Anyone fitting a new bathroom or even sprucing up an existing bathroom in their home will have plenty of decisions to make. Is a chrome square fixed shower head the way to go? Do taps need to be updated? What accent colour should be used for towels and accessories? How much tiling is enough?
One of the most important questions for many is whether they will install a cool designer column radiator or a stylish heated towel rail within their bathroom. There are a great number of things to consider when making this choice; in this handy guide, we examine the pros and cons of radiators and towel rails, examining the function, purpose and energy levels of both to help make a possibly complicated decision easy.
What is the purpose of a heated towel rail or bathroom radiator?
Towel rails and radiators function in essentially the same way; hot water enters them from one side, travels through the pipes and warms them up en-route, then exits the other way. Even electric radiators and towel rails have basically the same function. However, towel rails give off slightly less heat than radiators as they are used specifically to warm towels rather than whole rooms.
Towel rails can also be solely electric or powered by ‘dual fuel’. This versatile option means that the rail is largely powered by an electric element, allowing easy and fast heating and cooling, but is also connected to the hot water central heating system so that it comes on whenever the heating does. This option means the towel rail can still be used in summer when the central heating is largely switched off.
Points to consider
The main point to consider when choosing between the two is not necessarily the function they perform, but the purpose they fulfil. For example, those who wake up early in the morning for work may not wish to fire up a full central heating system simply to warm their towel in anticipation of a morning shower.
Similarly, those who only make use of their bathroom in the evening when the heating is on anyway, or have a particularly well insulated home, might not need to invest in a towel rail. Large bathrooms might benefit from the extra heat that a radiator provides, whilst smaller bathrooms can often cope just fine with only the towel rail installed.
Aesthetically, many people consider the towel rail the more fashionable and attractive option. Their sleek construction and often shiny exterior gives a bathroom an ultra-glossy appearance. A stainless steel towel rowel or chrome alternative is effortlessly stylish and will slip seamlessly into most styles of interior. Typically slim line and affixed to the wall at any choice of height, a rail can add extra functionality to smaller bathrooms or shower rooms without taking up valuable floor space.
Although many still picture radiators as bulky, unsightly and difficult to work with in an interior design sense, this could not be further from the truth; designer radiators are now just as sleek as any heated towel rail, and can add an element of glossy, high-end luxury to any bathroom. For bigger spaces or homes that suffer from poor insulation and are therefore prone to chills, a smooth horizontal radiator can add both polish and comfort.