Why Radiators Can Be A Kitchen’s Biggest Obstacle


If you follow this blog, you’ll know that we have a lot of great posts on taking advantage of space in your kitchen. Covering everything from what to consider when remodelling a kitchen to the right type of material your sink should be, we like to think that every inch of the kitchen should be taken notice of when doing any remodelling or DIY work.

Why then is there one major obstacle in every kitchen that we don’t take the time to address? The radiator(s) in our kitchens is a highly functional item that is relied upon to work flawlessly, regardless of where it is located or what size it is. I can guarantee in most kitchens that have had a fresh lick of paint, one peek behind the radiator, and you’ll see where someone gave up on painting the part of the wall it is attached to.

Truth be told, radiators are your kitchen’s biggest obstacle due to their limitations, i.e. they have to stay in one spot and always take up that space. You might baulk and suggest that your refrigerator or table take up the most space, but these are items you logically can move around a room to get them sitting just how you want.

So what can someone do if they’re reading this, looking at their radiators, and realising they are indeed the biggest obstacle in the kitchen? Here’s my advice on how to turn this negative into a positive.

Firstly, let’s talk about whether or not you should have a radiator or a towel rail. You might be saying, “well, it says towel, so it has to go in the bathroom”, but I want you to get away from thinking like that. Instead, view them simply as “rails”, and your perception of where they can go around your home changes drastically.

I am a big believer in having rails in your kitchen, for two reasons:

  • They save space
  • They are more functional

Radiators in kitchens tend to be on the opposite or adjoining wall to your cabinets and counter, usually on their own with nothing above them. That gives you prime real estate to work with. That flip from horizontal to vertical will instantly give you waist height space to work with; ideal if your radiator imposes on a wall or prevents your table and chairs from sitting snug.

They are also more functional for the simple reason that it gives you something to hang tea towels on, or in our case, a spot to hang a jacket or two. Trust me, you’ll never know warmth like leaving a jacket on a rail and popping it on before heading outside in the colder months.

Now, you may be thinking this is great and all, but because your radiator is plumbed in, there’s really nowhere else to go. That isn’t true if you start looking at electric options, like chrome electric radiators that look the part. They are so versatile that all they need is a plug socket to work. Electric radiators are independent of your home heating, so if the kitchen is where the family spends most of the day, wouldn’t it be better to have one radiator working away rather than needing to have the heating on across the home?

I am a big proponent of going electric, especially if your radiator is in a tricky spot you find grating (a special shout out to those folks who have a kitchen radiator right behind a door that loves to smack off it). Radiators shouldn’t have to be an obstacle in your kitchen, so don’t let them. You have options to work with, some of which could even improve heat efficiency in your kitchen.

Don’t forget, you can get some incredible tips on improving your kitchen from top to bottom with the latest kitchen articles right here.

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