Q: Which is the best material for radiators?
A: Aluminium. That's the short answer purely based on performance efficiency and cost, but doesn't in any way address many reasons why other materials are used. Most commonly, steel is used for making radiators due to cost, weight and ease of fabrication and cast iron is used mainly because people still want to retain period appearances to properties or like the heat retaining properties of cast iron. Stainless steel radiators have become popular in recent years due to its use in the kitchen industry. Looks great but not the most efficient of materials. Hey, who says it can't be simply about good looks?
So breaking it down to simple plus points:
Aluminium: Lightweight. Efficient. Environmentally friendly.
Steel: Cheap. Easy to fabricate into many different shapes
Cast Iron. Looks great. Retains heat.
Stainless steel: Very contemporary and fashionable.
Q: What about reclaimed cast iron? Am I saving the planet and my pocket?
A: We don't do reclaimed radiators simply because of the work involved in making them truly workable isn't cost effective nor is it environmentally friendly. In order for a cast iron radiator to be fully reworked, it has to be completely disassembled, flushed, bead blasted, reassembled and repainted. Most people don't do this and just give them a quick paint over. If you buy from one of the few reputable re furbishers and providing the radiator can be taken apart and put back together successfully, by the time all this work is carried out, you may as well buy a reproduction piece which with comes with a guarantee. We tend to advise people to buy reclaimed at their peril.
Q: Towel rails. Why are yours more expensive than what I can buy from my local DIY store?
A: A very common question and one we do have a very good answer for. We are very careful about which towel rails we offer because of the unique environment of the bathroom. Towel rails are exposed to lots of condensation, damp towels, and extremes of hot and cold ad have a pretty hard life compared to most other radiators in the house. Additionally expectations are high. The towel rails we offer not only have larger diameter tubing than cheaper models available, but also the models we offer are far more resistant to rusting thann cheaper models and are either manufactured from brass or are copper plated under the chrome finish to insulate from the damp environment. Obviously both of these protective methods cost a little more, but when people are faced with replacing tile work or pulling up flooring to replace their cheaper towel rail, they do wish they'd taken our advice in the first place.