Studio D Interiors | 10 TIPS ABOUT TOWEL WARMERS
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I recently helped clients put together a selection of towel warmers for their new home. Towel warmers are a really nice luxury to have in your bathroom, but may not be a fit for all projects. Here are 10 tips and guidelines to follow, that you should consider before making your purchase.

1.) TIP ONE: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!:

These are not just decorative fixtures that can be easily coordinated at the end of a project like any other towel bar. If you are building a new home, or working on a renovation, it will be important to determine whether or not you will have a towel warmer in the earlier stages of your construction, in order to coordinate with your plumbing and electrical trades.

2.) TIP TWO: Hydronic or Electric: 

There are 2 types of towel warmers to choose from, Hydronic and Electric models.

  • Hydronic Towel Warmers: These get hooked up to your plumbing, and are heated via the hot water running through your home.
  • Electric Towel Warmers: These get hooked up to your electrical and, well, are heated via electrical power.

3.) TIP THREE: Hydronic Models Are Great Near Water: A true Hydronic towel warmer is perfect for wet areas such as near showers or even inside the shower area. (Not too close, you don’t want the towels to get soaked!) Since these are hooked up as plumbing, there is no electrical risk near water. Just make sure the one you purchase does not run via any electricity if you plan on using in a wet area.

4.) TIP FOUR: Hydronic Models Work With Your Plumbing/Heating System: This may or may not be a pro/con, but something to consider in general. For example, if you like your towels warm in the summer, but the heat in the house is off, you won’t be able to control your Hydronic towel warmer independently, and it probably won’t give off the heat you want to warm your towels. The only way to do that is to add it on to it’s own separate system and control it with it’s own thermostat. This of course can add to the budget and timeline of the project, so speak to your contractor about those options early on. (see tip 1 above!)

5.) TIP FIVE: Electrical Models Not Near Water!: Obviously, these are powered via electricity, so just as you wouldn’t blow dry your hair in the shower, you would not install an Electrical Towel Warmer in one either. Of course you can use in the bathroom in general, just not exposed to any wet areas.

6.) TIP SIX: Electrical Models Have Integrated or External Switch Options: Your contractor can hardwire these to operate on a switch, just like a light would. Or, some models are available with an integrated switch that comes with the unit, which means you won’t need a separate switch to operate it. It can simply be switched on and off right from the unit.

7.) TIP SEVEN: Warm Up Time: They take about 15-20 minutes to warm up. If your using a Hydronic model, and your heat is on and connected to the unit, it will be warm during those times without you having to turn it on or off.

8.) TIP EIGHT: Smart Home Compatible: If you are using a Smart Home System such as Lutron or Crestron offers, they can be hooked in to control either the Thermostat for the Hydronic models, or the power for the Electrical models. **NOTE: The Hydronic models can only be looped into the Smart Home Systems by way of the Thermostat, so if you are not using an independent heating system for it with it’s own dedicated Thermostat, you will not be able to connect to this type of system. Also, make sure you check with your provider for confirmation on.

9.) TIP NINE: Consider Mounting Height:  Another big question can be determining the height of where the towel warmer should mount. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure it is high enough so that when the towel is on the lowest bar you will use, it does not hit the floor. (Likewise, not too high that it is difficult to reach the top)
  • Also consider that when these units get warm/hot, you don’t want to accidentally brush up against it. 36″ to the bottom is a good estimated height, but make sure that works with your particular model size and space.

10.) TIP TEN: Finish Options: Coordinating your finishes together can be more challenging if you are going past the more common Chrome or Stainless Steel finishes. Not all manufactures have finishes such as Oil Rubbed Bronze or Polished Nickel. A good one to look at for more available finishes would be Myson. They also make a good selection of both Electrical and Hydronic options in a variety of modern and transitional styles.

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