Chris Harvey, Head of Marketing at Stelrad, explains how changing consumer tastes are impacting radiator designs for the home.

While virtually every new home and most existing homes now provide a venue for a special bathroom radiator or towel rail (and often more than one if there is an en-suite in the property), as with most things in life, tastes are changing and the demands from the consumer are getting a little more sophisticated. And manufacturers, like Stelrad, are responding to these demands with ever wider ranges of products available through the merchants and online.

This is in part due to the large number of makeover programmes on TV and the opportunities out there for consumers to see inside other people’s homes – often celebrities’ homes – and witness upmarket bathrooms. These tend to make the man and woman in the street far more aspirational, and with the ease of selection now available via the internet, they are having far more say in what is installed in their own homes. 

As a result, while the simple chrome plated ladder towel rail is still available, we’re seeing a much wider range of bathroom radiators available on the market, with some outrageous designs that are to attract attention, to some stunningly sleek, attractive designs that slot in perfectly with today’s décor and enhance the bathroom with their design, sometimes using colours and often their finishes. 

So, what exactly is changing in the world of bathroom radiators? For one, the materials being used are changing. We’re seeing many more radiators that are ‘bathroom versions’ of the decorative or designer radiators being used throughout the home. For example, Stelrad has for many years been offering its Concord radiator design – a very popular flat tube offering as both horizontal and vertical radiators – and now it has introduced special versions of the Concord for the bathroom, with a more sophisticated ‘stepped’ design using the same elements as the standard radiators. These are available in up to 36 RAL colours to match or contrast with the décor.

In the bathroom, radiators can be a perfect example of something that traditionally has been simply a functional heating appliance that, through the addition of colour or finish, can be elevated to the role of a centrepiece, a decorative talking point for everyone who enters the room. The addition of a bright red, blue, or yellow radiator in a room immediately grabs the attention and cheers the room up. Or the use of one that colour matches the rest of the décor can give the room an air of sophistication and again become a talking point for how well it blends into its surroundings. 

Whether your customers have a plain white bathroom, a black and white bathroom, or a decorated coloured bathroom, you’ll find a choice of radiators that will provide the right finishing touch for the room, with radiators available now that will allow them to enjoy the process of mixing and matching their décor. This adds sophistication to the bathroom – a stunning bathroom radiator will keep the room cosy and warm in the winter and breezy and bright in the summer.

You can sit down with your customer and show them what’s on offer on a manufacturer’s website. This will enable them to have an input on the look of their bathroom and see the options in great room-set surroundings, which always help when envisaging how a finished bathroom will look.