Can You Replace The Baseboard Heater With Radiators? (Four Reasons To Do So)

Controlling your home’s temperature may at times depend on the appliances you have installed in your house.

During cold seasons, you want to have some warm air circulating in your rooms just to keep you comfortable.

However, considering that baseboard heaters are less effective, you may want to replace them.

So, Can You Replace The Baseboard Heater With Radiators?

Yes, you can convert fairly easily to radiators if you are tired of using the baseboard heater. However, you need to repipe since the radiator’s two pipes will be closer than they were with the baseboard heater. Additionally, you will have to do floor repair, especially if you plan to recess the radiators. With radiators, you may need to install larger circulator pumps because there will be a larger volume of water than before.

Now that you have confirmed the possibility of replacing a baseboard heater with radiators, you can read on to find out more about both radiators and baseboard heaters.

In this article, you will note the key comparisons between a baseboard heater and radiators, how to install or replace the baseboard heaters with radiators, reasons that can make you shift to radiators, and more; keep reading.

Four Reasons Why You May Opt To Replace Your Baseboard Heater

Several signs or reasons may push you to plan how to replace your baseboard heater.

Some may be personal, while others may be dependent on the state of the heater. Here is some rationale for replacing a baseboard heater.

1. The Upgrade Will Yield More Returns From Your Property

If you are a property owner, you may weigh the returns you get from having a baseboard heater against those you can get when you upgrade to a radiator.

Most tenants will prefer houses with radiators so that they can maximize space.

With more satisfied tenants, you will get more returns.

2. Your Baseboard Heater Is Older

As your baseboard heaters become older, they transform to be mere space hogs.

Their functionality reduces, and replacing them should be a better option.

3. You Need More Furniture Space

Baseboard heaters block more of the wall space and may hinder the arrangement and plan of your room furniture.

To get more space for your furniture, you may opt to replace the baseboard heaters with something more convenient, like panel radiators.

4. When You Are Planning To Warm All Your Rooms

Unlike a radiator, a baseboard heater is controlled by one thermostat, whereas a radiator has several thermostats attached to control each.

If you want warm air at different temperatures in several rooms, you can replace the baseboard heaters.

Comparison Between Radiators And Baseboard Heaters

Radiators and baseboard heaters provide the much-needed heat during the cold winter months. However, as much as they serve the same function, they have some notable differences.

1. Cost

Baseboard heaters are the most economical method of heating water and providing warmth to your home.

It is cheap and easy to install, and that’s why it is very popular in many homes.

In comparison, radiators are expensive despite being smaller in terms of size.

The standard of steel used to make the radiator and its size will determine its price.

The advantage of more steel is that it allows for more water, thus increasing the BTUs.

A 24-inch double radiator is a flexible option, especially when considering the level of BTU released to its market price.

2. Design

Baseboard heater units are quite a few in terms of design because they are simply small houses placed over a copper pipe.

They are usually installed around the perimeter of a home, thus reducing space for room design.

On the other hand, a double 24 inches radiator is about 8 feet from a baseboard heater, which implies that you can save on more space to position your furniture.

Radiators are manufactured with design in mind and can rhyme in any home decor.

3. Flexibility

A baseboard heater is a standard heating medium that can be designed with several zones, which increases flexibility.

Hot water passes through rooms and provides warmth to the room.

One disadvantage is that you may find it very expensive to put thermostats in every room with a baseboard heater.

For the radiators, you can add thermostatic heads that can convert each radiator into its room.

You can therefore vary the temperatures of your rooms.

For example, you can keep your bathrooms and living rooms a bit warmer than your bedroom.

In terms of flexibility, radiators are more flexible and reliable than baseboard heaters.

4. Operation

Hot water from a boiler is forced to pass through copper tubings within the baseboard heater housing.

There are fin-like aluminum structures on the copper tubings that absorb heat from the copper tube and warm the air around the fins.

For radiators, heated water is forced through the front and back panels of the radiators.

Inside the panels, some flutes absorb heat through conduction.

Radiators function in two ways: the flutes heat cold air, convection occurs, and hot water passing through the panel emits radiant heat.

This allows radiators to emit very comfortable heat when approached.

Steps To Replacing A Baseboard Heater With A Radiator

First, you need to know how to remove a baseboard heater and then install a radiator.

Once you have these skills, you can DIY; otherwise, you will need an expert to help you with both activities.

When replacing the baseboard heaters with radiators, you will need to consider the piping style and even change it so that a radiator can fit well on pipes that were initially meant for a baseboard heater.

Here are steps to follow when carrying out this task.

1. Turn Off The Baseboard Heater System

In your home circuit breaker box, flit the button of your heater to an off position.

Do it carefully to avoid shock, especially if it has old switch systems.

2. Unscrew And Remove The Heater From The Wall

Using a screwdriver, remove all the screws holding the system on the wall and gently detach the heating unit. Be cautious not to ruin the wall or its painting.

3. Expose The Wires

Unscrew one end at the baseboard heater to open the wiring panel. At this point, you can start now to install your radiator.

4. Measure The Width Of The Wall, Measure And Mark The Centerline

Using your measuring tape, measure the length of the wall and the central line. Mark the line properly.

5. Mark Bracket Position On The Wall

After measuring different bracket sizes, mark the positions on the wall.

6. Drill the wall

Using a hammer, drill and plug the wall.

7. Screw In The Brackets And Crosscheck The Level

Once you are done with screwing the brackets, ensure they are level and hang up your radiator.

If you need to fix the piping, go down to the heating system and check the pipes.

Pull back the carpet and reveal pipework, then identify where you need to make changes.

Take correct measurements and cut the floor to attach valves, and work on the pipes.

To avoid more costs and errors, find a qualified person to help you out.


Whether you are renovating your entire house or just a few parts, you should consider replacing your baseboard heaters too.

There are several radiators you can use in place of the baseboard heaters.

This article may help you if you are wondering why you may need to replace your baseboard heaters.

It is not a must that the replacement must be with a radiator; you can pick from several other available options.