Informational Guide

How To Hide A Water Heater

Water heaters can be an eyesore & often ruin home décor. Here are some creative ways and ideas to hide water heaters in your home.

by Holly Curell

water heater may be the unsung hero of many homes, but it is not exactly the prettiest looking feature. To stop themselves from having an eyesore ruining their décor, many people are turning to creative ways to hide water heaters.  

We have plenty of tips and tricks to help you decide on the best way to hide water heaters at home. 

Water heaters are large and ugly things that can take up valuable space and take away from the visual aesthetic of a room. While this may sound trivial, it can bring your mood down to have to see it during everyday chores such as doing laundry or cooking meals.  

Covering a water heater can also allow you to utilize the space around it effectively and protect it from damage in high-traffic areas. DIY enthusiasts have been coming up with creative ways to hide water heaters for years – we have taken their wisdom and written it below to help you. 

Why Cover A Water Heater

Things To Consider When Hiding Your Hot Water Heater 

  • Aesthetics 
    Consider the décor of the room your water heater is in. For example, if it is in an unfinished room, it should be easy to find cheap minimal effort ways to hide it. For finished rooms, there needs to be more consideration regarding space, décor, permanent versus non-permanent fixtures, and more. 
  • Cost 
    Consider your budget and how much time and effort you want to put into this project. If you are a renter, you may find that a screen or some other simple covering will help conceal the heater without damaging the property. For homeowners, the sky is the limit, and you can put as much as you want into it. Secondhand and surplus stores can help keep the budget down alongside using what you have at home. 
  • Safety  
    Once you have a good idea of what you want, we recommend consulting a professional on the practical and safety measures that need to be in place when creating your covering. Ventilation and clutter prevention are key to preventing fires – you may need to follow certain safety laws depending on your area. 
  • Durability 
    How durable do you want your cover to be? Renters may want a simple, easy-to-remove option for a short-term stay, while homeowners may want to create a permanent covering for their heater. 

4 Ideas On How To Hide Water Heater (Covering Tips) 

1. Curtains 

Using a curtain to hide water heaters is a cheap and straightforward option. Measure your space carefully, considering the height of the room and a few inches of space between the curtain and the heater. Once that is done, simply find a curtain rod and curtain that suit your tastes and install according to manual instructions.  

If you want to use a curtain but cannot drill into the walls, find a clothes rack that is the right height and loop your curtain onto that. Using a curtain is best for unfinished basements and storage areas or those who need something more permanent than a screen. 

2. Folding Screens 

People who use a folding screen to hide water heaters often find that these durable but non-permanent options are easy to move and customize as your taste changes. Screens can be bought ready-made or constructed and personalized depending on your needs and wants.  

There are typically two types of screens that are used to cover a water heater – standing shutters and divider screens. The one that is best for you will depend on your situation, but these are a little more expensive to implement than curtains. Folding screens can also be stored easily should plumbers need to do some work. 

3. Cabinets 

Cabinets are best used in finished kitchens and basements. People who use a cabinet to hide tankless water heaters often tend to use metal ones, but wooden ones are available. Building a cabinet is not as cheap as the previous two options, but it can help you utilize the space effectively while hiding the heater. 

To use a cabinet in your home, we recommend thoroughly measuring the space and leaving room for ventilation and safety. Once you have your measurements, you can choose to install a recessed or freestanding cabinet. It should be easy to either hire a professional to build one, build your own, or modify an existing cabinet depending on your DIY experience. 

4. Closets 

Closets are a great way to blend your heater into your décor and getting the most use out of that negative space. This method is particularly popular with homeowners as this type of enclosure works without drawing attention to itself. 

A closet also provides easy access to the heater and helps add to the resale of a home. If you would like to use this method, we recommend hiring a contractor rather than doing it yourself. 

4 Ideas On How To Hide A Water Heater

Best Places To Hide Water Heaters In The Home 

Garage/Basement

Water heaters are often found in garages or basements, especially in older homes. While this does mean that you may see it less, it can get in the way when finishing a basement. However, this is often the more convenient option for homeowners who prefer unfinished or half basements. 

Laundry Room  

While it does make sense for a water heater to be in a laundry room, that does make it more of a regular eyesore. If you want to have extra space to store drying laundry and hide the heater, hiding your heater could be a way to do that. 

Bathroom 

Bathrooms are typically clean places that we spend hours of our lives in. Having an ugly water heater, while useful, can take away from the relaxing atmosphere of the bathroom. Try covering it with one of the methods above to bring more relaxation to your daily routine. 

Kitchen 

Cooking uses a lot of water and is easy to get to, making it a great place to put a heater. However, the high traffic means that having something bulky could be dangerous and inconvenient. Covering it with a screen or piece of enclosed furniture can help keep you safe while ensuring it is easy to access. 

Outdoors 

It is less common in some areas for water heaters to be outside, but it can happen. This can be great for those looking to get the most out of their home’s space.

To prevent critters and water from damaging your heater, an enclosed waterproof space could make sure that the heater is concealed and cannot do or receive damage. 


People also Ask (FAQs)

Should I insulate my water heater? 

That depends on your area and safety regulations. However, some homes have found that insulating their heater has conserved heat and saves money on bills in the long run. 

Can a water heater touch the wall? 

Some water heaters can touch the wall depending on your home and area. Some homes that regularly experience earthquakes, for example, may need to tie their heater to the wall to prevent fires and damage should a quake occur. 

Is a water heater a fire hazard? 

A water heater can be a fire hazard if not cared for correctly. Some things to bear in mind include: 

  • Keep flammable things away from the surface of your heater. 
  • Keep the area around your heater debris-free. 
  • Make sure that there is space between your heater and the covering. 

Conclusion

Knowing how to hide a water heater is key to maintaining the relaxing atmosphere of your home. Whether you decide to utilize an open or enclosed covering, be sure to implement it as safely as possible. 

Holly Curell is the editor extraordinaire for Plumbing Lab. Having grown up in Michigan, Holly has spent time living in New York, Virginia, & currently North Carolina, where she lives with her husband & family. Holly loves DIY & has years of experience with at-home plumbing problems that arise from having 3 kids & living in colder climates. When she's not writing about her plumbing knowledge, Holly enjoys reading, hiking & relaxing with family.

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