The 50plus

The cost to fit a towel radiator<

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What are we talking about?

How long does it typically take to fit a towel radiator?

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Typical time

Requires decisions on type and if electric the source of the supply and the cable route


Refer to comments below

Questions to ask

Existing heating system, existing radiator in bathroom (if any), if electric towel radiator suitable source of supply and is an RCD fitted on the consumer unit.


There are a range of options for towels radiators. The first choice is the method of heating:

  • In conjunction with the central heating e.g. replacing an existing radiator
  • In conjunction with the central heating plus with an electric element so the radiator can be used when the central heating is off
  • In conjunction with the hot water (normally only feasible in a new build or when re-plumbing)
  • Electric only.

If fitting an electric towel rail with an electrical connection a suitable source of power e.g. a nearby ring main (outside the bathroom) from which a cable can be run to the towel radiator is required. This supply needs to be RCD protected, either by the ring main RCD or if there is none a local RCD. The towel rail supply also has to be independently fused. Supplementary bonding is also required unless the electrical installation is at least up to the 17th edition standard and therefore all circuits are RCD protected.

Note that electric towel rails can only be installed in the bathroom zone for which they are suitable. In most instances it's best if they are outside a zone. For more on bathroom zones click here.

We recommend a timer when fitting an electrically heated towel radiator. Heating elements have a thermostat but an external temperature regulator may be considered. If fitting for the elderly take care that there is protection against over hot towel rails which can burn.

If you are considering replacing an existing radiator with a towel rail remember that a typical central heating towel rail will provide around 1000 BTUs of heat and considerably less for an electric only model. A 600 x 600mm double panel radiator typically provides around 3,700 BTUs. So do consider the heat requirement as well as towel drying. It is often feasible to install an smaller electric towel radiator in addition to a regular radiator.

If replacing a radiator with a towel rail some plumbing alterations may be required. This may necessitate a 'drain down' of the central heating system.

Questions? Please contact us.