Wondering what to do with the exposed plumbing and pipework in your bathroom? We’ve come up with some neat ways to hide it or incorporate it into your bathroom design.
Perhaps you’ve just bought a house or are looking to refurbish a few rooms in your existing home. Your dreams of beautiful bathroom decor are almost completed… but, you spot several exposed pipes peeking out from underneath your basin. What an eyesore, right?
Hiding exposed pipes
Plumbing is central to having a successful, liveable home. However, sometimes it isn’t hidden and requires lots of piping which can be extremely physically visible. Of course, it would be better if they were built within the walls, but what can you do?
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a guide to concealing exposed plumbing pipes which not only works for your bathroom but other rooms in the home, like kitchens, utility rooms and even loft conversions. However, first off, let’s concentrate on your “smallest room”.
Here are 12 great little suggestions for design elements that you can incorporate into your new bathroom to help create the look and feel you want, without unsightly plumbing.
1. Box in the pipework
Creating a box around your pipes is a very simple but effective way of covering up your unwanted pipes. This can be done using a variety of materials (plywood is the most popular) and can either blend in with your colour scheme or be made to stand out. Fitting a small box can be done by you with minimal carpentry skills required.
All you need to do is frame the pipe in, use sealant at the edges, let it dry, and paint or decorate the wooden cage in whatever way you want. You can even tile directly onto it, so it forms a seamless appearance from floor to wall. Don’t forget to trim the edges—there’s nothing worse than a rogue splinter! It’s easy, fun and adds character to the room.
If your pipes are running along the floor, your box can even be repurposed into a shelf to store bathroom essentials on.
Exposed waste stack? No problem... Check out what one of our creative customers did with theirs below.
2. Blend the pipes in
This is by far the most common solution. Embracing exposed plumbing is gaining popularity, especially in on-trend industrial style bathrooms, and people are increasingly painting them instead of covering them fully. Whilst some might paint it the same colour as the room to blend in well, others may choose to make them pop visually by using complementary colours.
3. Enjoy the twists and turns
There is one other route to go down, if you’re a fan of exposed pipes. Why not consider installing additional joints, to twist and turn the pipes in whatever flow you want. If done right, these joints can turn the pipes 90 degrees to create sharp angles where you can hang towels or ornaments, for example.
Let your imagination run wild and create many interesting patterns across the wall, or manipulate the route towards a direction that you want it to end up in. Do make sure you consult with a plumber so that you’re not messing up any flow rate, pressure or temperature. Ensure you turn off the water supply and empty all the pipes before starting work, and remember to double-check the systems once you’re done.
4. Decorating your pipes
Depending on the particular theme of your bathroom, you could look to decorate and make a feature of your pipework, instead of concealing it. For example, if you are looking to achieve a nautical or coastal look, with motifs depicting the beach, sand, waves, boats and lighthouses, why not wrap with rope and decorate with seashells?
Make sure your bathroom isn’t all at sea by making a feature of your pipes and plumbing
5. Build shelving
If your pipes run vertically down, why not purchase a shelving unit to hide them? If you’re a DIY enthusiast, why not construct a set of shelves yourself, running from floor to ceiling? This is a very thrifty option and you can choose the perfect wood for your shelf. If you’re really creative, you could even build a cavity into the unit that leaves enough room for pipes, without leaving any other gaps.
This method is great, as it allows you to show off items personal to you, including trinkets, photo frames, books and…well, pretty much anything that’s a good conversation starter. Not only has this now become a nifty area for storage space, but it also redirects attention away from the piping, allowing visitors to focus firmly on the beautiful furniture.
6. Installing a cabinet or vanity unit
This is perhaps one of the more storage-effective options on the list. Not only will you be able to conceal the unsightly pipes away from judgmental eyes, but you also create additional storage areas for all your bathroom essentials, like toiletries.
There are 2 ways you can go about installing a vanity unit or cabinet, either by doing it yourself from scratch or ordering a pre-made one. You may also need to hire a Tradesperson which could cost up to £350, depending on the scope of the work and the part of the UK you live in.
Before installing your new vanity unit or cabinet, ensure that you’ve measured the area beneath the sink and mapped out how you want your pipes to be covered completely. You can either choose to have your sink on top of or integrated into your vanity unit.
Most vanity units from Victoria Plum come with a utility void at the rear, helping you hide pipes and plumbing
7. False walls
In some cases, it simply isn’t possible to box in all the pipes on show in your bathroom and, when major structural work is not an option, a false wall could do the trick. Building a plasterboard wall in front of the existing wall will be the most cost-effective plan.
In this instance, it’s best that you hire a builder to construct the wall and also a plumber to make sure your toilet or basin will fit into place. Whilst you're at it, it also pays to waterproof your bathroom at the same time.
8. Placing storage baskets around pipes
We go from one of the most expensive options to one of the most cost-effective in one fell swoop! Depending on how much pipework is on display and where it is positioned, you could simply repurpose some old storage baskets or buy new ones, and arrange them around your plumbing. Make sure you don’t obstruct access to anything you need to use on a daily basis though.
If your pipes extend a bit higher up your wall, why not consider a bathroom laundry basket. Providing the perfect place for used towels or dirty clothing, you’ll be killing 2 birds with 1 stone!
9. Fit a pedestal basin
By far the classiest option out of our list. A pedestal basin or even a semi pedestal basin are both great at hiding unsightly pipework. However, a wall hung basin can also be a good solution, with a range of beautifully designed bottle traps available that make a feature out of your plumbing.
Keep your pipework concealed with the traditional style Dulwich pedestal basin
10. Dress your sink up
People aren’t the only ones who look good in a skirt––sinks and washstands do, too! If you want a more elegant look for your bathroom, a sink skirt could be the way to go. This is extremely easy to do and won’t cost you much either. You can either purchase them online or if you’re feeling crafty, make them yourself.
All you need is some Velcro, durable waterproof tape, and some form of fastening. You can also use recyclable materials for the skirt. And what’s more, as well as hiding your plumbing, this also provides you with a great storage area for items you want to conceal from sight.
11. Use pipe covers
Sometimes, the best solution is to strike directly at the problem. If the pipes bother you that much, you might want to cover them completely. You can purchase pipe coverings online or from your local DIY store for very little. These coverings are usually made up of wood, metal or resin.
Pipe coverings come in a variety of designs and colours, which allows you to choose something cohesive with the rest of your bathroom decoration. They can also help give inspiration for your next bathroom refurb. We strongly recommend recording the length and diameter of your sink pipes before making the purchase––you need to ensure that the pipes are properly covered.
12. Adorn your bathroom with greenery
You can’t go wrong with beautiful plants and flowers, can you? Potted plants are a great way to liven up mundane views (such as that of exposed pipes) and add character to your bathroom. Before you buy any plants suitable for bathrooms, make sure you measure your space so that they fit perfectly into all the right places. How about creating your own living wall with our easy-to-follow video below?
If you already have a garden, you can always re-pot your old plants into stylish new pots and add them in. Try to stick with plants in a high moisture environment, as they thrive on water and won’t die easily. One of our favourite houseplants is the Boston Fern—these leafy plants like a decent amount of sunlight, meaning they’re great for draping over window sills. And, if you’re the kind of person who never has much luck with plants, why not try the Cast Iron Plant—it’s famously low maintenance, surviving in low light with little watering required.
With these 12 great ideas for concealing plumbing in your bathroom, we hope you’ve found something that works for you. From homely to fancy, and from budget-friendly to expensive, there should be a solution for everyone.
Share your tips and tricks with us
If you’ve found a clever way to hide, or even accentuate the plumbing in your bathroom, we want to see it. Tweet us a pic @VictoriaPlumUK or share with us on Instagram, using the hashtag #PlumbingPerfection.
Enquire about Bathroom Design and Installation
If you’re still stuck for ideas on how to hide the plumbing in your bathroom, why not enquire about our Design and Installation service? Our experienced Design Team will happily discuss your requirements, before creating realistic 3D visuals of your new bathroom.
Simply leave your contact details, by clicking on the image below, and take the first step towards your dream bathroom.