How do I fix this on a budget?


Not only is this an eye sore, but I’m sure it’s going to have pests a place to go and water damage especially in the bathroom! I have similar rough cuts around radiator pipes as well. How can I fix this?

q how do i fix this on a budget
  21 answers
  • My first thought is spray foam. I think the gap is too large for caulk.

  • I agree with Ann, that spray foam would probably work. My only thoughts are if you need to get to the joints or connections, that's not going to be ideal. Also if your pipes get hot you should use a fire rated one...

    • Lulu Huda Lulu Huda on Oct 22, 2020

      Thank you! Didn’t know fire rated foam

      existed! I was definitely worried about using foam around the hot radiator pipes. I’ll look into this 👌🏻

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 22, 2020


    You can buy chrome like plastic covers to go around the radiator pipes. I would Grout around the cut tiles. Then as I don't like pipes or fixing showing, I would make a frame around the item and then screw fix a panel to the framework. You can buy covers for the screws (that allows you to be able to get to the plumbing bits if you ever need to. Hope that helps!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 22, 2020

    I agree, spray foam...or an alternative is to build a small housing to over it and caulk it into place.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Oct 22, 2020

    I would replace the flex pipes with shorter ones so it doesn't look like a rat's nest. Others have provided some good ideas that I won't repeat. Is this a tub?

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Oct 22, 2020

    I agree with spray foam and/or grout to fill those gaps. After that perhaps you could purchase a shelf to cover the area from being such an eye sore?

  • Lulu Huda Lulu Huda on Oct 22, 2020

    Thank you all for the suggestions! I’ll be making a list to see what the best method is to go about this.

  • Penny_Donoghue Penny_Donoghue on Oct 22, 2020

    I think everyone has such great idea's and suggestions. First thing to remember is safety, if you are concerned radiator/heated pipes there are radiator covers that are made in many styles specifically to cover them. They can be custom built too, and if you are good at DIY even better. You can find plans that will hide the pipes and lines and probably give you a shelf or storage, while allowing for access to the area if there is a need to get to the pipes. They usually have a decorative grate or something like that to allow for the heat to escape. Then you can use something as simple as steel wool around the pipes to plug lg holes if you are still concerned with critters visiting.

    • Lulu Huda Lulu Huda on Oct 22, 2020

      Thank you so much for your reply, Penny! Yes I am definitely going to diy some covers for the radiators, but my main concern is mice getting in. Do you think steel wool would be safe around hot pipes?

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Oct 22, 2020

    someone with plumbing experience could help out

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 22, 2020

    Hi Lulu: I totally agree with Ken, get some shorter flex pipe, especially the type that has a metal coating like the type on a hand held shower wand. And, yes, steel wool will work, I used the SOS pads and the mice hated the soap. I know how you are about mice from an earlier posting :) Stuff it into the holes (I see you have another area in the back of the picture) and then you can use some Spackle to fill the area, using a putty knife to smooth it out to make it look nice. The good thing about using Spackle is that if you ever need to get into that area, it will come out easily. Good luck

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Oct 23, 2020

    Is this bathroom in the apartment that you are living in now, or in the house that you are purchasing?

    Did you get a home inspection from a licensed home inspector yet?

    • Lulu Huda Lulu Huda on Oct 25, 2020

      This is in the home in purchasing. I did get an inspection done. Unfortunately, the previous owner did a horrible job finishing his reno and I’ll have to bite the bullet to make it more live able.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Oct 23, 2020

    'Looks like many of the tiles have not been properly grouted, or the grouting has come out. This needs to be redone.

    Also, what is that unfinished area in the back of the photo? Is that exposed concrete on the wall and on the floor?

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Oct 23, 2020

    Hello. It looks like shorter braided mesh hoses would be a big improvement. I wonder if constructing a small wooden box to cover the plumbing outlets would make the area look more attractive.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 23, 2020

    You can wrangle the pipes with some velcro straps to give a neater appearance. As for the flooring, fill in with grout. You can purchase it ready mixed or dry powder and mix it up then fill in & let dry.

  • William William on Oct 25, 2020

    What a terrible plumbing job. That bend should have been below the floor. Spray foam may not work as it might just fall and expand under the pipe and hole. Don't know how deep the cavity is. I would cover the pipe and hole with metal mesh then use white duct tape over it. Make sure the tiles are clean for the tape to hold.

    Escutcheon plates for the radiator pipes.

  • Deb K Deb K on Oct 25, 2020

    Hi Lulu, use masking tape to mark off straight lines and use caulking to seal these, you can use white caulking. Peel off the tape BEFORE it sets! I will look professional!

  • Catherine Deirdre Rodden Catherine Deirdre Rodden on Oct 26, 2020

    The problem with spray foam is you can't "undo" it. Personally, I would take up the tiles that were cut to fit. I would use styrofoam (like the kind you get with Omaha Steak delivery) and cut to fit into place around the piping. Maybe use the spray foam to hold into place. Paint to match to avoid any decor clash. If you ever have a plumbing issue, the styrofoam is much easier to pull out and replace.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Oct 28, 2020

    I agree with the spray foam for this.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Oct 31, 2020

    spray foam is your budget friendly quick solution

  • If I were you, if you haven’t closed on the purchase yet, is to have the current owner fix these items. No offense and nothing personal but this is atrocious and no home inspector should have let this slide.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Nov 30, 2020

    spray foam will for sure help out