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Is there any difference between cheap and expensive heated towel rails?

(11 Posts)
Margot2017 Fri 24-Mar-17 13:07:23

Having browsed a bit online, there is a massive difference between the "high end" towel rails and the cheap ones. They all look the same to me. Is there any benefit to buying a more expensive version?

Sgtmajormummy Fri 24-Mar-17 13:25:15

Since they're mostly made in China by the same company and branded by the final company, I'd say there's not much to choose from in the same price bracket.
However, things to avoid are skimpy paint (expanding and contracting leads to thin paint flaking off), heat regulation (cheaper models can't be regulated, just on and keep warm at one temperature) and fragile, brittle or fixed position wall connectors. You want something with a bit of flexibility, especially if you're drilling between tiles.

Ours (150cm x 40) was about £100 from a DIY place. We didn't buy online for the reasons above. Our criticisms are
1. The bars are too close together to put a single towel between them, only in the 3 larger spaces.
2. The screw covers on the wall supports fall off (not annoyingly enough to glue them on permanently).
3. We changed the plug from schuko to normal, thereby invalidating the guarantee, because it's behind a door and the adapter took up too much space.

Apart from that we love it, especially in the months when the central heating is off but a warm bathroom and towel are still welcome.

Sgtmajormummy Fri 24-Mar-17 13:32:17

This is like ours.

Margot2017 Fri 24-Mar-17 13:37:02

Thank you for your advice, that one is quite a bit cheaper than the one our builder recommended (which is dual fuel).

Ifailed Fri 24-Mar-17 13:39:20

If it's in a bathroom, presumably you'll need an electrician to wire it up? Round here, the cost of that would make any rail look cheap.

mando12345 Fri 24-Mar-17 13:43:27

I've got a more expensive one, I liked the look of it and it had a high btu, (this is a measure of its heart output) the cheaper ones had a much lower btu for the same size.
I didn't want to get a bigger one as it was for a small en suite. This one had a slightly higher btu than the radiator it replaced and keeps the shower room nice and warm.
I looked into all this as in previous a refurbishment I trusted the plumber re radiator size and the room wasn't warm enough with the heating on.

Sgtmajormummy Fri 24-Mar-17 13:49:18

I'd go with his suggestion, then!

Your builder will be aware of any technical issues in your house and what would suit. And in the grand scheme of things, materials are only about half the cost of the whole job, so I'd go for higher quality whenever possible. Dual fuel also seems a great idea.

I trusted my plumber/builder when he advised me to get Zenker radiators in our (nearly finished!) renovation project. Boy was he right!

The one I linked to is a DIY addition in our current house.

Sgtmajormummy Fri 24-Mar-17 13:54:42

Sorry, I got the brand wrong, it's Zehnder!

BowiesJumper Fri 24-Mar-17 13:58:07

The guy in the plumbers merchants where we bought ours said that the cheaper ones are often plated, and therefore corrode more easily, so you may get rust patches/peeling plating sooner than a more expensive, solid one. I can't remember the exact details...

Margot2017 Fri 24-Mar-17 14:10:15

Thanks to you all, the price differential is a drop in the ocean (we are doing a massive refurbishment and I am trying to cut a few corners before we end up looking for spare pennies under the sofa!). It seems that I may as well listen to the builder...

PigletJohn Fri 24-Mar-17 14:36:19

chrome plated steel is prone to going rusty, for metallurgical reasons.

It's possible to buy chromed brass, which I have known to last about 50 years and still be good, but it is expensive so not widely sold.

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