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An interview with a Master Plumber and 3 creative ways to hide exposed pipes

Hiding pipes in your home doesn’t have to be complicated; follow these guidelines and get your space back to attractive in no time .

DON’T LET UNATTRACTIVE EXPOSED PIPES ruin your Feng Shui; if you see a pipe chase crawling along the trimming of your space’s wall or floor, it’s time to learn that you could do better at hiding that ugly pipe. Nobody needs to see a plumbing drainpipe, or any sign of plumbing, in your home (unless that’s the look you’re going for). However, let’s face it, the industrial aesthetic is particular and calculated.

 The reality is that if everything in your space screams modern chic or Victorian but that one pipe trailing across the ceiling screams industrial, it isn’t industrial; it’s just misplaced. Let’s take a look at several ways you can navigate the tricky “ugly pipe” that’s turning your space into a warehouse.

Connecting the Drainpipe to the Rest of the Plumbing Drain Pipes

 Here’s a question we came across and wanted to address (pulled from this article): I can’t figure out how to get the drainpipe down to where it will connect to the rest of the plumbing drain pipes. How have you done this in the past on your jobs?

 In this interview-style blog about hiding pipes, Master Plumber Tim Carter addresses your ugly pipe concerns. Regarding the question, he says, “I see these tough situations in new homes as well as old ones. […] I’m stunned to see how many architects don’t think through how pipes need to get from one level to the next with as few bends as possible.” As such, there are a few things he recommends.

1. Get architecture students into construction co-op jobs. The reason that he feels they should be required to have construction, not drawing, co-op jobs for half of the time they’re obtaining their degrees is because he feels like they need to work on actual job sites side-by-side with carpenters, plumbers, and HVAC tradespeople. “When these young, fertile minds actually have to figure out how to make things work in the real world instead of on a computer monitor, their plans will be so much better in the future,” he adds. “The architects of old often solved these issues with strategically placed walls, pantries and closets on the level below where the bathroom would be.”

 2. Disguise pipes or ducts with corner pipe chases. Yeah, we kinda’ outed corner pipe chases earlier, but they’re not completely horrible. One pro is that they could be great ways to disguise pipes or ducts that have to go from one level to the next. To balance out the look in a room, you can always add a faux pipe chase in another corner. And what if I don’t want a corner chase pipe? NIR, you literally scolded me two seconds ago for having one … and you kinda’ insinuated that it was ugly. Forgive us for being a bit too passionate. Remember that the key to a visible chase pipe is creating balance. However, if you could get the pipe chase to end up in the corner of some other room or even inside a closet, your problem is virtually solved.

 And when it comes to ductwork, Carter’s advice is this: “Your ductwork challenges are the same as for the plumbing drainpipe, only bigger. Ductwork is much larger than a plumbing stack and needs far more space. You may need to construct soffits in a room and disguise these creating a trayed ceiling in a room or two so the soffit doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.”

Creatively Covering and Concealing What’s Been Exposed – 3 Ways

Whether you bought a new house or are looking to remodel a few rooms, knowing how to hide pipes that are out in the open could be tricky, but not impossible. It starts with thinking outside the box.

 If you live in an older home or in a big city where most of the structures are permanent and made of brick, a lot of piping and air conditioning ducts are added on the exterior of our walls. Some people like that look, others … not so much. For those who prefer that latter course, there are creative techniques that could be done to hide the things that should’nt have been out in the open in the first place.

 Why blend in when the pipes can stand out. We mentioned the whole industrial aesthetic earlier. This aesthetic trend in interior design takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces that in recent years have been converted to lofts and other living spaces. Emphasis is placed on the raw, rustic appeal of warehouse spaces — and industrial aesthetic is really the only aesthetic in which exposed appliances really do look good. Though some people will paint the exposed pipes the same color as the wall behind them to make them blend in, making them pop visually is a much cooler option, using a complementary color to paint them or incorporating the same pipes around the room in other places.

 Just shelving around. If your space has pipes that run vertically down a small nook, you can purchase or build a book shelf to hide them. We’ve seen it done before and it’s  not complicated enough to where it can’t be done by yourself. What’s nice about this method is the shelves can then be used to hold books, photo frames, trinkets, and anything else that’s a conversation piece that will completely distract anyone from noticing that there might be piping behind it.

 Decorating the pretty into your pies. That’s right … turn your pipes into something more than a pipe. Turn your pipe into something pretty with interesting decorative cover-ups. While your cover-up depends on your theme, there are a vast array of interesting solutions involving pipe covers.If you have a beach theme goin’ on with lighthouse wallpapers, beach scene paintings, an anchor on the wall, etc., you could wrap the exposed pipes with rope as the ideal complement. A little girl’s room could look like a princess fairyland if you paint exposed pipes like a candy cane or wrap them in cloth designed that way. Vertical pipes could be transformed into fake trees with branches and leaves hanging near the ceiling. It’s your creativity … do something gnarly with it!