Heated Towel Rail Buying Guide


Towel RailsWhen choosing a heated towel rail for your bathroom the major consideration is modern or traditional? Although this is mainly a personal preference, the design of the rest of your bathroom will play a role in the decision.

Other than the aesthetics there are some other important factors to consider. The first of these is how the rail is going to be heated.

There are three ways this can be done: Firstly, by central heating, which is where the radiator runs off the central heating. The second choice is an electric towel rail, which uses a heating element to heat the radiator, this can be turned on and off at the flick of a switch. The third choice is dual fuel – this uses both the central heating system to heat the bathroom radiator in the winter and an electrical element to heat the towel rail in the summer when the central heating is usually turned off.

The second important consideration is the material used for its construction. There are generally 3 material choices here – steel, brass and stainless steel. The major differences are cost, longevity and the heating output of the radiator.

Steel (with chrome, gold, nickel or painted finishes) tend to be the cheapest option, followed by brass (with chrome, gold, nickel or painted finishes), or stainless steel (polished stainless steel or brushed stainless steel finishes) which is the most expensive. In the longevity stakes, steel towel rails are the losers – this is because by nature steel corrodes easily in a way that brass and stainless steel radiators won’t. The heating output of the rail should also be considered.

Chrome, nickel and gold plated (whether it’s a steel or brass base radiator) have their heat outputs reduced by up to 20% due to the electro plating finish. This is compared to the painted and stainless steel versions which offer a more efficient heat output.

Another important consideration is whether the towel rail is going to be the primary heat source for your bathroom or solely used as a towel warmer. You will also need to think about the number of towels you will have on the rail – towels will absorb the heat rather than radiating it into your bathroom. If this is to be the primary heat source then the surface area should be large in order give off more heat. To maximise the heat output, you might want to consider a column heating radiator built into the towel rail

Summary You have a choice between centrally heated, electric only or dual fuel rails. Steel rails may corrode more than brass or stainless steel. Chrome, Nickel and Gold electro plating finishes reduce heat output by up to 20% compared to painted or stainless steel towel rails. If your towel rail is the primary heat source in your bathroom, you should give some thought to ensuring that you choose one that is big enough to perform both functions.

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