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Heated towel rail installation cost guide
by
Checkatrade

Why install a heated towel rail?

Who doesn’t love that cosy feeling when clothes and towels come out of a tumble dryer? Fortunately, you can replicate that every day with a heated towel rail. These stylish rails are fitted in your bathroom to deliver consistently warm towels after every bath or shower.

Much more attractive than an old radiator, heated towel rails are generally available in metallic tones and offer a modern aesthetic. In fact, a new heated towel rail can make for a unique bathroom feature that really ties the room together.

Not only for warming towels, but a heated towel rail can also quickly dry clothes and even heat up smaller bathrooms. Our heated towel rail installation cost guide covers different options, factors to consider and up to date prices. So, keep reading to learn more.

How much does it cost to install a heated towel rail?

Heated towel rails are surprisingly reasonable and can be installed in less than a day. With modern décor being extremely popular, it makes sense that people are choosing to replace their radiators with these stylish options.

The average heated towel rail installation cost is £235 for materials and £225 for installation, with a total of £460.

Type of towel railCost + VAT
(Range low - high)
Average cost
Heated towel rail installation cost (materials)£220 - £250£235
Heated towel rail fitting cost (hot water heated)£200 - £300£250
Heated towel rail fitting cost (electric heated)£200
Heated towel rail fitting cost (dual fuelled)£300 - £500£400

Types of heated towel rail

There are three different options when choosing a heated towel rail:

  • Electric towel rails: These can be standalone or wired in. They use electricity to generate heat and are much safer if properly wired into the bathroom. Although, installation can be tricky due to the need to pass wires into walls and flooring.
  • Hot water heated towel rails: Connected to your central heating, these rails use hot water to heat your towels and bathroom. If they are replacing a radiator, it is a good idea to get a similar width towel rail to your old radiator to save time and money on fitting costs.
  • Dual fuelled towel rails: The gold standard of towel rails. Dual fuelled towel rails use electricity and your central heating to provide warmth and drying power throughout the year. That includes times when your heating is switched off.

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Heated towel rail fitting costWhen should I install a heated towel rail?

You’ll get great benefits all year long, with Autumn being a hugely popular time to install a new heated towel rail. Why? At this time of year, the weather is getting colder and your central heating is coming on. If your bathroom has no source of heat, getting out of the shower or bath can be a very uncomfortable experience.

With a heated towel rail, you can wrap yourself in fluffy warmth to chase away the cold. If you choose a hot water heated rail, Autumn is the perfect time to install it. This is because your heating is now on, giving the towel rail a constant stream of hot water.

Factors affecting the cost to install a heated towel rail

Heated towel rail installation costs can be impacted by a wide range of factors. When deciding to purchase a heated towel rail, consider the effect of the following:

  • Type of heated towel rail: Electric, hot water or dual-fuelled, the price of each of these towel rails will differ.
  • Size of heated towel rail: Larger towel rails will be more expensive due to the need for extra materials. If your new towel rail is hot water heated and it is a different size to your current radiator, the installation will be complex and more costly.
  • Style, finish and material: Heated towel rails come in a wide variety of finishes, styles and materials. You should be aware that the cost of these rails will vary between models.
  • Removing an old radiator: If you have an old radiator that needs to be removed, remember you may need to budget extra for this.
  • Complexity of installation: Ask yourself, does flooring need to be taken up? Or is new piping needed? The more complex the installation process, the greater the price will be.
  • Ease of access: Difficult to access areas will incur extra heated towel rail fitting costs.
  • Finish: Once your towel rail has been installed you may need to re-tile and redecorate the space where the old radiator was. This will be charged as extra.

Cost of fitting a heated towel railHeated towel rail fitting cost

Once you have chosen the best heated towel rail for your bathroom, you will need to pay to have it fitted. Please note, that with freestanding towel rails you will only need to pay for fitting if you want it to be wired in.

The least expensive type of rail to be fitted is the electric heated option. This will need to be done by an electrician and involves fitting the wire behind your tiles/ flooring. The average electric heated towel rail installation cost is £200.

The next in terms of cost is the hot water heated type of rail. A plumber will need to come and connect your towel rail to your central heating system. The average hot water heated towel rail installation cost is £250.

Finally, the most expensive option is the dual-fuelled rail. This is costly due to the need for an electrician and a plumber to wire in and connect your towel rail to your central heating. The average dual-fuelled heated towel rail installation cost is £400.

Can I install a heated towel rail myself?

Due to gas and electric connections, most heated towel rail options are complex and should be done by a professional. Below we have summarised the key things to consider with installation:

  • It will be very difficult to fit a towel rail in awkward spaces without professional help.
  • It is dangerous to work with electrics or pipework without a professional. If you are installing an electric rail, you need a qualified electrician to comply with building regulations. And, if you are installing a water heated rail you will need a Gas Safe Registered professional.
  • If fitting is not done safely you could cause injury to yourself and/or damage to your home.
  • It is essential to turn off the central heating before installing a water heated towel rail.
  • Installation is very complex if new piping is needed.
  • If you need to go behind tiles or under flooring, you may cause damages that cannot be repaired.

For your safety, we would recommend hiring a professional. To find a local, reputable, tradesperson in your area and get a personalised heated towel rail installation quote use our free search feature.

FAQs

What alternatives are there to heated towel rails?

A heated towel rail may not be the right choice for you for aesthetic or practical reasons. Below are some of the most common alternatives:

  • Radiator
  • Standard towel rail
  • Over the door towel hook

What material options are available for heated towel rails?

As well as different styles, shapes and finishes, you can choose the material your heated towel rail is made from. Each of the following options will come with their own pros and cons plus different prices:

  • Cast iron
  • Aluminium
  • Stainless steel
  • Brass.

Useful heated towel rail checklist

  • Heated towel rails can warm your towels, dry your clothes and even heat up smaller bathrooms.
  • There are three types of heated towel rail; electric, hot water and duel fuelled.
  • The average cost to install a heated towel rail is not too expensive (£460 with materials and labour) and it’s worth paying for due to the risks of doing a DIY fitting.
  • The size, type, and finish of your heated towel rail will impact its cost.

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