Fitting a new radiator is not the most difficult of tasks and any competent plumber with experience in central heating systems should be able to complete this project in no time. The materials make up most of the cost so how much it will cost depends on which radiator you choose, supply-only prices vary from around £100 to £800, depending on whether you want a cheap, basic radiator or something fancier.
Key questions we’ll answer on this page are:
How much do radiators cost?
How much does the labour cost to fit a radiator?
How long it will take to fit the radiator?
Can an existing boiler cope with an extra radiator?
How many extra radiators can a typical boiler cope with?
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There are several reasons why you would want to add a radiator to your system.
Here are the most common:
- To swap a single radiator for a double one.
- To add an extra radiator to a room for better heating.
- To move an existing radiator to a new location in the home.
- To swap a standard radiator in the bathroom for a vertical heated towel rail.
- As part of a loft, basement or another type of extension.
Before you go ahead with fitting an additional radiator, our friend and expert plumber and heating engineer Tony has some advice for you:
In the winter I often get phone calls from homeowners looking to replace a radiator with a larger one because their house is too cold. In many cases a quick temperature check of the existing radiators shows they are not working efficiently and this can usually be rectified by a powerflush of the system to remove any blockages. If your room is too cold, I would first suggest having your system checked by a professional who can then suggest a course of action. That could be a powerflush, an additional radiator or both.
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Your First Step: Select the Most Suitable Radiator by Calculating the Heat Output
Not all radiators are built the same. Even radiators of similar size can have vastly different heat outputs.
Fortunately, there is a system in place that allows you to easily calculate the amount of heat each room in your house requires to stay comfortably warm. You can then select the radiators needed to achieve this.
All you need to do is calculate the BTU (British Thermal Unit) your room needs.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a difficult or time-consuming process.
In fact; it’s incredibly easy.
Because all radiators are rated in BTUs, once you have this figure, you can choose the best radiators to suit your room size.
There are several factors that need to be taken into account when calculating the BTU for your room. The size of the room, how many external walls it has, how many square metres of glazing the room has etc.
To save time and to keep things simple, we suggest you use this very handy BTU calculator or alternatively this one to calculate the heating needs of your room and then select a radiator that matches or exceeds your requirements.
Hopefully, by now you will know the BTU requirements of your room and you can look online for radiators that match this figure.
With your radiator selected, it’s time to look at prices.
We will now explore the following:
- Cost for a new radiator.
- Cost of piping and making good the walls.
- Extras you may want.
- Labour charges.
- Final price.
With all of the above costed, you can easily see the going rate for a plumber to install a new radiator.
We can even point you in the right direction so you can get a written quote.
Typical Price to Buy and Install a Radiator
The average cost of a radiator is detailed below.
These are all typical prices and assume an average-sized room:
Large living room radiator – £250 (budget range) £500 (premium range)
Bedroom radiator/towel radiators – £150 (budget range) £400 (premium range)
The cost of piping is negligible but you’ll probably want to purchase a new TRV (thermostatic radiator valve) so you can adjust the heat of the radiator.
Thermostatic valves cost around £15-20 for a good quality one.
Below is Our Radiator Installation Price Guide
Below you can find our guide price for the purchase and installation of a new radiator.
We’ll assume the radiator costs £175 and the room is upstairs on the first floor of a house with gas central heating.
- Check the power output of the existing heating system and confirm that it can cope with an additional radiator.
- Cover carpets or floorboards.
- Drain all the water from the system.
- Extend the pipework to the desired location if needed.
- Secure the radiator bracket to the wall and hang the radiator, connect it to the new pipework.
- Install the TRV (thermostat valve)
- Refill the heating system with water and fire up the heating to full power and test the heat output of each radiator in the house.
- Remove covers.
- Dispose of any waste material.
|Pipe, connectors, parts etc||£25.00|
|Labour + Profit Margin||£75+(sole trader) £150 (Business)|
|VAT||£55 - £75|
|Total:||£350 - £445|
|Get a Custom Price Here||Get a Custom Price Here|
(Expect considerable discounts for multiple radiator installations, this price example is for one radiator.)
Do You Need to Pay VAT?
As you can see from the information displayed above, we’ve included VAT.
You can, of course, make a saving by choosing a smaller business or sole trader to fit your radiator for you.
There are many plumbers that are self-employed and charge enough to cover their wages, fuel and the few overheads they have.
Most smaller businesses like this are trading below the VAT registration threshold, this means they don’t have to register for or charge their customers VAT.
We have more info about how you can avoid paying VAT (legally) on this page.
Should You Have The Heating System Powerflushed?
Central heating systems often get clogged with scale from the water, rust from the metal and also general sludge.
This can result in cold spots on radiators which can only be compensated for by increasing the thermostat temperature and keeping the system switched on for longer.
This means it costs you more to heat each room and takes longer for the room to warm up, so a powerflush is a great idea if it hasn’t been done in the last ten years or so.
Most plumbers and central heating engineers recommend system powerflushing when:
- A new boiler is fitted.
- Any substantial work is carried out such as fitting new radiators, extensions etc.
- Every 15 years.
If you’re thinking about installing new radiators because your house is too cold in the winter, then we suggest you first have the temperature of the radiators checked.
You might be able to resolve the problem with a powerflush rather than by installing new radiators.
How Many Additional Radiators Can be Added to an Existing System?
This is a good question and applies to those who want warmer rooms, faster warmup times or are considering an extension.
The answer is, it will depend on your existing boiler and pump.
Most systems, even those that are many years old, can cope with an additional radiator or two or even upgrading a couple of radiators to a larger size.
But if you are adding several entirely new radiators to the system, perhaps due to a loft conversion or extension, then you really should check that the boiler and pump can handle the extra capacity.
Most boilers in the UK are “range rated” down, this means they can cope with a higher load if needed.
If it can’t and you have exceeded the maximum number of radiators, then excess pressure will be put on the system.
This can result in an inefficient central heating system and premature failure of some parts, such as the pump.
The Bottom Line
Radiators aren’t particularly expensive and their installation is bread-and-butter work for most plumbers.
You can easily replace radiators or install entirely new ones to most systems but if your issue is related to slow warm-up times or cold radiators, we suggest you first speak to a plumber who can test your system and advise you on the best course of action. In many cases, a simple radiator bleed solves the issues.
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We hope you found our researched radiator price guide insightful.
To get a firm quote that is based on your specific requirements, just tap the button below and fill in the online form:
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We are not affiliated with either of these two companies but have used their services on several occasions and so far, the customer service has been very good and the products arrived quickly and as described.
Victoria Plum have a great range of bathroom radiators and heated towel rails.
Direct Heating Supplies offer a good range of stock with free delivery if you spend £50exVAT or more