Radiator valves, the often overlooked essential items for your new radiator, are available in a surprising range of styles to suit the design of your radiator and your home’s interior too. But with so many to choose from including straight, angled, manual and thermostatic, it can be tricky deciding which radiator valve is suitable. So, to help you out we’ve created this handy guide on how to choose the right radiator valves.
Which radiator valves do I need?
The main thing you need to determine when choosing radiator valves is whether you will require straight or angled valves. Most radiators and heated towel rails feature bottom opposite end connections (BOE), which basically means the connection between the radiator and the water supply pipework being positioned at the bottom of the radiator and on either end.
Do I need straight or angled radiator valves?
Angled radiator valves connect the radiator to the central heating pipework at a 90 degree angle. This type of valve is used when the pipework comes out of the wall or from below the floorboards, and needs an angle to be able to fit into the inlet connection on the radiator. Angled valves are a popular choice as there’s minimal pipework on show, which provides a neater finish.
Straight radiator valves connect the central heating pipework horizontally to the radiator straight up from the floor. If your pipework runs along the wall and straight into the radiator, then you will need to choose straight valves.
Types of radiator valves
As well as straight and angled designs, there’s also manual and thermostatic radiator valves to choose from, just to make things even more confusing! Here’s the difference between the two.
Manual radiator valves
Manual valves work in a similar way to a tap. Turn the valve on and the central heating will flow into the radiator or heated towel rail. When the radiator is hot enough, you can turn the valve off. The only downside of this type of valve is that you will need to keep an eye on your energy bill, as it can increase if you don’t turn the valve off.
Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
A thermostatic radiator valve, or TRV, is specially designed to regulate the flow of central heating into the radiator. The flow reduces as the space gets warmer, which helps to save money on energy bills. This type of valve allows you to easily change the temperature in each room.
It’s worth noting that every house is required to have a minimum of one radiator valve that is not thermostatic. The reason for this is that there’s needs to be a radiator that has the central heating constantly flowing through to reduce the risk of damaging the boiler. A common place to fit the non-thermostatic valve is in a bedroom, or the room where the thermostat is.
Radiator valve designs
Radiator valves are available in both modern and traditional designs to suit the design of your radiator or towel radiator, so take this into consideration when deciding which to choose. When choosing towel radiator valves, ensure they suit the style of your bathroom to ensure a uniform look.
Most valves feature a chrome finish that blends in easily with any décor. But for a more authentic traditional look, you could opt for valves with an antique brass finish.