Can I put floor heating in the wall behind my towel rail?

A common idea that people have when completing a bathroom is to install Underfloor Heating up the wall behind their towel rail to help dry their towels. The question often asked is does this work?

In short, the answer is yes. Having heating behind your towel rail will create radiant heat that generates out from the tiles and reduces the time it takes for your towels to dry. However, there are some other points to consider when choosing between having floor heating or an electric towel rail.



Firstly, the installation. Tiling over a heating mat on the wall can be a bit tricky, the tilers will have to use a lot thicker glue on the wall. It is also a bit harder to trowel over the heating cable on the wall as opposed to on the floor.

Heating Times

Secondly, if this heating cable is part of the same heating cable on the floor or if it is on the same thermostat you are only going to be able to use it when your floor heating is on. This is fine in winter, but in summer when you want to use the wall heating to help dry the towel you will have to turn the floor heating on. This situation can be overcome by having two separate heating cables and two separate controllers for the floor and wall.


Points to consider

While a heating cable will help reduce the drying time it won’t be as effective as a heated towel rail for actually warming the towels. The towel is not in contact with the tiles and the heat won’t transfer into the towel, particularly the front side.
If you are going to install the heating cable on the wall we would recommend installing a layer of insulation in the wall behind the heating to help prevent heat being lost into the wall cavity.
Another point to remember is to take careful note of where the heating cables are installed on the wall. This will ensure when you install the towel rail you don’t accidentally screw through one of the cables.

Overall the heated towel rail will provide a faster drying time and warm the towels however if you don’t have the room for a ladder rail, can’t find a heated rail to match your tapware colour or you just don’t like the look of a ladder then the behind wall underfloor heating option may be an effective option for helping to dry your towels.