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How to Choose Replacement Towel Rail by the Pipe Centres

If you are planning to replace your old radiator in your bathroom or cloakroom and you don’t want to remove the tiling or floorboards, you have come to the right place!

Removing and replacing the old radiator at home is quite an uphill task. You might be wondering to buy a new radiator and fix it over the older one, but all this work and task might be holding you back. There are numerous things that need to done beforehand before replacing the radiator and you will have to make all the necessary arrangements to see that everything is done seamlessly.

If removing tiles is something that you don’t want and you want to replace the radiator, then read this post carefully.

There is a wide array of towel rails in Chrome and Black and white. Starting from 200 mm wide, these towel rails are also available in are 250mm wide, 300mm wide, and they keep increasing in size by 50mm and can go all the way up to 1300mm wide. After 1000mm width, the size range increases by 100mm.

If you are about to replace your radiator and digging tiles is something you are worried about, then you have a way out. When you don’t want to cull out the tiles or the floorboards, you first need to select the replacement towel warmer radiator and measure it from the pipe centers.

What is the pipe center of the towel rail radiator

To understand the location of the pipe center, you must do the measurement of the valve inlets center. If we talk about the standard heated ladder towel rails available in the market, these valve inlets are found at the bottom of each vertical tube. There are another one to two inlets located atop these vertical tubes for the purposes of bleeding and blanking plugs.

Whereas in the normal panel radiator, you will these pipe centers to be a little wider than the radiator width.

Now, you need to find the existing pipe center on the old radiator. You will find this just above the floor or wall, the point from where the pipes come out.

Centre of the pipe to the center of the pipe. With these measurements in your hand, you can choose the towel rail size with the closest pipe center. Usually, the pipe centers on ladder type towel rails are 40mm less than the width of the towel rail. It is very likely that you will not be able to find the pipe center with exact same measurements, but the difference of few mm will work for you.

These pipes are very flexible and will move into place to fit the heated towel rails pipe center so the difference in size will not make much difference.

What type of valve should you use

There are basically two types of valves: straight valves and Angled valves.

Straight valves are used when the towel rail has inlets at the bottom and the pipes are coming out from the floor.

Angled valves are usedwhen water needs to be diverted at a 90-degree angle. This usually happens when the pipes and valve inlets are situated at the side of the radiator.

We also have other types of valves:

Middle Connection – or H-Block – towel radiator valves but these are not very popular.

Then we also have Thermostatic or Manual valves. The former comes with an adjustable temperature wheel and they are more efficacious than the manual ones. The reason is obvious because you can manually control the temperature and set it to the level of your choice.

Which valve will suit your towel rail the best

There is a variety of styles in the market and you can select the one that goes along well with your towel rail best. For instance, the minimalist valves will compliment the modern designer towel rails in a great fashion.

You just have to make sure that the position of your pipework and valves be well fitted to the radiator.


Choosing the replacement towel rail is an easy task but you just have to carefully measure the pipe center. Proceed with method carefully and you will dispense with the need of removing the tiles for replacing the old radiator.