How to Hide Your Bathroom Plumbing
Water and waste pipes are an inevitable, and essential, part of your bathroom. But, for many people, they are unsightly and can ruin the overall look and feel of your carefully designed bathroom.
So, what can you do to hide this bathroom plumbing? Read on to find out!
What type of pipes do I have in my bathroom?
Before we go on to tell you how to hide those pesky bathroom pipes, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a brief overview as to what types of pipes you’re likely to find in your bathroom (as well as telling you what they do).
Basically, there are two types of household water system:
- Supply systems.
- Drainage systems.
As you’ve probably guessed, the first system provides fresh water for your bathroom, whilst the second takes away waste.
For each of these systems, there are two types.
- Single stack.
- Two pipe.
Generally, the age of your house will determine which systems you will have installed. Older houses (pre 1960s) will normally have indirect supply systems and two pipe drainage systems. Newer houses will have direct supply systems and single stack drainage systems.
Ways of hiding pipes in your bathroom
Now that we’ve taken a look at the different types of pipes you’ll have in your bathroom, let’s take a look at how you can cover them up (safely and stylishly).
Box in the bathroom pipework
If you haven’t got the budget to replace all of your bathroom furnishings with items that conceal their pipework, then a cheaper way of hiding your pipework is to box it in.
You’ll need a decent set of tools and some basic carpentry skills, but boxing in bathroom pipes is a job that the majority of people can handle. At the very least you’ll need a tape measure, nails, hammer and a saw, as well as suitable wood (such as MDF) to create the ‘box’.
The ‘boxing in’ approach is ideal where you have pipes running along the floor at a low level. The box you create can then act as either an enhanced skirting board or a low shelf (depending on the height of the pipework). Once you’ve painted this box to match your walls, it’ll be barely noticeable.
Build fake walls
Got pipes running up the walls of your bathroom? Don’t worry. If you can’t box up your pipework, then another option is to build a fake wall. This option is ideal for larger, older properties where space isn’t an issue.
The ideal of building new walls might sound intimidating, but creating a new plasterboard wall can be surprisingly straightforward.
If you don’t want to do this yourself, then you’ll need to hire a builder to construct the wall, and then a plumber to move the toilet or sink so that they fit neatly onto the new wall. If you also want to install lighting on your wall then you will need to hire an electrician too (but remember that electricians need special qualifications to carry out work in bathrooms).
If you are going to go down the route of creating a fake wall to hide your bathroom pipework, then make sure you get several quotes for having the work done and weigh up this option against the other options in this article before deciding to go ahead.
For tips on hiring a tradesman, read our guide here.
Hide the bathroom pipes in the wall
Hiding those unsightly bathroom pipes in the wall is perhaps the most satisfying, yet unfortunately expensive, option.
Many new build homes are constructed with the bathroom pipes already sunk into the walls, however on older homes you will need to ‘retrofit’ the pipes to sit within the walls of your bathroom.
Whilst the expense rules this option out for many people, it is worth considering if you are building a completely new bathroom (such as part of an extension). If you’re building a new bathroom, then it makes sense to have the builder install the pipes within the walls to create a sleek, minimal finish.
If you don’t want to go to the house of boxing in your pipes or building fake walls, then a much simpler (and cheaper) way of hiding the pipework in your bathroom is to use decorations.
Decorations can be as simple as winding some fake flowers or ribbons around the pipes or using rope to obscure them.
Paint your pipes
Another way of easily ‘hiding’ your bathroom pipes is to paint them. Either paint them the same colour as your walls to help them blend in, or alternatively, paint your bathroom pipes a bold and distinctive colour and make them a feature.
Replace your pipes with better looking ones
In the spirit of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’, you could replace your current pipes with better looking ones. Many modern bathrooms now choose to deliberately expose the pipework, to create an industrial, bold aesthetic.
You can replace your boring existing pipes with pipework that has a chrome, copper or satin finish. Not only is this option great for enhancing the look of your bathroom, but it also means you have easy access to your pipework should anything ever go wrong!
Build storage units
By building storage units around bathroom furniture such as toilets and sinks you can hide those unsightly pipes and create more storage space within your bathroom. What’s more, storage units are also easier to clean than pipes.
You don’t have to make these storage units from scratch either. There are a wide variety of vanity units available that will help disguise those pipes and add another layer of practicality to your bathroom.
Replace your bathroom furniture
If you really, really want to hide the plumbing in your bathroom, you could change your bathroom furniture to versions which keep the water and waste pipes out of sight.
Bathroom furniture such as pedestal basins, wall hung toilets and enclosed baths all keep water and waste pipes firmly out of sight.
If you want to go down this route, then you’ll need to budget at least £600 for buying the items and having them fitted (this cost will obviously vary depending on the types of bathroom furniture you purchase).
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Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more bathroom advice…