Heated floor vs heated towel rail? - Misc. AU
Heated floor vs heated towel rail?

Heated floor vs heated towel rail?

One of the questions customers often ask us is if a heated towel rail will warm up the bathroom, and we invariably have to shake our heads and say no. But there are other things that will, such as underfloor heating.

Words by Bathroom Butler

One of the questions customers often ask us is if a heated towel rail will warm up the
bathroom, and we invariably have to shake our heads and say no. But there are other things
that will, such as underfloor heating.

So how does this work? What are the pros and cons of underfloor heating vs a heated
towel rail?

Why won’t a heated towel rail warm up my bathroom?

A simple way to explain this is to take the example of an oil-fin heater, a small one that is
rated at 2,5000 Watts. Compare that to our biggest heated towel rail that is rated at 180
Watts. The oil-fin heater pushes out nearly 14 times more heat, enough to warm up a room,
and burn your towels to a crisp if you hang them over it.

So why not amp up the heat output of the heated towel rail? Because we have to comply
with safety standards. If we increased the wattage of the heated towel rail, we would risk
burning your towels. We’re not going to do that because heated towel rails’ sole purpose is
to dry your towels and add that welcome touch of warmth as you step out of the shower or
bath.

So, you may feel a whiff of warmth if you brush past your lovely heated towel rail, but rest
assured that it is safe to the touch and because it doesn’t use lots of power, is economical to
run too.

Pros and cons of heated bathroom floors

If you live in the chillier states, you’ll know the pain of stepping on icy cold tiles with bare
tootsies. Here underfloor heating can make all the difference to your day.

Heat rises, right? So a heated bathroom floor will eventually warm up the whole bathroom,
providing a comfortable, ambient temperature. It’s a luxury that will add to the value of your
house, and because it’s under the floor, it doesn’t interfere with your bathroom aesthetic.

Take heed, underfloor heating does not come cheap. hipages.com.au estimates that the
average cost for installing radiant floor heating in a 100-square-foot bathroom is from AUD $3300, with the cost ranging from AUD $33 to AUD $68 per square foot. That’s mostly because you have to rip out your existing flooring first. But, that said, once it’s in, it’s in for life.

Other easy ways to warm up your bathroom

Whatever you do, do not bring a portable heater into the bathroom: all the water and
moisture in the bathroom will put you at risk of electrocution.

What you could do is install energy-efficient windows, add plush bathroom rugs, get an
electrician to install a heat lamp made especially for bathrooms, and, as we’ve said, go for
underfloor heating.
You could even do what NASA does to prevent heat loss in their spacecraft: paint the walls
with high-quality, heat-reflecting paint products. These magic paints contain ceramic and
other insulating materials that reduce heat transfer by reflecting heat away from the painted
surface. Who knew!

Last word on heated towel racks and heated floors

When all is said and done, adding underfloor heating and a heated towel rail to your
bathroom will make it a much more welcoming, warm and practical space. Both will add
value to your property while making winter bathroom routines something to actually look
forward to.

Recommended reading