Great for organising, storing and drying towels; racks and stands are an essential component of any bathroom. Although functional by nature, there’s no need for them to be boring. Chrome and stainless steel models will add polish to a contemporary bathroom, whilst leaning ladder-style racks make an eye-catching focal point. Heated towel rails are another possible option, keeping towels warm and fluffy in the winter months and adding a little luxury to your morning routine. You can also explore towel stands and over-door models which make more practical options in rental properties. Whether you’re looking for a wall-mounted towel rack or a freestanding towel rail, Houzz UK has got you covered.
Which towel rail to buy?
There are many different towel racks and stands available, from single towel rails for toilets to multi-bar units for family bathrooms. Below is a summary of the main types:
Freestanding towel stands:
Forget about the dated wooden towel stands that immediately spring to mind, freestanding racks are the new, exciting design feature for modern bathrooms. Available in a range of materials and finishes, these stands are easy to clean and can be tucked away in a cupboard if you need more space. Opt for a curved chrome model for a sleek luxe look, or a ladder-style bamboo rack for a more rustic feel.
Wall-mounted towel rails:
Wall-mounted towel holders are ideal for compact spaces and can help you achieve a streamlined, minimalist look. Some feature arms that swing out for easy drying, whilst others incorporate both hooks and bars for comprehensive storage. If you want to display your towels, opt for a unit with slatted shelves or a towel stacker with curved arms for rolled bath sheets and flannels.
Over-door towel racks:
Over-the-door racks are a practical way to hang and dry bathroom towels if you’re living in a rental property. They bypass the need to carry out any DIY and can be taken with you when you move on to a new place. Most offer two or three rails and may also come with integrated storage for flannels and toiletries as well. A chrome or stainless steel model looks smart and modern, instantly sprucing up any bathroom space.
Heated towel rails:
If the thought of waking up to a slightly damp or over-starched towel fills you with dread, then a heated towel rail is the ideal solution. Perfect for those chilly British mornings, these racks add a luxury element to your bathroom, producing warm and fluffy bath sheets. Wall-mounted models are the most popular, but freestanding heated racks are also available.
There are three main types of heated towel rail available: electric, central heating and dual-fuel models. Electric rails are hardwired into the mains and thus function independently from the rest of the heating sources in your home. This makes them a more practical and eco-friendly option. Centrally heated rails are essentially radiators and considered by many to be inefficient - they often take a while to heat up and may fluctuate by several degrees. You also need to have the central heating turned on for them to work. Dual-fuel models are connected to the central heating system but are also electric. This means that they can run on gas in colder weather when you want the house warmed up, but can also be operated electrically in warmer months.
What height should towel racks be?
The bottom rung of a wall-mounted towel rack should be around 122-127 centimetres from the ground for every towel to be within easy reach. If you’re installing bars in a family or children’s bathroom then you may want to position them slightly lower. Hand towels should be hung around 51-56 centimetres above a bathroom vanity unit or sink so that you can easily dry your hands.
Where to place towel racks in the bathroom?
It may sound like a simple question, but the positioning of towel racks is actually incredibly important. Bathrooms are high-traffic spaces that we use on a daily basis so every design element should facilitate comfort and practicality.
When you step out of the bath or shower, you want to be able to easily grab your towel before the warmth starts to dissipate. Consider mounting a rack on the wall next to shower (make sure the door doesn’t open onto it!) or fix a rail to the floor next to the tub. Freestanding towel racks really come into their own here - they can be positioned right next to the bath when in use and then placed neatly against the wall when not needed. If you’re working with a more compact space, you might need to get creative with towel storage: fit rails or hooks
over the top of the door to free up the rest of the bathroom and make the space appear bigger. Finally, if installing a heated towel rail, try and mount it on an inside wall to maximise heat efficiency.
Where to buy towel racks?
Looking to buy a towel rack or stand but not really sure what you need? Check out the Houzz UK site to browse an extensive range of options from companies across Europe. If you’re looking to completely overhaul your current bathroom, you can also take a look at our range of bathroom organisers
to find complementary products.