One heated towel rail is pretty much the same as the next, right? Surely such a minor purchase for the bathroom doesn’t need lengthy consideration and investigation of the various options? Well perhaps not, but if you start looking for one with the attitude that the only difference between the various types of heated towel rail is the price, chances are that you will come out more confused when you went in. So let this guide teach you everything you need to know about buying heated towel rails.
Wondering why you actually need a heated towel rail? We’ve also put together an article that tells you exactly why.
What Fuel will Your Towel Rail Operate On?
The first and most important decision is what fuel you are going to use to run your towel rail on. There are two main types, and one is not “better” than the other; understanding how they work and what their limitations are will help you decide which is best for your home.
The first type of towel rail is really just like a radiator. The bars are filled with water, and the towel rail is plumbed into your central heating system just like every other radiator in the house. If you have your central heating on a timer, your towel rail will switch on and off at the same time as the heating. Most towel rails also have thermostatic controls which allow you to turn it up and down as required.
The other type of towel rail runs on electricity. It is completely independent of any heating system and can be a good choice for homes which are not centrally heated or where the boiler lacks the capacity to run another radiator. Electric heated towel rails can also be fitted with a timer which allows you to set them to switch on and off when you please.
Look at the costs for the two different types of radiators and investigate running costs, and make the decision based on what is most appropriate for your home.
One In, One Out
If your home is centrally heated, you will probably have a radiator in the bathroom already. Unless your bathroom is enormous, there is no need to run both a heated towel rail and a radiator in the same room. Getting rid of the existing radiator while installing a new heated towel rail could save you money on plumber’s costs too, as in most cases the new heated towel rail can be put in the same place as the old radiator.
It’s worth nothing that an electric towel rail will not provide the same cost savings unless you are replacing an existing electric heater or towel rail, so take advice from an electrician or plumber as to the most sensible place to locate your new towel rail.
Choose the Style
Most towel rails are rectangular in shape, with silver horizontal bars to hold the towels. There’s nothing wrong with this type of design, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that there are lots of more innovative and interesting designs on the market. Some will cost a bit more than the standard, but spending £300 on a heated towel rail rather than £70 on a basic one could guarantee you an individual look for your bathroom. Here are some examples of designer towel rails.
Look out for Victorian style heated towel rails for the bathroom of an older property, tall and narrow towel rails which can be squeezed into even the smallest shower room, or brightly coloured towel rails rather than the standard silver. The pages of the glossy magazines and websites like Pinterest often provide inspiration for finding unusual bathroom fixtures and fittings such as towel rails.
Fitting Your Towel Rail
If you are competent at DIY and have the required tools, then replacing a radiator with a water filled towel rail might be something you can tackle yourself. Make sure you know what the job entails, watch lots of videos online to show you step by step how to complete the job, and remember to switch the water supply off.
Most of us, however, will need to get the professionals in to do the job. You’ll need to get hold of a plumber if you are thinking of putting in a heated towel rail which will be attached to the central heating system. Plus an electrician for an electric towel rail. There will also be restrictions on where in the bathroom you can put a towel rail, as not all rails can be used within a certain distance from water. Check the specifications of the towel rail you’re thinking of buying and get advice from an electrician if confused.
For tips on hiring the best tradesman, take a look at this article.
Finally, all of our buyers guides are located here.
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