Picture this: a high-design plumbing supply box system. For most construction professionals, “high design” and “luxury aesthetics” are not terms that come to mind when discussing behind-the-wall supply boxes and plumbing. Architects are often confined to certain options provided by plumbing contractors. Supply boxes, in particular, haven’t commonly served architects or developers from a design perspective. Until now.
Oatey Company saw a need for a modular, versatile supply box that would not only provide multiple solutions for every installation but could also be tailored to match and even enhance overall design aesthetics. Enter the MODA Supply Box System, a universal single-box platform designed to provide maximum versatility and installation simplicity. Imagine the ease of designing all the lavatory or toilet supply boxes in a commercial building using a universal single box platform. The latter offers a clean one-box and one-faceplate look across all bathrooms.
How Modular Supply Box Systems Complement Design
MODA Supply Box Systems have the same footprint, no matter the application. Whether it’s washing machines, ice makers, lavatories, a kitchen sink, the dishwasher, or the toilet, MODA offers a consistent look across the entire building or home.
One universal faceplate with a white finish is compatible with all box types, which offers a clean, compact look that would fit into whatever design it’s applied to. That means you have the flexibility to repaint or use wallpaper to match any design, as was the case at the 591-room Grand Hyatt Nashville hotel project.
Oatey MODA Fire-Rated Lavatory BoxMechanical contractor Lee Company recommended that the MODA Supply Box System be used for the plumbing connections at the water closet and at the lavatory’s hot-and cold-water supply lines in all hotel guest rooms. The owner and the general contractor of the project recognized the boxes’ value from a mechanical standpoint, but they did have important aesthetic objections. The white finish of the boxes’ universal faceplates did not match the “Agreeable Gray” of the nearby HVAC return-air grille. Without a color match, there could be no approval of the MODA boxes.
Fortunately you can tailor the MODA Modular Supply Box System to any design aesthetic. Local sales agent Jim McClain of Wm. McClain & Company, which has represented Oatey products in Nashville since 1964, agreed to repaint the faceplates one by one to get the job done. McClain quickly moved to create an impromptu paint shop within his 15,000-square-foot warehouse facility.
With the help from Oatey Southeast Regional Sales Manager Matt Foraker and local distributor Kenny Pipe & Supply, McClain’s team prepped, painted, and repackaged 600 MODA face plates within a mere 12 hours.
Similarly, if you’re an architect or designer, you might be thinking, “Exposed valves don’t complement design.” MODA has faceplate inserts, offering a way to hide the valves so it doesn’t disrupt your design. MODA offers three inserts that snap into the standard faceplate. MODA offers three inserts that snap into the standard faceplate—partial coverage, full coverage, and louvered. If you don’t want guests or owners to see the inserts, you can paint or even wallpaper over them.
Designing Modular, Flexible Plumbing Systems
MODA Supply Box installations involve a solid, simple box connection method: interlocking wing-flanges accommodate on-stud, straddle-stud, and three-box installations. The system’s snap-locking system provides strength while allowing for easy disassembly. The snap-locking system allows for countless installation options: side by side, over and under, inverted valve, and separate wall.
MODA Supply Boxes are made of durable PVC so that plumbing-supply connections can be made PVC to PVC. The box itself can be mounted with a single screw to a behind-the-wall stud and set flush with the wall.
The boxes are completely modular and flexible. The advanced snap-lock design allows assembly and disassembly with equal ease for quicker installation and easy repositioning on the job. Thanks to the plumbing valve’s two-piece design, no drywall needs to be cut during servicing. The technician simply removes the faceplate and disengages the copper LocPin™ clip holding the valve top and tail pieces together, removing the former in need of replacement.
Commercial plumbing designer Fred Josey says 95%of the plumbing systems he designs use a MODA box of some sort. A 40-year veteran of the architectural field, Josey has worked in systems engineering and design since 1987. Since 2015 he has served as a mechanical associate with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, working in their Durham, North Caroline, office.
“What caught my attention immediately was how much smaller the MODA boxes were—a solution to valve hookups that is so much cleaner than what we had been using,” says Josey.
How Modular Supply Box Systems Streamline Installation and Reduce Waste
On conventional plumbing installations involving lavatory, toilet, and sink applications, the plumber stubs out the rough-in coming out of the wall, capping that line off with a four- or five-inch copper stub-out. Once a successful pressure test confirms there are no leaks, the plumber returns to cut off the cap and attach the proper compression valve trim for an eventual hookup to the toilet or sink.
But with MODA, installers can skip the interim step with the copper stub-out. They simply rough-in the modular box during the initial step, including the compression valve itself. As plumbing contractor Mike Corsillo says, “the time savings may amount to only 15 to 20 minutes per supply box,” but extrapolated across an entire commercial project, the time- and cost-savings numbers are eye-opening.
In commercial buildings with multiple floors and restrooms all above each other, MODA will reduce waste and streamline materials for developers and owners.
“The MODA Supply Box is a single unit that eliminates components and is a one-time installation. It makes it very easy. We are always looking for ways to streamline our materials, and this product aligns with that goal,” Corsillo says.
The MODA system is a great solution for installation speed and flexibility—but the MODA product range also goes to the next level by serving architects or developers from a design perspective.