A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell

Heated towel rads

Getting our hands on some shiny finishing touches for the home

With the odd exception, the vast majority of the materials that have come on-site to date, have been for the behind-the-scenes construction and structural building components.

Finally, we have taken delivery of the shiny heated towel radiators for the bathroom and en-suite.

Choosing the right style for this home

Having trawled a lot of bathroom showrooms, DIY stores and websites - and having seen a lot of heated towel rads and rails that look very similar - we got bored very quickly of seeing the same old styles and designs. As this house is meant to have its own character we felt it worth spending some extra time to find the right radiators for the bathrooms.

In the end, we found a specialist online heated towel radiator retailer who offers a very wide range of rads and rails, who had some very nicely designed rads, that didn't cost an arm-and-a-leg.

Hot water vs oil filled

In terms of heating efficiency (price to run), connecting a heated towel radiator to your gas boiler hot water heating system is much more cost effective.

The downside is this method is that you need to have your heating system active all year, if you want these towel rads to be on in the summer - to have nice dry and warm towels.

So, to avoid this - knowing that the house will be too hot in the summer to have the heating on - we opted to look for electrically powered heated rads.

Although these will cost more money to run, due to the amount of energy required to heat up the cold oil every day, it does you mean you can fine-tune when they are switched on and off, via an electrical timer connected to the ring main.

They are certainly less common and harder to find products at the moment. Luckily the website we bought the rads from, offered an in-factory conversion from hot water to oil-filled, for a small additional cost. So it was possible to choose the exact design style we liked and still have them run on electric. Bonus!

Eco hot towels?

Although it's more pricey to have warm towels in your bathroom, as we are going to be using a 100% eco electric provider, it doesn't mean that we wont be burning any fossil fuels to have nice dry and toasty towels.

And, should we fit solat panels to the house at some point, we'll be able to dry the towels using our own collected sunlight.

So, long term, I think having electrically powered towel rads is a better option.

Previous entry: En-suite bathroom walls and shower purchases (Saturday 24th January 2015)

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