How to box in pipes

Pipes are, of course, a necessity in any home. But as much as we need them to carry water and gas into and around our houses, they are not attractive to look at. Boxing these in is a great way to hide them from view and make rooms look a lot more attractive.

Level of difficulty

Level 2: Medium

What you need

Countersink & Drill bits
Tape measure
MDF/plywood sheets
Screws
Wood glue
Circular saw
Electric sander
18v drill/driver

Measuring up

The most common way to disguise pipes is to make a simple L-shape wooden box that will sit over the pipes and hide them from view, so the first thing to do is to measure up the size you need. When measuring, remember to leave space so that the wood you use is not pressing against the actual pipes, or you’ll risk damaging them.

  1. Mark out the required size on your wood with a pencil and cut it carefully to size. Make sure to mark it a few times so you can get a straight cut. One thing that’ll look even worse than the exposed pipes will be a poorly executed cover-up job.
  2. From there, you will need to measure another 48 to 50cm for the base level of the cupboards you are hanging. Use your spirit level to draw a straight line with your pencil along the wall to give you a defined base point for the bottom of the cupboards.
  3. Fixing the box together

    1. Next step is to put your two pieces of wood together to form your box. Start by nailing them temporarily with small nails that will not damage the wood but will hold it in place for you to make your pilot holes.
    2. Drill through both pieces of wood in one go to create consistent pilot holes that will serve as your permanent joins. It is a good idea at this stage to countersink the holes you create so you can fill them and paint over them when the job is complete. This will make the overall project look a little more professional.
    3. Using 500mm screws, fit the two boards together to form your box, making sure they are securely joined and form a sturdy structure to cover your pipes with. To make for an even more sturdy finish, you can even use wood glue before you screw it all together.
    4. Hold the box section over your pipes against the floor and wall just to make sure it fits and will not cause damage to the pipes at any point by coming too close or being in contact with them.
    5. Securing the box in place

      You’ll have two choices at this stage, and it’s up to you to decide whether or not you will need access to the pipes further down the line. If you think you might, then a temporary holding job is for the best. Rather than screwing it into place, simply use silicon to stick it to the wall it is resting against or a wooden floor. This will allow it to stay in place but means it can be easily removed if need be.

      Alternatively, you can try giving it a more permanent home around your pipes. Use a wood glue if you have hardwood floors, as this should hold it firmly in place for years to come. If this is not an option, you can screw it to the wall. First, attach a wooden baton to the wall with screws, before screwing through the box and into this to hold it all in place. Again, remember to countersink the holes so you can fill them.

      Finishing up

      1. Where your wood joins, there may not be an exact match where you attached everything. If this is the case, a simple sandpaper job can do the trick, letting you get rid of any uneven areas where the two pieces of wood meet.
      2. Finally, all that’s left to do is to fill the holes in the wood with polyfilla and wait for this to dry before painting your box a colour to match the rest of your room.
      3. Please note that all our DIY guides and ‘Expert answers’ advice have been written strictly for reference only. Rated People do not accept any liability for any damage caused to an individual, property or anything else as a result of following our DIY guides and using our ‘Expert answers’ advice.

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