Practical Advice about Using Cast Iron Radiators in the Home

Over recent years, there’s been a tremendous resurgence in the popularity of classic cast iron radiators in the home, which is hardly surprising as they do offer one of the best and most efficient ways of heating a room. The other reason, of course, is that aesthetically, cast iron radiators can add a wonderful feature to any room, adding a touch of style and class to the property in the process. In fact, these traditional looking radiators are a firm favourite with Interior Designers and builders alike. Below is some practical advice about using cast iron radiators in the home.


Great designs based on classic styles

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A Great Choice for Period or Contemporary Homes

The great thing about cast iron radiators is they look fabulous in any home, whether it’s a period building or more contemporary house. Their design is second to none when it comes to emitting and retaining heat. Designed in columns, they can fit in any part of a room even if the space available is limited or awkward, and the more columns a radiator boasts, the more heat it puts out.

Renovating Old Cast Iron Radiators

If your property boasts older cast iron radiators, these can be restored and renovated to preserve the look of a period property. However, the cost of renovating an older radiator may be more expensive than buying a modern, reproduction cast iron radiator. The other drawback of renovating is that the radiator will not be as energy efficient as a modern one and then there are the connection issues to deal with. Modern plumbing together with heating systems often make it awkward to connect old cast iron radiators to the systems, and therefore converters may be needed which is an added expense to factor in to the overall cost.

How Cast Iron Radiators Work

Once connected, cast iron radiators fill up with water which flows through and this heats up the room. Although, it may take longer for the heat output to become apparent, the radiators being made of a heavy metal, retain the heat tremendously well and radiate this out into a space very efficiently. Cast iron radiators cool down a lot slower too which means they radiate heat for longer even when the heating is off.



Renovating old cast iron radiators can prove more expensive than buying new

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The Different Modern Designs

Today, there is a great choice of designs whether it’s a more traditional classic Victorian look or a modern design for a contemporary home, there’s a cast iron radiator to suit most décors as well as properties. However, they are heavy which means they need to stand on feet in order to be placed in a floor setting. If the radiator is to be wall mounted, the wall would need to be a strong supporting one to take the weight of the radiator. Another aspect to bear in mind are the wall fixings. These need to be top quality in order to hold the heavy radiator safely in place.

The Many Different Finishes

Modern cast iron radiators come in many different finishes which includes painted or plain. They also come in a variety of colours, making it easy to fit them into existing décors. Metallic colours are a popular choice, but then so are sandblasted, polished and antiqued radiators.

Modern Designs Meet Heat Efficiency Standards

The cast iron radiator of today, meets all the heat efficiency standards and can be fitted with thermostatic radiator valves made out of cast iron which are brilliant energy saving features. A cheaper option is the non-thermostatic valves, but these are not as energy saving. The cheapest alternative is to fit them with radiator taps. Valves come in a variety of finishes from brass, chrome and copper which can add to the overall look and appeal of the radiator. A lot of people use the cheaper options in bedrooms, and have the more expensive valves in other frequently used areas of their homes.


When it comes to choosing the right size radiator and its BTU output, you would be well advised to check this on a Heat Output Calculator which works it all out for you. Finally, the best position for a cast iron radiator is anywhere in a room where it will not be in the way, yet remain a great feature. Many people like to have their radiators under windows and this is a great choice as long as the radiator is not too tall.


Cast iron radiators add a definite look to any room adding a touch of style to a home, whether it’s a period property or a more contemporary home, this site has quite a selection available.

There are lots of different modern designs on the market some of which are based on the more classic Victorian designs whereas others are more contemporary looking. The practical advice about using cast iron radiators in the home in this article should help you decide which design is best for your property.


Image credits: bob watt and Unhindered by Talent


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