Jon Walker, Marketing Manager at nuie Bathrooms, explains how designer radiators are a good value-added sell for the plumber.

As many installers are now aware, radiator and towel rail design has evolved dramatically in the last decade and the ‘designer radiator’ has been born. The latest manufacturing techniques and growing consumer demand means there are now available more styles than before, at ever more competitive price points and, importantly, without forgoing any of the heat output that preserves functionality. For the plumber, this growth in popularity and the availability of almost limitless styles and finishes, means radiators can be a good value-added sell with excellent margins. 

Many manufacturers have responded to this opportunity by developing entire ranges of radiators and grouping them together like our own nuie Heating Collection. As a collection, the radiators are positioned as designer-inspired products that can be installed in any room of the home, not just the bathroom, making them highly desirable which, with a little practical guidance and advice, your customers can benefit from.

Looking at the bathroom sector, there are many ‘designer’ radiator ranges out there which will look equally as good in any room, especially with a little bit of thought or design flair. The availability of many new colours and finishes, as well as compact design options, has also helped sales enormously, with the ever popular, typical white-only look being added to with stunning monochromes, anthracites, and chrome finishes that will coordinate with any style. We are seeing this type of radiator being used across the home and to very good effect.

Style-wise, radiators can be considered either modern/contemporary or traditional/period, though there is some obvious blurring of the divide. 

The sheer number of designs now available, with ever more intricate and complex shapes, orientations, as well as curved forms adding to the typical linear, allow a mix and match approach to be used in most homes. Our Revive range, for example, available in horizontal, vertical, and curved options, allows a theme to be carried throughout the home but can be tweaked in style for each room. 

Of course, the traditional look is still timeless, and period-styled radiators, such as the nuie Colosseum, are designed not to lose any of their modern high heat output in exchange for old-fashioned looks. 

Designer heated towel and ladder rails are also still much in demand – the now huge variety of styles, colours, and finishes available, as well as excellent heat outputs, means they can serve as standalone design features without looking like a bathroom accessory. The new multifunctional models with magnetic towel rails, robe hooks, and integrated shelves, for example, make them very versatile, so the still popular chrome tubular ladder is no longer the only option.

Also, where a good horizontal designer radiator is required, gone are the days of having to flip a vertical model, with brands like nuie now manufacturing true horizontal styles, such as the horizontal Sloane radiator.

New manufacturing techniques have also reduced the weight of many radiators, and their durability and robustness allows them to be recommended in complete confidence, and safe in the knowledge they will easily last the lifetime of their expected use. It is important to ensure the radiators have CE approval as this guarantees their heat output, as well as their reliability and safety. A good warranty is also essential, and consumers will look favourably on this. 

Designer heating products will continue to grow in popularity, with new styles, materials, finishes, shapes, and sizes offering ever more options to the consumer. For the plumber, knowing what radiator styles are ‘hot’ can be just the advice a customer needs for all rooms in a property, and could mean the difference between installing one bathroom radiator versus a whole house full of designer radiators.