Skip to navigation Skip to content

Vintage & Old Fashioned Radiators

Old fashioned, vintage, traditional or Victorian, whatever you prefer to call them, these radiators are an increasingly common sight in British homes. In this article we outline the benefits of installing your own traditional radiator, the styles available and how you can incorporate one into your home.

What Is An Old Fashioned Radiator?

When people talk about old fashioned radiators, they are usually referring to the column style which was popularised in Victorian times. They are constructed from rows of tubes that connect top to bottom to form a single section. Water flows around these tubes or 'columns' to heat them up. 


Benefits Of Vintage Radiators

One of the biggest benefits of old fashioned radiators is their heat output. They have a larger surface area than most standard radiators, which means they give off lots of heat for their size. 

You can also choose a column radiator with differing numbers of columns depending on your needs. If you only have a small space to fit a radiator but need a large heat output, choose a 4 column radiator. If you want a larger, grander column radiator which has a lower heat output, choose one with 2 columns. Remember to use our BTU calculator to make sure your radiator has the right heat output for your room.


This is an important benefit to remember when considering a column radiator. Although they may seem more expensive, they follow a design which has been proven for many years and are therefore built to last.

Modern Materials

The popularity of column radiators means you can achieve this look without needing to source and renovate an old radiator. Only Radiators stock a fantastic selection of traditional radiators with all the benefits and looks of their Victorian counterparts, but constructed with modern designs and materials. 

Types Of Old Fashioned Radiators


The classic column radiator is the horizontal style. These are usually what comes to mind when thinking about Victorian radiators. Perfect for positioning under a window or where you have a lot of horizontal wall space, if you want an easy swap with your current radiator, this will probably be your best bet.


Vertical column radiators provide a modern twist on the classic design. These radiators are perfect for anyone lacking horizontal wall space, as they will make much better use of available vertical space. They are also available in a variety of different widths, so you can choose one with the perfect heat output for your home.

Vintage Radiator Finishes


White is the timeless finish for traditional radiators. A white column radiator will look great in almost any room and the neutral colour makes it easily adaptable to any style. 


Black is a great way to add a modern twist to an old fashioned style. Black radiators will make a real statement in your home and are ideal for anyone who wants to move away from the usual white finish.


Alongside the standard colours you'll find in our range, many of our radiators are also available in a bespoke colour of your choice. Whether you want to go bold with orange or choose a vibrant pink, there are 40 RAL colours for you to choose from. Please contact our sales team for more information on this.

Vintage Radiator Valves

No radiator is complete without the correct valves and choosing the right set for your column radiator is important.

An obvious option for a traditional radiator is cross head valves. These have that vital old fashioned aesthetic that you're unlikely to get with a TRV. If you aren't a fan of crosshead valves, we also stock an excellent selection of luxury valves with ornate details. 

Finish is also important. Although a classic chrome finish is the obvious choice, for a really vintage look consider one of our more 'rustic' finishes like brass or nickel.

Vintage Radiator Ideas

When choosing a radiator, you want to make sure it will complement your home. Here we've outlined some of our favourite vintage radiator ideas.

Radiator In a Classic Fireplace

Many older homes will still have a fireplace. Although these can look great and add a traditional charm to your home, they are often expensive to maintain and can be a hassle to use. That's why we love the solution seen here. The fireplace has been bricked up but the ornamental surround has been left in place. A beautiful traditional radiator has then been installed in the centre. This is a fantastic way to keep the style of the fireplace but still have an easy way to keep your home warm.


Minimalist Bathroom

In this home, a column radiator has been used to create a minimalist space. The use of a vertical radiator here allows the horizontal wall space to remain clutter free.


Classic Radiator In a Modern Home

Just because you want to install an old fashioned radiator, doesn't mean you need to have a traditional home. Adding a vibrant radiator to a modern living room is a great way to add some colour to a space which could otherwise feel dull and uninviting. Like the wall art above it, the purple radiator has become a focal point for the room, which draws your eye in. 


We hope this guide has inspired you to install a traditional radiator in your home. Only Radiators stock a great selection of traditional radiators, valves and even heated towel rails.

You might also like

Back to top