Most home owners would agree that the domestic boiler is not the most attractive feature in the home. But it is one which needs to be there. So in this article, we would like to give you some ideas for disguising or hiding your boiler from public view. It has to be said that there is no one solution to suit all circumstances, and certain constraints such as the layout of the kitchen, your budget or your level of DIY skill will be factors in deciding which solution works best.
6 Ideas to Hide Your Boiler
Put your boiler in a Kitchen Cupboard
Or more correctly perhaps, fit a kitchen cupboard around the boiler. This can be a good solution but there are some factors to think about. Firstly, there must be full access to the boiler so that it can be serviced. This may include access to the bottom of the boiler as well as the front. Then there is the vital matter of ventilation to consider. There must be a minimum of a 50mm air gap all around the boiler to allow for this. The cabinet must also be constructed from a material which will not be damaged by the heat which the boiler emits.
Box up the Pipes
The copper pipes feeding the boiler are not very attractive and are often the part of the heating system which home owners want to disguise the most. It is a straightforward task to box them in using MDF or similar board on a simple timber frame. Which ever material you use, it must be able to withstand the heat from the hot water pipe. You should also ensure that any valves are accessible, as boxing them in could be problematic if the boiler needs to be serviced.
It is also possible to paint the pipework. Again, choose a paint that will withstand the heat of the pipes. You may even choose to go for a modern, industrial style, by polishing the pipes and using them as a feature in the kitchen.
Use a Curtain
Using a curtain to conceal the boiler is a cheap, but effective method to employ. It should be possible to match the colour and style with existing blinds, curtains, paint or wall coverings. Again, it is important to allow ventilation space around the boiler and the fabric which you choose must be able to withstand the heat coming off the boiler.
Create a Chalk Board
This idea is so useful, yet simple and you don’t have to be any kind of DIY expert to make it work. It takes the boiler cupboard idea a bit further by providing a surface for you to jot down a shopping list, a recipe or a list of jobs which need doing. Blackboard paint is readily available from most DIY stores. You can either re-purpose an existing kitchen cupboard or make a cabinet from scratch. You need to remember to use suitable materials and leave the ventilation gap of at least 50mm all round the boiler. The front of the cabinet can either match your existing kitchen units in style, or be a flat surface. It can be hinged or held in place with small magnets, to allow access to the boiler.
When applying the paint, sand the chalkboard to a smooth finish between coats and apply at least two coats for the best result. It can be very satisfying to wipe your chores off the chalkboard once they are done!
Paint your Boiler
By now, you may well have guessed that using the correct paint is very important if you plan to change the colour of your boiler. It must be able to withstand both heat and moisture. Enamel based paints or high heat sprays are readily available from most good DIY stores in a wide variety of colours. Simply take your inspiration from your kitchen colour scheme and be creative. This is a project which most people should be able to carry out. But please be safe and do not try to paint your boiler while it is switched on or is still hot.
For an tougher and longer lasting finish, it is possible to have the boiler cover powder coated. There are many businesses offering the service all over the country. It does mean however, that the boiler will have to be partially dismantled. This is a job which must, by law, be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer and your boiler may be out of use for a few days while the coating is being applied at the factory.
Buy an Attractive Looking Boiler
For the ultimate in boiler chic, you can choose a boiler which looks right. This is clearly an expensive option which requires commitment to a particular style of decor and it is certainly a long term decision to take. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not all boilers are everyone’s idea of attractive. It should also be said that there is likely to be a trade off between the functional capabilities of your boiler and the way it looks.
The most important thing is that the boiler is the correct one for your heating requirements. Modern boilers are certainly designed to not look out of place in a kitchen or utility room, but the most stylish boiler you can buy may not be the right one for your property. Having said that, you no longer have to put up with a boiler which would not look out of place in Wallace and Gromit’s cellar!
It is not always possible to choose the location of your boiler, especially in a small kitchen or any other situation where space may be limited. But it is at least possible to work with what you have got and create a solution which suits your decor and your budget. So we hope that these tips will be useful to you.