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Radiator Types

Choosing a radiator isn't easy. You have a huge selection of different styles, materials and valves to choose from. To help you navigate all your options, we've created this guide so you can find the perfect radiator for your home. 

Radiator Fuel Sources

The first choice is how you want your radiator to be fuelled. Although this decision will usually be made based on your current heating setup, it's still a good idea to consider your options. 

Central Heating Radiators

Central heating radiators are the most common type in the UK. With these radiators, heat is generated through water that's heated up by your boiler. This water then passes through pipes into the radiators throughout your home to provide heat.

With a central heating system, you will usually need to turn on every radiator in your home, which has both positives and negatives. This is efficient during the winter when you want your whole house to stay warm. However, if you have a cold spot in your home that you want to heat even on warmer days, turning on your entire central heating system for this one room is inefficient.

As central heating radiators are the most common type in the UK, you will have an extensive choice of styles and designs to choose from.

Electric Radiators

Electric radiators are often chosen by people who don't have central heating in their home. They simply plug into your mains electricity supply, so they can be installed relatively simply without a plumber. They are also easier to maintain as they won't need to be bled or flushed out like a central heating radiator.

Although they can be used to replace central heating, they're also popular for people who have cold spots in their home. If you have one room which is particularly cold, or a garage that's used as an office, an electric radiator is ideal as you can switch it on even when your central heating is off. This can help you save energy versus switching on your entire heating system for one radiator.

Dual Fuel Radiators

If you have a colder area in your home or you want to dry your towels in the summer without needing to switch on your whole central heating system, a dual fuel radiator is for you. 

These radiators will run on your standard heating system but also include an electrical heating element. This means when your central heating system is on, the dual fuel radiator will run on this. Then when your heating system is off, but you still want to use the radiator, simply switch on the electrical element.

The most common use of dual fuel radiators is in bathroom towel rails but they can also be fitted in parts of your home which might need a heating boost when your central heating is switched off.

Radiator Types

Once you've chosen how you want your radiator to be fuelled, it's time to decide which type is right for you. The correct radiator type for your home will be determined by your available space and your preferred design style.

Horizontal Radiators

Horizontal radiators are the most common radiator type found in UK homes. They are wider than they are tall and due to their popularity, are available in a large number of different sizes and finishes.

Horizontal radiators are often placed underneath windows, as this is an area which would otherwise be unused. 

Vertical Radiators

Vertical Radiators are taller than they are wide and, as the name suggests, stretch vertically from the floor to the ceiling. These radiators are ideal for anyone who lacks horizontal wall space in their home, as their vertical shape allows them to provide the same heat output as a horizontal style but with a smaller footprint.

Not only are they useful for designing the layout of your home, they can also become integral to the style. Rather than simply fading into the background, our vertical radiators are available in a selection of stunning designs that can become a centrepiece for your living space.

Column Radiators

Column radiators are perfect for anyone who loves the traditional aesthetic. These radiators are constructed from tubes which are arranged in rows and connected top to bottom. These tubes form a single section of a column radiator. 

Column radiators are able to provide high levels of heat compared to their size and are also able to retain heat longer than other radiator styles. You can also choose how much heat you want your column radiator to produce by choosing how many columns it has.

Also known as Victorian or old fashioned radiators, these are available in a collection of styles which will look fantastic in any traditional home. Column radiators have a strong, tough look and will also look great in a modern, industrial style home.

Designer Radiators

If style is the most important consideration when choosing a radiator, then take a look at our designer range. These have been created to become an integral part of your home decor, rather than fading into the background.

Mirror radiators are an increasingly popular choice. These feature a mirror built into your standard radiator shape, which can help give your room the appearance of extra space. We also stock a selection of radiators with modern curves, which are ideal for anyone who wants to move away from the standard radiator shape.

Heated Towel Rails

Heated towel rails are quite simply a bathroom essential. They will keep your towels warm and dry whilst providing heat to your bathroom.

As no bathroom is the same size, heated towel rails are available in a range of different sizes and styles. There's also a range of finishes available from traditional chrome to the increasingly popular matt black.

As turning on an entire central heating system for one towel rail can be expensive, dual fuel towel rails are a smart choice. These will run from your central heating in the winter, but can be powered electrically when you want to dry your towels in the summer.

Choosing Your Perfect Radiator

When choosing which radiator type is for you, there are a number of factors you'll need to take into account:


British Thermal Units (BTU) is a measure of the heat output required to raise the temperature of a room. You can use it to determine if the radiator you're purchasing will produce enough heat. This is important as heat output isn't always determined by the size of the radiator. 

Once you've entered a few details about your room into our calculator, you'll be given a BTU figure which you'll find on all our radiators and towel rail product pages, making it easy to find a radiator with the correct heat output.


At Drench, we stock radiators at a variety of different price points from luxury brands to more affordable alternatives. When deciding which radiator you want to install and how much you want to spend, it's important to remember it will probably be a long time before you swap it out again.


Gone are the days when you could only buy a radiator in white. You now have an extensive choice of finishes to tailor your radiator to your own home decor.

White is a popular choice as its neutral tone allows it to fit in with most design styles. If you're looking to change up the colour of your radiator, black is ideal as it will still complement the majority of colour schemes.

If your home has a more modern look, a sleek chrome or steel radiator will be the perfect companion.

That concludes our breakdown of the different radiator types. All that's left to do is choose the perfect one for your home from our selection of radiators and heated towel rails.

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