What Valve is Best For You? Manual Or Thermostatic Valves


When it comes to maintaining your radiator, valves are small but intrinsic parts of the process. These small angular tap-like devices are there to control what comes in and out of your radiator. This is crucial, as when you turn your radiator on and off you want to have a range of options in terms of the heat radiating throughout your property. The radiator valve is therefore a tool provided to aid in this process and is a vital part of your radiator set up. The challenge customers face is which type will suit their needs. Whilst there is no right or wrong answer, it is a question you must answer for yourself.

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A Quick Guide to Radiator Valves


It’s not just radiators which are sold at Designer Radiators Direct. There are a range of amazing accessories you can find which will no doubt complement your new radiator and give you a tantalising array of choices to kit out your new model. These are not just for aesthetic purposes either, many of the extras you can buy are there for the practicalities which must be thought of when you invest in your new radiator. Radiators by their very nature require care and attention if you want them to keep working, even though in your property they may fall into the background. With a range of products being sold at Designer Radiators Direct, the radiator valve is just one of many and is most definitely one of the widest spanning in terms of style and functionality. There’s a lot to choose from, and not just for your personal tastes but for the specificities of your radiators output and model.

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Lusso Radiators at Designer Radiators Direct


With so many radiators brands claiming to be the best quality out there, it can often be hard to gage the best option for you as a radiator customer. Making life that little bit easier, Designer Radiators Direct have curated a range of radiators which are simply the best of the rest, giving customers the chance to explore and browse high quality radiators both online and in the showroom. These include great radiators from Lusso Radiators, a designer radiator brand who we at Designer Radiators Direct take pride in representing. Below you can find out everything you need to know about Lusso, and the radiators which they supply.

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Interior Design Eyesore? How To Convert Radiators Into Aesthetic Heroes

Like it or not, there are always aspects of your home you’re less happy with than others. And, too often, this is because it’s not affordable to fix or replace everything as and when you want to. Again, too often, this is because of expense; we can’t always afford to get done in the home what we want to there and then. And, sadly, this can be very true when it comes to radiators.


Is that fair? Well, being the company we are and our role in the world at large, you’d certainly expect us to claim it isn’t, but we’re aware that for homeowners, radiators are, first and foremost, about functionality and reliability. If an existing radiator doesn’t quite fit with the style of a room or looks a bit ‘off’ where it is, you’ll more than likely put up with it until you’ve some cash to splash out on installing a replacement.


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Balancing Act: How To Use A Radiator’s Valves To Balance Your Hot Water System

A hot water boiler-based central heating system is a fantastic thing. It ensures that, when it’s operating correctly and efficiently, via radiators located in a home’s rooms, the home is reliably heated – and remains warm; all snug, cosy and, yes, homely, especially in the cold, winter months.


That said, a hot water system’s a wonderful thing so long as it doesn’t run into problems. If and when that happens, it can leave homeowners bereft; utterly befuddled as to why their radiators aren’t working = and how to put the issue right. In most cases, the best thing to do is call on the services of a qualified professional heating engineer so they might assess the problem and fix it.

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Radiator Maintenance For Beginners: Fixing Simple Problems

In the main, of course, radiators supplied by a gas-powered central heating system are a fantastic way of keeping your home heated when the weather turns chillier and when the temperatures topple in the winter months and remain low for weeks on end. They’re reliable and predictable in how they perform, which is why they’re depended on by the vast majority of households up and down the country. That said, like it or not, there’s always a chance something might go wrong at some point with any heating system. Happily enough, though, in most cases the faults are pretty easy to identify and simple to fix…

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DRD – Kitchen Renovations And Your Radiator

Kitchen’s are one of the most popular places that undergo renovations in the home. The reasons for this vary, from complete home makeover to the updating of your interior to suit new appliances in your kitchen. It’s not surprising that so much deliberation can go into the kitchen, it being one of the most used and most populated rooms in the kitchen. The kitchen is a place of comfort, socialising and hosting, so your radiator needs to reflect these qualities. So, what are the main factors to keep in mind when you’re renovating your kitchen?

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Simple but brilliant tips: ideas to improve your home’s interior décor

Renovating, enhancing and improving the appearance of the most noticeable rooms in your home’s something of a must for many of us at some point. How your living room (or, if you prefer, lounge), dining room and kitchen look isn’t just important to reflect you in the best light and impress your visitors, but also to make you feel relaxed, at peace and, well, homely in your home.

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Before You Buy: How To Choose And Run A Towel Radiator

Let’s face it; we all need our little luxuries – they’re the tiny things that can ensure busy or tough days are bearable. And, no question, one of the everyday luxuries that’s hard to top is stepping out of a wonderful bath or shower into a warm, soft, snug and cosy towel to dry yourself down in comfort. So, what’s the best way to ensure you can do this in your bathroom? Why, via a towel radiator, of course.

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Is a Horizontal Radiator Right For You?

We all know that radiators come in many shapes and sizes. Especially here at Designer Radiators Direct you’ll be blown away by the massive amounts on offer. Whether it’s a designer model or a classic traditional model, there’s something for everyone both online and in store.


One of the most popular models, not just in store but across the radiator market is the horizontal radiator. Coming in many forms, this model spans along entire walls and can take up a lot of space. It is therefore crucial that you are making the right decision in investing in one. Whether you’re buying for your home or another property, here are the reasons why a horizontal radiator could be right for you.


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Installing A New Towel Rail: What To Consider Before Buying?

In the dim and distant past when genuine interior design aspirations were achievable only by a closeted, rich few, the idea of having a heated towel rail (or heated tail radiator) installed in your bathroom was a pipedream for many a homeowner. Not for the likes of us, thought many! But those days are long gone, indeed. For nowadays, these most practical, great-looking and easy-to-use and ever reliable pieces of bathroom-heating kit have established themselves to be become a standard component of these very rooms in houses, flats and apartments up and down the land.

Simply perfect for providing a comfortable level of warmth throughout the bathroom and keeping towels deliciously warm and dry, a heated towel rail is an affordable way to bring a little decadence into your suite.

And, if you’re yet to install one of these nifty towel radiators and are finding the choice available a little overwhelming, fear not. Because this blog will serve as a helpful guide to finding the perfect heated towel rail for you. With our handy list of things to consider, it’s never been easier to choose the right towel radiator for your bathroom, kitchen or en-suite.



The importance of heat output

The BTU (or British Thermal Unit) output of your heated towel rail is one of the most important things to consider. The higher the hourly output, the more powerful and effective your heated towel rail will be. The output required depends largely on the size of the area that is to be heated, and whether or not you’ll be heating lots of large, hefty towels. To calculate the BTU output needed to efficiently heat your bathroom, use the free and handy BTU calculator to be found elsewhere on our website here at DRD.


One size doesn’t fit all

The size of your heated towel rail should reflect the size of your bathroom. As with BTU rate, a smaller rail will provide sufficient heat for smaller bathrooms and en suites, whilst a large rail with bigger dimensions and higher heat output will be needed in more spacious bathrooms. You’ll find that there’s a large array of sizes on the market – everything from compact and stout 700mm x 400mm models to generous 1800mm x 600mm tall radiators; basically, anything and everything to fit any size suite and provide the right level of warmth for you. Other factors to consider included how many people use the bathroom, and how many towels you’ll want to keep dry and warm.


Design considerations

If your heated towel rail is part of a whole bathroom refit, it’s important to consider the look and impression you want to create with your new suite. On the other hand, if it’s a late addition to an existing bathroom, you need to work with what you’ve got. And, as trends continually change, it’s worth bearing in mind that a traditional style can achieve constant sophistication and is pretty much then always on-trend.

Many people are interested in reinstating the period features in their home by choosing to avoid the clean lines of contemporary design. Traditional design does not mean you have to compromise on efficiency. Many brands are now introducing more classical towel radiators the meet the demands of homeowners refurbishing their bathrooms. This style is perfect for producing an authentic period atmosphere with the convenience of modern technology.

Moreover, a chrome finish is ideal for modern and minimalist suites, fitting perfectly with their chic style. Chrome is also incredibly hard wearing, so your heated towel rail is sure to give you many years of service.


What’s best for towel storage?

Consider how many people use the bathroom and how many towels you will need the towel rail to hold. For busy family bathrooms, a large rail with a substantial number of bars will be needed for adequate storage. For smaller bathrooms and households, a compact rail with just a few bars may suffice. Look out for additional features, such as a useful storage shelf or accessories which increase the usability of your towel rail. And, don’t forget, a heated towel rail can be used to keep clothes dry and warm as well as towels. Factor in everything you might use the heated towel rail for before choosing.


And if cost is an issue…?

If running costs are a consideration, you may benefit from buying a towel rail that can be used in conjunction with an electric heating element and dual fuel adaptor. These clever T-Piece adaptors allow you to run the heated towel rail through, or independently of, your central heating, giving you the freedom to heat the bathroom without heating the entire house, reducing your energy consumption and potentially lowering your bills.

The Value Of Valves: Choosing The Right Valves For Your Heated Towel Rail

To be fair, one of the last things homeowners think about when they’re looking to purchase heated towel rails for their central heating system is the valves they’ll need to select along with them. Now, it’s not necessarily something to cause you a headache, but it’s important for you to be aware of the different kinds of valves available, what they do, their benefits and which valves then are most advisable to select for your new towel rail. So, here’s a rundown of what you ought to be aware of…

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Heated Towel Radiators

The heated towel rail is one of the most popular designs of heating unit being sold at Designer Radiators Direct. This is no coincidence; their functionality and sleek designs have brought widespread satisfaction and comfort to our customer base. Innovative towel rail designs never fail to pop up year after year begging the question, what’s their “wow” factor and why in a crowded market place, is it one of the most obvious options for radiator buyers everywhere?

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Let it bleed: How To Remove A Blanking Plug To Bleed A Radiator

So, what are blanking plugs and why do you have to remove them to bleed a radiator? In fact, why do you have to bleed a radiator in the first place? First things first; a blanking plug (or the very similar bleed plug) is a small, elegant looking plug – either circular or hexagonal – that you usually find at the top of a radiator, on its side, so at a 90°-angle to a wall. Blanking plugs are fitted to radiators because the latter are devices whose insides require plugging at high formation pressures.

And, don’t doubt it, inside a radiator, air pressure’s a big deal. Indeed, it’s essentially for this reason that it’s crucial you bleed your radiator should you feel there’s significant air trapped inside. Too much of a build-up of excess air (i.e. trapped air bubbles) in a unit will likely result in the thing not heating up properly and remaining warm – and could even damage the radiator if nothing’s done. Now, the point to take away here is that, as so many modern radiators are fitted with blanking/ bleed plugs, should you feel you need to bleed one, you’re going to have to remove the blanking/ bleed plug to carry out the bleeding process.

Preparation for removing blanking/ bleed plugs

To remove a blanking/ bleed plug from a radiator, you’ll need a specialist key. The most appropriate would be a double-ended radiator key whose 10mm-ends are square-shaped. Having said that, if you have one lying around, an Allen key, a hex key, a universal key or a combination key/ wrench would probably also suffice.

Indeed, any of them would probably be capable of fitting into the square recess of a blanking/ bleed key and, therefore, be able to remove it from a radiator unit – yet, the advantage with a square-ended radiator key is that its end features a deliberately designed small clearance hole, so it won’t harm a bleed plug’s screw as you insert the key in the plug’s recess and turn it.

It’s worth noting too that many modern radiators feature hexagonal-shaped blanking/ bleed plugs. To remove these from a unit, you may not need a radiator key (or any of the other alternative keys mentioned above); instead, you’ll probably find an adjustable spanner or an open-ended spanner (of the appropriate size) does the job best.


Removing and re-fitting blanking/ bleed plugs

So, to remove a blanking/ bleed plug to bleed a radiator (and then re-fit the plug or fit a new plug when you’ve finished), follow the handy step-by-step guide that follows:

  1. First off, you need to switch off the central heating system, so you can isolate the radiator you’re going to be working on.
  2. To successfully isolate the unit (whatever type of model we’re talking here, it’s all the same; horizontal radiators or vertical units, classic cast-iron models or heated towel rails), turn down its thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) to the lowest possible setting to make sure the valve remains closed and no hot water can flow into the unit.
  3. Next, you need to close the radiator’s Lockshield valve. Again, whatever the model (flat panel or curved bar or whatever), this valve is best turned off and back on via an adjustable spanner. Turn it anti-clockwise, all the way, to close it.
  4. It’s now time to loosen the union nut so that a little excess water can escape via the TRV or Lockshield valve; be sure to place a small container or towel underneath to catch any dripping water as the nut slackens. To loosen it, an adjustable spanner is best. You might want to quicken the water flow here by carefully loosening the bleed valve itself at the top of the radiator.
  5. Now you’ll want to re-tighten the union nut; the nut doesn’t need to be loosened for that long, though, as only a small amount of liberated water’s needed for removing a blanking/ bleed plug.
  6. Finally, we move on to removing the blanking/ bleed plug itself. To do this, use the most appropriate key you’ve identified for the task, as outlined above, or use the most appropriate spanner. Whichever implement you choose for the job, you’ll need to turn it anti-clockwise.
  7. If you’re going through this process not just to remove a blanking/ bleed plug to bleed a radiator, but also (or, in fact, only) to fit a new blanking/ bleed plug, now’s the time to replace the removed plug with a new one. To do so, use the same implement as before and, having fitted the new plug in place, turn the latter clockwise. Note: if you’re tightening a bleed plug not a blanking plug, remember too to tighten the bleed screw in the plug’s centre.
  8. Following the (re-)fitting of the plug, re-open the Lockshield valve and replace its plastic cap.
  9. Last but not least, you can now bleed the radiator, so any excess air bubbles are totally released; obviously, you’ve partially bled the radiator already via the opening of various valves, but performing a proper bleeding will remove all air that may have got into the unit.



For The Earliest Morning Rush: Putting Together A New Family Bathroom

Primarily a functional room, the bathroom is one of the only ones in the home that you can be sure every member of a household will frequent and use at least once a day – and, no doubt, more than that. So, should you be looking to renovate or update the bathroom in your home, like it or not, getting its design right may not be as straightforward as you expect.

Not only does it need to be practical and easy-to-use, as well as safe for all users (especially the kids), but also look great, obviously, and let’s be honest, in most cases, save on space. Hmm, so how to achieve this? Well, your priority ought to be selecting the most suitable plumbing and heating options available – and those, of course, that possess the sort of look you prefer for your new bathroom.



Make the most of space

As mentioned above, design and ease-of-use is key when it comes to planning out the features and fixtures of a modern bathroom, but perhaps your byword should really be ‘keep it simple’. What you definitely don’t want to do is cram this room full of unsuitable items – do you really need twin basins or dual showers? Probably not. Planning should be based around priorities then. If you have an idea, expect to have to scale it back; the more you accept this from the outset, the easier it’ll doubtless prove every time you’re faced with having to do so.

So then, the sorts of plumbing solutions you may well want to look to are shower-baths (terrific for bathrooms on the smaller side and not as costly as a separate shower and bath enclosure) and free standing/ clawfoot bathtubs (flexible to install and locate almost anywhere in a bathroom; great as a focal point in the bathroom as they don’t necessarily have to be tucked away into a corner). Plus, you ought also to consider wall-hung fixtures; not only do back-to-wall ‘floating’ toilets and basins apply here, but so too do heating options like wall mounted electric radiators – all of them space-savers.


Ease and convenience

Unless you design your new bathroom with convenience and ease-of-use in mind, you’re doing it wrong. Let’s face it, with every will in the world, time’s an asset of a morning when the entire family has to be up, ready and out as quickly as possible. Don’t doubt it; the morning rush starts with everybody getting through the bathroom and out! To that end, speeding up the morning bathing experience can be achieved through the installation of a large heated towel rail.

How? Well, of all bathroom radiators, such a towel radiator offers not just enough space to hold towels for every member of the family so each of them can grab them quickly, but also many models can be powered by either the gas central heating or (ideal for the warmer months of the year when you want to save money on heating the whole house) via electrical supply from a socket in the wall. This option then is often referred to as ‘dual fuel’.


Don’t forget safety

Safety in a bathroom? Is that big a concern? The fact is, when you have young children, safety’s always an issue. You don’t want a bath-time toy causing you to slip over on the bathroom tiles when you get out of the shower or for your youngest to pick up and start playing with a razor. So, suitable storage is a must and can be achieved by nicely fitting vanity units, which you’ll find after a bit of research come in a great deal of difference sizes so they can slot into corners and tight spaces as decreed by the layout of your bathroom. You may be lucky, in fact, to be able select such a unit that also comprises a slim-line basin and goes perfectly with your new bathroom design. Be aware too that nowadays vanity units can be fitted with child locks; not a bad idea, eh?

Moreover, on the safety front, you’d be wise to consider purchasing bath mats, bath strips and grip rails too prevent slips, trips, falls and unnecessary visits to A&E. And you might also like the sound of soft-closing doors; installing one of these to the bathroom could well prevent little ones’ fingers getting trapped when a door unexpectedly closes on them.


An open-plan design?

Finally, again bearing in mind space (or a lack of it), how about avoiding a too-tight shower enclosure by opting instead for a wet room-style bathroom design? This open-plan layout would see a glass screen separate the shower area from the rest of the room when necessary, as would a recess in the floor for where the shower’s installed against a wall. The great thing about such a design is that, without enlarging the room at all, it actually gives the impression of spaciousness; that said, any wet room-style bathroom’s floor definitely ought to feature a non-slip coating!

Essential FAQs: what you need to know before buying a radiator

Let’s face it, life would be a lot easier if the world were a simpler place, but sadly, that isn’t so and is never likely to change. And, to be fair, choosing, purchasing, properly locating and getting installed a new radiator – or a selection of new radiators (or heated towel rails) – for your home isn’t always the simplest of life’s experiences. Often, this is because homeowners aren’t aware of everything they could (or should) know before they start; quickly, they find they have burning questions they desperately need answering by someone in the know before they can properly proceed.

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Why Are People Going For Flat Panels?


Remember the days when the only radiator on the market was the Victorian model cast iron column radiator? Those bulky monoliths of the radiator world worked with steam and convection, slowly heating up the columns to eventually heat your room. Whilst these old school radiators do have their up sides, they are not exactly the innovative models they once were. These days there are plenty of options for radiators to really make a splash, whether that be on a heating efficiency level or through the sheer design ingenuity. If you’re looking for a real show stopper, one option is the flat panel radiator.

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Should I Buy A Cast Iron Radiator?

As such a blast from the past, are cast iron radiators still the go to heating unit for a modern  home?


Cast iron radiators have been around since the birth of the modern radiator. With that in mind they are tried and tested as a reliable model for people throughout the ages to buy. But how does the cast iron radiator fare against the more recent and innovative models which are now on the designer radiator market? It’s all well and good having a classic design but making sure that it is efficient and  up to scratch with today’s modern heating systems is vital for a happy home.

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The Definitive Guide To Painting Radiators

Painting radiators doesn’t have to be a hassle. There’s plenty of easy steps to getting the job done with as little hassle as possible.


It could be rust or it could be chipping from a kitchen accident or maybe, just maybe, you don’t like the colour it came in. whatever the reason for your needing to repaint your radiator, there are plenty of easy ways round the problem. Whilst painting anything in the interior of your property can seem like a chore at first, a fresh lick of paint can revitalise entire homes, brightening both your property and your day.

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Bathroom Radiators at Designer Radiators Direct

Bathroom radiators have been made easy by the presence of companies such as Designer Radiators Direct who give you a range of options and allow you the chance to tailor your own dream home, supplying you with eye-catching radiators which don’t scrimp on efficient heat output. But with so much choice out there, how can you truly find the right bathroom radiator for you and your home?

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