When you think about it, a bathroom’s rather unique in a home because its heating requirements differ to those of almost any other room. A living space that, like it or not, is usually both humid and damp as well as a part of the home that occupants often experience half-dressed, is mostly visited at one of the coldest times of day (early in the morning) and one of the smallest rooms in a home; it’s a space for which heating has to be perfectly tailored.
To that end, it’s fair to say that the market for bathroom heating is saturated with specialist options, which is all very well but it does inevitably leave homeowners not knowing where to start and which option – and which specific product after turning to that option – is going to be best for their bathroom and them…
Is the price right?
Installing a new heating source for a room – a radiator or any alternative – can vary in price quite dramatically. This means then that, irrespective of how flexible your budget may be, you need to carefully consider your options before sticking your maker in the sand and making your choice. And, of course, it’s not just about initial outlay; just as (maybe more important) is energy efficiency – how expensive will your heating source be over the course of its lifetime? And how much will it cost to install? Decisions, decisions.
Heated towel rails
A hugely popular choice nowadays, heated towel rails – alternatively and, simply, referred to as towel radiators – fit well in a bathroom of practically any size, whether large or en-suite-size (vertically-shaped, they can be affixed to a wall to save on space).
They’re especially practical heating solutions, given they’re capable not just of heating the room, as any radiator would, but also dry out and keep warm large and smaller towels, which naturally can be stored on them. Moreover, many heated towel rails are available in dual-fuel versions; meaning they can be powered, as desired, either by being plumbed into a home’s central heating system or via the home’s mains electricity.
An alternative to heating any room, not least a bathroom, is underfloor heating; after all, what could be cosier than stepping out of a shower or bath on to a nice, warming floor? Tending to be considered a luxury, underfloor heating does – it should be pointed out – require a genuine amount of renovation and disruption; basically, you’re going to have to have your bathroom’s floor pulled up and/ or replaced to have an underfloor heating system installed. And that’s true whatever type of system you plump for – a ‘dry system’ (deploys electric wires to heat the floor) or a ‘wet system’ (relies on hot water pipes).
There are upsides with underfloor heating, though, for sure; because it’s capable of spreading heat across a floor entirely evenly, the bathroom above can be warmed in a totally balanced manner – one part of the room doesn’t have to wait to warm up as it would with a radiator, due to the rules of convection. Moreover, it doesn’t take up any space above the floor, of course, ensuring that it’s effectively a space-saving heating solution; useful for a small bathroom, perhaps. Plus, although undoubtedly expensive to have installed, it’s also relatively affordable to run thereafter, usually being reliably energy-efficient.
Are there any other heating solutions?
If you’re interested in investigating all the options available to you – so, those beyond bathroom radiators and underfloor heating then – you won’t be disappointed, as there are further solutions for heating bathrooms out there.
For instance, you might fancy considering baseboard heaters, which offer the advantage of being able to snugly fit into a bathroom’s baseboard and, like a dual-fuel and/ or electric towel radiator, tend to connect directly to a home’s mains electricity supply. The drawback with them, however, is they don’t exactly have a reputation for energy efficiency; they can take a good deal of time to heat up, so aren’t exactly friends to low energy bills.If saving on both wall- and floor-space is a very big deal for you (perhaps because you’ve an especially diminutive bathroom), then you might want to consider an overhead heater; obviously, one of these is mounted on the ceiling and so takes up no wall- or floor-space at all. Usually functioning via an overhead bulb that heats up, they can cost installation-wise, for sure, but are fairly cost-effective thereafter. Alternatively, you’ll find that although wall-mounted panel heaters are likewise pretty cheap to run but hardly scrimp on wall-space once they’ve been installed in a bathroom.