“ Brand: Kudox „
A couple of years ago we decided the time had come to replace our en suite bathroom. Out went the avocado suite so fashionable when our house was built in the late 1960s and in came the sparkling white. We got everything we needed for the new bathroom from the local B&Q. I have to say we were very pleased with the whole process from design to delivery.
Kudox towel warmers come in two basic styles - curved, which as the name suggests means they have a slight bow shape and ladder, ie no curve. They also come in various heights and widths. Ours is the ladder design and measures 750 mm tall by 600 mm wide. It's chrome, or to be more accurate chrome plated, and looks very stylish. It has 16 horizontal bars. There are 5 at the top, then a gap before the remaining 11 bars.
It has a BTU of 1,084 (318 watts). I am picking up the jargon as I know that BTU stands for British thermal unit and B&Q have a handy calculator on their website which calculates how many Btu's you need to heat any particular room. We don't rely on this towel warmer to heat our en suite as it has a separate radiator. It is a small bathroom so it would probably just about provide sufficient heat but of course once the towels are on it, a lot of the heat is lost to the room. We just like warm dry towels and because it feeds off the secondary circuit that heats the hot water cylinder it does all year round.
It's suitable for all central heating systems or it can be fitted with a thermostatic electric heating element.
Being serial d-i-y-ers, we fitted everything ourselves including the towel warmer. I should perhaps explain that my husband used to have a heating and building company so at least once of us knew what they were doing!
The towel warmer comes with clear instructions as well as all the necessary brackets, wall fixings and bleed plugs. I wouldn't have attempted to fit this on my own but for anyone with some plumbing knowledge I am assured that it is fairly straightforward. Still I'm sure it's not for the novice and if any doubt, I suggest you call a plumber.
B&Q no longer seem to stock this item but you can get it at the Big Bathroom Shop where it is currently on offer. £73.00 reduced from £124.00.
It's worth noting that it does come with a 5 year warranty.
Care & Use
The care instructions are simple - wipe clean with a soft damp cloth and never use any abrasive cleaners. To be honest, it doesn't take much cleaning - I dust the rails whenever I remember which if I'm honest isn't that often.
We are really pleased with this towel rail. It looks nice and does the job although to be fair we normally just have two large bath towels on the warmer so we're not expecting too much of it. It's carefully positioned so that as you step out of the shower, you can reach for a lovely warm towel. Bliss!
I can think of no reason to give it anything other than 5 stars.
When we bought our house there was no radiator in the bathroom, although the pipe work was all there. During the day the bathroom gets lots of sun so is reasonably warm even in the winter, however during the night it is absolutely freezing, something which is not helped by the fact that we have a slate tiled floor which is very cold underfoot. Although we managed to get through last winter OK, having some sort of radiator installed was high on my list of priorities for this year.
When it came to choosing a design we decided on a heated towel warmer as we felt that it would fit in well with the design of our bathroom which is quite modern. There were a few pre-requisites we had to consider when choosing a towel warmer...
* It had to be 450mm in width to fit the existing pipes
* It had to be flat rather than curved. This was due to the space where it was to be fitted being quite narrow and the potential that a radiator which curved outwards might be hit by the shower door. I also felt that a flat towel rail would give the illusion of extra space.
* I wanted a chrome finish as we have plain white tiles and I felt chrome would look better against them than white on white would.
* Finally, I wanted one that came in under £150 (not including fitting).
Our plumber recommended we go to B&Q as he told us they have the best deals, but to be fair I think we probably would have gone there anyway. My husband looked on the B&Q website (diy.com) and found this Kudox Ladder Towel Warmer in a chrome finish on a special web only offer of £50 (this offer has sadly now expired). Despite this price, it was still on sale in B&Q stores for the full retail price of £99 (a white version is also available for £75). To be honest the extremely low price of £50 seemed too good to be true and I insisted we go and have a look at it in person as I was convinced there must be something wrong with it for that price! On visiting a store and inspecting the towel warmer thoroughly, I was satisfied it was OK and we decided to go ahead and purchase it online, as being well under budget I would be able to use that money elsewhere in the house.
The towel warmer is suitable for use with central heating, which we have, or an electric element. It is described on the B&Q website as being easy to install, but whether you will want to attempt to install it yourself I guess depends on your level of expertise. The pipes that we had needed to be cut and have the valves changed and we also needed to drill into a tiled wall, so we decided we would be best leaving it to a professional. Our plumber charged £70 for fitting and this price included him supplying the valves which do not come with the towel warmer. He was able to get us a chrome plated TRV valve which matched very well with the towel warmer. These come in at anywhere between around £15 and £40 depending which one you get if you do plan to buy your own. To clarify a TRV valve is a Thermostatic Radiator Valve - basically a valve that allows you to control the temperature by turning a dial (most radiators have these now).
All wall fittings are included in the box along with bleed plugs. It's hard to say exactly how long it took to fit the towel warmer because the plumber was also doing some other work for us at the same time, but it was possibly around an hour and a half, not including time to drain the system which has to be done first.
When my towel warmer was fitted I was very pleased with how it looked. It is quite a basic design being a simple ladder style, yet I thought it looked quite good and I don't think the low price was too obvious! On the wall it sticks out 90mm so was flat enough that it would not be hit by either our bathroom or our shower door, which is what I wanted.
With this being a chrome plated finish it does attract fingerprints and I have noticed streaks and smudges appearing on it regularly, which although annoying I feel is to be expected. I tend to buff this with a dry cloth and avoid using any cleaning fluids on it as I worry about the chrome finish becoming worn. The warranty on the towel warmer is five years, however it only covers one year on the surface finish so it does worry me that it might end up looking shabby over time. We haven't had ours in for a full year, but so far I am treating it carefully and touch wood it still looks as good as new.
In use, the towel warmer is fully functional and again I have no complaints. It heats up very quickly and on the lowest setting it's lukewarm and provides just enough heat to take the bitter edge off the cold in the bathroom. On the fullest setting it does become very hot, yet not to a point it's dangerous. I usually keep it on the middle setting of three which is a nice balance.
The towel warmer will hold three folded bath towels comfortably on the largest spacings between the bars. It is difficult yet not impossible to put towels on the narrower of the bars. As it's only 450mm in width (incidentally the height is 974mm) it's not really ideal to put towels side by side either, as they would have to be folded up quite a lot. Whilst this may not suit everyone we are a household of just two so it's not a real problem for us.
To sum up, I am very pleased with my purchase and would recommend this towel radiator. Although we got it at a special offer price, I would have happily paid the full price of £99 for it (although look out for offers). It looks good, is practical and functional, so it gets a big thumbs up from me.