During the repair of the bathroom in an apartment or a private house the question arises about what to buy a towel rail for the bathroom. This item will provide additional comfort in the bathroom – towels will not smell damp, the risk of mold will be reduced, and it is convenient to dry small items of clothing (linen, socks). Choosing a “towel rack” is not difficult if you follow a certain algorithm.
Step 1: Choosing the functions and shape
When choosing, first of all, you should determine which of the functions of the towel radiator is more important to you. As a rule, there are only two:
- Drying towels, small items of clothing.
- The heating function is best handled by a standard coil.
For drying things, traditionally choose a towel radiator in the form of a ladder. Between two vertical racks there are several rungs-ladders. The more there are, the more things can be dried. The crossbars can be straight, the most spacious models – with crossbars in the shape of the letter S.
Step 2: Electric or water towel rail for the bathroom
Traditional towel rails are those that are heated by the heating system or water supply. Unless the hot water is intentionally turned off, they will always be hot in the first scenario. In the second, the towel radiator only gets hot during the heating season, and you will have to look for a replacement for almost six months.
Among the disadvantages of the water towel radiator can be classified as stationary. It can only be placed near the hot water outlet. Its transfer to another wall is not considered redevelopment, and is associated with technical difficulties – shortening or lengthening the pipe, installing clamps, dismantling part of the wall. Installation should only be performed by a specialist.
Electric towel dryers are much more mobile, they can be installed on any wall in the bathroom. The device works from the socket, so you will need the help of a good electrician – to conduct the electrical network, install moisture-proof sockets. The disadvantages can include increased power consumption. In addition, if there is a power outage, the towel radiator will not work.
Step 3: Choosing the material
This point is relevant for water towel rails. The following types of materials are used for their production:
- Copper and brass – have a high level of thermal conductivity, hold the temperature well. But they quickly fade, can deteriorate from hard water. To connect to the central DHW system is allowed to use only galvanized pipes;
- Stainless steel is a durable option, with a beautiful sheen. Service life is virtually unlimited if you choose a pipe with a wall thickness of at least 2.5 mm;
- Black steel – recommended for use in country houses and cottages as a flow towel dryer with a connection to the DHW system. It is coated inside with an anti-corrosion composition. With hard water over time, sediment can accumulate inside, the diameter of the pipe decreases, and the device heats worse.
Step 4: determine the supply
For electric models, this point is not important. And water towel warmers can have the following type of supply:
This point should always be specified when buying, otherwise the selected model may not fit the socket in the bathroom.
Step 5: The distance between the crossbars
Water and electric towel rails can be located at the same distance from each other. Such a model is convenient in case you dry small items on it. Variants with several blocks of crossbars, which are located at a greater distance from each other, are convenient for drying large bath towels, robes.
However, such a model is much longer than the standard one, this should be taken into account when drafting.
Step 6: The choice of mounting and installation method
There are the following types of mounting towel rails:
- Wall-mounted – these can be both water and electric models. The device is hung up on the wall, take up little space, are located in close proximity to a conclusion of water or an outlet;
- Floor – as a rule, these are water models. A good option for country houses with spacious bathrooms. It is important to consider the location of the water supply.
- Portable – mobile electric models that can be moved around the bathroom. To place them, it is enough to plug the device into a socket. Combine the functions of a towel rail and towel bracket, convenient in small bathrooms, are considered
Step 7: Design and Size
Brass towel rails do not need to be painted, as their noble hue complements Victorian design elements and traditional homes.
Stainless steel towel rails are also available, which often have a chrome sheen and look good in bathrooms with light pastel shades. However, you can request a specific tone of paint or choose a matte finish.
Black steel models need to be painted again after installation. You can match the shade to the color of the walls or create a futuristic design and paint the object in bright shades.
Electric towel rails come in matte, chrome, as well as painted in different colors. These pieces can look aged to look like bronze or covered in gold.
The size of the towel rail depends on the size of the bathroom. Compact models can be installed on any vertical surface. Spacious bathrooms often use a spectacular technique when a compact towel rail is installed at the edge of the bathtub. You will be able to grab a warm towel as soon as you get out of the water.
Larger models provide better heating of the room, you can place more things on them. A good option for apartments and homes where the towel rail is the only place to dry laundry.
Step 8: Technical Requirements
When installing a water towel warmer, it is important to specify the pressure in the DHW system. In apartment buildings, it can range from 2 to 7.5 atmospheres. Also, this figure may vary, especially in buildings with old communications, where there are frequent pressure surges.
Changes are possible during the transition from summer to winter season and vice versa. The model of the towel radiator should be designed for the maximum possible pressure in your system, otherwise leaks can occur.
In country houses, the pressure rarely exceeds 2 – 3 atmospheres, and almost all models of modern water towel dryers cope with such a load.
When choosing an electric model, it is necessary to consult in advance with an electrician about the possibility of additional output of electricity in the bathroom, the installation of special outlets.
It is important to make sure that there are hygienic certificates for the device.
Step 9. Important details and little things
When buying a water towel radiator, make sure that the surface of the pipes is smooth, with no build-up or flecks. Try to put a socket or fitting on the edge of the pipe – the movement should be clear and smooth, there should be no nicks on the threads. The end of the pipe should also be smooth, with no burrs or protrusions.
The electric towel radiator should have strong wires, with good fastening, without kinks. The plastic plug should fit tightly to the wire, it is good if there will be protection against power surges.
To sum up
From all of the above, the following conclusions can be made:
- In an apartment building as the main towel dryer for the bathroom, it is better to choose a water coil, preferably P- or M-shaped of stainless steel with a pressure drop to 10 atmospheres.
- Designs in the form of ladders and serpentines look beautiful, but they do not always have the same durability. If you still want to buy a designer device, it is better first to look for reviews on the Internet or consult with a specialist.
- Most often, the installation of a new coil will require metal cutting and welding work, so it is best to do it during the renovation of the bathroom, otherwise you can damage the tiles on the wall. If you don’t want to mess around with wiring, just buy a classic dryer with a side mount type.
- In a private home with its own heating system, choose any model you like, because the pressure in the pipes of such systems is at 2-3 atmospheres and is not subject to large fluctuations.
- The electric towel dryer will be useful as an additional device for installation in the kitchen, in the hallway or as a full-fledged dryer in the bathroom, if the house has no connection to the hot water supply. Among the advantages of such devices are the variability of design, independence from disruptions in the water supply, low power consumption, and the reliability of rotary and telescopic systems.
- As with any other electrical appliance in the bathroom, with the installation of the electric dryer will have to tinker. The wiring can be of the open type or mounted in the wall, but in this case, if you need to quickly replace the coil, you will either have to destroy part of the wall, or take the trouble to disconnect the wire from the device.