A Guide To Cast Iron Radiator Accessories

Posted: Friday, February 2, 2024

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Originally seen as a symbol of elegance and sophistication, cast iron radiators date back to the 19th century and often feature intricate designs that matched the period's architectural and interior design trends. Over the years, manufacturing processes have evolved but each model retains its classic appeal, making them popular in both restoration projects and modern homes seeking a vintage touch. Radiator accessories, including pipe shrouds and wall stays, complete the overall aesthetic, whereas electric heating elements and smart valves provide more varied heating options. Trads specialises in cast iron radiators, offering expert knowledge to customers to ensure they find the perfect heating system for their unique space. 

radiator accessories

The Origin Of Cast Iron Radiators

The mid-19th century marked a significant advancement in home heating technologies during the Industrial Revolution. The invention of cast iron radiators turned indoor heating on its head, moving away from traditional open fireplaces and stoves to more efficient, centralised heating systems. As their popularity grew, so did the intricacy of their designs and the availability of radiator accessories, with manufacturers incorporating elaborate patterns and details that reflected the Victorian era's architectural styles. 

The efficiency and reliability of cast iron radiators led to their widespread use in historic buildings, where many original units still function today. This longevity demonstrates the quality of both the material and the manufacturing processes used, highlighting the enduring legacy of cast iron radiators in architectural history.

The casting process of cast iron radiators has largely remained consistent even as modern manufacturing techniques have evolved. Molten metal is poured into a sand mould containing a hollow cavity in the shape of a radiator section. Trads recently partnered with Made Smarter East Midlands to enhance operational efficiency by introducing advanced automation to painting and assembly processes. This upskilled employees and tripled manufacturing capacity, resulting in shorter delivery times and higher-quality products.   

Cast Iron Radiator Accessories

Cast Iron Radiator Covers

Radiator covers serve both functional and ornamental purposes. They are designed to protect against accidental contact with the cast iron’s hot surface and to conceal radiators in a visually appealing enclosure. Trads radiator covers are not only functional but also complement the style of any room, from traditional to contemporary. These covers enhance the overall decor of a space whilst prioritising safety in commercial environments or homes with small children. 


Valves are essential radiator accessories for controlling the flow of hot water or steam through each section, regulating the room's temperature. Trads provides a variety of valve types, including manual, thermostatic and smart valve integration. 

  • Manual radiator valves are traditional and straightforward control devices that allow users to manually regulate the flow of hot water through a radiator. Typically featuring a simple knob, these radiator accessories provide basic on/off control, enabling users to adjust the heat output of individual radiators in a home or building manually. While they lack the automated features of more advanced valves, manual radiator valves offer a reliable means of temperature control.
  • Thermostatic radiator valves, or TRVs, represent an advancement in radiator control technology. These valves come equipped with a built-in thermostat that senses the room temperature and automatically adjusts the flow of hot water to the radiator. Users can set their desired room temperature using a numbered scale on the valve. Once the room reaches the set temperature, the TRV modulates the flow to maintain the desired warmth. This not only enhances comfort but also contributes to energy efficiency by preventing overheating.
  • Smart radiator valves are radiator accessories that take temperature control to the next level. By incorporating wireless connectivity, these valves can be remotely controlled via a smartphone app or integrated into a larger smart home system. Users can adjust temperatures, create schedules and monitor energy usage, offering flexibility and convenience. Although Trads does not sell smart valves, they can be integrated into cast iron models so long as the head and body are ordered with a ½” BSP fitting. Smart radiator valves bring modern technology to heating systems, providing users with enhanced control and the ability to create a personalised and efficient heating environment.

Pipe Shrouds and Wall Stays

Pipe shrouds enhance the visual appeal by covering exposed pipework, creating a cleaner look that matches the radiator's finish. Wall stays are an important safety feature, securing the radiator to the wall to prevent accidents, especially in homes with children or pets. These radiator accessories are not only practical but also come in various finishes to match the aesthetic of the radiator and room.

Electric Heating Elements

For added versatility, electric heating elements can be integrated into cast iron radiators, allowing them to operate independently of the central heating system. This feature is particularly useful during the spring and autumn when full central heating isn't necessary but a bit of extra warmth may be welcome. Electric heating elements are easy-to-install radiator accessories whether fitted as part of a new purchase or added to an existing cast iron model. 

Bleed Nipples

Air can become trapped in radiators, reducing their efficiency. Bleed nipples are small valves that allow for the release of this air, ensuring the radiator heats up evenly and effectively. Regular bleeding of radiators is recommended to maintain optimal performance. Available in a range of styles and finishes, Trads equips its radiators with easily accessible bleed nipples, simplifying maintenance for homeowners. 

10,000 Colour and Finish Options

Trads manufactures over 50 different styles and heights of cast iron radiators. They further stand out in the market with their unique offering of over 10,000 colour and finish options, with radiator accessories to match. This extensive palette ensures that every customer can find the perfect match for their interior design scheme, whether they are looking for a bold statement piece or a radiator that harmonises with the room's decor. 

Choose Trads For Cast Iron Radiator Accessories 

Trads provides high-quality, durable radiators and accessories, backed by excellent customer service and a deep understanding of both classic and contemporary interior design needs. By incorporating customisation, energy efficiency and model versatility, the company has become a leading manufacturer and preferred choice for homeowners, designers and architects alike. Browse our website, download a brochure or book a factory tour to explore the entire cast iron range. Call 0800 102 6371 or email sales@tradscastironradiators.co.uk for more information on specific models or radiator accessories. 

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