Often the least capacious room in a home, the bathroom can prove, like it or not then, rather a tricky space to heat. Finding precisely the right heating solution and where best to site it both come into play here – not least for ‘second’ bathrooms; that is, a home’s additional bathroom, such as one that’s adjoined to a master or guest bedroom (an en-suite in other words) or a downstairs bathroom. The trick is all about maximising what space there is and, happily enough, there’s an increasing number of options you can turn to for this in the home-heating market, all designed to suit an array of different homeowner budgets and interior design styles…
For both combined functionality and flexibility, towel radiators – or heated towel rails, as they’re often referred to – tend to make for supreme bathroom heating solutions. Naturally, this is primarily because they provide consistent and reliable heat, warming and keeping warm an entire bathroom, especially one on the small side; their functionality, or in other words their power capacity, more often than not equals that of any radiator installed in any other room in the home.
Yet, what sets these kinds of radiators apart is their ability to function just as effectively as storage solutions for large and small towels (when not it use, in addition to warming them up and drying them out, of course) and, in some cases, the fact they can be powered via either a home’s piped-hot-water central heating system or entirely independently thanks to a home’s electricity supply (to ensure you that, during the spring and summer, you don’t have to switch on the central heating system to use a heated towel rail you’ve installed in the bathroom).
Underfloor heating systems
An adequate – and, on the face of it, rather luxurious – alternative to a bathroom radiator could be an underfloor heating system. Traditionally considered both expensive and disruptive, admittedly such systems remain so when compared to small bathroom radiators which are, for sure, relatively cheaper and easier to install; yet, it may be true to say that the prices of some underfloor systems are less and they’re easier to set up and run than was once the case.
Benefits-wise, in a smaller bathroom an underfloor system will quite clearly take up less space above-ground, effectively being hidden from view and, thus, also giving off the agreeable impression of something of an indulgence. Nonetheless, the fact that a bathroom’s floor will have to be pulled up – and, depending on the space beneath it and the type of system installed, potentially raised – is definitely a drawback when it comes to installation. Moreover, if your bathroom’s carpeted and you want to keep it that way (or, indeed, if it’s laminated or features vinyl or timber flooring), underfloor heating may not prove a practical option.
Space-saving fitting tips
Should you be opting for the most cost-effective, convenient and, generally-speaking, easiest-to-install heating device for a small bathroom (i.e. the best recommended) – that is a radiator or towel radiator – then there are a few things you might want to bear in mind. Top of the list has to be the actual siting of the unit, given floor- and wall-space in this room’s inevitably going to be restricted.
In general, locating a radiator under a window is most often recommended, owing to how the device is designed to take advantage of how a window influences the natural airflow in a room (i.e. how cold air from a window meets and interacts with the warmer air in a room). That said, if you’re really strapped for space, you might consider installing a compact heated rail on a wall above a bat; specifically the wall opposite the bath’s taps.
Alternatively, you may fancy the idea of making use of ‘wasted space’ behind the bathroom’s door, should your radiator/ heated towel rail be slim enough in design for such a siting. Ultimately, though, of course, you’re always going to have to consider how any radiator you install’s going to operate in relation to the bathroom’s other fittings – in short, it’s all about location, location, location.