Boxing in a Boiler Using IKEA's Metod Cabinet: A Chic Concealment Solution

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Boilers, although efficient at heating our homes, may not contribute to an aesthetically pleasing environment. This is why the option to enclose a boiler can be a wise decision. When central heating gained popularity in the 1900s, boilers were installed in buildings that were not initially designed to accommodate them. Consequently, new boilers were squeezed into various spaces, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and even bedrooms.

It is common to find many older properties with boilers displayed prominently in rooms. When my partner and I purchased our 1930s semi-detached house in Manchester in 2019, the boiler cupboard occupied a corner of our kitchen. It was large, unattractive, and dominated the space. The service cover was loose, and a previous owner had attempted to improve its appearance by placing a hatch in front of the pipes protruding from the top and bottom of the boiler. I found it unbearable to look at and knew it had to be concealed!

Can you enclose a boiler? The answer is a resounding yes. While we briefly considered relocating the boiler, we were deterred by the costs associated with boiler replacement and the limited available locations. Since we planned to move our kitchen to a different room and transform the existing kitchen into a utility room, we were content with keeping the boiler in its original place. As a result, I began exploring a do-it-yourself approach. Safety considerations include ensuring proper ventilation space around the boiler and easy access for repairs. According to Hunsbury Heating, a gap of 300 mm should be maintained between the top of the cupboard and the top of the boiler. Additionally, a 100 mm gap must be maintained between the cabinet and the base of the boiler.

With these factors in mind, we proceeded with the design.

How do you enclose a boiler? Most modern boilers are designed to fit within the width of a standard kitchen cupboard. Consequently, I decided to install ours inside a do-it-yourself kitchen cabinet. I chose an IKEA Metod cabinet, as the rest of our utility room was constructed using their kitchen cabinet system, which is both affordable and of high quality.

Another advantage is that IKEA offers a wide range of cupboard door options that are easy to install. Since the pipework at the top and bottom of the boiler was quite noticeable and some of the brickwork was exposed, I opted for a tall cupboard to cover it all.

To enclose a boiler yourself, you will need:

1. Measure the dimensions of your cabinet. Make sure to leave adequate space at the top and bottom, taking into account any pipework that you might want to hide. Also, consider the maintenance requirements and ensure proper ventilation.

Boxing in a boiler DIY

For this project, I opted for a base cabinet that measures 60x37x200cm, providing ample space to accommodate the boiler. Although slightly shallower than a typical cupboard, it suited my purposes perfectly. However, its height required some adjustments. I had to trim it down to the appropriate size. Thankfully, IKEA offers a wide range of cabinet sizes, so finding one that fits your requirements should not be an issue. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to resize the cabinet, I highly recommend aligning it with the dimensions of their standard doors. This will facilitate the installation process, as the hinges will seamlessly match the cabinet. In my case, I needed a height of 135cm to cover the boiler, so I cut the cabinet to a size of 140cm, enabling me to utilize a 140x60cm Ikea standard door.

2. Customize your cabinets

Boxing in a boiler DIY

To ensure a precise cut without causing damage to the veneer, I suggest applying masking tape to the designated cutting area. Bear in mind that cutting the cabinet will expose a raw edge, so position it in a spot that will be hidden from view, such as above the boiler and out of direct sight. I personally used a jigsaw to make the cut, ensuring its accuracy by clamping a straight piece of wood onto the cabinet, which acted as a guide. Alternatively, you can achieve the same result with a handsaw or circular saw.

Fortunately, IKEA provides clear instructions on cabinet assembly and installation, making the process easy to follow. However, if you need to modify your cabinet, like I did, take into consideration how you plan to mount it onto the wall. In my case, it was relatively straightforward since there was extensive pipework beneath the boiler. I could conveniently install the new cabinet on top of the worktop, securing it with brackets. To ensure stability, I attached it to the wall behind and adjacent cabinets by affixing construction timber to the wall and then screwing the cabinet into the timber. This method allowed me to pre-install the construction timber and effectively level out the walls, ensuring that the cabinet was perfectly aligned.

Boxing in a boiler DIYBoxing in a boiler DIY

3. Install the door

Once the cabinet was in place, I proceeded to attach the IKEA Veddinge Door in a sleek white finish. Installing the doors was a breeze, thanks to Ikea's hinge system, which guarantees proper alignment and positioning.

Boxed in boiler in white METHOD IKEA cabinet

One of the aspects I adore about this cupboard is the generous space beneath the boiler, which provided an ideal hiding spot for our microwave.

Boxed in boiler in white

What is the cost of enclosing a boiler?

Undertaking this task ourselves undoubtedly resulted in significant savings. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of our overall expenditure:

Aggregate Cost: £83.50

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