What To Consider Before Hopping On The Exposed Pipe Shower Trend

Having an exposed pipe in the shower is when the pieces connecting the showerhead and the knobs are left out instead of being concealed in the wall. While the latter, more traditional style is good for saving wall space and achieving a clean look in the shower, people are now embracing the rustic look of having it exposed, so it's becoming more trendy. There's a lot to consider before choosing this style, though, as the aesthetic benefits need to be balanced with convenience and practicality.

If you choose to hop on this trend, maintenance is essential to making it work. Ensure the pipes are coated to prevent corrosion and fading and clean and polish them regularly to maintain their appearance. According to HGTV host Hilary Farr, shining exposed pipes to bring out their original color is the key to making them look chic. The substances you can use will depend on the material so watch out for that.

The pros and cons

A system of exposed pipes, the showerhead, and shower knobs can be a nice aesthetic touch. They are edgy and raw and go especially well with a modern, industrial, or minimalist bathroom theme. If the hardware has a nice finish like copper, it makes it even better. An exposed set is also much easier to deal with when it comes to installation, maintenance, and repairs because you won't always have to worry about removing tiles or whatever's on the wall so you can get into it.

On the other hand, exposed pipes in the shower take up space and need more maintenance. They leave you with more parts to clean and, depending on the material, you'll need to polish and shine them from time to time. Being outside instead of tucked away in the wall also means they can wear out and will need more frequent switching because how they look is important. Overall, the exposed pipe shower trend is great if your shower has enough space for it, and if it's not a problem to keep up with the maintenance.

How to make it work

To make an exposed set work in your bathroom, keep it in mind when designing your shower space. The common finishes you'll come across are copper, stainless steel, chrome, and brass, but you can also paint over the pipes if you have a specific color you want. The finish of your pipes should then be cohesive with the rest of the shower, whether you choose a tile backsplash or you decide to take Keith Bynum & Evan Thomas' genius tip to use wallpaper.

For example, pipes in a gold finish could really elevate a shower with tadelakt plaster or all-white tiles if you have a Mediterranean theme and want one standout chic element. A more laidback pipe finish like chrome or matte black can be paired with a wallpaper with an intricate landscape design in a nature theme, or a glossy tile in a unique color if it's a modern style with some character. Lovers of maximalism or an eclectic style can go all out by combining an interesting wall design with an interesting pipe material.