The Lily Bain Guide to ....Radiators / Heated Towel Rails

Heating your bathroom is important for all seasons and the decision as to whether or not you install a Heated Towel rail only and/or a Radiator is important. The heat requirement for your bathroom is calculated by your plumber and the resultant BTUs are needed than in an equivalent radiator. All our radiators will have a BTU output therefore it is easy to see which product will meet your heat requirement.

Different Types of Radiator

Radiators can come in vertical, horizontal wall-hung, or floor-standing formats. These can be in single or double panel style with the double giving higher heat output. Most radiators are run off the existing central heating system but where this is not the case. Electric or Dry Element Radiators are used and can provide a good heat output. Dry Element electric radiators using modern technology stats are lighter radiators (no need for fluid filling) and are usually more efficient than standard radiators for daily use.

Robe Hooks, Towel Hangers & Toilet Roll Holders for Rails

Various options are available for hanging towels with a wide choice of hooks & hangers in various finishes to choose from. A toilet paper holder for attaching to a towel rail is also available!

Styles are usually classified as modern / designer or traditional.

Constructed From Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminium or Cast Iron each radiator will have different properties.

Mild Steel – Most popular material which is robust and ideal if working to a budget./span>

Stainless Steel – Premium choice with inherent anti-rust properties.

Aluminium – Durable material which is stylish and also very energy efficient conducting heat well.

Cast Iron – Heavy material and generally less energy efficient. Normally found in a traditional style radiator.

Types of Radiator Valves

Standard Angled or Straight valves in various colours choices to match your radiator are the most common choice. A rule of thumb for choosing valves is that pipes from the wall will need Angled and pipes from the floor Straight. It is always advisable to check this with your plumber. These types of valves are for on/off functions and do not control the temperature output from your radiator.

Thermostatic valves can be referred to as TRVs and can be fitted instead of a standard valve and will allow you to control the temperature output from each individual radiator.


Important terminology to consider:


BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and is the standard way to work out how much heat output is required to keep your room warm. A low BTU in a radiator will usually mean it is only suitable for heating towels but the higher the BTU (for larger rooms) will heat the room adequately as well as heat towels.

Central Heating Inhibitor

It is important that this is added to your heating system, particularly where you have installed mild steel radiators. The use of inhibitors greatly reduces the risk of rust in your radiator.


Thermostatic radiator valves are used to control heat output from individual radiators.