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Radiator Buying Guide

Radiators Buying Guide

We know that planning a new bathroom, or purchasing a new radiator, can feel pretty daunting - so we have made a little checklist for you to refer to along your journey. Our radiators aren’t limited to the bathroom either – they’re the perfect fit for your whole house.


  1. What are the different types of radiators?
  2. What difference do panels make in a radiator?
  3. Do I want/need Horizontal or Vertical?
  4. Do I need valves?

Towel Rails Buying Guide

We all know the feeling of stepping out of a gorgeous, hot shower into a freezing cold bathroom – and it’s not a feeling that we remember fondly! Our abundant range of towel rails are here to save the day. Say goodbye to shivering in your towel and let us help you select the right towel radiator for your bathroom.


  1. Do I want a heated towel rails? If so, which one?

Calculating the heat output of your radiator

Calculating your BTU

BTU calculators will help you work out which radiator will most effectively heat your room. BTU stands for British Thermal Units and is the level of heat a radiator gives out.

Every radiator is given a BTU rating which is clearly highlighted within each product page on soak.com. Online calculators will help you determine the level of BTUs required to most effectively heat your room.

This figure is calculated by taking into account the dimensions of your room (width, length, height) and the number and type of windows (such as single or double glazing). You can either use one radiator to reach the total BTU level required, or a number of radiators which reaches the required BTU level when added together.

The required BTU level to heat your room will influence the size of your radiators, but don’t fear, we have numerous options at soak.com for you to choose from. Just ensure you consider the space that you have before making a final decision.

What are the different types of radiators?

We have a wide range of central heating radiators that will rely on a hot water system to heat your home. The hot water is taken from a boiler or tank and is pumped around your home using a series of pipes. Our choice of radiators also make an easy replacement for the average (boring!) radiator in your home.

Do I want/need Horizontal or Vertical?

Radiators are available in many different shapes and sizes so you have more selection than ever before. With that in mind, what is the difference between buying a horizontal or a vertical radiator?

Horizontal Radiators

Horizontal Radiators

The more common radiator and the one recognised and is useful for its ability to stretch to the width of the room. It is easy to consider the area underneath a window as dead space, so it makes sense to place a radiator there. This will leave vital wall space for other items of furniture.

Placement underneath a window means it will combat any cold air or drafts which will keep you warm at all times. You’ll probably find that a horizontal radiator will be easier to install as existing pipework should already be in place.

soak.com’s superb range of horizontal radiators allows you to add a contemporary touch to your home. It will also keep you and your family warm in those dreaded winter months.

Vertical Radiators

Vertical Radiators

If you’re looking for a radiator with real visual impact then a vertical radiator could be for you…

As they take up more floor-to-ceiling space, they will generally be more eye-catching than those that run horizontally. This allows you the opportunity to turn a radiator into a real statement piece.

In addition to being less conventional, the slim line design is great for those who are tight on space or have awkward walls where a horizontal radiator just wouldn’t be an option. The large surface area makes it a great option for heating a sizeable room in style and they are also built to last! They offer supreme strength and are finished with impressively scratch-resistant materials so you can enjoy them for a long time to come. (These designs don’t just come in horizontal, they come flat panel, oval and colosseum too!)

We also sell convector radiators.

Convector Radiators

Convectors are the metal zig-zag fins that are located either on the back of, or in between, the radiator panel/panels. Radiators with convector fins will produce more heat than those without.

Convector fins increase the surface area of the radiator which means it will heat a room more effectively. However, radiators with convectors will generally be bigger in size. You may want to consider this if you don’t want a radiator that is too bulky.

Ultimately, the more panels and convectors you have, the more heat your radiator will provide. If you’re looking to inject a lot of heat into your home, a double panel, double convector would be the most powerful option!

Colosseum Radiators

Colosseum radiators are based on a cast iron design (which is really popular!) and runs straight off your central heating. This modern and affordable version is lighter and easy to install, making it modern home friendly!

Have you considered which way you want to place your radiator? We sell both Vertical and Horizontal colosseum radiators so the choice is all yours.

Horizontal Colosseum Radiators
Vertical Colosseum Radiators

Radiator Colours

Our radiators are available in White, Anthracite (one of the most popular as it is a new trend), Chrome and Black Gloss. You’re sure to find something that will blend in with your interior seamlessly.

What difference do panels make in a radiator?

First things first, the heat output you’ve calculated will influence whether you need single or double – so bear that in mind as you’re looking!

It is valuable to note that some radiators have different amounts of panels, depending on their size.

The panel is the long metal tank that becomes filled with hot water. The heat that that is given off from the tank will make your room warm and toasty. It is fairly straightforward - the larger panels will emit more heat or a trick to increase heat without compromising on size.

Single Panel Radiators

Single Panel Radiators

If you are looking to have a radiator in your room but aren’t keen on the look of a double-panelled radiator then this might be the option for you! As single panel radiators are generally slimmer, they may be better suited to fit underneath particular windows.

Double Panel Radiators

Double Panel Radiators

Double panel radiators use two tanks as opposed to one. Because there are two panels, more hot water is able to flow into them and so they produce more heat. These are popular because of their simple design and effectiveness at heating a room. A double panel is a great option as you do not need to have two radiators. It increases your BTU without taking up the wall space.

Heated Towel Radiators

Still got some biscuits left? Read on for some handy advice about picking the right heated towel radiator – you’re nearly done!

Why not bring a splash of luxury into your bathroom with one of our heated towel radiators? Long gone are the days of walking out of a beautiful, hot shower into a freezing, cold room. Wrap up in a warm, soft towel and tackle the winter chill with confidence (and warmth!)

soak.com have a superb range of styles. You can choose from classic, Victorian inspired, traditional, contemporary or minimalistic designs. We have straight, curved, flat panel, square and designer options. And it doesn’t stop there – our colours includes Chrome, Anthracite and White and are available in majority of designs. We also have different sizes to suit different rooms. Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find one to suit your style – and fall in love with.

When talking towel rails, the styles are more varied and there is a larger choice of design, size and colour. There are also towel rails available for central heating, electric, and dual fuel.

Traditional Radiators

Traditional Heated Towel Radiators

Inspired by an era gone by, our Victorian-style traditional towel radiators make for a stunning addition to a vintage, period or classic style bathroom. When installed, they can really add some character to a room and will make sure your bathroom and towels are kept dry in the winter months. Why not think about adding smaller, floor standing heated towel rails next to your bath for added convenience – you’ll thank yourself later.

Heated Towel Radiators

Contemporary Heated Towel Radiators

If you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary, a flat panelled heated towel radiator will add an ultra-modern design element to your bathroom. The sleek, minimalistic style will also save on space by keeping your radiator close to your bathroom wall. It’s not a boring option – there are lots of different choices and colours available!

TOP TIP – The more bars, the higher the heat output!

Electric Towel Radiators

Electric Heated Towel Radiators

Electric radiators use electrical power to heat your home. They can be controlled separately in each room and are not controlled using a central heating system. Please note that all of our electric radiators will need to be filled and installed before use.

soak.com also offers a great range of electric heated towel rails. We believe they are energy efficient as you can limit your energy usage to suit your needs - meaning you won’t need to fire up your whole central heating system every time.

Does a radiator need valves?

It’s something people often forget, but yes, all plumbed radiators require valves. These are purchased separately from the radiator – and it’s important that you choose the right valves for the job.

Radiator Valves

Straight or angled?

First things first, do you need a straight or an angled valve? Generally speaking, if your heating pipes come out of the floor you will need straight valves. If they come out of the wall, it’s angled valves.

The other key decision when it comes to radiator valves is manual or thermostatic.

Radiator Valves

Manual or Thermostatic?

A manual valve is a very simple mechanism – it is essentially a tap. To operate, simply turn the tap to allow the central heating to pass through the radiator and, when the room is warm enough, turn it off again.

Thermostatic valves usually have numbers on them to show the various settings. Just select one of these numbers and the temperate remains constant in that room. A good tip to remember is the higher the number, the warmer it gets. A thermostatic valve is more energy efficient as the heating cuts off when the desired temperature is achieved – which is sure to keep everyone happy!

Cooling down

Now you’ve topped up your knowledge and finished your biscuits, you’re ready to delve into our wonderful range of radiators and pick one that is not too hot, not too cold but just right!


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