Bathroom Heating: A Buyer's Guide

Who doesn't love a warm, toasty bathroom on a cold winter's day? Or when stepping out of the shower and your warm towel is ready to greet you?

It cannot be evident with so many different heating options to heat your bathroom. You're in luck with this handy guide! We break down all available types of heating for your bathroom, what to consider and all of the pros and cons.

Why is my bathroom heating so important?

Choosing how you want to heat your bathroom is just as important as deciding on the overall design of your bathroom, what bath or shower you want and even the room's colour. High levels of heat, humidity and condensation constantly travel throughout your home. However, the bathrooms are smaller and prone to dampness.

Cold and damp bathrooms are not only uncomfortable, but they are prone to harmful mould and pathogens if not treated correctly. Nobody wants to bathe or shower in a room that is, quite frankly, dangerous. As well as having the correct heating systems, we advise checking and upgrading for proper ventilation, such as an Extractor Fan.

Depending on the overall layout of your bathroom (such as a sleek and contemporary design or a vintage-inspired suite), consider the overall style of your Radiator or Heated Towel Rail. Unless you opt for underfloor heating, you must consider the location, aesthetics, and construction.

What are the different types of heating for my bathroom?

Generally speaking, we can split the heating options into three stand-out groups: Radiators, Heated Towel Rails and Underfloor Heating.


Radiators play a big part in any bathroom with their eye-catching designs, constructions and orientations. From Stainless Steel materials to sleek finishes, there is a radiator for every personal preference and home.

- Designer Radiators boast exceptional build quality, unique designs and stand-out aesthetics. A Designer Radiator is ideal for all contemporary bathroom suites, from decorative pieces to funky styles. Although they may not be everyone's cup of tea, their superior performances and luxury characteristics instantly make a statement once installed.

With both cutting-edge technology and traditional elegance, the Hudson Reed Designer Radiators combine the best of both worlds for a timeless style.

- Convector Radiators are popular in new-builds and modern homes. These radiators focus on convection heat, which transfers heat via hot water. These designs are ideal for larger rooms as they use their design to improve funnel rising air as it is heated.

For more information on Radiators, we have a handy guide available with all information regarding finishes, styles and varieties of radiators.

- Column Radiators ooze sophistication and add a touch of class to any room. Ideal in a traditional or vintage-inspired setting, these radiators are constructed from hollow tubes that give off their distinctive concertina style. Their large surface area gives off more heat regardless if they have a horizontal or vertical fitment. However, they may look obscure in some modern homes, so consider this before purchasing.

- Traditional Radiators are an efficient way of heating your home. Usually, they are constructed from Stainless Steel or mainly Cast Iron, offering a hard-wearing and period-inspired aesthetic.

- Horizontal Radiators are the definition of class. Arguably one of the more popular styles, these durable Radiators come in various widths and instantly become a focal point on any wall in your house. Available in multiple sizes, Horizontal Radiators are practical, functional, and radiate style and beauty.

- Vertical Radiators elegantly rest upright on any wall. Whilst they are not necessarily more efficient than a horizontal radiator, these wall-mounted desirable designs are an ideal space-saving option for smaller areas.

Heated Towel Rails

Heated Towel Rails are often found in contemporary and minimal households as they are considered more timeless than a standard Radiator design. Regardless of the sized bathroom suite, they are stylish and a great space-saving alternative. However, they may need more to heat an entire room (notably a larger setting).

Kartell Heated Towel Rails feature unique designs and operate on both Electric and Central Heating Systems.

- Designer Towel Rails were once considered a luxury in any home. This design of Towel Rail elevates your bathroom, creating a unique yet creative focal point. Ensuring your towels are always hot and dry, these designs are from leading manufacturers and include Curved and Straight Designs (for example, the Reina Fondi Designer Towel Radiators add the wow factor with their ultra-slim styles)

- Electric Towel Rails use electricity from the mains supply to heat the room, rather than the central heating system. Simple to install and perfect for all seasons, these Heated Towel Radiators quickly heat up and cool down. The designs of these towel rails vary from classically-inspired styles to modern masterpieces, with a variety of sleek finishes also available.

- Dual Fuel Heated Towel Rails generate efficient heat outputs while connected to the Central Heating System and the Mains Electricity. In short, when Winter comes, you can efficiently run the towel rail from the central heating, and in the warmer months, when the rest of the radiators are turned off, you can use the towel rail via the electrical element. Alternatively, some brands, such as the Redroom Towel Radiators, offer Dual Energy Electric Elements separately if you wish to upgrade your towel rail later for a fraction of the cost of a new one. If required, please see the below table for the correct element you need (all that is required is the Watt Output - see our guide on the pros and cons of introducing a heated towel rail element):

Watt Output Electrical Element
Up to 269W 150W
270 - 359W 200W
360 - 449W 250W
450 - 539W 300W
540 - 719W 400W
720 - 1079W 600W
1090 - 1449W 800W
1450 - 1629W 900W
1630 - 2169W 1200W
2170 - 2719W 1500W
2720W+ 2000W

- Traditional Heated Towel Rails are the ideal addition to period-inspired bathrooms. Oozing in luxury and sophistication, these towel radiators are instantly recognisable due to the large spaces between the bars, the curvy top and often crosshead handles for an elegant aesthetic.

Under Floor Heating

Under Floor Heating is popular in most new-build homes. This type of bathroom heating can be divided into two main types:

- Dry Systems use electrical wiring under the floor that warms up evenly.

- Wet Systems use hot water from the central heating to heat the floor via pipework.

Ideal for larger bathrooms, Under Floor Heating is energy-efficient and does not use any wall space, instead offering a sleek, concealed design. Whilst it can be installed in a smaller setting, it is always worth consulting a professional to determine if your bathroom suite supports Under Floor Heating.

What should I consider when planning on heating my bathroom?

By now, you've determined whether a Heated Towel Rail or a Radiator is best suited for your bathroom or ensuite. However, before installing your new heater, there are a few things to consider beforehand:

Location of Pipes: New Radiators or Heater Towel Rails can be installed onto old pipework. However, the size of your new Radiator must be the exact size of the old style. If you wish to install it in a completely different area, new pipework connections to the new Radiator can be installed. We strongly advise seeking professional assistance from a local plumber.

Types of Walls: The kind of wall in your bathroom can indicate the best size and style of radiator/ heated towel rail for your room. If the wall has solid masonry or brickwork, you will have free reign on your required design.

However, if the wall is made from plasterboard or a drywall/ stud wall, you will need to find where the studs run with a stud finder. The studs are the most substantial part of the wall so the Radiator can be installed from there.

Quick Tip: To quickly find out what type of wall you have, knock on it! If the noise is hollow and loud, the wall will be plasterboard. If it's a dull thump with no echo, it's masonry.

Size of Bathroom/ BTU Requirement: Is your bathroom on the smaller side, or do you have ample space to explore? Generally speaking, smaller bathroom designs have Heated Towel radiators as they are usually more compact. However, Wall-Mounted Vertical Radiators are a viable option as they are space-saving and do not use any floor space. If your walls are wider, why not add a contemporary radiator or even create an eye-catching feature with Bathroom Shelves or a stylish Bathroom Mirror?

You will notice the different BTU outputs as you come across various Radiator and Heated Towel listings. The BTU Output (British Thermal Unit, more on that below) rating measures how much heat the Radiator can efficiently produce. Larger bathrooms will naturally require a higher BTU output.

Consider your Heating System: Your home will have electric radiators or a hot water central heating system. Suppose you are considering simply replacing the existing Radiator or adding extra ones. In that case, it's easier to use the heating system you already have, although there can be circumstances where you may want to switch. For example, an Electric Towel Rail can be easier to install in a bathroom where the central heating pipework does not run.

Fuel Types: As mentioned before, most Radiators/ Heated Towel Rails operate on Central Heating Systems/ Gas Systems or from the Electricity Mains. Smaller and more compact Oil Filled Radiators could be an option for quick warmth boosts. As they are portable, they can easily be transported into any room, keeping you warm when needed.

What is meant by BTUs?

As stated previously, BTU is an abbreviation of British Thermal Units. They are thermal energy measurements and are a common practice in the UK. They are a quick and easy way of explaining how much heat your new Radiator will generate. If you cannot find the exact match of the BTU rating with the new Radiator, we suggest finding one with a slightly higher output to ensure the bathroom is warm enough, especially in the colder months. Why not check out our handy guide to BTU’s?

Why Choose Showers to You to Purchase your new Heated Towel Rail Radiator?

With a phenomenal collection of designs, shapes and sizes, Showers to You will have a Radiator or Heated Towel Rail to suit your household requirements.

Our designs are manufactured and provided by esteemed brands to ensure we provide the best quality products to every customer. Plus, our products include complete manufacturer guarantees, so you can shop free with confidence as you determine whether a Radiator of Heated Towel Rail is the better option.

Finally, we're always on hand to answer any questions. You can reach our knowledgeable team via email (, phone (01472 242159) or our handy online contact form.