Have you considered radiator valves as part of your room’s design?

Radiator valves have traditionally been seen as a technical consideration rather than an aesthetic one. But we’re finding that they are increasingly important in a room’s design details.

From valve placement choices to various finishes, designers have an increasing choice of valve details to incorporate into their projects.

Thermostatic radiator valves – aesthetic designs and practical benefits

Having total control over a radiator’s heat is a big benefit of thermostatic radiator valves (TRV). The environment can be heated to the exact temperature the homeowner requires, taking the guesswork out of heating a room and eliminating the constant battle between being too hot or too cold. Plus, the ability to tweak the heating on or off whenever it’s needed means it’s a more cost-effective way of heating a property.

Using a built-in sensor that adjusts the flow of water to a radiator, a TRV will slowly open and close based on the warmth of its surroundings. The temperature is then regulated to whatever the user wants.

TRVs also save money by reducing significant fluctuations in heat that will have a boiler working harder/more often and consequently using a more sensible amount of gas.

These valves are also available in a variety of both modern and traditional styles. Typical TRVs show the setting numbers around the top, but newer designs have other ways to demonstrate the different gradients of heat: lines or ridges are incorporated in the design, disguising their true purpose. These more traditional styles complement period interiors and cast iron radiators.

Radiator valve orientation – an essential aesthetic consideration

How you install a valve is also a key part of the design process.

Most radiators in the UK have bottom opposite end connections (BOE), where the water flows into one bottom corner and then out the opposite side. But this isn’t the only option – often, other solutions are more suitable.

Many radiators can be supplied with valves underneath; the radiator takes up all available wall space rather than much of it covered in pipe work. This works particularly well on tall, vertical radiators and is a great option if you need to squeeze a little more heat out of a tight area. With some clever measuring, this style can often use existing pipes, saving the need for unnecessary and costly plumbers’ labour.

Having pipe work coming up from the floor is also no longer necessary. Many valves now come in a corner orientation, so pipework goes straight back into the wall, removing the need for unsightly bits of copper pipe cluttering the floor area.

Different radiator valve finishes

In recent years, the range of finishes available on radiator valves has expanded in line with the development of radiator finishes.

Valves are no longer primarily chrome. Satin nickel radiator valves are becoming commonplace, alongside various brass finishes plus pewter, anthracite and black.

For the ‘no stone left unturned’ approach to room aesthetics, some valves can also be finished in the same RAL colour as the radiator. This works especially well with contemporary radiator styles and towel rails.

Aesthetics are driving radiator valve technology

When is a radiator, not a radiator? When the thing that makes you believe it is – the valves and pipes – are taken away!

Increasingly, radiator manufacturers are looking to create statement pieces that go beyond just heating a space. Many are exploring integrated valves that hide everything away at the back of the radiator and creating novel installation systems which transform the radiator to being a piece of art as an integral part of a room’s structure. There are also options where the radiator is on a wall, but the valves are placed elsewhere.

The Radiator Centre recognises that valves are small and often overlooked pieces of kit, but they can actually be an important and valuable component to the finish of a design project. With over one hundred different radiator valves available to match every aesthetic, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect one from our range for your interior project.