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Top 5 vertical radiator installation mistakes

Vertical designer radiators are on the rise in UK homes for their statement style, powerful heat output and space-saving design, which we love to see! Team tall is also the current winner of our recent Instagram poll with 72% of our followers choosing a statement vertical radiator over a small horizontal option!

Unfortunately, one in six plumbers are called out to fix botched installation jobs amid the rise in popularity for vertical designer radiators.

Google trends data has revealed that searches for ‘where to buy a vertical radiator?’ have increased by 105% in the last 6 months, leading to one in six plumbers seeing an increase in callouts to rectify a botched installation job attempted by eager customers.  

Installing vertical radiators incorrectly can lead to reduced efficiency, improper function and in some cases poses a safety hazard. Our recent study of 2,000 UK tradespeople also revealed one in three homeowners admitted to failing to install their new radiator properly, causing further damage to their walls!

With this in mind, we wanted to help you avoid these issues by bringing your attention to the top 5 vertical radiator installation mistakes.

instagram story with a poll asking bestheating customers if they prefer horizontal or vertical radiators

Installing the radiator in a position that obstructs airflow or doesn’t allow for proper heat distribution can reduce its efficiency. Radiators should be installed at least 100mm (4 inches) off the floor and 150mm (6 inches) from any windowsills to ensure efficient circulation of heated air. This positioning also reduces the risk of dampness and mould growth around the radiator. You should also ensure that it’s not blocked by any furniture or curtains so that heat can radiate freely. 

2. Choose the right wall

Vertical radiators can be very heavy. Make sure the wall you choose can support the weight of the radiator. Solid brick or concrete walls are ideal, but plasterboard walls can also be used with the right fixings. For solid walls, heavy-duty wall plugs and screws are sufficient. For plasterboard walls, you’ll need to use specialised plasterboard fixings or toggle bolts that can spread the weight more evenly across the wall. 

3. Uneven placement

Always check the floor level especially in older homes to ensure the floor is level before deciding on the placement. An uneven floor can make a securely mounted radiator appear wonky and ensuring the radiator is level prevents uneven heating and potential damage. Use a spirit level the double check everything as you go. 

4. Don’t attempt installation alone

If we haven’t mentioned it enough, vertical radiators can be very heavy! Some of the larger ones weighing around 50kg before they are even filled with water. So, consider having someone with you when installing to help you lift it into place. If you’re unsure about the wall’s suitability or the type of fixing to use, consult a professional before you botch the job. For more information take a look at our ‘How to dress and hang a vertical designer radiator’ guide.

5. Regular maintenance

Once installed correctly, it’s important to regularly maintain the radiator to ensure its continued efficiency and longevity. Don’t neglect maintenance tasks such as cleaning, bleeding and make sure you check for leaks that can lead to problems over time. Here’s a step by step guide on how to bleed a radiator. 

More vertical radiator advice

We hope these top tips will help you avoid any potential installation disasters! There are plenty of benefits for choosing a statement vertical radiator, as long as they are fitted safely and correctly! If you are considering going vertical but can’t decide, head over to our ‘Why buy a vertical designer radiator?’ guide.

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