reason. Cast iron offers excellent heat radiation, which is why it is one of the most popular metals for both radiators and cookware.

MHS Classico, Bisque Tetro Wall Mounted, Bisque Classic Floor

3. How big does my radiator need to be?

With radiators, you must match the size of the room to the size of the radiator. In general, the larger the room, the larger the radiator needs to be. You choose your radiator based on the number of British Thermal Units per hour (BTU) needed to heat your room. To do this, you need to measure the size of the room and then make the appropriate calculations. Once you have done this, you will know how many BTU is required to heat the room. You can find our Btu calculator at

Paladin Saint James, Paladin Sloane, Paladin Knightsbridge

4. Does the finish affect heat output?

Most experts agree that the finish has very little impact on the heat output. Chrome has been shown to be slightly more heat efficient than other finishes, but by and large, you should base your choice of finish on appearance, rather than on its effect on heating.

Bisque Classic Wall, MHS Liberty, Zehnder Balmoral

5. How do I know which valves to buy?

We sell a range of valves to suit a variety of fixtures and fittings. With our traditional range of cast iron radiators, though, you will find valves according to the manufacturers.

Paladin Edwardian 2 Column, Vogue Mode, Radiator Company Ludlow (4 Columns)

6. What is the difference between modern radiators and traditional radiators?

There are a number of comparisons between traditional and modern radiators. In general, traditional radiators are arranged as columns, whereas modern radiators tend to be panelled. In terms of eat output, they are relatively well matched, the only difference in real terms, is in the aesthetics, with traditional radiators suiting a more country-styled décor, and modern radiators suiting newer builds. 

If you require further help and advice, then please contact us on our free to call helpline.



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