Decorative Solutions for Exposed In-house Water Heaters

New homes come with lots of comforts. Most of us don’t think twice when it comes to being able to flip a breaker switch if something goes awry. However, there are others who love the uniqueness and character that older homes have. If you prefer the latter, you may be dealing with odd placements of appliances and such. One appliance in particular, has a way of standing out and feels a bit like a distant relative overstaying a welcome. Yes, it’s the massive hot water heater.

That wonderful tank that creates magic for morning showers and makes everyone feel ever so relaxed in the evening has the sheer girth to keep four comfortably warm. However, it can feel like an elephant in the room. No one likes to discuss it. Water heaters sit in corners everywhere—tucked away in laundry rooms, bathrooms and even kitchens. This doesn’t sound too bad until it’s your kitchen. Since most water heaters come attached with plumbing and even unsightly gas piping, figuring out how to mask a water heater can prove somewhat challenging. Take a look at these creative ideas for inspiration. Perhaps you too can find a clever way to mask your elephant.

Use a Pegboard to Help Conceal It

If you have an existing pantry, a pegboard door can add functionality. Try a handy chalkboard or even a mail bin to place markers.

Pegboard water heater closet solution

Image credit: Cottage Living

Construct a Closet

It seems simple enough, but homeowners get a bit worried when concealing a water tank. As long as items aren’t sitting on it or beside it, you’re good. Storing items too close can create a fire hazard.

Water Heater Closet

Image credit: Junk Chic Cottage

Use Cabinetry

If it works for the fridge, it will work for the water heater. This option may be best suited if you plan on a kitchen remodel. Have your designer measure the space and create a large custom cabinet that conceals your tank and plumbing.

Water heater storage cabinets

Image credit: This Old House


Create a Smaller Closet and Use a Louvered Door

Smaller closets allow room for other necessities like litter boxes or laundry bins. A louvered door will allow plenty of air flow.

Water heater closet storage in laundry room

Image credit: Allegro Builders via Houzz


Bookshelf door to hide water heater or furnace in house

Another Option is to Upgrade

A tankless hot water system can be installed quite easily—taking up less room and is a bit easier on the eyes. These systems will save you money in the long run too. Tankless systems are more energy efficient and can fit almost anywhere.

Tankless water heater solution in laundry room


If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “3 Signs Your Water Heater Needs Maintenance.”


North County Plumbing is located in Vista, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!

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