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Designer Radiators - UK Trends

Posted by Phil Scott on

As we turn the corner into what will no doubt be another chilling winter, we take the time to explore the recent changes in the increasingly popular market for designer radiators. In the UK market it seems like only yesterday that many a company began to exhibit a fresh range of towel rails with a twist amongst their showroom displays. The innovative measures taken by companies such as MHS and Reina allowed consumers the opportunity to experiment with heat sources and achieve something unique within their homes. The popular designs seem to have stood the test of time (albeit a short few years), however on the contrary far more seem to have fallen into the discontinued product pile, but why was this?

Noone can say for certain exactly why this has happened, but if we identify the market offerings that have replaced some of the unfortunate (now extinct) chrome designer radiators I think it would be fair to say we can make a few legitimate assumptions. First and foremost, there are now a lot of tubular radiators available in finishes such as black, white & anthracite and one of the core reasons for this is the efficiency. Anyone who operates within the heating industry on a daily basis knows that a chrome product will always fall short when compared with the newly adopted finishes, and that many of the failed chrome designer options always lacked a good surface area from which to deliver heat. The newer designs seem to have smaller gaps between panels, larger tubes and in most case display a powder coated finish to ensure the optimum heat is sought.

What is more, the newer designs seem to have the versatility to be offered as both Single & Double Panel options, and  this is for the reason we identify as 'BTU fear factor'. 
You may well be one of those that doesn't have the slightest idea what a BTU is, let alone how to calculate what level of heat is required for a room. To make things worse, when you try to calculate what you need you get several different answers from the retailer, plumber and an online calculator you have entered your room sizes into. The reason for this is that there are so many factors to consider and BTU calculations are essentially are a guidance tool for what the average person would need. In my given scenario at home, I have a situation where my partner could be sat with the radiators on, gloves, hat, scarf and a blanket, however I can be sat there in next to nothing and still be sweating (OK, I may have exaggerated this slightly and in reality should have perhaps just said that personal preference is a consideration), the point being that the BTU recommendation would fall short in my household despite being ideal for most. 
Customers often convince themselves that they need an awful lot more heat than they actually do from their designer radiators. UK temperatures we know can get cold, but that's not to say that we need to pack each room with several Double Panel options because some industry expert wants to get rid of his stock pile, but nevertheless the producers have cottoned onto this fear and produced many a double panel option now.

The most recent trend we are seeing is how many of the options available are now offered as both vertical designer and horizontal designer radiators, and our assumption regarding this is for uniformity. Many people who refurbish their homes seek to add individual touches throughout. As designer heating options have become more popular, customers who have purchased one previously often return when it comes to the re-decoration of another room. It is for this reason that suppliers now offer these in many variations, tall or wide. Take the Reina Neva Designer Radiator in black. It is offered in 8 variations as a vertical option and 10 as a wide option, so should a customer wish to do their whole home in this range, there won't be a problem in doing so.

So where does this leave the UK market now? 
Our thoughts are that the market will continue to develop the high output options, however with a more with a creative agenda to stand out amongst their competitors. The Reina Bonera is perhaps one of the first good examples of this where a good heat output meets striking design. The chrome options still have their place in bathrooms and no doubt this will continue. Reina Designs' 2011 portfolio saw some fantastic options be introduced many of which have become popular  among our own customer base, however we do believe the core focus now will be on Black, White and Anthracite products suitable for Living and Entertaining spaces...

Further to this remains to be seen, but as long the progressions allow our customers the choice and opportunity to complete their projects with the finest touches at a fair affordable price, then we are all for it. 


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