The towel rail is easy to overlook in the planning and layout stages of bathroom design. It’s a fairly basic fitting, but there are many types available, and towel rails can become a feature in their own right. There are four basic types of towel rail – wall mounted rails, heated rails, ladder or rack style rails and freestanding towel rails. Each has its own place and advantages, and the right choice can add a touch of class and style to any bathroom.
Wall mounted towel rails
Wall mounted rails are the ones most of us are most familiar with. They usually consist of a bar mounted to a wall with brackets at either end, and come in a wide range of lengths, diameters and finishes, including wood and brass. These types of towel rails are cheap to buy, easy to install and provide adequate, convenient hanging space for your towels.
Heated towel rails
Heated rails will warm your towels before and after use, which provides a comforting feel for when you get out of the shower and helps prevent that musty smell towels get when they're left damp for too long. Many of the more modern varieties of heated towel rails are powerful enough to heat your whole bathroom. These rails normally operate as a part of a hydronic heating system, but electric varieties are also common. Heated towel rails are usually substantially more expensive to buy and install than other towel rails, so it's important to factor in the extra cost when deciding. You will also need to ensure sufficient distance is left from plumbing to comply with local building regulations if you choose electrically-heated towel rails.
Ladder or rack towel rails
Ladder or rack rails are currently setting a trend, and are quite elegant when used in the right context. Wall mounted varieties are usually made of metal, and freestanding varieties are generally made of a more lightweight material like bamboo or some other type of wood. There are plenty of innovative choices you can make with these towel rails that can add an interest spot where there wasn’t one before.
Freestanding towel rails
Free-standing towel rails can be moved around the room, and stacked against walls without having to drill holes. They need to be lightweight so they can be easily transported and are usually made of various types of wood. They can add a classical touch to your bathroom if that is the look you’re trying to achieve.
When buying a towel rail, think about the width and length of the towels you’re hanging, and position the towel rail accordingly. Don’t install them over your bathtub if the towel is likely to droop in the water! Consider how convenient your towel is going to be when stepping out of the bath or shower and consider too how many towels are likely to need to dry at once. While you may only have a limited amount of wall space in which to install a towel rail, you can also add extra hanging space with towel rings and hooks.