Your bathroom should be more than just functional. It should guarantee your comfort, allow you to relax after a long day, or help you wake up in the morning. But to do this, it needs to be properly heated. Nothing ruins the mood quite like stepping right into a cold bathroom after getting out of a pleasantly hot bath or shower.
But what is the best bathroom heating? Are there different solutions for small and larger bathrooms? From a heated towel rail to an underfloor heating system, many bathroom heating choices are available. To keep your bathroom warm throughout the year, it's essential to understand how each option works and pick the heat source best suited to your specific needs.
Why Is It So Important to Find the Best Bathroom Heating Solution?
Keeping a bathroom warm can be challenging because, right from the beginning, it has completely different heating requirements from any other room. The reason for this is simple: typically high humidity levels. Think about how your mirror fogs up after you take a shower or bath. This is caused by condensation, which occurs when steam from hot water meets a colder surface, such as glass, mirrors, or tiles.
But moisture in the air can lead to much more serious issues than foggy mirrors, such as problems with damp and mould. Of course, there are solutions, such as using an extractor fan, to keep humidity under control, but finding the right heating for your bathroom is equally important.
What Types of Bathroom Heating Are Available?
Remember that in order to choose the best heaters for bathrooms, it's crucial to determine their required BTU output first.
- What does BTU stand for? It's short for British Thermal Unit, a measurement that shows how much heat a radiator or a heater emits.
You can find many free BTU calculators online to work out the value needed to keep your bathroom warm. This will help you find the most suitable bathroom heating option.
Radiators are one of the most popular heating options. They are efficient and work well even in larger bathrooms. From traditional column radiators to modern panel radiators, you can find models in all shapes, sizes, and colours, so you can choose one that perfectly suits your heating needs and aesthetic preferences.
However, a bathroom radiator may not be the best solution for a small bathroom. The amount of wall space it occupies can lead to difficulties with creating a functional layout unless you choose one of the more modern options that can act as a mirror or fit into narrow spaces that would otherwise be difficult to use in any way.
Heated Towel Rails
While most people tend to see heated towel rails as nothing more than towel warmers, many efficient and high-quality models can serve as the main heat source for your bathroom. Since they are usually installed a bit higher up, they do not limit your layout options by taking up valuable floor space as much as a traditional radiator would. However, it's worth noting that a single heated towel rail may not be enough to sufficiently heat a bigger room.
Apart from being a very practical addition, a modern towel rail can add that final stylish touch to your bathroom decor. They come in almost any style imaginable, from minimalist and modern to retro and unique designs.
Electric Bathroom Heaters
Electricity and water do not mix. Everyone knows that. So why are there so many electric heating solutions for bathrooms available? Electric heaters designed for bathrooms are waterproof and connected to the electrical supply in a way that makes them safe to use in environments where water and moisture are present. Whether it's an electric radiator or towel rails, if you want to install it in your bathroom, always check if it has the necessary protections to be used near water.
Electric devices can help you heat your entire bathroom, but they have a lot to offer when it comes to providing hot water for your bath or shower as well. Installing an instantaneous electric water heater is an easy way to increase your comfort even further.
Last but not least, let's talk about underfloor heating. While still often seen as a luxury, it's becoming more common due to increased affordability. It's especially popular as a heating option for bathrooms. But it offers much more than just a warm floor. It's energy-efficient, low-maintenance and frees up your space, though its installation can be quite pricey and more labour-intensive.
There are two types of underfloor heating available:
- Wet underfloor heating consists of pipes installed under the floor and connected to the central heating system.
- Dry underfloor heating consists of underfloor electrical wiring connected to the mains electricity supply.
Things to Consider When Comparing Bathroom Heating Options
- Installation and running costs. There's no denying that certain heating options generate significantly higher costs than others. For example, it'll be much easier and cheaper to install an electric towel rail than underfloor heating. But it's also important to compare the initial cost with how much it's going to cost you to heat the bathroom in the long run. And the difference can be significant even between different types of underfloor heating. While wet systems connected to central heating are more expensive to install, electric ones will generally be more expensive to run due to high energy prices.
- Bathroom size. When choosing a bathroom heater, it's important to consider whether it'll be able to heat the entire space equally. It's possible to use towel warmers as heaters for smaller bathrooms, but they may not be the best solution for bigger spaces. At least not without another heater, e.g., a radiator.
- Heating efficiency. Although radiators can heat a bathroom faster, underfloor heating operates at lower temperatures and requires less energy to reach and maintain the same temperature. Efficient heating is better for your comfort and wallet, but also for the environment.
- Maintenance. Traditional radiators need regular bleeding to get rid of the air trapped inside. While it's not particularly time-consuming and difficult, it's one more task on your to-do list. Radiators, towel warmers and other heaters will also need cleaning or dusting once in a while. Underfloor heating, on the other hand, is practically maintenance-free.
- Size and design. Bathroom heaters are available not only in various sizes but also colours and styles. This means you can use your radiator or heated towel rail as part of the decor. And if you want to save space, you can go with an underfloor system that will be completely invisible.
What Is the Best Way to Heat a Bathroom?
The answer to this question depends on many factors, such as the size of your bathroom, the type of heating you already have installed and your budget. While underfloor heating is known for its efficiency, there are many other options available that will provide you with just as much heat and comfort. If you're looking for reliable heating solutions, we offer a range of high-quality heating-related products such as electric central heating systems.