Five Options for Bathroom Heating

Planning your perfect bathroom? How can you make sure that you don’t suffer the shock of a cold floor and room when you step out of a bath or shower? 

The right heating option can make the difference between ‘so so’ and ‘stunning’. To find out, this month's edition of our Expert Writer series is here to help!

We asked home interiors blogger, Sara Walker, from the Cosy Home Blog to share some of her ideas on the different ways to heat your bathroom.

Read on for her expert insight for making a homemade spa retreat!

When planning a new bathroom, many of us concentrate on the overall look and feel – which bathroom suite to choose, what flooring will be most practical and which accessories and colour scheme will look best.

While all of these are obviously important factors, the most beautiful bathroom in the world will lose its appeal if it’s too cold to spend any time in! Fortunately, modern heating solutions means there’s something out there for everyone, whether your personal style is modern or traditional. 

We take a look at the best options. 

Why heat a bathroom?

We primarily think of heating as being for comfort, but in bathrooms, which tend to be small and damp, it’s also essential to help inhibit mould. 

These days, there’s lots of choice for heating which is safe, practical and looks good as well. What you choose depends on a range of factors, including your budget, the size of your room and the type of power supply you have available. 

Before you decide which type of heating to invest in, you’ll need to think about the area you have to heat and where you need the warmth to be targeted – take a look at this bathroom heating guide to find out more. 

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating comes in two ‘flavours’ – wet (where pipes heat the floor with hot water from your central heating system), and dry (using electrical wires). 

What you choose will depend a little on your existing setup, as wet systems are harder to retrofit and are only really suitable if you’re carrying out a major refurbishment of your property. 

Underfloor heating gives a gentle ambient heat that works particularly well in bathrooms, and means you’re not stepping out of a hot bath onto a cold floor! The downsides are that it’s more expensive than installing a single heater, will raise the floor height (possibly a problem for low-ceilinged rooms) and isn’t as instantly controllable as a wall heater. 

It is efficient to run, and two major advantages are that it heats the entire room at once and it gives a sleek, streamlined finish as all the heating is hidden.

Heated towel rail

Water-heated towel rails are another excellent choice, particularly in smaller spaces as they fit flush to the wall and double as towel storage. 

A wide range of styles means you’re sure to find the perfect option, whether that’s a chrome ladder-style rail, a heated towel-horse or a single heated rail. 

If you’re short on wall space, choose a vertical ladder style. They’re great for heating smaller areas, but if you’re lucky enough to have a large bathroom you may need another source of heat as well. 

Traditional radiators

Say ‘traditional radiator’ and most of us automatically think of boring white metal boxes, complete with a range of gurgly sound effects! 

Modern radiators couldn’t be further from that stereotype – they’re sleek, structural and come in contemporary colours such as anthracite. 

They’re also available in a choice of low and horizontal (suitable for putting under windows) or narrow and vertical (ideal for smaller spaces). If you’re looking for a simple, budget-friendly heating option then a radiator could be the right choice.

Electric heaters 

Choose a form of electric heating for your bathroom, and you’re entering a world of choice. 

The most common form of electric bathroom heating is electrically heated towel rails, which do three jobs in one – storage, drying and warmth – and these days there are some fabulous options available. 

From single rails to racks to vertical ladders, there’s something to suit every size and style of room. One of the advantages of electric heaters is that they don’t have to be connected to your central heating system, so they can run independently of your main heating. 

That means that at the flick of a switch you can take the chill off the bathroom and dry your towels even when the heating’s not on in the rest of the house. They’re also simple to fit and efficient to run, as you can use them only as required. 

Infrared panels

Infrared panels are a relatively modern form of heating, and they’re fairly ‘space-age’ in that they use radiation rather than convection or conduction. 

The panels are flat and made from glass, which could be finished with a mirrored surface, or metal. You can even get panels which double as artwork, with a picture or design! The panels emit low, safe levels of radiation, which is then absorbed by the objects in the room rather than by the air. 

They’re ideal for use in bathrooms, as they take up very little room and can also double as a mirror! They run on electricity so are simple to install and provide almost instant heat. 

The right heating option can make or break a bathroom and should transform it from purely functional to relaxing. Whether you’re planning a mini-makeover or a full renovation project, it’s definitely an area to consider and research – you’ll be so glad you did. 

Calculate your home's heating requirements here with our handy BTU heating calculator.

For more information on bathroom heating, take a look at the following posts - A Guide to Bathroom Heating - Why You Need a Heated Towel Rail In Your Bathroom Today - Guide to Buying Heated Towel Rails For Your Bathroom.

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