Living room radiators: what to consider

We often describe the kitchen as the heart of the home. But the living room comes a pretty close second. All year round, it’s a room that tends to get plenty of use. It’s a space where both family and friends congregate, so it needs to be warm, welcoming – and look good.

The good news is, even small updates to your living room radiators can make a big difference.  So, while a comprehensive renovation is the ideal time to reconsider your heat sources, simply updating your radiators can completely transform your living room’s existing look and feel. And nowadays there’s no need to choose between function and form. The wide variety of sizes, shapes and designer styles available means you can heat your home and showcase your individual style – no compromise required. So, our business development manager, Jody Loram, offers some expert advice on living room radiators to suit you and your home:

All white: Our smooth, sleek Cassius horizontal radiator is a versatile option that suits almost any living room setting

Practicalities first and foremost

Before you unleash your imagination however, it’s important to think carefully about the size and shape of the space you need to heat. There are lots of things to consider before you start shopping in earnest for those new living room radiators. How many square metres does the room measure? Is it well insulated? How many windows are there – and are they double/triple glazed?

Room layout is just as important as the size of your room. Where is the best place to site your radiators? What are your walls made of (strong, solid walls offer more options in terms of radiator size and materials)? Do you have a lot of awkward/‘dead’ space to deal with – or big pieces of furniture to accommodate? Would two or three smaller radiators be a better option than one big one?

This eye-catching copper finish on our Denali vertical radiator is a wonderful way to tap into the metallics trend and make a serious style statement

The significance of BTUs

British Thermal Units (BTUs) help you determine the amount/size of the living room radiators you’re likely to need. BTUs measure a radiator’s heat output/efficiency, which can vary significantly according to shape, style and material. We have a handy online heat calculator to help you with this. You simply fill in a few details, such as height of the room and number of outside walls, to discover the optimum BTUs needed to keep your space cosy and warm. Alternatively, ask a reputable heating engineer for advice well before you make any purchases.

Pretty pastels: Our Vulcano mild steel radiator is available in single, double, vertical, horizontal and towel rail options – and countless different colours. We love how this soft shade of blue adds interest to this light, white living room palette

Material matters

The material you choose for your living room radiators is very important. Radiators consist of conductive metals – some of which perform better than others. The most common radiator materials are cast iron, aluminium, mild steel and stainless steel. Each has its own pros and cons regarding looks, energy efficiency, maintenance and price. Many of our best-selling living room radiators are stainless or mild steel. Both materials are excellent heat conductors, resistant to rust and corrosion, and easy to keep clean.

Up, up and away: The special finish and stylish curve of our Tao vertical radiator (shown here in Infinity Steel) make it a popular choice for contemporary, open-plan living spaces

Shapely solutions

Horizontal models aren’t the only options for your living room radiators. In recent years, the popularity of vertical radiators – also known as tall radiators – has snowballed. There are the obvious aesthetic considerations. Vertical radiators are a fast, effective way to make a serious style statement. But they have real practical advantages too.

Tall radiators are an excellent option if your living room has limited wall space, or narrow walls to accommodate. They also work well in rooms that are square, but small. Even if your living room is large, vertical models are worth considering if there are lots of windows. Tall radiators either side of a window can heat a room much more effectively than one small, horizontal model underneath it.

The timeless design of our Modus Made to Measure radiator (available in both vertical and horizontal versions) looks even better showcased in this bold, bright shade of blue

Depending on the style you choose, vertical radiators work equally well in period properties and modern homes. Metallic, column styles make excellent living room radiators, and they are available in lots of different materials and finishes.

Get creative with colour

White is still the default colour of choice for many living room radiators – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But as more people become aware of the different options available, demand for coloured radiators continues to rise. Living room radiators are no longer something to camouflage. Increasingly, coloured radiators are considered to be a key element of a room’s design scheme. Think of them as a decorative feature, to showcase rather than conceal. Coloured living room radiators can either contrast or co-ordinate with the room’s palette. They are an easy way to introduce an accent colour, too.

Our Tornado flat panel radiator, shown here in salmon orange, works brilliantly as this room scheme’s accent colour, coordinating perfectly with selected soft furnishings

Did you know we’ve invested in our own state-of-the-art powder coating facility at our UK factory? This allows us to offer a huge range of radiator shades, so whatever hue you have in mind, we’re sure to have it. We even offer a bespoke service. This means, for example, that we can match your living room radiators to the exact colour of your paint!

Living room radiators recently renovated? Need some inspiration for other rooms instead? Click here for our round-up of on-trend bathroom design ideas.