Fitting a heated towel rail will add style and functionality to your bathroom. There are a variety of designs, styles and finishes available on the market to suit your personal preference, so no matter what style you have going on in your bathroom, you’re bound to find a heated towel rail that’ll match perfectly.
There are two types of heated towel rails:
- Electric towel rails
- Towel radiators that will connect to the central heating loop
In this article, we’ll be discussing how much electric towel rails cost, what affects the cost of installing a heated towel rail, how to save money on an electric towel rail, what’s involved in fitting a towel radiator and how to find and hire an installer.
If you’re looking to keep your towels toasty and warm, ready for you after your autumn and winter showers, keep reading to find out how you can install them for the best price possible.
How Much Do Electric Towel Rails Cost?
Depending on the size and material you choose for your towel rail, the prices will be reflective of that.
Prices will vary considerably across different parts of the UK, as well as depending on the style and size of towel rail you choose. One thing to watch out for is fitting a towel radiator with lower heat output than the radiator you are removing, as the reduced heat output may lead to increased moisture in the bathroom.
|800mm high x 400mm wide||£60 to £125||£40 to £175||£50 to £170||£210 to £370|
|1000mm high x 400mm wide||£70 to £150||£50 to £140||£50 to £145||£300 to £480|
|1200mm high x 500mm wide||£80 to £520||£60 to £270||£90 to £450||£340 to £500|
|1500mm high x 500mm wide||£120 to £600||£190 to £340||£115 to £290||£320 to £580|
For an 800mm high x 400mm wide heated towel rail, you can expect to pay within the region of £60 to £370, depending on the material you choose. For a chrome finish, this will be between £60 to £125, while a white option would be between £40 to £175.
A black finish of the same size would be between £50 to £170, and a bronze material between £210 to £370.
A slightly larger size of 1000mm high x 400mm wide will raise the prices accordingly, with chrome being between £70 to £150, and a white option £50 to £140.
Looking at black options, this size will come in at £50 to £145, while the bronze will finish at £300 to £480.
Moving up the size scale one more notch, the 1200mm high by 500mm wide style will be between £80 to £500, depending on your chosen finish. The chrome settles between £80 to £250, while the white finish is between £60 to £270.
The black finish will cost you between £90 to £450, while the bronze will come in at £340 to £500.
Finally, for the largest size in our selection of 1500mm high x 500mm wide, you can expect to be charged between £120 to £580 to get the look you want in your bathroom.
Starting with chrome, you can expect prices to fall between £120 to £600, with white options coming in at £190 to £340.
A black finish will set you back between £115 to £290, while the bronze will leave a gap of between £320 to £580 in your wallet.
Electric towel rails come under the remit of the Electrical Wiring Regulations and bathrooms are designated as “special locations” for electrical installation. Building Control notification will be needed under what is known as Part P Regulations, and so you will require an electrician to carry out the electrical wiring for the towel rail for you.
Installing an electric towel rail is a simple job for most electricians and should take them just a day. Costs will vary depending on cable runs, and accessibility, so be sure to have the electricians quoting against the same specification.
You can expect to pay around £420 for a day’s work to include the following:
- Labour at the day rate of £200
- Standard electric towel rail at £160
- Materials including a timer at £60
The electrician will also fill out the necessary paperwork for Building Control, as well as issue a test certificate for any new electrical circuits they instal. You can reduce the cost of this project by purchasing your towel rail and supplying that to the electricians to fit.
It may also be possible for you to carry out the electrical installation if you are competent, and then have an electrician certify and perform the notification on your behalf.
What Affects the Cost of Installing a Heated Towel Rail?
As shown above, there are a few indicators that affect the cost of installing a heated towel rail. If you’re working to a strict budget, these are the areas you’ll want to bear in mind when looking to cut or increase spending.
Our table above shows the price difference when it comes to simply changing the size of the heated towel rail. The larger you go, the bigger the price will be – and vice versa.
Depending on the power output you choose for your towel rail, the higher your costs will be. The output you need will be relative to the size of your bathroom, so it’s best to check this out with a professional first to save yourself from getting something that’s unnecessarily powerful for the size of your room.
Similarly, we sampled materials from chrome to bronze, including white and black finishes. All materials have low entry-level options, aside from bronze, so if you’re looking to be more cost-effective, there are some key areas where you can look to save.
Bronze has a far higher entry point, with even the smallest size we sampled being over £150 more than the entry point for chrome, so if you’re looking to save money, finding a slightly different look can be a great way to go.
The installation doesn’t have to just end with the radiator itself – you can choose from a host of accessories to supercharge your new appliance from thermostatic radiator valves to look after the heat for you, as well as timers to make sure your towels are toasty for you after your morning shower or late-night bath.
For thermostatic radiator valves, you can expect to pay anywhere from £24.99 for a pair, and timers from £28, depending on the functionality you want them to have.
How Can I Save Money on an Electric Towel Rail?
The best way to save money on your new towel rail is to choose a design that is in-fitting with your style but not at the most expensive end of the spectrum. As you can see from our table above, you can still get the same material at a lower price if you choose the more budget, entry-level option.
Similarly, choosing the right output for your room is important as it may mean you end up spending more on energy bills year on year if it’s not proportioned for your space.
What’s Involved in Fitting a Towel Radiator?
Most bathrooms are already equipped with a central heating radiator. Choosing a towel rail with the same width as the radiator you will be removing makes the job easy, as well as less expensive as you won’t need any structural changes.
When fitting the towel radiator, will need to remember to:
- Turn off the heating system
- Isolate the radiator by shutting off the isolation valves
- Disconnect the pipework
- Remove the radiator from the wall
The job is plug-and-play in nature, and there is no need to drain the system, take up flooring or mess with the skirting boards.
How Do I Find and Hire an Installer?
The best course of action is to seek recommendations from family, friends and neighbours to see if they’ve had work done recently of a similar nature. This will save you hours searching and will give you pre-vetted individuals to contact.
If you’re in a situation without any leads, using HouseholdQuotes to search for traders can save you time and money, in some cases reducing costs by up to 40%.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
When hiring someone for a job, it’s always best to make sure you ask for some standard things from the get-go:
- A written quote
- Ask about their previous experience and similar jobs
- Seek out their references
- See photos or videos of their previous work
- Make sure they have relevant insurance for the work they’re going to do
And finally, it’s always best to ask if there is a manufacturer’s guarantee, which could help you save money if there are any troubles with the appliance further down the line.
If you’re tired of cold, damp towels, installing a heated towel rail can be the answer to your problems. Make sure you:
- Ask for a written quote
- See if it’s possible to swap your existing radiator for a towel rail to reduce the work required
- Choose a style and finish that fits your budget
- Select the right output for your size of room, consulting a professional where necessary
- Install a timer to make sure your rail is on at optimal times and not needlessly using energy throughout the day
- Enjoy your warmed towels!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Electric Towel Rails Any Good?
Electric towel rails can be installed practically anywhere, and are great at their purpose: warming and drying off your towels. Although not essential components of a bathroom, they are useful additions, and especially prove their worth in the cooler months.
Are Heated Towel Rails Expensive to Run?
According to Power Compare, the average price of electricity per kilowatt-hour is 14.40p, although the price ranges from as little as 13.92p per kWh in Yorkshire to as much as 15.60p per kWh in northern Scotland.
To calculate how much your towel rail will cost to run, begin by multiplying the wattage of your towel rail by the number of hours you plan to use it each day. Then, divide that figure by 1,000 to obtain the number of kilowatt-hours.
Finally, multiply that figure by the amount your energy supplier charges you per kWh.
Should Electric Towel Rails Be Left On?
Trade Radiators say there is no harm in leaving an electric towel rail on all the time. They should click on and off with your central heating, so they usually won’t be red hot all through the day.
Where you can consider your actions though is when you look at the environmental impact. Leaving a heating appliance on unnecessarily (such as throughout the night or while you’re away from home) isn’t the best thing you can do environmentally, so it’s worth investing in a timer or radiator valve to control when your rail clicks on and off.
Where Is the Best Place to Install a Heated Towel Rail?
The best place will be where your standard radiator is in your bathroom. This will involve less pipework being moved and can make installation far quicker.
If you have a blank canvas and have yet to decide where the radiator goes, you can choose a practical place such as within reaching distance from the shower or bath, or where there is adequate room on the wall away from furniture or doors which may obscure the heat distribution.
What’s the Difference Between a Heated Towel Rail and a Bathroom Radiator?
The clue is in the name – a bathroom radiator does what a standard radiator does: delivers heat to the room and increases the temperature. A heated towel rail isn’t anywhere as powerful as that and serves just to heat your towels, as you’d imagine.
How Much Does a New Bathroom Cost?
Ripping out an old suite and replacing it with something brand new is a great feeling – but how much does it cost? Take a look at our article on the cost of installing a bathroom suite to find out everything you need to know.
How Much to Install a New Radiator?
Getting rid of an old and inefficient radiator can transform a home and make rooms suddenly more habitable, as well as likely lowering your energy bills. For the full low-down on new radiator costs, take a look at our article on it here.