Radiators - what material is best for me?

Designer Radiators and Heated Towel Rails can be crafted from a number of materials.

At Great Rads we have an extensive selection, and in this blog we go through the main to try and understand what would be best for you.

Stainless Steel Radiators 

Stainless Steel is a timeless beauty, and the best material radiators can be crafted from. It does not corrode, rust or stain with water as ordinary steel could potentially do. So you can be sure that if you leave your damp towels to dry out on it won't degrade over time. In fact all it needs is a wipe when cleaning with soap or a mild detergent whilst cleaning, and it will be as good as new.

This quality is reflected in the very long guarantees offered, typically from 20 to 25 years!

Stainless Steel is used where both the properties of steel and corrosion resistance are required.

Stainless Steel also has the advantage of conducting heat 15% better than Mild Steel. This is due in the main to the fact that Mild Steel requires a coat of protective Chrome or Paint, which radiates a small amount of heat back restricting heat output. 

The radiators available at Great Rads are all Grade 304 stainless steel. Which is also used for a variety of home and industry uses, such as screws, machinery parts, car headers, fabrics and other uses.

Typically the finishes will be either Polished, which provides a lovely reflective mirror finish. Or a more subtle Brushed Mat or Satin, which is more of a matt sheen.

To recap some of the key points of Stainless Steel Radiators

  • Won't rust, corrode or stain
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Higher Heat Output than Mild Steel
  • Hand built
  • Stunning surface finishes with no protective skin required
  • Polished or Brushed by hand
  • Very long guarantees, circa 20-25 years
  • Can have non rust bathroom towel radiators - click here to view

Aluminium Radiators

Aluminium is known for its strength, flexibility, exceptional lightness, and resistance to corrosion. It is also a fantastic conductor of heat, making it ideal for manufacturing radiators. 

What this means is the radiators are light and easy to handle, long-lasting, and are quick to heat up and cool down making them very efficient and cost effective. They also give a really high overall heat output compared to similar sized steel panel radiators.

An additional feature is the fact they require a lower water content to operate, the benefit being less demand on the heating system.

Some of the designs available in Aluminium are just stunning and original, some examples:

The Carisa Nemo with beautiful flat panels.

Carisa Nemo

Carisa Ajax

Carisa Ajax 

To summarise the benefits of Aluminium Radiators

  • Fast to get to the required heat temperature
  • Low water content
  • Very high heating outputs
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Eco friendly, and easily recyclable 
  • Energy Bills reduced
  • Amazing designs available
  • Non rust

Steel Radiators

Mild Steel is very competitively priced, and the large majority of the low to mid-range Radiators are manufactured from it. An important aspect of Steel Radiator installation and care is the correct amount of inhibitor, this will reduce the chances of internal rust building up. Your Plumber will be able to recommend the right amount.

Mild Steel Radiators will always have a finish on them, such as a painted finish, or chrome plating, this is due to the bare untreated surface not being very cosmetically appealing, and also it would reduce the corrosion resistant qualities.

So, Mild Steel Radiators are

  • Competitively priced
  • A large range of paint finishes and styles are available
  • Chrome plating can be mirror like in its finish
  • Lots of different styles and designs to cater for any taste

Below are 3 fabulous examples of painted steel:

The Reina Neva Vertical Designer Radiator on the left, the Reina Terano Designer Radiator in the middle, and lastly the Reina Reflect Radiator on the right

And lastly; Cast Iron Radiators

Cast Iron Column Radiators are classic and elegant. Some of the designs go back to the Victorian era and will always remain classics.

Cast Iron is a superb conductor of heat, and due to the way they are constructed by section can be almost any width - giving huge heat outputs.

Cast Iron Radiators

The Tudor Range

The Tudor


If you require any further information on the options available please feel free to contact our team on enquiries@greatrads.co.uk, or 01803 450330. We will be delighted to talk you through the options.

Great Rads Website

The Great Rads Team

1 comment

  • Barry Day

    Dear Sir
    Can you please tell me which coating on a steel radiator is the most efficient for heat transfer, chrome or white enamel. also do you have any figures available.
    Best regards
    Barry Day.

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