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Why Radiators are a BAD CHOICE

Updated 3rd June 2018

I don't have underfloor heating installed but I wish I did!

I live in a bungalow with tiled kitchen, utility room and bathrooms. Here are the things that I don't like about my radiators which underfloor heating could improve on:

Hot Head and Cold Feet

Despite being able to pump out a lot of heat radiators will fail to make you comfortably warm:
  • The bottom half of a room and the floor will be the last place that will warm up and the first place to cool down.
  • Radiators will give you a blast of stuffy heat at head height while the bottom half of your body will still feel uncomfortably cool.
  • The part of your room where the radiator is located will be uncomfortably overheated while other parts will struggle to get warm.
  • While you're sitting in front of TV, most of the heat will rise up from the radiator to the ceiling above you.
  • Radiators cause the air in a room to move around giving you a cooling draught on your feet and legs.
  • In winter groundfloor tiles will be very cold on bare and socked feet. You will need to invest in slippers and try to remember where you last left them!
  • You have to put down unhygienic mats for your bathroom floor because the tiles are too cold for bare feet while brushing your teeth.
  • Children and babies will get cold playing and crawling on tiled floor - need to get insulating play mats.
  • If for some reason you need to get down onto a tiled floor during the winter it will not be pleasant.
  • It is impossible to precisely regulate the temperature of individual rooms with radiators.

    Goddamn Ugly

    Nobody ever complements my radiators:
  • Radiators clutter rooms - standard radiators only take away from the look of a nice room.
  • Plumbers are now using flexible plastic piping which dosen't come straight out of the floor and looks wonky!
  • You have to cut holes through your nice flooring for the pipes.
  • Not used for half the year but you still have to look at them winter and summer.
  • Curtains won't draw properly over them and if you don't have full lengh curtains then the ugly bottom of the radiator will be visible sticking out.
  • Radiators gradually go off colour, get scratched, dented and rusty.
  • Impossible to touch up a radiator properly - I've tried and failed.
  • When you paint a wall a nice colour this only acts to highlight an ugly radiator even more.

    Get in the Way

  • You lose a lot of wall space - radiators reduce and restrict the places where you can put shelving and presses.
  • Pictures and shelves get damaged from hot air rising.
  • They makes it much more difficult to paint the walls and skirting boards.
  • It's difficult to vacuum and mop behind pipes sticking out of floor.
  • They gather dust which is difficult to clean properly.
  • Children can be burned by hot radiators.
  • Children and adults bang into hard edged radiators and stub toes against pipes.

    Damp

  • Tiled floors take longer to dry after mopping.
  • Door mats and hallways take longer to dry from wet shoes.
  • Clothes take longer to dry on clotheshorses.
  • Wet shoes take forever to dry.

    So in summary radiators are bad at heating rooms and look terrible! If I had the choice between radiators versus underfloor heating I would definitely give underfloor heating a try. Unfortunately I have decades of non-cosy heating ahead of me and a houseful of ugly radiators to look at. Underfloor will cost more to install than radiators but you will get a lot more value for money.