Bathroom design: A round-up of the latest heated towel rails

BathroomsFeatures Tue 5th Apr 2022 by Lisa Hibberd

Bathroom design: A round-up of the latest heated towel rails

Bathroom design: A round-up of the latest heated towel rails

Feature by Lisa Hibberd | Tue 5th Apr 2022

Lisa has a background in working on consumer titles, and as the former associate editor of Your Home magazine, over 15 years' experience writing about kitchens and bathrooms. She now works as a freelance, contributing to both consumer and B2B platforms. More

Once seen as a purely functional addition to a bathroom, the latest heated towel rails offer far more than just a way to warm towels. New models come in a variety of finishes, and boast enhanced heating abilities as well as low energy consumption – Lisa Hibberd investigates.

“The bathroom heating sector has evolved substantially over the last decade, and the bathroom radiator is now firmly established as an important design element in any type or size of bathroom,” explains Richard Eaton, product manager at Bathrooms to Love by PJH. “While the ‘designer radiator’ is very popular, the original ladder-style rail still maintains steady sales, due to continued design innovation in this category. Not only is it super practical with maximum options for warming towels over the rails, but there are many on-trend colours and finishes available to coordinate with individual bathroom styles. Take for example our new Matt Black Grada heated towel rail which is a perfect choice for industrial-themed or monochromatic interiors. Team with other matt black products such as brassware, showers, bath screens and enclosures, against the backdrop of pure white baths, basins and bathroom furniture, and the look is both sleek and striking.”

The recently launched Grada Straight heated towel rail in Matt Black from PJH measures 1200mm x 500mm and provides 2027 BTU or 594 watts of heat

The Qubos ladder radiator in Anthracite from Bathrooms to Love by PJH measures 1110mm x 500mm and provides a heat output of 636 watts or 2171 BTU. It’s suitable for gas central heating, but can be teamed with an electric heating element kit from BTL to convert it to electric or dual fuel

Alex Bradley, operations manager at MHS Radiators, suggests that, although chrome towel rails have been at the forefront of the market in previous years, colour has been waiting for its return to the bathroom. “Consumers are now embracing the idea of injecting pops of colour with accent products. Our ever-popular Nina towel rail in Denim Blue is flying off the shelves, as consumers want to bring colour into their bathrooms, so much so that we’ve made it a stock colour allowing designers to capitalise on this trend without delay.

"The trend for warm metallic finishes has dominated kitchen design in recent years and we have seen homeowners incorporating brass and copper accents in bathrooms, particularly for brassware and shower enclosure trims. However, consumers are becoming bolder and embracing bigger splashes of metallic finishes using towel rails to add more industrial and elemental styles. At MHS Radiators, we’re seeing increased demand for our Lara towel rail in Antique Copper and Antique Brass, with these must-have metallic finishes outperforming the once popular chrome.”

There’s no chrome in sight with MHS Radiators’ stunning Nina towel rail in Denim Blue with Radius corner manual valves in Antique Copper finish. Shown here is the 1160mm x 500mm central heating version, which offers a heat output of 539 watts or 1839 BTU

Manufactured in Italy, the Lara towel rail from MHS Radiators is available in a variety of finishes which are achieved by using a specialised electro-chemical process. The central heating version shown above in Antique Copper measures H74cm x W53cm and provides 173 watts heat output or 590 BTU

The freestanding Eaton heated towel rail from Rutland London is handmade in England from DZR brass and hand silver soldered Italian ball joints. Manufactured to order, it’s available in four standard sizes – including 775mm by 685mm, shown above – alongside over 20 finishes and three heating options. It has a heat output of 308 watts or 1050 BTU

Aside from the the all-important visual appeal of a heated towel rail, what do bathroom designers need to consider? Richard Ticehurst, Crosswater brand expert, recommends starting with the basics of functionality and client needs. “Does your client require a towel rail to heat the room or to simply warm the towels? If the latter, you are best opting for an electric towel rail. These work independently to the rest of the heating system. So, if there’s no central heating or it’s been turned off for the summer, you can still have warm fluffy towels all year round. 

"Space for towels is also important. If you are designing a family bathroom a taller towel rail is key to hold the number of towels likely to be used on a daily basis. Heating output is also a key consideration, and the required output depends entirely on the size of a room. For example, the average UK bathroom, measuring 2m x 2m, would require a heated towel rail with a heat output of around 1150 BTU.”

The the deep ladder design of the Artist towel warmer from Crosswater provides plenty of space to dry towels, and it can be complemented with up to three solid oak shelves to display other items. It measures 1240mm x 400mm with a heat output of 1982 BTU or 581 watts and comes in a choice of Storm Grey and three other finishes

Crosswater’s 600 watt MPRO all electric towel warmer is ideal for projects where installation on the central heating system is not possible. It’s offered in a choice of Brushed Brass, Matt Black and Matt White, and measures 130mm x 480mm

Steve Birch, sales director at Vogue UK, reports that the latest innovations in technology and design are key to making heated towel rails universal with a choice of electric-only or dual-fuel options, if required. “The desire for versatile, energy-efficient solutions in the home has given leading manufacturers the opportunity to create new designs which are lightweight, non-polluting, durable and most of all, visually appealing. Specifying aluminium towel rails will increase the design possibilities as this recyclable material enables installation on all types of internal walls: stud or solid. I believe that the growing shift towards eco-friendly products and a more sustainable home and lifestyle will only encourage a greater emphasis on the bathroom, defining it as a wellness space in the home where finishing touches like the heated towel rail come forward as a design staple.”

The FloBar collection by Vogue UK allows all plumbing to be hidden from view within the wall, making the FloBars themselves the main feature. FloBar Form can be specified in either a 500mm or 600mm width, and configured to suit the client, in a freestyle or ordered display of up to five bars. The three bar arrangement shown here in Brushed Stainless offers a heat output of 72 watts or 246 BTU

Made from recycled aluminium, Vasco’s ONI is only 8mm thick, giving it a ‘floating’ look. Customers can choose from 1400mm or 1800mm heights – the larger size having an impressive heat output of 1000W – and add optional cut outs for hanging towels

JTP’s Cleo radiator in Brushed Black offers a compromise for clients seeking a finish somewhere between black and grey. It measures 1400mm x 550mm and has a heat output of 1485 BTU or 600 watts

Tags: bathrooms, features, heated towel rails, pjh, bathrooms to love

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