Towel rail or radiator?

4 Apr 2008
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I have a bathroom with no heating system in it, do not ask me why, not sure why the previous owner never bother installing one.

This bathroom is damn cold but also very small. Therefore I only have the space to install either a radiator or towel rail.

However I wonder if towel rails work exactly like radiators, ie:
- Does a towel rail warm up the room as well as a radiator? Does a towel rail take longer to warm up than a radiator?
- Like its name says, are towel rails only used to warm up towels and not rooms?

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If your looking at doing as cheap as poss then its a plain rad as all rails are gonne be dearer !!
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If, as you say, your bathroom is very small, then a towel rail will do the job of heating the room. Thousands of bathrooms throughout The UK use towel rails as their only source of heat.

Get the right size for your bathroom, and fit a thermostatic valve to control output if you want.
If it's cold,dont go for a towel rail,you need a rad,im sick of telling customers " go for a rad,a towel rail wont heat the room up".Im told to fit a towel rail,then a cold spell comes and a call "the bathroom isnt hot enough,can you sort it out",so i end up having to fit a rad,but they still want the rail as it looks nice,go for a nice size rad and fit a towel holder above it
Decorative towel rails are ideal where UF heating is installed.
I did out the bathroom in my old place - typical 3 bed mid 70s semi.
Laid a tiled floor, and fitted a towel rad. Boy was it cold! Double whammy of the tiles stopping heat from kitchen below, plus the towel rad not raelly being intended for the purpose I expected of it. Be forewarned!
I think both Foley and Brigadier are correct, I do not think I can rely on a towel rail to heat up the room, it can really be cold in this bathroom!

Thx for the reply guys.
Go for the radiator, you can always screw a rail over the top.

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