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Clad heating pipes: how it works
Clad heating pipes: how it works

Video: Clad heating pipes: how it works

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Video: Insulation and Cladding Pipe - Tutorial 2023, February
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Heating pipes, whether made of steel, copper or plastic, are not visually appealing. Nevertheless, they are often laid on the wall plaster - and thereby destroy every sophisticated furnishing concept. So how can the necessary but ugly heating pipes be integrated harmoniously into the interior design and at the same time contain the heat loss? Quite simply: by covering the heating pipes according to your taste.

Table of contents Table of contents Dressing up heating pipes: Make the useful nice

  • Advantages of the surface-mounted version
  • Disadvantages of the surface-mounted variant
  • Possibilities to cover heating pipes
  • Insulate heating pipes
  • Material for insulating heating pipes
  • Insulate heating pipes yourself

Table of contents Table of contents Dressing up heating pipes: Make the useful nice

  • Advantages of the surface-mounted version
  • Disadvantages of the surface-mounted variant
  • Possibilities to cover heating pipes
  • Insulate heating pipes
  • Material for insulating heating pipes
  • Insulate heating pipes yourself

Owners very often face the task of subsequently cladding their heating pipes. Because: In many older houses, in old apartments, but also in one or the other new building you will find heating pipes that have not only been installed in the basement, but also in the living area above the plaster. So it is warm everywhere, but the heating pipes are also visible in all rooms, from the laundry room to the bedroom. Why should you put heating pipes on the plaster instead of hiding them in the wall, you ask? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the so-called surface-mounted version.

Advantages: Lay heating pipes on the plaster

An unbeatable advantage of the surface-mounted version is that in the event of damage or renewal for the repair and replacement of the heating pipes, not all walls need to be milled, only the heating pipe cladding has to be removed. If a pipe is leaking, you will probably notice the water more quickly than if the pipe were in the wall, because drops or even a puddle form under the defective part. This will contain the damage and also save you the tedious and tedious drying of the wall.

Second advantage: laying the heating pipes outside the wall is not only quicker, you only need the specialist to make sure that you have laid the pipes correctly and that all adapters and fittings have been fitted correctly. You do not need it to mill the slots for the pipes. That saves money.

Disadvantages of the surface-mounted variant

The biggest disadvantage is that which immediately catches the eye: the heating pipes cannot be overlooked. Depending on where exactly the heating pipes were installed, i.e. at what height, it is difficult to construct a heating pipe cladding and still find space for the furniture. When laying the heating pipes on the plaster, make sure that you attach them as close to the floor or ceiling as possible. Or you can use the pipes as style elements right from the start: In some loft apartments, it is even expressly desirable that the heating pipes are visible - the owners want to give their four walls the industrial style. In these cases, a special plaster is usually chosen and then not or only painted in white.

Interieur: Loft-Wohnung
Interieur: Loft-Wohnung

In modern loft apartments in industrial style, heating pipes fit perfectly into the furnishings.

Photo: iStock / vicnt

What options are there for cladding heating pipes?

1. Delete

The fastest way to cover heating pipes and make them visually disappear is to paint them. The pipes do not have to be insulated either, which means you simply buy a paint that is suitable for the pipes in your heating system and is also heat-resistant. Or you can insulate the pipes with rubber hoses of the same color.

2. Behind the skirting board

If the heating pipes are just above the floor, you can cover them with a skirting board. Simply select the bar made of wood, MDF board, sheet metal profile or plasterboard that matches your flooring and your style of furnishing, attach the brackets to the wall above and below the heating pipes and attach the skirting board. There are even baseboards that already have small channels on the back to hide pipes or cables in them. The same applies if the heating pipes are just below the ceiling: How about a plaster pipe cover strip that runs along the room between the end of the wall and the beginning of the ceiling and gives your apartment a touch of stucco glamor ?

3. Build the panel yourself

If the pipes are in the middle of the wall, we recommend covering the heating pipes with a self-made system - ideally made of wood, because you can design it individually. The basic system is very simple: Above and below the heating pipes, spacers in the form of slats are attached to the wall with dowels. A continuous plate is attached in front of these brackets, behind which the heating pipes are clad. You can paint, paper, wrap this piece of wood - in short: design it individually.

It is important with this type of heating pipe cladding that you include any insulation of the pipes when planning the cladding - that is, choose the slats of the spacer a little wider so that the pipes and the insulation fit underneath. Also measure along the walls of the room to ensure that all pipes are at the same height and at the same distance from the wall.

Insulate heating pipes correctly

Whether under or on the plaster, heating pipes should be insulated at the key positions in the house. A law from 2002 states that the heating pipes must be packed in all rooms where there is no radiator. It also makes sense to insulate the heating pipes that are on the outer walls. For the sake of your wallet, however, you should not limit yourself to this - discuss with a heating installer where it would still make sense to insulate the heating pipes in your house. Because: With correctly insulated heating pipes, you save up to 14 euros per pipe meter per year, according to the consumer advice center. So you quickly have the costs of the insulation inside again - especially if you lend a hand yourself, because insulation can also be done by inexperienced DIY enthusiasts. Important: Switch off the heating system and let the pipes cool down completely. If you want to subsequently insulate the heating pipes, you should do it in summer.

You need the following accessories to insulate heating pipes:

  • Meter measure
  • Insulation material of your choice
  • Insulating shells for heating pumps and valves (important: you should know the exact size of your fittings!)
  • Miter box
  • Cutter knife and / or saw
  • Liquid adhesive (suitable for the selected insulation material)
  • Insulating or fabric tape
Dämmmaterial für Heizungsrohre
Dämmmaterial für Heizungsrohre

It is best to insulate heating pipes with so-called insulation hoses or insulation shells from the hardware store.

Photo: iStock / undefined undefined

Which material is suitable for insulating heating pipes?

You can find prefabricated insulation shells or insulation hoses for heating pipes in the hardware store or on the Internet. Some of them are even provided with adhesive strips. They consist of polyethylene (from about 0.90 euros per meter), mineral wool (from 2 euros per meter) or rubber (also called elastomer or isoprene; about 3.50 euros per meter), with polyethylene being the worst in terms of fire protection and rubber the best cuts off. Due to its flexibility, the latter is very suitable for curvy heating systems.

You can see how much insulation the shells or hoses have from the thermal conductivity of the product (W / mk) - the smaller the number, the better the insulation of the material. Large heating pipes with a large flow rate need thick insulation because the insulation thickness should correspond to the pipe diameter. The "ENEV 100 percent" label is also important.

Insulate heating pipes yourself

First measure how many meters of insulation material you need, i.e. how many meters of pipe you want to insulate. Do not forget that once you have measured a meter of pipe, you have to buy two meters: one for the water supply pipe and one for the water return pipe. You should round up the number of meters you will get - a bit of shrinkage is always.

When you have stocked up with everything you need at the hardware store or online, you can start: Cut the insulation material to the desired length. Put the insulation material over a pipe, repeat the process for the second pipe and glue the top and bottom of both pipes with a suitable liquid adhesive - should the insulation material you have chosen not have a self-adhesive strip. When the liquid adhesive has dried, cover the slot with a strip of insulating tape.

The only critical points when installing the heating pipe insulation are the corners and angles where several pipes come together. In order not to lose heat at these points, you should cut the insulation material to the right angle with a miter box. In a final step, cover over any vacancies or joints where you can still see the pipes with insulating tape.

Sabrina Deckert

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