Often it is very difficult to conceal or hide pipes or wires and so they are often covered up with pieces of wood, this is known as boxing in and is probably one of the most hated diy jobs!


ugly boiler pipes

Here you can see that tidying up these pipes is not going to be easy.

ugly boiler pipes

Here a custom cover has been made to cover up the pipes leading to the boiler. This cover has to be removable so that the boiler can easily be accessed.

We are now going to box in a toilet soil pipe


new toilet

Here is a new toilet that has replaced an old toilet. The old toilet soil pipe was boxed in behind the toilet, but the new toilet was a different size and so the boxing in had to be replaced.

fix batten

The first thing we need to do is determine the size of boxing in that we need. This is determined from where the back of the toilet is at floor level. For this we are using some 2 inch by 1 inch timber off cuts and some 1/4 inch external plywood. If you use 1/2 external plywood you will not need as much 2*1 timber, but we are using off cuts here and so will be using 1/4 inch for this project. This is in an en suite bathroom where no children go, if it is likely that children (or adults) will try to stand on the box then a minimum of half inch exterior ply should be used. Exterior ply should always be used in bathrooms due to the high moisture content.

fix batten to floor

Fasten a piece of 2 inch by 1 inch timber to the floor, behind the base of the toilet ensuring that there is enough room to get a piece of plywood between the toilet base and the piece of wood. Also ensure that it is square to the wall and then screw it to the floor using suitable screws/fixings.

make frame for boxing in

Now determine the height of the boxing in, this needs to be above the soil pipe. Fix another piece of 2 inch by 1 inch timber to the wall, ensuring that it is level.

You can find suitable fasteners and fixings here- Fasteners & Fixings

Then cut some pieces of 2 inch by 1 inch to the correct lengths, so that you can screw the pieces together as shown in this picture.

plywood for boxing in

The front piece of plywood is made in two pieces and the join is behind the toilet.

boxing in

To get this piece the correct size measure the full width and height of the boxing in and then cut a piece of plywood the exact size. Measure where the centre of the toilet is and mark this onto the piece of plywood and then cut it straight in half.

cut plywood

Now measure where the centre of the toilet soil connection is and mark this onto both pieces of wood and then cut out the semi circular shapes using a jigsaw.

scribe for skirting board

If the plywood meets the skirting board then scribe the skirting onto the plywood and then cut this out with a jigsaw as well.

boxing in soil pipe

Fasten the plywood to the wood behind using nails (an electric nail gun is good for this) Then cut the top to size and fasten this on.

Now cut a couple of pieces of wood angle beading and fasten this on to cover the front edge. Any small gaps around the side can be filled with decorators caulk and then it can be painted.