Boilers are an essential part of our homes, providing warmth and hot water to keep us comfortable. However, they can be unsightly, taking up valuable space and detracting from the aesthetics of a room.
The primary reason many homeowners want to hide their boilers is that these units can be a bit of an eyesore. Especially in modern homes or those with a specific interior design, a boiler can disrupt the visual flow of a space, detracting from the ambiance.
Boilers can sometimes take up prime real estate in a home, especially in apartments or smaller houses. By incorporating the boiler into the design or hiding it behind a functional feature, homeowners can reclaim and optimize that space.
There are numerous ways to hide a boiler and make it blend seamlessly with your home’s decor. In this article, we will discuss 10 creative ways to hide a boiler and how to make the most of the tools you have.
How to Hide a Boiler
An unsightly boiler can disrupt the overall look of a room, drawing attention away from other design elements and creating a focal point that may not align with your interior design.
Boilers often have pipes, valves, and other components that can make the area around them appear cluttered and unorganized. This can detract from the overall cleanliness and organization of the space.
Boilers are typically installed in utility rooms, basements, or hidden corners of the house, which may not always be visually appealing or easily accessible. This limited placement can pose a challenge when trying to integrate the boiler into the overall design of a living space.
Boilers can also be found in the kitchen or bathroom, which makes hiding them even more important.
Here are 10 ways to hide a boiler:
Why Should I Consider a Boiler Concealment?
A common question many homeowners ponder is, “How long does a boiler last?” Typically, a well-maintained boiler can serve you efficiently for 10 to 15 years. This longevity is an important factor to consider when designing a concealment solution.
Your design needs to not only hide the boiler but also allow easy access for maintenance, as regular servicing is key to ensuring the boiler’s longevity.
1. Build a Cabinet
One of the most popular ways to hide a boiler is by building a custom cabinet around it. The cabinet can be made of materials that match the room’s decor, or you can make a feature of it by adding sliding doors, shutters, or a chalkboard door.
If your boiler is in a kitchen, you might want to incorporate the same exterior doors as other units to help it blend in. Otherwise, you can get creative and design a surround wall unit that suits you.
It is important to note that when hiding a boiler, certain regulations must be followed. Any cupboard door must open, to allow for easy access for repairs and maintenance.
There must also be a suitable gap left around each side of the boiler for ventilation – so make sure to leave at least 700mm at the front and 300mm around the top, sides, and bottom of the boiler. The older the boiler is, the more ventilation it will need, so please take extra care and check the requirements of the model you have.
2. Make a Screen to Conceal
A bit like hiding radiators, utilizing a room divider or a folding screen is an effective and flexible way to hide an unsightly boiler.
Select a room divider or folding screen/shutter that complements your room’s decor and fits the size and style requirements to effectively conceal the boiler. Consider the material, color, and design that will best blend with the overall aesthetic.
To use a room divider to hide a boiler, follow these steps:
- Measure the width and height of the area where you plan to place the room divider or folding screen. Ensure that it provides enough coverage to effectively hide the boiler from view.
- Decide on the best location for the room divider or folding screen, taking into account factors such as access to the boiler, ventilation requirements, and the overall layout of the room.
- Consider ways to enhance the appearance of the room divider or folding screen. You can customize it by painting it with a color that complements the room’s color scheme or adding decorative elements like stencils, fabric panels, or wallpaper.
- Ensure that the room divider or folding screen is stable and securely positioned. If needed, use adjustable feet or anchors to ensure stability and prevent tipping.
- Maximize functionality by incorporating shelves, cubbies, or hooks. This will provide additional storage space for items like baskets, decorative accessories, or even small plants.
- If the boiler requires adequate ventilation, consider choosing a room divider or folding screen with an open or slatted design. This allows air to circulate freely around the boiler and prevents overheating.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with the positioning of the room divider or folding screen. Try different angles or placements to find the most visually appealing and functional arrangement.
3. Enhance the Boiler Cover
You might want to consider painting, or even covering your boiler’s detachable cover to improve its look. You can stick photos, images, or other items to the front – this can usually be achieved with magnets.
There are plenty of peel-and-stick wallpaper designs you can choose from and can be easily added to the front of a boiler cover.
If you want to decorate the boiler cover, just take extra care to ensure you purchase suitable paints and use the right tools. You will need heat-resistant paints and non-toxic substances, as well as soft brushes to avoid creating any damage.
If you’re unsure whether your boiler cover is suitable, check the manufacturer’s details before attempting any kind of adjustments.
4. Install a Sliding Door
Install a sliding door that can be closed to hide a boiler when it’s not in use. The door can be made of wood, glass, or other materials and can be painted or stained to match the room’s decor.
Select the type of sliding door that best suits your needs and complements the room’s design. Options include barn doors, pocket doors, or sliding panels. Consider factors such as the available space, the desired aesthetic, and the functionality of the door.
Install a track system on the ceiling or the wall above the boiler and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation. Ensure that the track is level and securely mounted to provide smooth and stable sliding motion.
Build or purchase the sliding door according to the desired dimensions and design. If constructing the door, use appropriate tools and techniques to create a sturdy door that fits in with the rest of your decor.
5. Create a Plant Wall
Creating an artificial vertical garden or mini indoor garden around the boiler is a fantastic way to hide the unsightly appearance while adding a touch of natural beauty to the space. They add a touch of greenery to a room without the maintenance requirements of real plants.
Measure the height, width, and depth of your boiler, ensuring you leave some space around it for ventilation and easy access. Consider styles that match your room decor – lush tropical, leafy greens, or even faux succulent walls.
Build or buy a lightweight frame around your boiler cover that extends a bit beyond its dimensions. This will hold the artificial plant panels. Remember to make sure the frame material is heat-resistant and safe for use near the boiler.
Most artificial plant walls come in panels. Start attaching these from the bottom up or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use zip ties, strong adhesive, or small nails, depending on your wall type and the weight of the panels.
Make sure you dust and clean the artificial plant wall regularly to keep it looking fresh. A light dusting or gentle wipe with a damp cloth usually suffices.
6. Hang Curtains
Hanging fabric curtains to conceal the boiler cover is a stylish and elegant solution.
Start off by measuring the dimensions of the area around the boiler to determine the size of the fabric curtains you’ll need. Consider the height, width, and any obstructions or access points that need to be accommodated.
Select a fabric that suits your desired aesthetic and complements the room’s decor. Opt for a durable, washable fabric that is suitable for indoor use, and consider the color, pattern, and texture to enhance the elegance of the space.
Install curtain rods or rails above the boiler area and choose a style and material that aligns with your overall design scheme, ensuring the rods or rails are securely mounted to support the weight of the curtains.
Finally, decide on the desired length of the curtains. You can choose floor-length curtains that cover the entire boiler or select a shorter length that partially conceals it.
7. Set Up a Chalkboard
If you are looking at adding a boiler cover or creating a boiler cabinet, adding a chalkboard to the outer boiler cabinet door is a unique and clever way to hide a boiler. It helps hide a boiler while providing a practical surface for notes, reminders, or artistic expression.
It is quite easy to do, clean the section of the boiler cover to ensure it is free from dust, dirt, and grease. Use a mild detergent or wall cleaner and a clean cloth to wipe down the surface. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding.
Acquire the necessary supplies, including chalkboard or whiteboard paint, painter’s tape, a paint roller or brush, a paint tray, and protective sheets or drop cloths to cover the surrounding area and floor.
Use painter’s tape to protect adjacent surfaces, such as trim, baseboards, or nearby walls, from accidental paint splatters. Lay down protective sheets or drop cloths to cover the floor and catch any paint drips.
Stir the chalkboard or whiteboard paint thoroughly to ensure it is well-mixed and pour a small amount into the paint tray. Using a paint roller or brush, start applying the paint to the section of the wall near the boiler.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended number of coats, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat.
8. Install a Bespoke Cupboard for the Boiler
If your boiler is in a space that isn’t easily integrated with the kitchen/laundry room or bathroom cabinets or is in an awkward space, build a bespoke boiler cabinet around it.
As you are not bound to fit it in with the rest of the cabinets in the room, you can go for something different like using chalkboard paint, painting it a contrasting color, or mixing it up with doors, drawers, and shelves. Just remember to install a door so you have easy access to the boiler.
9. Fence in an External Boiler
For those homeowners who have external boilers stored in gardens or outhouses – particularly if they use oil boilers, fencing in the boiler can help hide it and give it a discreet look.
Assess the area around the external boiler and identify the boundaries for the fence. Consider factors such as accessibility, clearance requirements, and proximity to other structures or utilities.
Try adding a surrounding fence and some flower pots. This will help with the overall appearance of your outside areas.
10. Boiler Pipe Cover
Most boilers can be hidden in cupboards, but they will still have pipework protruding from the edges. To hide these away, you can purchase piping covers, or casing relatively cheaply which can help disguise them.
Some easy ways to hide boiler pipes include:
- Building an enclosure that matches the rest of the walls so it blends in seamlessly
- Installing pipe covers specifically designed to hide boiler pipes
- Creating a false wall around the pipes with drywall or plywood.
- Put floating shelves above the pipes to help distract and provide storage
- Use tall plants or vertical gardens, in particular, hanging plants
- Hang wall art or decorative mirrors in front of the pipes
- Use fabric curtains or drapes
- Camouflage the pipes by painting the walls or using wallpaper and including the pipes
There are numerous creative ways to hide a boiler and make it blend seamlessly with the decor of your home.
Whether you choose to build a custom cabinet, hang curtains, or create a plant wall, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to follow regulations and ensure that the boiler has adequate ventilation.
If your boiler is very old and making strange noises, or producing a smell, make sure you get it services straight away. If your boiler is over 10 years old, it might be due for an upgrade.
Fortunately, more boilers these days are incorporating sleek design aspects into their latest models, making them much nicer to look that.
If you need a replacement boiler and you want to find one that looks good and meets your budget requirements, check out new boiler costs on Boiler Guide where you can compare new boiler models and get access to free installation quotes.