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How to use rebated skirting boards to hide pipes from view

Published : 13/04/2017 11:11:06
Categories : Guides

Depending on the way your house was built, a major annoyance you may face is the visibility of central heating pipes.

Speaking from experience, this type of pipework can be difficult to paint as it’s hard to get the paintbrush down the back of the pipe, which can be a real problem if you are painting the pipes in a contrasting colour to the walls.

Applying wallpaper to walls with surface mounted pipework is also another struggle. Pipe clips get in the way and therefore additional cuts need to be made in the paper to navigate around the obstructions. Trying to get the wallpaper down the back of the pipes and flat against the wall behind also takes a fair few attempts.

The central heating pipes in my house are also major dust magnets, which due to their shape are a pain to clean.

Now if you’ve discovered this blog, it’s likely that you (like me), have an issue with such eye saws and look for ways of hiding them from view. So, what are your options?


Popular pipe covering solutions


  1.        Boxing in

The most popular method for hiding pipework is boxing in, which is where you construct a box around the pipework from wood and plaster board. You may already have examples of boxing in throughout your home- possibly in a kitchen or bathroom where this solution is particularly prevalent.

Boxing in hides the pipework from view, which contributes to a less cluttered feel in the interior. Painting the boxing in the same colour as the skirting board helps minimise the visual impact and helps to create a more coherent design scheme.

Whilst boxing in is relatively cheap and easy to do, it can also make your room feel a lot smaller than before! For this reason, it isn’t always the answer to how to hide central heating pipes.

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For a more in-depth explanation of how to box in pipework visit the following link, learn how to box in your pipes.


  1.        Skirting boards with a pipe rebate

At Skirting 4 U, we manufacture our full range of skirting boards with the option to add a pipe rebate. It’s a small recessed channel that we cut into the back of the board that houses the pipes.

The advantage of this solution is that it is completely invisible, and blends in perfectly with the room. It is also relatively inexpensive, and requires a lot less work than boxing in.

The pipe rebate is 40mm high and the depth varies depending on the overall thickness of the skirting board.

To ensure the skirting board remains durable, we always leave 6mm of MDF to form the face of the channel. The depth of the pipe rebate is therefore the overall board thickness minus six. For example:

Overall thickness = 15mm, rebate size is 40mm x 9mm

Overall thickness = 25mm, rebate size is 40mm x 19mm

Skirting Board with Pipe Rebate

This image features bullnose groove skirting board with a rebate which is 95mm high and depth of 25mm.


  1.        Skirting Board Covers

With various sized pipes and different placement heights, you may find a 40mm pipe rebate insufficient for what you are looking to achieve. Therefore, we manufacture skirting board covers which also accommodate existing skirting boards and pipes you may wish to hide (assuming the pipework sits ABOVE your existing skirting boards).

When ordering skirting board covers, we ask that you give us the height of the pipes you wish to cover, and we make sure that the recess is 10mm taller than the skirting to ensure it fits over comfortably.

The standard skirting board cover sizes available online, might not be suitable for complex piping layouts. However, we can manufacture skirting board covers with depths of 30mm or 36mm.

When measuring for skirting board covers you’ll need to know the depth of pipes from the wall and the height of the pipes from the floor.

 Skirting Board Cover for Pipe Rebate

The image features a bullnose groove skirting board cover with a height of existing skirting at 90mm and a depth of 25mm.

This is often a confusing subject, if you need further help (and a full range of options), don’t hesitate to contact our sales team. You can call us on 01922 451 689 or email

About the Author

Kieron Miller is the Managing Director of Skirting 4 U and has been working in the skirting board and online retail industry since 2012. Kieron has been using his extensive product knowledge and problem-solving experience to help both trade and private consumers all over the country find the perfect skirting board products for their projects. He continues to innovate new solutions and product ideas as the market continues to grow.

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