Several years ago, I updated my laundry room and figured out how I wanted to hide our hot water heater. Since then, our family has sold our home and I have updated my blog, but readers are constantly searching for the content and asking that I re-post it... So here is a super condensed version of the laundry room remodel that I did for the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge including my DIY water heater cover.
If you have an ugly hot water heater, there are actually many different options for concealing it. If you plan on living in your home for a long time, you may want to consider purchasing a tankless hot water heater or moving your existing hot water tank to a new location. If neither of those options work well for you, here are a few other ideas.
Ideas for Hiding a Hot Water Heater
Add a Closet
If you have the space, you can hire a contractor to install drywall and a door. One benefit to adding a closet is that you can easily access the hot water heater at all times whenever your house requires plumbing work. This is also likely the best option for the resale of your home. If you do not want to hire a contractor, the blog Twelve on Main has an excellent tutorial for creating a lovely shiplap closet. This closet requires less room than a dry wall closet and still offers the accessibility of a door.
Create a Hot Water Cover or Cabinet
Creating a cabinet is a great option if you want something less permanent than a closet. The blog Woodshop Diaries provides step by step instructions for creating a wooden cabinet to cover your hot water heater.
For the most part, I'm not a huge fan of this option, but it is a cost efficient option and their are situations where it can work well with the decor.
Use a Room Divider or Screen
After doing a little research, I decided on a simple screen to hide my hot water heater. I'm not very good with tools, and I just wanted a solution that was quick, easy, and inexpensive.
How to Hide a Hot Water Heater with a DIY Screen
The first thing I did was to gather all of my supplies. I had nails, a hammer, staples and a staple gun on hand. Then I purchased the following: 6 furring strips which are basically pieces of wood that measure 1 x 2 x 8 , fabric, two hinges, and white spray paint. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to make the screen for less than $20! If you choose an inexpensive fabric, this is a very affordable project.
After shopping, I measured the size that I would need each screen and cut the furring strips based on the height and width I needed. After cutting the furring strips, I spray painted them white.
Once the paint had completely dried, I nailed the shorter furring strips to the back of the longer ones to create two identical frames. I did not bother with pocket holes because I am an inexperienced with tools and DIY projects.
After I had built the frames, I used a staple gun, to staple the fabric to the back of each frame. Lastly, I attached each frame together with hinges. I used hinges, so that I could remove the screen easily when we needed to access the hot water heater. This turned out to be very wise because we had several instances when plumbers needed to quickly turn off our water.
There are a few safety considerations when building a screen around a hot water heater, so you definitely want to make sure there is plenty of space between the hot water heater and the screen. I would also recommend asking several professionals about your specific project to avoid creating a fire hazard.
Creating this screen, made the biggest difference in how much I enjoyed my laundry room. I used it from 2017 until 2019 when we sold our home.
Spring 2017 One Room Challenge
For those of you who are not familiar with the One Room Challenge, the ORC is a biannual event where 20 featured designers and hundreds of guest bloggers completely transform a space in 6 weeks. In Spring of 2017, I took on the challenge of transforming my laundry room into a functional space.
While I was super thankful to have a working laundry room, there were several aspects of the space that I wanted to change.
- I wanted to cover up my hot water heater.
- I need space for hampers to organize dirty clothes and sort them into loads.
- I wanted to repaint the yellow walls white.
- I wanted to change the flooring.
ORC Week 2
The first thing I did was to simply clean out the laundry room and paint it white. It was already a drastic improvement.
ORC Week 3
Throughout the next week, I built a table and added 2 full size hampers and 2 smaller baskets to create a laundry organization system. From that point forward, my laundry room was actually a functional space.
ORC Week 4
During the fourth week, I disguised my hot water heater with the decorative water heater cover that I described above.
ORC Week 5
During the 5th week, I ripped up the old vinyl flooring and installed new white, vinyl floor tiles. I also purchased a woven vinyl rug and gathered decorative items for the final week.
ORC Week 6
During the last week, I built a ledge to block the space behind the washer and dryer. I added plants and containers for my laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I also created a DIY letter board and put one of my favorite quotations about work from Elisabeth Elliot on it :)
ORC Laundry Room Reveal Pictures
Two years later, we have moved out of this home. But I feel really positively about my ORC experience. It taught me that no matter what type of space I have, a little planning and hard work can turn it into an enjoyable and functional space. If you're interested you should definitely check out the Spring 2017 ORC