Coloured vs Chrome Towel Radiators

Fashion and function often clash in interior design. So when choosing the function of a towel radiator, what is the key difference between a fashionable coloured version or the more traditional chrome or polished metal finish?


Coloured vs chrome radiators – heat performance

There are a few misconceptions about the heat performance of white vs chrome towel radiators, with some arguing that white performs better and others arguing that highly-reflective chrome is more efficient. In truth, it all boils down to the heat output (BTU) rating of each individual radiator. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is the standard way for measuring the heat output of a designer towel radiator. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat it will generate. Your bathroom is the place you need to be toasty and warm at all times, so what are the best bathroom radiators for heat output?


Chrome radiators - better for drying towels and less effective for heating

A chrome finish will reduce heat output by up to 30% of the exact same designer radiator in a colour. So remember to build this in when calculating the size of radiator you need - if you want it to also heat the space. This is because chrome has a low emissivity value. This simply means that chrome tends to trap heat and it is difficult for it to emit or radiate heat. This is why chrome does provide an excellent material for drying towels, because the heat is transferred through direct contact to the wet towels.


Colour radiators - better for heating space, slower at drying towels

Although there is also some difference in emissivity colours, it is not enough to make it worth considering because the difference is negligible. Darker colours are better, so in theory a matt black radiator would be the most efficient choice but the difference in output between that and a glossy white radiator is probably only 1%. So if you're looking for a radiator to heat the space in the room more effectively - then choose a coloured radiator, and be prepared to compromise on the speed in which towels will take to dry.


The key is to accurately size your radiator

Using the BTU calculator to establish the correct BTU required for the room will enable you to quickly select the parameters needed. Simply visit the towel radiators page, select the BTU range and you'll see you have a host of towel radiators to choose from. If you want greater heat efficiency, using thermostatic radiator valves will help you maintain your desired heating level efficiently.

Please give us a call on 01530 564 122 or email us at if you would like to visit our extensive showroom or simply get more information and expert advice.

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