Vertical radiators

As living spaces become smaller and smaller, interior designers around the world are busy finding new and creative ways to maximise space. One novel solution is the vertical radiator, which purports to provide the same amount of heat as a regular radiator while taking up a fraction of the space and all the while keeping your home looking slick and stylish. Here's how they score on all the major fronts.

Function 

The claim that vertical radiators have the same or similar output to horizontal ones is true up to a point. But it depends entirely on how big a unit you buy (and given that the primary aim here is conserving space it often makes sense to go small).

With this in mind, vertical radiators are often best suited to smaller spaces that don't require as much heat to get them fully warmed up. They're particularly useful in bathrooms, in fact, where they can double up as heated racks for you to dry your towels on.

 

Placement

When it comes to horizontal radiators, interior designers generally recommended that they're placed directly under a window, the rationale being that window walls have less decorative scope than the others.

With vertical radiators this option doesn't really exist in the same way, although you can place them beside your window instead. There are benefits of this in terms of preventing cool air from entering the room.

Try to avoid placing them directly behind furniture though: this will prevent the heat from circulating properly - as well as defeat the purpose of having such a neat, new feature in your home.

 

Size

 

Vertical radiators come in a range of shapes and sizes and, as above, it really depends on the room you're buying for.

For bathrooms and kichens (rooms that are often small and 'generate' heat in other ways) you can easily get away with a metre long unit at roughly head height.

Lounges and living rooms require something slightly bigger (about two metres in length, usually), and some homeowners might even consider buying a pair - this helps circulate heat and adds some all-important symmetry to your lvving space.

 

Appearance

It's not an exaggeration to say that a well-chosen vertical radiator really can help spruce up your home.

The colour is a big factor here: against a light wall a black barred radiator can look really stylish and modern - particularly compared to the classic white design that is often associated with schools or hospitals.

You should also consider the shape. For bathrooms especially there are creative designs (for example the towel rack idea) that disguise the fact it's a radiator completely.

 

Cost

As with any major home appliance purchase you should try to avoid going cheap for the sake of it. Radiators are essential, particularly in colder countries, and you really can't afford to buy a unit that doesn't transmit the requisite amount of heat.

As a rule, we'd recommend spending between £80 and £120 on a smaller space and between £350 and £400 on a larger bedroom or living room. This doesn't factor in installation costs though - as those will largely depend on the piping situation in your home (make sure you know where you stand here before you make a purchase).