Cast iron radiators: best buys this winter

And just like that, it’s January! A new year is traditionally a time of new beginnings, projects and goals. And after the well-documented difficulties of 2020, a fresh start has never been more necessary! This month is typically a time of assessment and evaluation, both personally and professionally. It’s also the ideal time to think about what sort of interiors renovations and redecorations you would like for the year ahead.

Thanks to last year’s lockdowns, most of us spent far more time than usual in our homes, using them for work, exercise and lots of (often online) socialising. This trend’s likely to continue for the foreseeable future, so it’s important that your home is fit for purpose. As winter really begins to bite, it’s especially vital that your heating solutions are up to scratch. Now more than ever, your home needs to be reliably warm, cosy and welcoming. So this month, take some time to think about updating your radiators, the many different options available, and what would work best for you.

Cast iron radiators are the perfect pick if you’re keen to make a serious style statement in your living space. This 6-column model is available in a range of painted and polished finishes, and in four different heights

The challenge of choice

Not many people know what their radiators are – or indeed, could be – made of. Nowadays there’s a huge range of choice regarding colours, textures and materials. Radiators are made of conductive metals and the four main types are stainless steel, mild steel, aluminium and cast iron. But that’s where the similarities end. Each material has different advantages and disadvantages, regarding energy efficiency, weight, maintenance, appearance and price.

Cast iron radiators and heat conduction

A radiator’s primary function is to conduct heat – and this is where these radiators really excel. To sum up, they are simply excellent heat distributors. This design doesn’t just get hotter than other types, it will emit heat for longer, too. Admittedly, they don’t warm up as fast as certain other materials. But they do conduct heat beautifully, remaining warm and heating a room long after they have been turned off. So they are still a very cost-effective and energy-efficient option. Another advantage of this heat retention is that your heating pump and boiler don’t have to work quite so hard, for quite so long. So there’s generally less of a strain on all of your heating system components.

These radiators work surprisingly well within both classic and contemporary settings. See how this beautiful Bronte model adds interest and impact to this pale/pastel colour scheme

Cast iron radiators don’t just heat a room efficiently, they heat it evenly, too. Traditional panel radiators have much more surface area for your hot water to travel through. Cast iron radiators usually incorporate a column design, and it’s these evenly spaced channels that encourage even heat transmission.

Size matters

You may associate this radiator style with huge old houses filled with large rooms and high ceilings. Because they are such excellent heat conductors, this does indeed make sense. But they also suit small spaces too, so don’t be put off if your room – or the radiator space within it – is compact. They pack such a punch in terms of heat distribution, so cast iron radiators can be smaller than an equivalent steel or aluminium option. So if you don’t want, or simply can’t accommodate, a radiator that’s big or bulky, don’t pass on this material. We offer a range of sizes, including two-, four- and six-column models (plus a range of different heights) so there’s sure to be an option that suits.

Cast iron radiators don’t have to be big and bulky. We love how this compact, 2-column model complements all the other elements of this stylish space

An iconic design

Another huge advantage of cast iron radiators is, of course, the way they look. There’s no mistaking those timeless 1930s lines, elegant rounded shoulders, and bold splayed feet. Cast iron is an obvious choice to make a style statement with your heating. They are a bona fide element of any room’s décor, which you can celebrate, not conceal. Many people mistakenly believe that these radiators only work well with period or traditional settings. But they can look equally wonderful within a modern room scheme, adding interest as an eye-catching contrast. Cast iron radiators also work well with most types of colour schemes. They can add depth and texture to pale neutrals, but they won’t get “lost” within a dark or dramatic colour palette either. Many people associate cast iron radiators with grand drawing room or lounges. But they also work within kitchens, studies and bedrooms – the only limit really is your own imagination!

Cast iron radiators aren’t just for stately home drawing rooms! This 4-column metallic model would enhance any modern study space, bedroom or kitchen

The magic of metallic cast iron radiators

Metallics has been one of the most enduring interiors trends in recent years, and cast iron radiators are an obvious fit with this aesthetic. Did you know that we offer a wide range of different finishes for our cast iron radiators, such as Hammered Bronze, Edwardian Cream, and Anthracite Grey? Different textures are available too. So don’t equate traditional styling with a lack of choice where colours are concerned. You can easily customise cast iron radiators to complement a wide range of metallic accents. So whether you’re keen to match with a statement mirror, or accentuate specific items of furniture, cast iron options can always accommodate.

Cast iron radiators are really versatile, and can elevate every room of your home. How fabulous does this Loxley foliage design look within this contemporary bedroom setting? We love how the scalloped decoration echoes the mirror edging and the other metallic accents

Keen to weigh up other radiator material options, in addition to cast iron? Click here to learn more about the pros and cons of stainless steel.