Bathroom Radiators: A Buyer's Guide

Who doesn't love a warm bathroom when the weather gets chilly? Choosing the best Radiator for your bathroom is as important as selecting the flooring, paintwork, and bath design. Whether you desire a period-inspired style or a contemporary bathroom suite, this comprehensive guide will put you on the right track for your preference.

Before You Buy:

Before you can get stuck in finding your ideal radiator design, consider a few essential things. Ask yourself…

Location of Pipes:

Are you looking to swap your old Radiator for a new one, or do you want to change its position? New radiators can be easily installed onto existing pipework; however, new locations will mean new connections. We advise seeking professional assistance, so bear this in mind when considering the overall cost.

Wall Type:

The wall construction must be factored in after deciding where to install your new Radiator. To find out what type of wall you have, knock on it. If the sound is dull, you have free reign on style and design, however, if the sounds in hollow and loud, then chances are the wall is plasterboard/ dry-wall. If this is the case, the Radiator can only be installed where the studs run.

Room Size/ BTU Output:

How large is your bathroom? Do you have plenty of room to stretch out or is it on the smaller side? If you have a smaller bathroom suite, chances are the floor space will be limited. If this is the case, a wall-mounted radiator could be a sensible option. If your bathroom is large, would you prefer a larger radiator or more space for Bathroom Furniture or a larger Shower Enclosure?

It would be best to determine how powerful the heating will be in your bathroom. The heat output in all radiators (and Heated Towel Rails) is known as the "BTU Output". BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is the standard unit measurement in the UK. In simple terms, the higher the BTU is, the greater the heat output is. All radiator listings will have the BTU displayed in the information tab.

Buying a radiator with a too-high or too-low BTU output will eventually lead to higher unnecessary bills. Check out our handy Guide to BTU for more information (depending if you have single-glazed or double-glazed windows).

What heating system do you have?

Domestic heating systems usually have one of the two methods below:

Plumbed Central Heating Systems are where a boiler heats the water in your radiators and pipework.

Electric Systems do not use water. Instead, the radiators around your home are individually controlled in each room.

If you design a brand-new bathroom or cloakroom in a smaller setting (e.g., loft conversion or under the stairs), an Electric Radiator could be easier. However, it would be cheaper to use whichever system your home currently has installed.

Dual Fuel Systems offer the best of both worlds. This system is plumbed into the central heating but can be controlled at any time, even if the central heating is turned off. This is ideal in the summer if you want to dry any towels without switching the entire system on.

Fuel Type:

Most bathroom radiators operate from the Central Heating/ Gas Systems or Electricity. Depending on the age of the house/ heating system around the area, smaller Oil Filled Radiators could be an option for fast warm boosts of air. These radiators can be easily carried around in any room.

What different types of Radiators are there?

Now we've covered the important details, it's time to find the ideal Radiator for your bathroom suite. From contemporary to traditional designs, we'll cover the most common radiator styles for all bathrooms:

Horizontal Radiators can be found placed horizontally across the bathroom wall. Efficient and stylish, these radiators are ideal for larger bathrooms. The Reina Nevah Horizontal Radiators reach over 1400mm wide and instantly become a focal point once installed. Horizontal radiators work well with exposed pipework that comes through the floor. However, they are an exceptional design no matter where they are installed in your bathroom.

Vertical Radiators are the perfect heating solution for smaller bathroom suites. Space-saving and unique, these radiators have a wall-mounted fitment that allows the rest of the bathroom to use other accessories, such as a Bath or a Basin. Depending on the design, it could be classed as a Heated Towel Rail.

Single-Panel Radiators (also known as Type 11 Radiators) are usually the slimmest radiators available. This means their heat output/ BTU is generally smaller than a Double-Panelled design, making this ideal for smaller bathrooms.

Double-Panel Radiators (Type 21 Radiators) have two sets of convector fins and two panels. Popular in larger bathrooms and even bedrooms, the thicker depth offers a higher BTU output.

Double-Panel Plus Radiators (Type 22 Radiators) are plumbed directly into the central heating system. These designs are thicker than a standard Double-Panel Radiator, perfect for ample-sized bathrooms, living rooms and even office spaces.

Designer Radiators feature unique characteristics, instantly standing out from other designs. Once installed, these radiators become a focal point in any bedroom and add a sense of luxury and elegance to any family home.

Convector Radiators are often found in new builds. These radiators work through convection heat, which transfers the heat through the hot water. These stylish radiators usually heat a bathroom far more quickly than traditional radiators.

Column Radiators ooze sophistication with their traditionally-inspired designs. Perfect for larger bathrooms, these radiators often have a larger surface area, giving off a greater heat output. However, if your bathroom suite has a modern aesthetic, there may be better options than this one (we have more information available on Column Radiators).

Radiator Types 11, 21 and 22

Chances are you've never even heard of radiator types 11, 21 and 22. Usually, terms used in the plumbing trade, these numbers can sometimes be found on various listings. In simple terms:

Radiator Type 11 features a single panel with one row of convection fins. This allows a larger heat transfer from the Radiator.

Radiator Type 21 included two panels at the front and rear with a single row of convection fins.

Radiator Type 22 is similar to Type 21; however, it has two panels to the front and rear with a double row of convection fins.

So, what's the difference. Simply put, Type 11's has one panel, type 21's has two panels with one row of fins and Type 22's has two panels with two rows of fins. Depending on what Radiator Type you buy, the BTU Output will need to be considered.

Contemporary or a Traditional Radiator?

Think about the rest of your home. Do you prefer modern chic with a minimalistic approach or a period-inspired style for elegance and luxury? Consider the rest of your bathroom design before you purchase your new Radiator. What finishes and designs are the bathroom furniture? Do you have a bathtub with a bath panel or a Victorian-style Traditional Freestanding Bath?

A prime example of traditional designs is the Burlington Radiator Collection. Complete with crosshead handles and a luxurious Chrome finish, this style of Radiator presents a splendid vintage-looking piece.

In addition, a sleeker modern alternative is the Redroom Azor Collection. Modern radiators add a bespoke feel to your bathroom, often with unique designs and bold finishes.

It ultimately comes down to personal preference, but the rest of your bathroom and other rooms should be considered before buying a new radiator.

Radiator Finishes

Specific can increase heat transference, which is why most traditional radiators from the past had a restricted colour palette. However, make sure to add your artistic style to your bathroom.

White Radiators are pretty common around bathrooms as they offer a neutral look, blending into most bathroom designs. However, depending on whether the Radiator is Modern or Classically-Inspired, Anthracite, Stainless Steel and Chrome are all viable options and enhance your bathroom's feel.

What different materials can Radiators be made from?

At Showers to You, our Radiators are constructed from:

Mild Steel is a robust and durable material that is one of the most popular ways to build a radiator. Due to the material being cheaper than the rest on this list, Mild Steel Radiators are an efficient way of heating up your bathroom. However, they can be prone to rusting if you have a combi-boiler or a closed heating system.

Stainless Steel Radiators look sophisticated and stylish and require little maintenance. Stainless Steel features exceptional heat-conducting properties and retains heat long after they've been switched off.

Aluminium Radiators require little time to heat up. Energy-efficient and lightweight, these radiators are ideal for stud walls, and most of them are often recycled at the end of their life. As eco-friendly as they are, one downside to consider is that Aluminium cools down as fast as it heats up, so bear this in mind for the winter months.

Cast Iron Radiators have excellent density and heat conductivity. In short, Cast Iron hold the transferred heat from the ground, making this ideal for use with natural heat sources, including air and ground heat pumps.

How do I connect the Radiator to the existing pipes?

Depending on the design and style of the Radiator, you will need t purchase a set of matching Radiator Valves. Radiator Valves help control the amount of hot water that can enter and exit the Radiator, resulting in greater heat output control (check out our handy guide on how to install a radiator yourself)

You will need to choose Angled or Straight Valves. Angled Radiator Valves are used when the pipework comes out from the floor. In contrast, Straight Radiator Valves are for pipework that runs across a wall.

Check out our Radiator Valve Collection for different designs, styles and finishes.

Which type of Radiator is the most efficient?

According to, the most efficient type of Radiator is those with an Aluminium Construction. This is due to the high level of heat conduction, which results in less energy being used. A new Radiator may have a large upfront cost, but over the years could save you significantly on your heating bills.

Why buy a Radiator from Showers to You?

Showers to You have been operating for over 38 years and have a knowledgeable team on hand for all Radiator-related queries. Our collection of Radiators are from leading brands to suit every budget, style and personal preference at the best online prices.

From Stainless Steel Radiators to Designer Radiators, we are confident you can find exactly what you want on our website. All radiators include generous warranties for peace of mind after ordering.

Browse through our full range of Radiators if you're feeling inspired.