What is an access panel?
An access panel is a door or panel made of steel, aluminum, or plastic embedded in walls, ceilings, floors and exterior locations in buildings. They are manufactured and designed to provide service access to building utilities such as plumbing, mechanical, and electrical. These panels come with features that allow them to easily blend into the surrounding material, leaving interior aesthetics as they are. For applications like drywall, masonry, plaster, or tile, special doors are made to fit into those surfaces. A wide array of door sizes are available to meet different framing requirements.
Interested in installing an access panel in your home? If you are planning to do a DIY panel installation, follow these easy and helpful steps below.
1. Find the right access panel.
There are several considerations to keep in mind when buying an access panel. To save time and money, carefully figure out the size, material construction, and panel design that you need for a certain application.
You can learn more about the product that you are looking for by sending enquiries to suppliers and manufacturers.
2. Mark panel size on the wall.
Once you already have your access panel, start the installation by marking panel size on the wall. Check manufacturer’s instructions for opening dimensions that will accommodate the panel.
3. Cut into the wall.
On the wall, start cutting along the top line and down to the two sides using a saw. Let a wall knife work on the bottom line. After the cutting process, start removing excess wall material for a neat wall opening.
4. Put panel in place.
To remove panel cover from the frame, a penknife or screwdriver would be useful. Follow all safety standards to install frame properly. Check for gaps around opening.
5. Secure panel.
In securing the panel, apply caulk along the back of the frame. Then, hold and press frame to the square opening firmly to spread caulk, sticking the material to the wall. Clean off excess caulk around the frame by using a damp cloth. Allow a couple of hours for the caulk to set before reinstalling the panel cover.
Different types of doors call for different installation requirements. Thus, it is very important that you carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions as to how an access door must be installed. When it comes to installing a door in areas where fire safety or high security is required, you are highly advised to ask help from a professional to avoid installation mistakes that can be costly to deal with.
Aside from ensuring a quality installation, your commercial or residential access panels also need regular maintenance for optimum performance.