Steam-Heated Colonial in Maplewood, NJ

"The Mercury was a perfect fit for our style."

Castrads Mercurys for interior designer’s own home – A 1910, one-pipe-steam heated Colonial in New Jersey.

Topics: Replacing a steam heating system, adding controls, choosing the correct cast iron radiators.

Colonial revivial home with lush greenery surrounding gardens and red brick path leading to front door.

Lynne Dujmovich of interiors company SilentJ Design booked a site visit through the form on our website. Our Creative Director, Jayson Branch, picked up the request and headed to Lynne’s 1910 single-family colonial style house with colour samples, a brochure, photos, and a tape measure in tow. Lynne was about to take on the massive undertaking of a gut renovation and her house was stripped to its bare bones in preparation.

Bay window with low-level original cast iron radiator and dog looking through from outside.

Jayson started out measuring each room, including the house’s six bedrooms, so that he could carry out heat loss calculations. These calculations allow us to determine the heat requirements of a room and suggest radiator sizes that will heat the space efficiently.

Entranceway with original cast iron radiator under window and wooden window bench.

The renovation included the installation of a completely updated steam heating system, including a new boiler. The heat requirements are specific for a steam system and the radiators had to be cast iron.

The installation of new pipework allowed Jayson and Lynne to work together to make sure that the radiators were exactly where she wanted them. Once the radiators were finished in our factory in the UK, the assembly engineers provided exact measurements for each radiator. Jayson sent the pipe centre documents to Lynne’s contractor, enabling him to correctly place pipework prior to delivery.

Originally, Lynne intended to only replace the radiators downstairs. She wanted to refurbish the six upstairs, but using Jayson’s calculations they discovered that she could have much smaller radiators instead. In the end, Lynne purchased twelve new radiators from Castrads.

Lynne is an interior designer, so as she did with the rest of her beautiful home, she chose every detail from the style of the radiators to the finish of the valves. 

Throughout the house, she chose Mercury 4 Column radiators in various finishes, adjusting the heights and lengths to provide the right amount of heat and to fit perfectly in restrictive spaces, like under windows. The Mercury is designed in-house and is our most versatile range of cast iron radiators.

In most rooms, Lynne opted for classic finishes, like Mid Grey Sparkle and Bronze Gold. She wanted something special for her design studio with its eye-catching blue wallpaper. With our many signature finishes she was able to choose Caspian, a soft muted blue with a glossy metallic lustre.

The last, but incredibly important, detail for this heating project was the valve selection. Lynne wanted full control of her heating system, installing a Nest smart thermostat, which works in unison with our radiators and thermostatic control valves. For Lynne’s steam system, she chose our Niva One-Pipe Steam TRVs, a valve that maintains the ambient temperature of the room by closing the steam vent when the room reaches its desired temperature and opening back up when the room cools down.

A note from Lynne Dujmovich – SilentJ Design

“As a California native, radiators weren’t something I encountered often. When I moved to New Jersey, my first thought was to rip them out and put in forced air. Then I started talking to people who were passionate fans of the heat radiators give off. After living with my house’s original radiators for a while, I was also convinced the heat is better. I was still left with ugly, mis-matched radiators, but luckily an architect friend pointed me to Castrads. I was really happy they had simple, modern designs and the Mercury was a perfect fit for our style.

They also have a lot of colour choices, and while we mostly used bronze and grey, the Caspian in the office was a beautiful choice. Jayson visited my house and did a great job calculating what size radiators we needed, so that our radiators not only look good, but work well too.”

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