Bisque Tetro aluminium radiator review

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posted on Monday, 11th November 2013 by Steve May

Radiators  Retro  Eco 


The Bisque Tetro radiator is an intriguing blend of old and new. Bisque has been supplying luxury radiators for over thirty years, and offers a variety of innovative designs. This new addition though is unique in the range, combing a traditional aesthetic with eco sensibility. The Tetro is made from super-conductive recycled aluminium; while we’ve seen recycled aluminium products before, this juxtaposition of old and new remains delightfully novel. The name is actually an amalgamation of Tech and Retro, which neatly sums up where the brand is coming from.

Bisque Tetro radiator: Build quality
While the design cues are most definitely Victorian, the Tetro has a much smaller footprint than its forebears. Consequently, the design lends itself well to modern refurbishments that seek to reflect classic cues, but probably not renovations where authenticity is vital and a reclaimed or restored model the more apt choice.

Build quality and finish are excellent. The Tetro, which is manufactured for Bisque by Fondital of Italy, has an embossed pattern on its crest which not only looks suitably authentic but adds a tactile element to the design which is difficult to resist.

Our sample arrived carefully packaged with blanking plugs, caps, air vent all neatly stored within a transit box. It’s an easy one-man lift. The documentation supplied is clear and well annotated. The radiator’s construction comprises 35mm diameter tubes with cast headers, powder coated to silky smoothness.

Bisque radiators have an enviable reputation for quality, and this Tetro is no different. The sample supplied for review was a wall-mount TEW-148, standing 1484 x 300mm tall (centre distance 1435mm); it’s also available in 400, 500 and 600mm lengths. TEW models are available in four other heights (749, 1184 and 1784mm). There’s also the floor mounted TEF line which are a uniform 639mm high and available in 600, 800, 1000 and 1200mm lengths.

Bisque Tetro radiator: Installation and Performance
By utilizing aluminium rather than stainless steel or cast iron, the Tetro is some six times lighter than any equivalent design. The benefits are immediately obvious even before you plumb the thing in. Even fully packaged the product is a lightweight, and offering even the largest available model to a wall is a quick, effortless job.

Our sample was supplied in standard white livery (RAL 9010), but the collection is also available in volcanic, champagne, marron, bismuth and black sable. Naturally, there’s also a Tetro towel rail made from polished aluminium is required. It can be fixed from either side.

The surprising slimness of the design makes the Tetro easier to accommodate in smaller properties, or confined spaces; this allows for a classic silhouette where previously one would have been just impractical to achieve.

The other key characteristic of the aluminium design is that it heats up quicker than a tradition cast iron or steel column rad. According to data supplied by Bisque, a comparable traditional radiator could take around 40 minutes to reach 13-18° C, while the Tetro can disgorge the same level of heat in around half the time. It also reacts more quickly to sudden changes in ambient temperature. This conspires to make it a good choice for open plan living spaces, in which temperatures can fluctuate dramatically depending on what’s happening in the space. The caveat, of course, is that an aluminium radiator will also dissipate its heat far quicker than any heavy metal alternative.

Bisque Tetro radiator: Verdict
Overall, we are very impressed with the Tetro. With its high temperature BTU output, thoughtful throwback design and recycled green credentials, the Tetro is a welcome addition to the armoury of any interior designer. When a more avant-garde design could be just too visually overpowering, and a classic cast iron model simply impractical, this modern solution should fit the bill perfectly. To see the product for yourself, visit the Bisque showrooms in London or Bath. The TEW-148 model reviewed here is priced at £543 in white, £679 in other hues, plus VAT.

For more on Bisque models, visit the brand at or contact the company on 01276 605888.

Steve May

Inside ID Editor Steve May is a freelance lifestyle and technology journalist, who also writes for Ideal Home, the i, T3, Home Cinema CHoice, TechRadar and Trusted Reviews.

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