Heated towel rails are a perfect addition to any bathroom. Unlike a radiator, they need less space as they are vertical rather than horizontal. Not only does a towel rail keep the bathroom at a comfortable temperature, but it warms the towels ready for use, and dries them after a bath or shower to prevent them from smelling musty.
There are three types of heated towel rail to choose from: electric, hot water or dual fuel. But how much do heated towel rails cost to install?
The cost of fitting a heated towel rail is dependent on the work involved. If you already have a heated towel rail and want to do a straight swap, it will cost less than if you need to remove an old gas radiator and fit a new towel rail, or if you want to switch from one type to another.
It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to fit a new heated towel rail, as long as no new pipework is involved.
Cost to fit a heated towel rail
Replacing a gas radiator with an electric towel rail
£140 per hour
Replacing a gas radiator with a dual fuel towel rail
£150 per hour
Replacing a gas radiator with a hot water towel rail
£150 per hour
Replacing an electric towel rail
£80 per hour
Installing an electric towel rail in a new location
£160 per hour
These costs are averages based on the entire UK. HaMuch has a large database of hourly rates for electricians and plumbers across the country, so take a look at the table further down the page for more accurate labour costs in your area.
There are three main types of heated towel rail to choose from, and each has their own benefits:
Electric towel rails are ideal if you want to use your heated towel rail separately to your central heating. Most modern electric towel rails have a thermostat and a timer so you can control when they come on and at what temperature.
You can also get bluetooth- or WiFi-enabled electric towel rails so you can control the temperature and on/off settings remotely. The timer allows you to have the electric towel rail running for the duration needed to dry a towel and dry out some moisture from the bathroom.
Electric towel rails usually cost between £95-£500.
Hot water heated towel rails run off your central heating system, like normal radiators do. They will come on at the same time as your central heating and turn off at the same time too, so they won't operate in the summer months when your heating is off.
Hot water heated towel rails cost anywhere between £25-£200, while designer hot water towel rails start at £150 and can cost as much as £900.
Dual fuel heated towel rails give you the best of both worlds. They will run on your gas central heating circuit during the winter months and come on when your central heating system is timed to come on.
In the summer, when the heating is switched off, the towel rail will be operated via an electrical element and can be switched on when you need to dry towels or even an emergency clothes wash!
Dual fuel heated towel rails are generally the most expensive, ranging between £100-£400.
Heated towel rails aren't very expensive to run, no matter what fuel type they use. Let's look at the cost to run an electric towel rail, as these are the ones that most people are worried about.
So, leaving your electric towel rail on for a couple of hours to dry a towel won't break the bank! These costs should decrease as we see the wholesale price of electricity reduce in the next few months.
Yes – a towel rail is certainly enough to heat an average-sized UK bathroom. However, you'll need to make sure you buy a heated towel rail that's appropriate for the size of the room and is fitted in a space that maximises its efficiency – i.e. don't install it where it will be partly covered by a storage unit or other obstruction.
If you're concerned about keeping your bathroom adequately heated, you could install an electric towel rail in addition to a central heating radiator. Alternatively, there are large heated towel radiators available that can be almost floor-to-ceiling length to allow for a good heat output.
Yes. If you have a dual fuel towel rail or a towel rail on the gas central heating circuit, these can be converted to an electric-only towel rail. You won't need to buy a new towel rail. You can use the existing heated rail but will need to purchase an electrical element kit which comes with blank plugs.
For an electric towel rail to work, it needs to be filled with internal liquid that is confined to the rail. The element works similarly to a kettle heating the water inside the rail. You will need an electrician to hardwire the electric towel rail in to the wiring circuit of the house.
Who will install your heated towel rail will depend on the type you choose. If you want an electric towel rail, you'll need a qualified electrician to fit it. Use an electrician that's able to self-certify that their work meets Part P regulations – they may be registered with a trade body like NAPIT, NICEIC or ELECSA.
If you want to install a hot water towel rail, you'll need a plumber to fit it for you.
Dual fuel towel rails cost the most to install because you'll need both a plumber and an electrician to make sure both components are connected properly.
If you're ready to get your heated towel rail installed, post your job on HaMuch. We'll put you in touch with qualified plumbers or electricians in your area.
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