• This topic has 38 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by DT78.
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  • boxing in bathroom pipes
  • sadexpunk
    Full Member

    bathroom and toilet are looking a bit tired now and in need of an overhaul.  one of the jobs to do after a few years of can’tbebothereditis is to get round to boxing all the pipework.

    been watching a few youtube vids but tbh they look a bit sh1t with painted wood and screw showing, so was wondering if you had any tips on methods, materials to make it look a lot neater, especially next to the sink where itll need to be waterproof.  actually come to think of it, pipes near the toilet ought to be too 😀

    i think the low level ones just need to be a small ‘L’ shaped section, not even bothered about screwing to the wall, a dab of no nails or the like would probably do the job and be easy to remove if attention to pipes needed.

    i think you can buy preformed stuff too cant you, altho apparently quite pricey.

    any advice/suggestions please?

    thanks

    IMG_20240205_150324

    IMG_20240205_150333

    IMG_20240205_150407

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Got any tiles left over?

    petrieboy
    Full Member

    A trick I’ve used a few times to cover AV cables is glue a roof batten or similar to the top edge of some skirting board. Once it’s filled, sanded and painted it doesn’t catch the eye. Doesn’t help with your verticals of course. Is there a reason you’re not using a pedestal?

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    I would box all the way up to the shelf that you put in to the same level as the sink top.

    I can’t work out where the third photo is.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    It’s going to be hard to get a decent finish under the sink if your carpentry isn’t great. You need access to both the trap and the isolating valves, and by the looks of it, a full projection cabinet will stop clearance for something else?

    My advice would be to buy a cheap sink with a pedestal (or find a pedestal which matches, not always easy), then re-align/extend the supply pipes to fit behind it.

    (EDIT: actually, what is that trap for? You’ve already got a sink/cabinet)

    You could deal with the ground level pipes with just a bit of batten screwed into the wall and some vertical trim wood glued to that.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    Got any tiles left over?

    yes, i think i have in the garage.  i think i know where youe going with this.  bit of rough woodwork and tile over it?  im no tiler but willing to learn.

    Is there a reason you’re not using a pedestal?

    its just how the builder did it, probably to save costs.  im sure we’d have agreed it at the time but we just went on holiday and left them to it.  should maybe have asked them to fit one.

    I would box all the way up to the shelf that you put in to the same level as the sink top.

    thats my thoughts too, its just how to make it look decent that im struggling with.  ideally the same colour/finish as the sink unit.

    third photo is the side wall of a small toilet.  there was never a sink in there previously so the builder did us a favour by finding a small one that just misses the door opening.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    My advice would be to buy a cheap sink with a pedestal (or find a pedestal which matches, not always easy), then re-align/extend the supply pipes to fit behind it.
    (EDIT: actually, what is that trap for? You’ve already got a sink/cabinet)

    the trap in the third photo?  im no plumber so not sure, its just a small toilet sink (toilet in pic 3 is a different room to bathroom, pics 1 and 2).  is a trap not needed?

    ossify
    Full Member

    You have exactly the same sink/cabinet as me.

    I know, that’s not exactly helpful…

    bit of rough woodwork and tile over it?

    Probably the nicest looking option.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    You need access to both the trap and the isolating valves, and by the looks of it, a full projection cabinet will stop clearance for something else?

    yes, the door just misses it, so thinking about it thatll be why they didnt fit a unit, probably not enough room.  pipes go up to ceiling too, so i want to box these in too.

    thanks

    IMG_20240205_163004

    IMG_20240205_162852

    ossify
    Full Member

    Ooh I have that small sink as well… with the same tap 😮

    Spooky.

    If not tiles, then screwing a wooden box would be stronger than gluing it, especially in a bathroom. You could always cover the screws with those little plug/lid things to make it look nicer.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    Ooh I have that small sink as well… with the same tap 😮

    😁

    so how are we thinking of constructing this box?  2×1 framework maybe with what to finish it?

    thanks

    TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    yes, i think i have in the garage. i think i know where youe going with this. bit of rough woodwork and tile over it? im no tiler but willing to learn.

    I did exactly this, covered over everything I might need access too as well. The one tile I might need to remove for access was not stuck down with tile adhesive, instead I used tile magnets to hold it in place and then siliconed where the grout should be. It’s pretty much invisible and if I ever need access then a quick zip round the silicone with a blade and it’ll pop off no bother.

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    Building and tiling boxes is not as easy and quick as people imagine.  I build them out of Wedi board, or similar, that way you don’t need loads of timber and bulk.  You can glue 12mm Wedi in right angles and pin with screws whilst the glue goes off.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Ah, it becomes clearer with the extra pics. Any chance of starting again with a combined sink/cistern toilet? 🙂 That pushfit stuff is going to be a PITA if you don’t want to see any of it.

    timf
    Full Member

    Unless your skills are good, you risk it just looking a mess in a different way to what it looks now.

    Might be best to give everything a good clean including the grouting. Consider painting any pipes that are discoloured.

    Tom83
    Full Member

    Tall larder decor panels from any kitchen shop. Loads of colour choice, can all be made removable. You’ll want a good plunge saw and rails ideally, might be able to rent one for the weekend or blag off a mate?

    Tom-B
    Free Member

    I’m generally average at best at DIY…..I find tiling really easy though. If I can do a decent job, I’m sure that you can!

    Where are you based? Happy to lend you some tools if you’re anywhere near to Congleton.

    sirromj
    Full Member

    Aren’t the pipes a bit too constricted for boxing in?

    irc
    Full Member

    TBH if it was just the pipes below the sink I wouldn’t bother. It’s a bathroom it’s got pipes so what?  The run along the floor and up the wall isn’t great though. Is that bit of wall at the door studwork and plasterboard? If so should the pipes not have gone behind it. Looks like it was done as the easiest and fastest way for the fitter.

    Incidentally does it matter the waste going along the floor doesn’t look to have any fall?  Just asking because when we got our bathroom done the fitter pointed out the reason our sink was always slow draining was because a hidden horizontal waste pipe had no fall and had sagged in the middle because it had been run too far between supports.

    The previous time the bathroom  was done it was a friend’s company that did it and I made the mistake of assuming they wouldn’t cut corners. There were other issues as well but that’s another story.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    Is there a reason you’re not using a pedestal?

    Well, the pipes are pretty low so he’s probably fine just standing on the floor?

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    In the bathroom I would say you can successfully hide it fully with a box in all the way up to the underside of the sink.

    The little toilet. Probably make the best of it.
    Put a bottle trap which is what is supposed to be there not that monstrosity. You can probably fit a smaller waste pipe too it’s only a dinky sink. Then the pushfit I would probably just redo in copper pipe and just make it look generally less shit.

    I echo the question above though. Why do you have plastic pushfit over what looks like quite expensive tiles. That whole run could have been hidden by a 50mm half height boxing with he sink mounted on that. Infact I would probably end up going over the top. Rake the grout out, pop the tiles off, chase the pipes runs in atleast through the plaster. Box batten the wall to the height of the tiles. Put a bottle trap with waste pointing towards to wall thhen running it with more fall. Box over everything and retile, mount the sink.

    Jobs a goodun.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    I echo the question above though. Why do you have plastic pushfit over what looks like quite expensive tiles. That whole run could have been hidden by a 50mm half height boxing with he sink mounted on that.

    cos we didnt know any better really, chose the sinks and toilet, tiles etc and toddled off on holiday leaving them to it.  didnt really occur to us to fine-tune the instructions for pipes.  then it just became something to ‘neaten up sometime’.  that time is now methinks 😀

    Where are you based? Happy to lend you some tools if you’re anywhere near to Congleton.

    sadly nowhere near, we’re in lincoln.  but thanks very much for the offer @Tom-B

    thanks for all your advice, theres some stuff ive never heard of before, such as wedi board, and some things i hadnt considered like plasterboarding and tiling onto that.

    at work for a few days now, so will take time to digest it all and i’ll post pics when ive got round to it.

    thanks again

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    cos we didnt know any better really, chose the sinks and toilet, tiles etc and toddled off on holiday leaving them to it. didnt really occur to us to fine-tune the instructions for pipes. then it just became something to ‘neaten up sometime’. that time is now methinks 😀

    Easy done. They were at it though. That horizontal waste is a shocker and it could all have been so easy to hide ina oner.

    mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    Was expecting miniature pugilists.

    Disappointed.

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I assumed it would be asking which bagpipes to blast out a tune for miniature pugilists

    natrix
    Free Member

    The preformed stuff isn’t that expensive, e.g. https://www.screwfix.com/p/talon-15mm-double-pipe-covers-4-pack/79354  10m for £35

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    I had to fit an adapted bathroom for my MiL and arrived to find a similar arrangement of waste pipes, and this was on the first floor where there really was no excuse for it. Ended up having to build a pedestal for the shower tray so I could get any kind of fall.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    got a few days off so thought id make a start…..

    In the bathroom I would say you can successfully hide it fully with a box in all the way up to the underside of the sink.

    bit tight for space for a proper frame, so ive just bodged this.  do you think the cut-off tiles will stick ok to wood?

    IMG_20240221_143651

    was thinking once the tiles have been cut to width, and stuck on the wood then its not going to move.  and ive made a slight slope downwards on the top for drainage.

    and if so, what adhesive would do the job best do you think?  ‘no nails’ or proper tile adhesive?

    The preformed stuff isn’t that expensive, e.g. https://www.screwfix.com/p/talon-15mm-double-pipe-covers-4-pack/79354  10m for £35

    had a measure up and whilst this would be great if i was about to lay some pipes, the pre-existing pipework is too wide for it sadly.

    thanks

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    What is it attached to?

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    What is it attached to?

    no room to attach it to anything so its free standing at the mo.  i was thinking that id try tiling all the way up, then once the top tile is cut to size and stuck in place then the tiles would sort of hold it all in position.  cant see another way round it really.  if the adhesive is good enough then wouldnt that be the case?

    theres no weight or strain on it anyway, just to hide the pipes really and tidy it up.

    cheers

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    If the cabinet is staying put, why not attach it with screws from the inside of the cabinet? I’m not sure it will last long if it is freestanding. I take it you’re putting ply around the frame rather than just sticking the tiles on it.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    If the cabinet is staying put, why not attach it with screws from the inside of the cabinet?

    i did consider that but thought itd just mean the wood is all the way to the right rather than central.  and im just working with scrap bits of wood, i havent got anything wider.

    I take it you’re putting ply around the frame rather than just sticking the tiles on it.

    considered it but then thought why am i fixing ply to it to then fix tiles to that, if the adhesive is strong enough to cut out the middle man?

    EDIT:  just thought itd need a backing for the grout, so yes i’ll have to use some thin ply.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    “considered it but then thought why am i fixing ply to it to then fix tiles to that, if the adhesive is strong enough to cut out the middle man?”

    Any flex will mean that grout will crack and fall out, even with thin ply. If you’re attaching the tiles to the sink, it will flex as soon as you put weight on the sink. Will pretty quickly release the tiles from the adhesive too, or just allow them to crack if they’re thin enough. You will need to support it better than that.

    You could build something suitable with a tiny bit of 12/15mm ply and a single length of 2×4, if you could stretch to that.

    DT78
    Free Member

    christ that looks awful. This is why I do stuff myself these days, unless you can hover over the trade they do the quickest bodge job and out

    Use tile backer board it will make your life alot easier when tiling. Work out the measurements to try and reduce the number of cuts needed. For my first tiling project, I built a false wall to hide the pipe work, then decided I wanted some nice cubby holes in the shower for stuff, then decided I wanted to a hidden cistern so it was a bit deeper than the sink. That was a serious ballache with large format tiles….tile back / cement board over stud work made it much easier.

    Whatever you do it going to be tough to full hide. A chrome bottle trap and copper pipes would look less nasty, but the copper discolours relatively quickly so it will be better boxed if you can.

    maybe to save some space try to use the thinner wood for the stud work. Its not structural, so unless you have kids jumping up and down on it you may even get away with just using some construction adhesive and a few fixings

    pictonroad
    Full Member

    For the tiny sink I’d just swap all the 15mm pipes for chrome, attach to the walls with chrome, pipes and fittings. Then use a chrome trap under the sink and run a decent angle of chrome waste pipe. Get it all bang on level and evenly spaced it will look fine. The plastic is a total abomination, there’s nothing wrong with pipes in a loo, just those particular pipes are designed to be hidden.

    Yes, it will cost a bit more but honestly trying to neatly box that in with DIY tools and skills will take absolutely ages and not looks as good.

    It’s taken me 20yrs of making the opposite decision to realise that they make these products to save people like me time and heartache.

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    That tiling isn’t going to work on that bit of wood. The wood will expand and contract the adhesive will wall off. Like in a matter of weeks they’ll be on the floor. And that all on their own the first time you slam the door the whole lot will come down.

    You need to do it properly or don’t bother. That means you will need to buy some bits of wood and some ply.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    slooooowly chipping away at this.  ive fixed some ply to that wood above, and just wondering now what the best adhesive for the tiles will be.  would i need dedicated tile adhesive or would ‘no nails’ or the like do the job?

    ill nip to the shop this afternoon i think and buy some spacers, adhesive and grout.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    It’s pretty much invisible and if I ever need access then a quick zip round the silicone with a blade and it’ll pop off no bother.

    Make a note for the next owners. Our two bathrooms have had to have tiles ripped out for water leaks thanks to poor building work by the previous owners. The replacements are now MUCH easier to access should the worst happen. Of course we are practically uninsurable given the number of water claims we’ve had.

    DT78
    Free Member

    Maybe a bit late, but I’ve always used mapei stuff and it’s always worked well, the stuff you mix yourself.

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