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vfxhouse 08-28-2009 06:36 PM

Ugly Ceiling pipes! What to do?
4 Attachment(s)
I am renovating a condo with ceiling pipes that go in every direction.
I would gladly just put in a sheet rock ceiling to cover all the pipes but that would bring my ceiling height down from well above 9 feet to 7' 4".

Was thinking just to box in the pipe areas (leaving the 9 foot plus ceiling areas visible)with either sheetrock or maybe covering just the pipes themselves with something. I saw some ideas online where they cover the pipes with bamboo and other stuff (link at :

The futher confuse matters, the pipe level is actually below the top of the window line so would have to angle the Sheetrock up to the top of the window if I plan to box in the pipe areas w/Sheetrock.

Ive attached pics below to give you an idea of what i'm dealing with. The bathroom pick I may be able to get away with a suspended ceiling, becaus ethe lowest pipe there is over 7'8"

ANy ideas???


Scuba_Dave 08-28-2009 06:43 PM

Wow, what a mess
Some of those are sprinkler pipes, which can't be covered
This seems like a renovated basement

Where are you located?

vfxhouse 08-28-2009 06:54 PM

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Yeah a mess and is a basement unit alright! Im in MA btw.
Sprinkler company mentioned they may be able to move sprinkler pipes but if not ,yeah good point, wont be able to box anything in. But if t hey can thinking of a look like what this guy did in this pic I found on the net. My other idea is to box around just the pipes themselves somehow... not sure what to do...


Scuba_Dave 08-28-2009 08:28 PM

I think you'll have to use a combo of ways to hide these where you can
One possible issue is the wrapping on these - could be asbestos

Kitchen you could box in above the cabinets, as long as you don't box in the sprinkler heads

In some cases if you can't hide them make them stand out
I've seen many condo's (converted mills) with high ceilings & silver ducts that are the heating/AC vents

iMisspell 08-28-2009 09:45 PM

It looks like some of the pipes are feed lines and some are drainage, knowing nothing about how a condo is plumbed, can you re-run the lines if you wanted to ?
Re-routing some of the lines which carry water might help you out. Even if you had to keep them close to the height there at now, re-routing them so they are closer to the wall instead of running right in the middle of the room might help you box them in a little easier.

Noticing the shut-offs in the kitchen, i would think no matter what you do, you will still have to keep easy access to them.

And by the size of some them hubs, it looks to be cast-iron piping... ive only ripped out cast-iron, re-routing that stuff does not look to be fun unless you have a pipe cutter and threader.

Again, knowing nothing about how a condo is plumbed this may not be possible at all.

Good luck, and if you do - do something, posting pictures of your progress would be great.


Red Squirrel 08-28-2009 10:01 PM

Wow, that's some crazy plumbing lol. Also first time I see fire sprinklers in a residential setting. You *could* think about removing it, but guess it's a nice safety addition to have, and maybe it actually is code there.

Here's what I'd do, paint all the pipes green or something, just make them part of the decor. Maybe make it a Super Mario theme or something. :laughing:

Green Giant 08-29-2009 08:35 AM

wow........ looks like someone got lazy and desperate for money and decided to finish the unit without caring where pipes were. Has the sprinkler company visited the site when you talked with them or just over the phone? If sprinklers were installed before the renovation, they may be out of code right now and not providing the proper coverage.

How much of a reno were you looking to do? If doing major reno and gutting, you should consider getting it replumbed. Also, if you move the radiators to the floor, that should eliminate a good amount of the high piping.

Aggie67 08-29-2009 10:23 AM

I hate to say it, but those pictures would compel me to make a call to an outfit that tests for asbestos. Like this morning.

Other than that, I see steam lines, condensate lines, sprinkler lines, and waste lines, all in steel or cast iron. It looks like the steam and condensate are the lowest elevation. Then the sprinklers.

If it were my place, I'd pick a desirable ceiling height and see what had to get repiped, then get some numbers together for materials (if this is DIY). That's the only way to know for sure what has to get moved and what can get hidden.

In my state, a licensed sprinkler company has to do the sprinklers. A rough guess on repiping the heads to the new ceiling height is $100 - $170 a head.

Michael Thomas 08-29-2009 10:30 AM

A sprinkler company can relocate the heads if you drop the ceiling, not a big deal, and everything but the head could be concealed in the ceiling:

Termite 08-29-2009 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by Aggie67 (Post 320915)
I hate to say it, but those pictures would compel me to make a call to an outfit that tests for asbestos. Like this morning.

That was the first thing I noticed as well. :eek:

I don't think that re-plumbing these systems is all that workable unless budget isn't a consideration. There's a considerable amount of work there, even if the pipe insulation isn't asbestos. The sprinkler work certainly isn't a DIY job under any circumstance.

fireguy 08-29-2009 01:37 PM

Depending on the codes used in your area, plastic pipe might be an option. Plastic is quick and easy. Sidewall heads covered with

vfxhouse 08-31-2009 01:01 PM

Yeah, i was told it does have asbestos when I bought it and am having a company come to test/remove. Also just got off the phone with the sprinkler company, have them looking into now to see how much it will cost to have the sprinkler heads moved.


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