Flummoxed! What to do about these pipes in the bathroom?

by Trevi
Bathroom renovation - the pipes cannot be (re)moved.
  30 answers
  • Kini Kini on Feb 10, 2016
    I'm guessing you want to hide them! My first thought is to paint them to match your wall and your tile to blend them in. 2nd would to be to make them stand out with an industrial feel. Or funk them up with with pool noodles, washi tape, bright paint etc.
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Feb 10, 2016
    @Trevi i think the cheapest and easiet way to cover them would be a 3 sided wood box, do all your painting etc. first, then just make a three sided box that can have hooks for robes or towels hope this helps xx
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 10, 2016
    I think this site is your answer for ideas. http://www.carpentry-tips-and-tricks.com/Pipe-Boxing.html
  • Donna L. Woods-Clements Donna L. Woods-Clements on Feb 10, 2016
    Industrial is so "in" now, why not clean them up, & find or make some long wrap-around hooks that would hold towels or robes behind the door? You could probably even find an old plumber who could tell you how to "connect" them with couplings & copper pipe to make ladder-like connections between them.
  • CK CK on Feb 10, 2016
    They look a little 'tired' right now but......Think of it this way, they are original to the house, they still have a purpose so work with them. Here are a couple of ideas--- 1. Remove existing paint down to the original pipe. Leave as is. 2. After removing paint, paint with a high shine metallic paint the same color you'll be using as your faucets (e.g. shiny chrome) 3. Paint the same color as the wall paint you'll use so as to 'disguise' them. There are some things with old homes that look odd but are still necessary. Embrace their story as part of your home :-)
  • Dave Pieper Dave Pieper on Feb 10, 2016
    enclose them with two sides or box them in .
  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Feb 10, 2016
    I agree with Chris aka monkey, Box them in and add some decorative hook, There are so many fun hooks out there to chose from.Match the baseboard at the bottom.And some small molding to the top or if you put crown molding in the room to tie it in..Good luck .
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Feb 10, 2016
    It appears as though you have an older home or apartment. Personally I like the vintage look. Can the pipes be cleaned up or painted? I agree with Donna and her comment of industrial style being popular. I think boxing them in would draw more attention to them and may possibly inhibit the ability to fully open your bathroom door .
  • Carole Carole on Feb 10, 2016
    If you are re-tiling the bathroom I would go with white tile and clean and paint the pipes white. They will blend in and hardly be noticeable, especially since they seem to be behind a door. I would not make a feature of them as it really depends on the style of the bathroom and the home in general as to whether that will work or just look a bit odd. Just my own opinion.
  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on Feb 10, 2016
    Paint them to match the wall or enclose them.
  • Sandra Sandra on Feb 10, 2016
    I too think boxing them in is the right thing to do. They make styrofoam beams and that might be the easiest way to do it. Well, not styrofoam, but some sort of plastic. They can be painted however you like. Not sure they are heavy enough to put hooks on. And remember, you need something that can be moved if there happens to be a leak. Let us know what you decide.
  • Kathy Owen Kathy Owen on Feb 10, 2016
    Box them in like Chris said.
  • User User on Feb 10, 2016
    wow i could paint in gold to highlight and give a special look
  • Michelle Michelle on Feb 10, 2016
    Option one take painters tape and create some kind of line design and paint, then remove tape. Are the pipes hot if so be careful what material you use , try creating a narrow vertical box wth a slim hinge door so you have access
  • Becky Becky on Feb 10, 2016
    I would definitely try to do something fun with them, boxing them away would be a shame. Maybe paint them silver or pewter for an industrial look or attach horizontal plumbing pipe to it and make a towel rack?!?
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 10, 2016
    I think they are unique. So many fun and interesting things to do. Paint them,then paint ivy or flowers up and around. Maybe intersperse cute sayings or proverbs. In other words ,make them fun and whimsical...they are unique. They can be a star ....
  • Sarah A. Victory Sarah A. Victory on Feb 11, 2016
    Paint them and leave them be or build a three sided box around them. Add some hooks for bathroom necessities to disguise them.
  • Capernius Capernius on Feb 11, 2016
    if they can be removed, then do so... if not, can they be rerouted? can they be moved to the inside of the wall? if the pipes get hot, or even warm, build a box around them but with some kind of ventilation to allow the heat to escape which will help heat the room in the winter...
  • Rus1058682 Rus1058682 on Feb 11, 2016
    Paint them brown and add craft-store vines to give it a tropical look. Just don't overdo it with the vines.
  • Tracy C Tracy C on Feb 11, 2016
    If they are like the ones in my son's co-op, they get hot. Removal is not an option. I am going to have a tinsmith make a circular column out of sheet metal (not sure what you call it but it's the stuff they use for panels in front of a radiator cover - there are a few different colors and designs and different preforatioins for ventilation - available at Home Depot & Lowes). This will be about 1" away from the stack with spacers and secured to the floor and ceiling with flanges. Since the new cover will have preforations we will add a few small hooks to hang wet towels - a good place to dry them in a small bathroom!
    • See 1 previous
    • Tin13057546 Tin13057546 on Jan 07, 2017

      Tinsmith...We haven't been called tinsmiths since the 60s. We're sheet metal workers. What you're talking about is either expanded metal or stamped metal. Expanded metal looks like diamond shaped. Stamped metal can be squares, circles or whatever shapes the manufacturer chooses.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 11, 2016
    This is hard to answer not knowing what they are hot!? If no heat problem, just clean them up a little and play into the "industrial look" by making some small shelves out of galvanized pipe...leaving everything natural or painting it a color of your choice and then accenting with that color in bathroom. That 4" of space behind the door can be used for storing toliet paper, boxes of tissues, shampoo bottles, etc. Take the labels off veggie cans and make small "metal" bins for holding razors, extra small items. Let your imagination loose and make it fun!
  • Allinthefamilysingers Allinthefamilysingers on Feb 11, 2016
    I like them HIGH LITE em and show em off put a hanging vine and maake a trellis or it wont take much to box em off if u like.A lso a good idea is to take a paper core like UPHOLSTER fabric or rug comes on and make a column and then decorate the CARDBOARD ROLLcore... u can decoupage it with your favorite paper or i saw where some crafters mosaic the paper core and make beautiful stained glass columns. very pretty idea. GOOD LUCK DHALL
  • Lindy Lindy on Feb 11, 2016
    Box them in with MDF but with the ability to remove or open (hidden hinges) if need be. They can have crown molding around them and end up looking more like a pillar than pipes. If they are hot it's more than likely from hot water and not heating.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Feb 11, 2016
    I would simply learn to live with them after cleaning them up and refinishing them with some metallic paint finish and use the same to accent some other things in the bathroom. Steam punk away!
  • Lynne Boyd Almstrom Lynne Boyd Almstrom on Feb 11, 2016
    I would build a storage area behind the door. Box in the pipes and then put shelving next to it for TP, small items stored in those nice apothecary jars you can get at the home stores. You wont even notice the boxed in section.
  • Patty S Patty S on Feb 11, 2016
    You have all answered in the way I would have. I like Jeanette's idea the best
  • Em Em on Feb 11, 2016
    box in the pipes and put another one on the other side to match a short distance away put up shelving in between and decorate with items or face clothes stacked and soaps
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 12, 2016
    This is the kind of shelf I was talking about...it ties in with the other pipes! You can glue small strips across the front and ends to hold items on the shelves! Make them as long as you need them!
    comment photo
  • Trevi Trevi on Feb 15, 2016
    I'm going to leave them as they are with their surface stripped of the old paint that was off-gassing, and use the rings below as heated-towel rings: http://www.amazon.com/Yard-Butler-YT-RING7-Snap-On-Plant/dp/B004KPL096/ref=pd_bxgy_86_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MQQW2ATYRFWD1TK66YT
  • Rae Rae on Jan 08, 2017

    I can so relate! I have been living with these for years in all the rooms in our basement. Lots of good ideas here.