“What valves shall I use on my radiator?” This is a question that we always get asked at Columnrads because it is probably the last thought when purchasing a radiator and to be honest a few years ago there was just not that much choice. Nowadays there is a fantastic choice and it has really developed because customers have demanded a designer rad and frowned when the only offering was a cheap manual one or a basic white thermostatic one. We know that a radiator is finished off with the right style of valve and it cannot be stressed enough not to leave the choice to your plumber. This is not a criticism but it is like choosing a paint colour everyone has a different opinion about what goes with what. You should not leave a really important decision down to the installer get involved and make sure you specify what matches your other furnishings.
In a previous post we dealt with the types of valves and there functions and orientations, if you have not read this then please do it will hopefully help to understand this one.
So you have chosen the type of valve due to where the pipework is coming from you now have the really good choice of colour, style and operation.
Colour – We have developed valve finishes on what is a good match to some of the different colours and finishes we now sell in Columnrads. For instance the raw metal rads have a unique finish that is impacted by light in its location and is a really difficult finish to replicate as it is quite organic. We find the best option is antique brass and people choose the Gothic or Traditional Bentley valves which are thermostatic and come as a pair. We also offer the following finishes, black and satin nickel, antique copper, chrome and white it thermostatic and manual valves.
Style – Again this is down to your surroundings and what sort of other fixtures and fittings you have in the house and also how old your house is. We sell a lot of column rads to period houses and the Gothic style of Bentley valves really compliments the grandiose styling of Victorian and Georgian decoration. Column rads also look good in a modern setting as they are really a modern twist on a cast iron radiator although we only really used cast iron in the UK as it was a bi-product of steel and in Europe they just used the better product 100% steel. If you want a more modern look then you can choose the Wave TRV Twin pack which comes in different finishes and is a contemporary style with a modern operation.
Operation – How a radiator valve operates is also a matter of opinion and style. We would always suggest thermostatic as this gives you control over the temperature of the rad and ultimately the room. In some circumstances a manual valve is required like when it is not really necessary to have a thermostatic. You always need two valves one on the flow and return and it is always advisable to put the TRV on the flow. You can control manual valves by closing them down slightly and a really popular style is the cross-head angled and these come in polished chrome. This is where valves have developed to suit the rads and the Bentley range of valves are generally all thermostatic except for the Bentley Manual and are operated by selecting the amount of rings visible on the head.