Boxing is the most popular and common method to conceal ugly radiator pipes. By wrapping your pipes in some sort of decorative covering, such plastic or wood, you are able to hide unsightly pipework. As well as for aesthetic reasons, boxing in your exposed radiator pipes can also be a safety precaution, especially if you live in a house with children. Exposed radiator pipes have hot water running through them when your central heating system is running and can lead to dangerously hot pipes. Just as you should cover your electrical sockets to keep children safe, you should also consider covering your radiator pipes.
Different ways to cover radiator pipes
Boxing is the most popular way that people conceal their radiator pipes. Boxing is done by constructing a box around the pipework from wood or plasterboard all along the pipework. If you are less confident in your ability to do this well without it looking terrible, it is probably worth considering buying a premade pipe boxing at a hardware store; these are usually made from wood or plastic. You can use screws, nails, or adhesive to attach the encasement to your wall before painting to ensure that it matches the colour and interior design of your house.
Since pipe boxing is primarily an aesthetic procedure (unless you have children), many people choose instead to simply paint their pipes to match the colour of their walls. If you do this, make sure you use radiator enamel, which can withstand the heat of the radiator pipes.
How do I fit and attach radiator pipe boxing?
If you decide to box in your radiator pipes yourself as a fun DYI project, here are some handy tips:
- First, you need a tape measure to measure how far your pipes extend from the wall. This will determine how ‘chunky’ your boxing needs to be.
- Make sure to take several measurements along the pipework because it may not be consistent. Take the largest measurement and add a few millimetres.
- Next, measure the length and height needed for your boxing so that the pipework can fit inside the casing.
(If you are handy with wood and a saw, you can always construct the boxing yourself; however, you can buy a premade encasement from a hardware store.)
- Make sure you cut the length to size and double check that the boxing covers the radiator pipes in the way that you need it to.
- Next, you can either attach the boxing to the wall with nails, screws or adhesive. Note that if you are using plastic boxing, it might be better to use an adhesive. Talk to someone at a hardware store and ask them what they recommend.
- Once the boxing over the radiator pipes is completely secure, use caulking to fill in the gaps between the wall and the boxing to make sure it looks completely seamless.
- Finally, paint the boxing covering the pipes the same colour as the walls.
When completed, the casing should barely be noticeable and be much more pleasant to look at than exposed pipework or even painted pipes.
If you are not confident in your ability to do this task well and ensure that it looks good, or if you don’t have the right tools, it is recommended that you contact an experienced carpenter to do it for you.
Where do I buy the supplies to box my radiator pipes?
Any hardware or DYI store should have the most supplies commonly used to box in radiator pipes. These supplies might also be called pipe boxing or casing. Stores will typically have a range of sizes and these come in various materials such as plastic, plywood, or plasterboard. If you are having trouble finding what you need, try asking an employee at your hardware store, they will typically be knowledgeable about what you should use depending on your needs. If this is your first time boxing in your pipes by yourself, make sure to go to the store prepared: measure the length, height and width of the space that you want boxed and take pictures to show to someone.
Why would you want to cover radiator pipes?
Exposed radiator pipes can be unsightly, causing a disruption to your interior design and visual comfort of your home. Painting of radiator pipes, seen as the alternative to boxing, often looks messy and unkempt. To many people, painting their pipes is not much of an improvement from simple exposed pipework, particularly if they are within eyesight.
Boxing is a simple, less messy and DYI-friendly method to conceal the pipework within your house. When done well, the pipe encasing should blend seamlessly into the wall and barely be noticed.
For more information about the different types of radiator available, contact our helpful team at Great Rads.