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Modern bathrooms and how to hide pipework

Modern bathrooms often have a very minimalist aesthetic, with wall-mounted toilet bowls that have no visible pedestal or cistern. This means all the main pipework hidden behind the walls and other surfaces.

Knowing how to hide pipes in the bathroom is just a case of knowing what bathroom pipe products are on the market, and how to hide pipes behind toilet units, bathtubs and shower cubicles.

Once you know these basics, they can be applied in almost any bathroom to conceal pipes behind the walls and floor, or within vanity units and bathroom cabinets.

In this guide we'll cover those basics, with a look at useful components like thermostatic mixing valves, flexi pipes and push-fit fittings to get the job done even easier.

What are thermostatic mixing valves?

Thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) are an incredibly useful addition to the variety of heating valves and accessories available on the market - but what do they actually do?

A TMV works to limit the maximum temperature of the water that comes out of your hot tap to about 48C, so it cannot cause significant injury or severely scald you.

Yet at the same time, a TMV allows the water circulating through your pipes to reach in excess of 60C, the critical temperature to prevent problems like Legionella bacteria.

This makes a thermostatic mixing valve an essential component for new bathroom pipework installations - not to mention a legal requirement in new-build properties.

You'll also find TMVs integrated into some bathroom appliances, such as mixer showers and electric showers, where they ensure the water that comes out of the showerhead is never heated to a scalding temperature.

How to choose the right TMV?

While a TMV is only a legal requirement for a new-build home, it's smart to install one during any major bathroom refit, for the safety of future occupants.

Adding a TMV can be somewhat challenging on concealed pipework projects. The valve itself is quite bulky and if you're hiding your pipes, you will probably want to hide the TMV behind a wall panel or another surface.

However, there are increasingly compact space-saving valves on the market, so don't assume that just because you are hiding the bathroom pipework, you can't still have a thermostatic mixing valve as well.

A TMV will set you back £30-40 and is well worth the price, or if you're working on larger projects, multiple bathrooms or across several properties, you can buy in bulk for an even better price per valve.

Use flexible pipes to conceal pipework

Flexible pipes are an excellent way to connect up your various bathroom fixtures and fittings, without having to worry too much about the precise route taken by the pipe.

If you're trying to work in and around the existing structure of the bathroom walls, flexi pipes can bend around tight corners without obstructing the flow of the water inside.

This cornering ability also means you don't have to join straight sections of rigid pipe inside the walls - and that means less risk of a hidden leak at a later date, which can be difficult to access and repair when bathroom pipework is concealed.


Push-fit flexi hoses are more adaptable

When it comes to connecting your new pipes, push-fit flexi hoses can save a lot of time and effort. That's because to make a good sealed connection, you just push the end of the pipe into its fitting.

The hose itself is highly durable and can make a reliable alternative to copper piping, which is the more traditional material used for rigid pipes in many bathrooms.

In concealed pipework bathroom installations, it is often making the final connections that proves most challenging, due to the difficulty of gaining access in a cramped area.

Push-fit bathroom hoses remove some of that difficulty, allowing you to create more adaptable bathroom installations, and saving on installation costs at the same time.

How push-fit joints make a luxury bathroom

Inevitably, some of your pipework may need to be visible, for example where it supplies your sink or bath taps, and push-fit joints can be useful here too.

This time it is not their simplicity of use that is of benefit, but rather their aesthetic appeal. Push-fit bathroom joints are available in traditional, visually attractive materials like brass, and create a distinctive, contemporary appearance in use.

At the same time, you still gain all those benefits in terms of easy installation and fast, reliable sealed joints, making push-fit connectors for bathrooms a win-win investment during your next refurb or renovation.