Why Radiators are a BAD CHOICE

Updated 2nd March 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

  • The floor is the last place that will warm up with radiators and the first place to cool down.
  • Radiators will give you a blast of stuffy heat at head height while your cold feet will need slippers.
  • Some parts of your rooms will be uncomfortably overheated by radiators while others will always be cold spots.
  • While you're sitting in front of TV, most of the heat will rise up from the radiator to the ceiling above you.
  • Radiators get hot fast but it takes a long time for that heat to spread to the bottom part of the room.
  • Radiators move air around the room causing a cooling draught especially on feet and legs.
  • The hotter the radiators the more air you will be moving around the room increasing the draught.
  • Radiators mean that groundfloor kitchen and bathroom tiles will always be uncomfortable to walk on - you'd be better off with lino!
  • You have to get mats for your bathroom floor because tiles are cold on bare feet.
  • Children will get cold playing on tiled floor - need to get insulating play mats.
  • If you need to get down onto a tiled floor it is not pleasant.
  • Radiators do not make you cosily warm.

    Goddamn Ugly

  • 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 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 more difficult to paint the walls.
  • 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.


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

    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.