All You Need To Know On How To Cover Radiator Pipes

Heating is vital in all houses, especially here in the UK. If there isn’t a central heating system, many homeowners use oil-filled radiators, electric radiators or heaters, gas heaters or infrared ones. A heating system can sometimes be a headache for homeowners, especially if the pipework isn’t installed under the floorboards. Visible heating pipes can ruin the ambience of your living space.

A radiator and the pipes on a green background

Have a minute and think of what is ruining the overall appearance of your well-decorated living room. Is it your new sofa? Or is it maybe the paint on your walls? None of these. It’s all about heating pipes that run all over the walls. Whether you have column radiators or the traditional ones, you need to cover them. If you are an experienced DIYer, you may know how to remove a radiator, fix a leak, or even change a radiator valve. But do you know how to cover radiator pipes? That’s why we are here. We are going to show you everything. Let’s start!

How to cover radiator pipes

If you have old radiators and want to hide them, you just get radiator covers and make them more attractive and in line with your interior design. But what can you do with those ugly pipes? Whether you have plastic or copper pipes, they are spoiling your home decor.

You just need to hide them! How? Pretty simple! There are many cheap, effective and easy ways to do it, including using radiator pipe covers (or else pipe collars). Some of the below ideas can be applied to hide waste pipes, washer ones, or even heated towel rails pipes as well.

Boxing

The most usual way to cover pipework, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, is by boxing them in. And very easy to DIY

A man installing skirting boards

Here’s what you need to do:

Needed materials:

Steps to follow:

  1. Using the tape measure, measure the height and width of your pipes. Don’t forget to also measure from the wall out to the front of the pipes as well.
  2. Then using a wood saw,  cut your timber battens boards.
  3. Now, drill holes through the two battens will be used on either side of the piping. 
  4. Then, holding the battens onto the wall in the position they will be affixed, drill holes onto the wall. Use the spirit level to ensure that the batten is straight and try to fit it as close to the pipework as possible.
  5. Next, add wall plugs into the wall and secure the batten using screws through the front of each one.
  6. After that, cut the front board. It may be MDF, plywood or plasterboard. Before cutting it, measure the two already affixed battens and cut the front board using the proper saw. 
  7. Secure, then, the board either by nailed or screwed it onto the battens.
  8. Then, apply a poly-filler over the top of the screw heads and nails and let it dry. When it dries, sand it to make it smooth. To make things easier, you can use a detail sander instead of sanding by hand. 
  9. Finally, paint the box and caulk the edges between the board and the batten to look like a whole piece.

2. Skirting boards

An alternative and much inexpensive way to hide radiator pipes is to install skirting boards. It’s similar to the previous one; however, you don’t need to form the boxing radiator pipe cover from scratch. These boards have a section on the back, allowing the board to be placed against the wall covering at the same time the pipes. Just measure the pipes you want to hide and make the order. The best with these covers is that they come with extra allowance to fit well. Plus, you can fit them over an existing skirting cover, and you can find MDF or  PVC ones.

3. Pipe sleeves

Another cheap and easy way to hide central heating pipes is to install pipe sleeves. But what exactly are these? They’re a kind of pipe fitting. They’re made to cover the commonest sizes (28, 22, 15mm pipe), but you can find larger ones, too. They’re higher size pipe sections, which protect the pipes and cover them. These “sleeves” consist of two parts: the base plate and the sleeve portion. Depending on your needs, you can find various materials. The most popular are:

A close up of sliding sleeve on a black background

  • Chrome effect
  • Anthracite
  • Iron
  • Cast iron
  • Stainless steel
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Aluminium
  • Rubber

Plumbers, electrical engineers, designers, builders and so forth use the pipe sleeves. They are usually used for:

  • Insulation
  • Extend pipe lengths.
  • Cover and protect pipes,
  • Heating installation
  • Protect pipework from corrosion
  • Carry different forms of liquid, gas, oil, chemicals etc.
  • Fire protection for brick, block and plasterboard walls.

4. Paint

If you are about to paint your radiator, remember to paint the pipes as well. Painting them the same colour as your radiators or the walls will blend with the rest of the room covering them. Or, if you want to create a contrast in the room, paint them a contrasting shade. As a plus, you’ll save money, as you won’t have to worry about buying radiator pipe covers

5. Add indoor plants

It’s well known that plants can upgrade your space, bring nature into your living space and improve the quality of your life. What you may not know is that indoor plants can be great radiator pipe covers. Just place a potted plant in front of the pipes and let it do its magic. If the pipes go up to the wall, get one that stands up tall like a money tree or an umbrella plant, or even better, why not hanging plants from the ceiling.

A potted plant in front of a radiator hiding the pipes

Running piping should be history from now on. Whether you want to hide your towel radiator pipings or the entire heating piping system, it’s a DIY task. You can do it by choosing one of the above simple ways. You can either box it, paint it, or just place a few plants in front of it. Or you can mix them up. Who wouldn’t like some greenery in the house either way? The choice is yours. Opt for the one that is best according to your needs.

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