Bathrooms have always been a favorite spot to do a luxury remodel. After all, it’s a (relatively) small space to work with, but one with plenty of room to add decadent and relaxing comfort items. But a full scale bathroom remodel, with a whirlpool tub, a custom shower, heated floors, steam bath, and sauna – not to mention a new bathroom vanity and tiling – can quickly get pretty expensive. But just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t add a luxury touch to your bathroom. One of my favorite little bathroom luxuries is warm towels, and installing a towel warmer is actually one of the easiest (and least expensive) luxury upgrades you can give your bathroom.
There are several different types of towel warmers, ones that plug in to your wall, electric towel warmers that are hard-wired directly into your electrical system, and hydronic towel warmers like this Snake 50 from Scirocco that actually replace your existing radiator. All three are fairly simple to install (definitely doable for a savvy DIYer) and are similar in price, so which you choose is largely a matter of your current setup (and, to a lesser extent, your handiness – it’s much less scary to wall mount and plug in a towel warmer than it is to mess with wiring or your water heater!).
But what, exactly, does a towel warmer do? Well, obviously, they warm your towels! Regardless of which type of towel warmer you get, they all function by circulating heated water through a series of metal tubes, like a radiator but better looking. This Winter Towel Warmer is a fairly typical example, with ladder-style bars that allow you to hang multiple towels or articles of clothing. As the water passes through the tubes, heat is transferred to your towel, your clothes, or your robe, so they’re perfectly toasty warm when you get out of the shower or finish your bath.
But you may have noticed that I said that hydronic towel warmers, like this Snake 66, work as a replacement for a radiator, and radiators do more than just warm towels. That’s another reason I love towel warmers so much – even when they aren’t warming towels, they’re warming your bathroom. Even on the coldest morning, you’ll walk into a toasty warm bathroom, no more chilly floor or icy porcelain tub. Hydronic towel warmers are newer and better designed than traditional radiators (no tinging, pinging, or clanking!) and cost about the same to function, and electric and plug-in towel warmers cost no more than a light bulb to keep running – a very small cost for a whole lot of comfort!
After all, while you might only get to really enjoy a big custom shower or a deep Roman tub once in a while, you probably bathe a lot more often than that. A warm towel and a warm bathroom is a nice little good morning and a luxury perk you can enjoy every day. Many people pass on heated floors (even when they’re already redoing their tile) because of the sheer expense of installation, but a simple hydronic towel warmer like this Snake 85 is simple, unobtrusive, and inexpensive to install. Plus, it’s a much better multi-tasker!
And unlike heated floors, which are concealed beneath your floor and don’t add anything visual to your bathroom, hydronic towel warmers can actually be cool, stylish accent pieces, especially in a modern bathroom. Most towel racks are pretty typically ladder-like, but Scirocco specializes in designer towel warmer/radiators like this Mikado that not only heat your room, and your towels, but look great doing it.
In fact, many of their towel warmers make great statement pieces, like this Graffe Towel Warmer, which looks delightfully like an oversized chrome paper clip. It’s a little bit fun, a little bit unexpected, and definitely eye catching – a great way to add a little piece of modern design to your bathroom. Instead of having to buy minimal, geometric, chrome wall decorations to compliment your modern decor, these towel warmers have all the style you need built in… and that’s on top of being greeted by a warm bathroom in the morning and with hot towels when you get out of the shower!
So if you’re looking to add a little luxury to your bathroom but don’t have a big budget – or don’t want your bathroom torn up for a long time to get it – consider a designer towel warmer. They’re fast and easy to install, look great, and offer a luxury you can enjoy every time you use your bathroom. Still have questions about different types of towel warmers or how to install them? Let me know in the comments!