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Heating a bathroom with a Towel Radiator

16 Jun 2022, 9:32 AM

Bathroom Radiators

Heated towel radiators are becoming more and more common place in a bathroom. But before fitting a heated towel radiator there are a couple of things to consider and some common questions we get asked:

Will a towel radiator heat my bathroom?

A towel rail will usually give out less heat than a radiator, when comparing radiators and towel rails of equal size, due to its decrease in surface area. You should however be able to heat your bathroom and keep it warm and cosy, provided you choose the right size for your room. See our room heat calculator to choose the right radiator for your bathroom.

There are a few ranges of towel radiators which are classified as high output. These tend to have either a greater number of tubes and/or larger tubes, increasing the overall surface area and with it the heat output. Please see our range of Hugo2 radiators.

Hanging towels (especially wet ones) on a towel radiator will reduce the heat output into the room.  It’s always good to over size your towel warmer by 10% per towel run to ensure your room gets enough heat.

Does the Colour of a towel radiator make a difference?

Yes, when compared to chrome or polished towel radiators, coloured radiators will produce around 25% more heat. When it comes to radiators, a good rule of thumb is: “The shinier the surface the less heat it radiates”.

Which colour radiator is best?

Matt black is really the most efficient colour choice when it comes to heat output. However, you will need to bear in mind that the difference in heat output between two different coloured radiators, could be as little as 1-2%. In general matt colours are more efficient than a shiny surface, so unless there are other more pressing design considerations (such as matching a particular theme) we would suggest going for a matt colour that suits your room.

Does a towel radiator’s construction make a difference?

Yes, for example a stainless-steel radiator should not rust and should last a lifetime. It will also produce a higher BTU output than a mild steel or brass/chrome radiator. Aluminium radiators are also better heat conductors than mild steel.

Are All BTUs measured the same?

No, not all radiators are tested to the same temperature. It’s a good idea to check the BTUs against the test temperature i.e. a radiator tested at delta 70 degree will have a higher heat output BTU than a radiator tested at delta 60 degree. There are calculators which can be used to ensure a fair like for like comparison of performance.

Can I replace a radiator with a heated towel rail?

Yes. Heated towel rails are plumbed into your central heating system, just like a normal radiator, and warm up when your central heating is running. Heated towel rails are ideal for rooms that are short on space, such as a small ensuite or downstairs toilet. You can simply measure the pipe distance of your current radiators and find a similar size towel warmer to make the plumbing a bit easier.

Are electric towel radiators expensive to run?

Electric heated towel rails are operated like any other electric heater, being turned on and off with a switch. Essentially, they function in a similar way to a kettle, heating a liquid. The heat costs of the radiator can be worked out from the number of WATTS displayed on the electrical towel radiator, and the KWH (1000watts) of your power supplier. For example, if you have a 500-watt radiator and your supplier cost is 0.20p/KWH, then the running cost of an electric towel warmer is around 10p per hour. However, this isn’t exact, as once the radiator has reached the required temperature, the electric element will turn off, thus reducing the cost. The overall running cost can vary depending on room temperature, how many wet and cold towels are on the radiator and the starting temperature of the radiator.

We hope you found this information helpful. If you have any further radiator or towel warmer related questions, please feel free to contact us at for further information and to see our range of bathroom radiators including towel radiators, electric towel warmers, designer towel radiators and traditional styles bathroom radiators.

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This guide was created for reference only. can not be held responsible for injury or damage caused if you decide to use this method.

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