No two ways about it, exposed pipes and plumbing gubbins are just plain ugly. The bathroom, cloakroom and kitchen will probably be the worst affected rooms, but it’s a potential eyesore in all areas of the house with radiators, boilers, sinks, loo’s, stoves & fires all requiring connection to services.
Boxing it all in is a neat and cost effective solution with numerous advantages. The first and most obvious plus side is the cosmetic improvement to a space – clean, neat lines replacing the chaos that lies behind; Boxing in also has an obvious safety element – protecting the exposed gas and water pipes; and best of all, it can provide valuable shelving and storage spaces.
The boiler is a large area to box in – so add shelves and cupboard doors to provide the perfect home for linen & laundry; under-sink areas in the kitchen can be transformed into cleaning product stores… and bathroom pipe boxing can provide useful shelving for lotions and potions. With a bit of care & creativity, the actual reason for the boxing in becomes almost secondary!
Wallpaper the boxing in or paint it the same colour as the wall to blend in and make it unobtrusive. No knobs or handles need spoil the look or get in the way either – use push latch or magnetic mechanisms to make everything neat & flush. You can completely disguise where possible too – for example, if it’s low level and only narrow, the boxing can actually be made to look like skirting boards.
You can get the professionals in – or perhaps take it on as a DIY project. If you’re boxing in pipes yourself but aren’t confident with your carpentry skills try ready-made uPVC pipe covers . Companies such as Screw Fix or B&Q will have everything else you’ll need.
Just remember a few basic points: Use waterproof materials where appropriate – ceramic tiles, uPVC glue, silicon sealant and so on; ensure there’s some kind of access to stopcocks or important pipe joints; and allow appropriate spacing & ventilation as required.
Let your imagination flow and follow a few simple rules to achieve fabulous results – those ugly pipes will be a thing of the past!