Any way to camouflage a hot water heater?

Lea Anne Grabb
by Lea Anne Grabb
My husband built our house when he was single. The main bathroom is also the laundry room and is where the hot water heater lies. Would it be okay to put contact paper on it or something? Anyone have any better ideas?
  18 answers
  • K.adams1955 K.adams1955 on Nov 10, 2014
    you could probably paint it too
  • I would purchase some bi-fold louver doors. Connect them using bi-fold hardware. Paint them and simply set them around the heater to block the view. Very common method of hiding the mechanicals in a home. See it done all the time.
  • Loretta Clark Loretta Clark on Nov 11, 2014
    You can have him build a box around it with hinges on one side so you can get to it if need be. Then make it look pretty and useful with molding trim and hooks or towel holders.
  • Gloria Duy Gloria Duy on Nov 11, 2014
    If you will stay in the home for a while save your money and get a small instant hot water heater. They are expensive but no tank and save a lot on your gas bill in the future.
  • Somewhat Quirky Somewhat Quirky on Nov 11, 2014
    I was going to say louvered doors like @Woodbridge Environmental but if there is any way to get the tankless hot water heater I would go for that. They really do save money in the long run and would give you extra room in your bathroom!
  • Tankess heaters are a viable option, however if your not using natural gas or propane for a electrical tankless to really work you need another complete electrical service as you will nee at least a 100Amp supply for the power. On larger homes even more. As far as space saved, perhaps. While they are smaller is size, they do have some draw backs. Need a exterior wall to mount them on. Need to be able to discharge venting out that wall, so no windows to close to it. Need to have a good water system. If you have hard water, you need softener system. Well you need to have clean filtered water. Any sediment will simply end up costing you hundreds of dollars that you saved on service visits keeping the heat exchanger clean. A good quality heater starts around $2500 and goes up from there. The $1000 specials you see at the home centers are fine for a single adult that does not use a lot of water. Plus that cost does not include several important parts that are needed to make it work.
  • Connie M. Connie M. on Nov 11, 2014
    How about a hinged room divider? Decorate with pretty fabric, screen, tree branches, or whatever your decor calls for; the options are endless. You could also make one, out of old doors or pallet wood, for a more rustic look.
  • Diane Ditzler Diane Ditzler on Nov 11, 2014
    If it is possible, put up rod & shower curtain to hide. use pvc pipes, if you have to go 'around' . measure, find a cabinet at flea mkt with those measurements, cut out back & slide in place.
  • Sharyn Diaz Sharyn Diaz on Nov 11, 2014
    I used bamboo garden fencing 6' high to cover blends better than bright white and only cost $20
  • Julie Benson-Grant Julie Benson-Grant on Nov 11, 2014
    My husband always finds it funny that people refer to it as a "hot water heater". Is it heating HOT water? He is a career plumber and it is really called a "water heater".
  • Kathy DeLancey Foster Kathy DeLancey Foster on Nov 11, 2014
    I agree with Woodbridge would look like a closet, my hats off to Woodbridge!
  • Pat Poci Pat Poci on Nov 11, 2014
    Make sure there is a good air flow, my plummer told me "in a small area. leave the door open so you don't restrict the air flow."
  • Kristi Kristi on Nov 11, 2014
    We hinged two louvered door together and placed them around our water heater. Did the trick.
  • Shari Shari on Nov 11, 2014
    When we bought our house, I wanted to conceal the water heater in the laundry room but still leave it easily accessible in case it should require temperature adjustment, repairs or replacement. We used 2 inexpensive hollow core doors turned at right angles to each other. The door on the right was wedged between a 2x4 and the base cabinet we were installing. Three screws (covered with plastic caps) hold the doors together and in the event we need to get to the water heater, we simply remove the caps and screws, and slide each lightweight door out. The tall cabinet to the right of the dryer is free-standing so it can also be pulled out of the way if an even larger space is needed to access the water heater.
  • Marcia Robbins Marcia Robbins on Nov 11, 2014
    Old shutters, hinged together?
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 12, 2014
    Like the idea of hinged louvered doors or shutters to hide, provide access and provide air circulation.
  • Lucy Ramey Lucy Ramey on Nov 12, 2014
    During remodeling, a water heater in a small closet became a water heater in a walk-in closet. Having been told it would be illegal to enclose it, I put a bi-fold room divider around it. The room divider also holds pictures. Now I am confronted with pictures of my family when entering the closet as opposed to seeing a water heater.
  • Terri Reagan Ray Terri Reagan Ray on Nov 13, 2014
    I have a similar situation with my water heater and my furnace. It is a small old house. But built pretty solid. I have thought of getting a three panel screen to put in front. I have also thought of hanging a rod from the ceiling and doing a curtain. I can not build walls so that would not work for me.