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How To Choose A Cast Iron Radiator

If you are planning on upgrading your radiators, you can’t really go wrong with real cast iron. With beautiful designs and fantastic heat retaining abilities, real cast iron radiators are becoming increasingly popular in homes across the country. 

But, with so many options to choose from, selecting the best style, size and finish for your home can be quite a challenge! 

In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps to help you find your favourite cast iron radiator. But, before we start, let’s think about a couple of reasons why you should consider opting for cast iron over a standard steel radiator. 

Reasons To Buy A Cast Iron Radiator

  1. Powerful Heat Output

Of course, the primary purpose of installing a radiator is to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and this becomes increasingly more important over the cold winter months. This is what cast iron radiators are fantastic at. 

Not only are they capable of providing powerful heat outputs, they are also proficient at retaining the heat for long periods of time, even after the heating has been turned off. This means that you can be confident that your home will feel cosy and warm when you need it. 

But, it also means that you might not have to have the heating on for as long, which could help you to save a little on the running costs. Just keep in mind that real cast iron does take slightly longer to heat up than steel radiators.

2. Beautiful Designs

As radiator design has developed over time, there are lots more options when it comes to real cast iron radiators. Firsty, the variety of sizes has increased significantly. Therefore, it is easy to find a cast iron radiator for the size of your space. No matter how big or small.

You may think that cast iron radiators are more suited to large homes. However, the compact, low level designs mean that you can now enjoy the beautiful aesthetic, in a smaller, lighter model.

There are also plenty of options for how you want your panels to look. Some cast irons feature elegant details carved into the metal to reflect the ornate beauty of original period properties. Others feature more of an industrial feel, with minimal, linear panels.

Whether you want to create a cosy, moody colour scheme with slate black tones and warm metallics, or cooler, brighter spaces with clean white options, you are sure to find a cast iron radiator that complements your colour scheme. 

3. Add Value To Your Home

Another great benefit of opting for real cast iron radiators is the value they can add to your property. Think of them as an investment, as you would an extension or garden renovation. 

Cast iron radiators make beautiful statement features, enhance home heating systems and provide excellent quality that you can rely on to last. That’s why they are extremely enticing for potential buyers. 

How To Buy A Cast Iron Radiator

If you like the sound of the benefits these vintage-inspired heating beauties can offer, follow the steps below to find the perfect cast iron radiator for your home.

Select your size

Before you think about colour and design options, the first thing you need to do is calculate the heat requirements of your room. This is a pretty straightforward task. All you need to do is use an online BTU calculator, and input some basic information about your property. 

The calculator will give you the total BTUs required to heat your room to an ambient temperature. So, when you are comparing cast iron radiators, make sure to check the product specification to determine how big your radiator needs to be. 

Depending on how much space you have to play with, and where you want to position your radiator, it is up to you to decide if you want a short, compact cast iron, or a tall, slender one. 

You could even install one large cast iron, or multiple smaller ones. As long as they equate to the total BTUs, then you will have a cosy warm room when the winter comes. 

Consider design details

The next feature to consider is the design details of the cast iron radiator. Do you prefer delicate, floral etchings and ornate details? Or, more of a minimal, industrial-inspired aesthetic? 

In addition to the decorative accents, you must also decide which panel shape takes your fancy. There may be more options than you imagine! Some cast iron radiators have smooth, oval-shaped panels, others have clean lines and square designs. 

Whatever style you love, you will certainly be able to discover a cast iron radiator that complements your home decor and helps you create the look and feel you desire. 

Find your finish

Once you have thought about the size and style of your cast iron radiator, the final detail to consider is the finish. From cool white and silver tones, to warm copper and burnt gold, there are plenty of those to choose from too.

If you can’t decide on a colour, think about the overall colour scheme of your room and try to pick out different features to highlight. For example, if you have a statement piece like a floor lamp or accent chair, is there a cast iron finish that will complement this feature? 

You can also choose whether you want your cast iron colour to blend into the backdrop, or contrast against the wall. Both options create a sophisticated scheme and add drama to your home decor. 

Cast iron radiators must be paired with angled radiator valves, and there are a variety of beautiful valves designed to provide the finishing touch. You could also add another element of luxury with an elegant brass wall stay. 


So there you have it – our top tips for choosing the best cast iron radiator for your home. Not only will they make a timeless statement feature and keep your home a comfortable temperature, but they will also add value to your property if the time comes to sell. 


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