Let’s face it radiators aren’t the most attractive items in our homes, but we put up with them because they provide us with heat in the colder months. With most of us not liking the look of our radiators, it gets even worse when we start looking at the copper pipes coming from them.
When we install a new boiler in a home or a new radiator one of the most common questions we get is “How can I cover the radiator pipes?”
There are three main ways of covering radiator pipes, these include Boxing in, using Skirting boards and using pipe sleeves.
In this article, we will discuss all three methods along with the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
How to cover radiator pipes by boxing in
Boxing in your radiator pipes is one of the most common ways of covering your exposed radiator pipes. Boxing in your radiator pipe is also one of the cheapest ways of covering copper pipe too and chances are you may have already seen this method used in your home or someone elses.
If you want to keep costs down then you can ask a carpenter to box your radiator pipe in with small pieces of wood. These pieces of wood will be cut to size and then glued around your copper pipe to hide it. You can then paint the wood to match the colour of the skirting board or if you have a radiator cover you can match the colour of that too.
The only problem with boxing in is that it’s a clumpy method of hiding pipework and can often lead to your room looking smaller than it is. It also creates harsh edges which can be sharp and dangerous to smaller members of the family.
Cover radiator pipes with skirting board pipe rebate
A more elegant solution to covering your exposed pipes is to use a skirting board pipe rebate. This may sound complicated but it’s actually a very clever way of hiding your copper pipework. The only disadvantage is that you will need to get rid of your existing skirting boards. If you are fine with that then a skirting board with a pipe rebate is a good option for you.
So what is a pipe rebate? Simply put, a rebate in the skirting board is a cut or recess made so that your central heating pipes can be covered with the skirting board. You can also use this to hide ugly wires in your home too. Skirting4U has a good explanation with images showing exactly what a rebate is.
If you are willing to remove your existing skirting and fit a new one with a 40mm pipe rebate then this is a great way of hiding your radiator pipe.
Cover radiator pipes with radiator pipe covers
Radiator pipe covers are another cheap option to cover your pipe work with and they come in a wide variety of different colours to fit the style of your home. A pipe cover slips over your radiator pipework and makes an instant change in the aesthetics of your home. A radiator pipe cover is cheap and can be changed easily if you ever wanted to change the way your home looks.
You would use radiator pipe covers if you didn’t want to open up any walls, damage plasterboard or remove the skirting. It’s a quick and easy fix for your home and you can use them to give you a neat finish.
Painting your radiator pipes to hide them
If you are working on a smaller budget and don’t want to go with the options above then the simplest, cheapest and quickest way of covering your exposed piping is to paint them. If you do go for this option you will need to make sure that the paint you use is suitable for use on pipes. Hammerite Enamel is a brand that most people turn to when they want to paint the pipes in their home. You can get this from most hardware shops or you can buy it online.
Benefits of covering your radiator pipes
Firstly you don’t have to cover your pipes at all, some people like the look of the exposed piping as it can look industrial but other homeowners can’t stand them especially when they have paid more money for designer radiators, sleek vertical radiators or an item such as a towel rail. The benefits of covering your pipes is purely aesthetic, it won’t improve your central heating system or make you more energy efficient.
If you have recently paid for radiator installation and don’t like the look of your pipes then covering them up with one of the options above will improve the aesthetics of your home regardless of the room you are in. If it comes down to budget you may want to combine the methods above as some are cheaper than others and you could use the most expensive methods in the rooms you visit more in your home.