What Can I Do to Cover Exposed Plumbing Under My Bathroom Sink?

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A wall-mount sink is a real space saver in the bathroom where real estate is often at a premium. But there's just one little problem — the exposed plumbing, including the drain pipe and water shutoff valves, are seldom pretty. In fact, as they tarnish with age, they can be downright ugly. If only there were an easy way to hide them.

Actually, if you think outside the box, you can hide them in several ways, sometimes in plain sight. The most effective way would be to replace the wall-mount sink with a pedestal sink. If you don't want to do that, several other options are available, and you may be able to come up with a few of your own ideas as well.

Tip

Some ways to camouflage or hide pipes under a wall-mount bathroom sink are to paint them or cover them with decorative tape, install a sink skirt or build a small vanity.

Camouflage or Decorate the Pipes

The drain pipe for a wall-mount sink is usually chrome rather than PVC because, as the thinking goes, chrome is more decorative. When you stop to consider it, though, chrome doesn't go with very many colors, and because it's shiny, it always stands out. You can do better.

How about painting the pipes to match the wall color or contrast with it to make the pipes a feature? It's easy to do if you first clean them with vinegar, a trisodium phosphate solution or a TSP substitute, then spray or paint them with a good quality metal primer. That provides a base for the interior enamel of your choice, which you can also spray or apply with a brush.

Another idea is to wrap the pipes with decorative masking tape known as washi tape. This comes in all the colors of the rainbow, and you can mix and match to your heart's content Once you've finished wrapping the pipes, be sure to apply one or two coats of clear polyurethane to prevent peeling.

Hide Pipes With Sink Skirt

You can buy a self-adhesive sink skirt online, but it isn't that much more difficult to make your own, even if sewing isn't your thing. All you need are a few square yards of the fabric of your choice and some strips of hook and loop tape, otherwise known by the brand name Velcro.

Cut the fabric into two pieces that extend from the rim of the sink to a little above the floor and from the back of the sink to the front center, allowing for a 1- or 2-inch overlap. Hem the top and bottom of each piece and sew the hook side of the tape to the top edge. Stick the loop side of the tape to the sink, attach the fabric and voilà, no more pipes — and you've got some extra storage space for toilet paper and bathroom cleaning supplies to boot.

Build a Small Vanity

The fact that a wall-mount sink is already supported makes it easy to build a cabinet around it. The cabinet can be as small or large as you want, but if you make a large enough vanity to support a countertop, you'll have extra space for your toiletries and other bathroom essentials. If hiding the pipes is your only priority, you can build a small and narrow cabinet that does just that.

The simplest cabinet consists of a rectangular frame covered with plywood or some other material and stained, painted or otherwise finished to match your bathroom décor. Be sure to leave the frame open at the back so you can slide the cabinet into position against the wall and add at least one door so you get some extra storage in the bargain.

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Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.

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