Bathrooms are places of great relaxation and enjoyment – think of that invigorating shower first thing in the morning, or unwinding at length in a deep, warm bath. There’s that operative word: warm. Anyone who has dipped out of either of these events into a bathroom that appears to have relocated to the Arctic Circle will know just how vital bathroom heating is.
Bathroom radiators are of course the answer; that is, if you’ve got the space. If you are looking at a smaller space, or just want to combine the functionality of two separate items, then heated towel rails are very much the answer. These provide the towel warming function you will need alongside the type of heating utility you would get from a standard radiator.
But what kind of things should you be thinking about when you start researching your new heated towel rail? Read on.
For once, let’s set aside the big technical issues and dive right on into the exciting stuff: the looks. Heated towel radiators often take on a very standard form, the laddered version, with rails for rungs, being ubiquitous. However, designers have become more adventurous, in part due to advances in materials technology. The low-carbon steel used on top quality rails now is far more amenable to welding, meaning unique shapes can now be formed. One I saw the other day was modeled on coat hangers!
This is supported by a far more open approach to how these radiators are finished. White was always popular, but gleaming chrome plating now makes for a light-enhancing unit. Contemporary models feature high-sheen gloss black finishes, as well as tactile anthracite surfaces that look amazing in darker bathrooms.
Don’t worry, that’s not a typo. BTU stands for ‘British Thermal Unit’, and is the measure by which you rate the output of your towel radiator. There is some maths involved here and, even though they’re not exactly like calculating rocket launch trajectories or anything, it’s best to use one of the online BTU calculators. This tells you how much power you will need for your purposes, taking into account room size and volume.
Power – The Three Types
How to power this radiator? Three choices is what you have (bit Yoda, that).
Central Heating – Fairly self-explanatory. These radiators are powered from water heated by a boiler. Popular, and for good reason – they’re very good.
Electric – These are ideal if you don’t have access to gas or other fuel to heat your boiler. They do represent some drawbacks in colder climes though as constant use renders them quite expensive.
Dual Fuel – This is a brilliant middle ground between the two above. By installing an electric element into a centrally-heated radiator you can seriously increase your options. The best thing here is the ability to activate one radiator without using all that unnecessary energy firing up the entire system. This is perfect in summer in the bathroom, to dry towels and the like.
There’s a very brief round-up of the salient factors when it comes to buying heated towel rails. I hope it helps!