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Towel rails are a great addition to any room without even considering the simple fact they’re space savers compared to traditional convector radiators. They’re adaptable, useful, more stylish, and provide a degree of functionality you’d never expect or assume from something as humble as the radiator.

So why is it sometimes so hard to buy the right kind of towel rail? Taking inspiration from the fantastic range of curved heated towel rails from Trade Radiators, I wanted to give some points on how to find the ideal towel rail for any room. Let’s consider some of the key points to think about before you buy one.

Consider the shape

I just mentioned curved rails there, and that to me is the first thing you want to think about when buying your ideal rail. Towel rails traditionally come in two shapes: straight and curved. Both are equally as popular and only have slight variations that may tip one in your favour. For example, someone wanting a rail that takes up as little space as possible would want a straight rail, while someone who is striving for increased space for airflow would lean towards a curved rail.

That’s not forgetting that there’s also the lesser sought out offset rail design. This is a rail where you’ll only have one vertical column and horizontal rails splitting off in varying lengths. Shoppers who want something bold from their rails would opt for an offset towel rail, especially if you’re looking for your rail to have a presence. If you want a rail that will stand back and work uninterrupted, a simple straight rail is ideal.

Consider the colour

One of the great things about a new radiator/ towel rail is how customisable you can make it if you find a store which will provide optional colours/finishes on the product. It used to be that all you could get when buying towel rails was one with a gleaming polished finish or a toned-down silver. That was it. Thankfully, times have changed, and it is possible to find a towel rail in a range of colours which can better compliment a room.

Some of the unique colours/finishes you might want to consider (which aren’t just silver or grey) include:

  • Anthracite
  • Black
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • White

There are even sites online where you can towel rails painted in a custom colour, but I would recommend that you don’t go too crazy with colour as rails work best when you stick with neutral and industrial tones.

Consider what material is used

Do you know what towel rails are made from? Just like a regular radiator, most towel rails are made from stainless steel, which gets treated before a finish is applied. While stainless steel is versatile and quite a good conductor, there may be reasons why you opt for other materials, namely aluminium.

Conscious shoppers may prefer to opt for aluminium if they know the radiator brand has made their new rail from recycled aluminium or at least uses recycled material in some part of the production process. There’s also the fact that aluminium conducts heat better than stainless steel and can get warm with less hot water needed in the rail. This can come in very handy if you’re buying an electric towel rail which operates independently of your traditional heating.

Consider the functionality

Speaking of being handy, do you know about dual fuel towel rails and how they work? Dual-fuel rails can be used on your standard heating system or use electricity to heat up on its own. If you were looking to have a towel rail in a space which is used infrequently (for example, a dining room) or is somewhere you know you need to have the heating on almost all the time, you’d want a dual-fuel rail with added functionality.

I also recommend thinking about whether or not you’re going to use your new rail frequently. By this, I mean whether you will be placing towels and robes on it, or if it’s just going to sit on the wall and look good. When you know the function, it can make it easy to choose from rails with wider gaps (ideal for hanging) or flat slats on the rail (ideal for decoration).

Consider the accessories

It is typical for a towel rail to have a manual valve at the bottom, i.e. a switch valve with no markings. If you’re someone who wants a degree of control with heating, a complimentary thermostatic valve (a valve with numbers) is a better choice.  You’d also want to think about buying matching pipe sleeves, and even a robe hook to make hanging easier.

Remember, everyone has their way of decorating, so accessorise as you wish.

Are you looking for more articles on buying or looking after your radiators?

Read all radiator based posts from the site right here, including articles on flushing radiators and when it’s best to use a radiator cover at home.