Certain surface areas in your home or commercial building project can require a specific access panel material, like drywall. This way, owners can fully use access doors’ benefits, preventing catastrophic damages and expensive repairs.
In this blog post, you’ll deeply learn about a drywall access panel, from its functions, features, and common types, to its proper installation way. Let’s start getting to know drywall access doors by defining drywall panels first.
What are drywall access doors?
Drywall access panels are an essential component of modern construction and renovation projects. These panels provide a convenient and secure way to access plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems behind drywall surfaces. It can come in various sizes, materials, and designs to meet different installation requirements and aesthetic preferences. They are easy to install and remove, allowing quick and hassle-free access to concealed systems for maintenance, repairs, or upgrades.
Furthermore, drywall access doors are also cost-effective compared to alternative access solutions, such as cutting and patching drywall, creating permanent access doors, or using temporary covers. Whether you’re a homeowner, contractor, or facility manager, drywall access panels are a practical and efficient solution for accessing hidden components behind walls and ceilings.
Now that you’re aware of the common features and functions of a drywall access panel, let’s now delve into its general types, so you can pick the right drywall door for you to install at your place:
- Drywall Bead Flange: The Drywall Bead Flange panels are perfect for providing an easy and safe entry point to repair and maintenance specialists toward essential building facilities that require attention. The drywall bead flange doors offer fire-rated, flush, uninsulated, and security panel products.
- Exposed Flange: The Exposed Flange drywall doors grants convenient access to your building’s important utilities, like plumbing, electrical, behind-walls HVAC systems, and crawl spaces. It exhibits a wide range of panel products to address your specific area concerns, including the following:
- Airtight and watertight doors
- Fire-rated doors
- Flush doors
- Insulated doors
- Recessed doors
- Removable doors
- Security doors
- Surface-mounted doors
- Flangeless: If you are looking for a drywall access panel that can neatly hide your fixtures, the Flangeless doors are ideal for installation. It can blend seamlessly with surrounding surfaces, giving a secure entry point to conceal and access critical establishment facilities.
- Flush: The durable 16-gauge steel Flush panels exhibit impressive recessed products that give safe and instant access to facilities behind walls or ceilings. Experts constructed this access door to receive a 5/8 inch drywall inlay and match the surfaces of its environment.
- Mud in Flange / Hidden Flange: If you wish to install a panel wherein the door leaf is the only thing visible on the surface, the Mud in Flange / Hidden Flange is the best-fitting access door model to apply. It can secure the area while keeping a flat, flush appearance that discourages unwarranted and forced entries.
- Plaster Bead Flange: On the other hand, the Plaster Bead Flange drywall panels are the most compatible to install if you want superior strength and aesthetic designs simultaneously.
Installing a drywall access panel is a straightforward process you can complete with basic tools and materials. Below are the general steps to install a drywall access panel and the tools you must prepare.
- Pencil or Marker
- L square
- Drywall saw
- Utility knife
- Drywall tape
- Joint compound
- Electric Screwdriver
Step 1: Choose the location
Determine the location where you aim to install the access panel. The location should be easily accessible and convenient for maintenance or repair technicians to work on.
Step 2: Measure the opening
Measure and mark the opening size where you target to attach the panel using the L square measuring tool. Use these measurements to select the appropriate size of the access panel.
Step 3: Cut the drywall
Use a drywall saw or utility knife to create a rectangular or circular hole in the drywall surface. Be careful not to cut any electrical wires or plumbing pipes.
Step 4: Attach the access panel
Place the access panel into the hole and secure it using the appropriate method to keep it in place. Common installation methods include adhesive backing, snap-in, or screw-on.
Step 5: Finish the edges
Use drywall tape and joint compound to finish the edges of the access panel. Apply a thin layer of joint compound around the perimeter of the access panel and smooth it out using a putty knife. Allow the joint compound to dry completely.
Step 6: Sand and paint
Sand the joint compound until smooth and flush with the surrounding drywall surface. Paint the access panel to match the surrounding wall or ceiling finish.
Step 7: Install the locking mechanism
Install the locking mechanism if required. The locking mechanism can be a cam lock, key lock, touch latch, or concealed magnet.
The important role of drywall access doors in establishments’ overall value
Drywall access panels play an important role in providing access to concealed plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems and facilitating maintenance, repairs, and inspections. They allow easy and convenient entry without requiring major demolition or damage to the surrounding wall or ceiling.
Following the detailed application steps lets you easily install a drywall access panel in your wall or ceiling. It’s vital to ensure that you install the access panel securely and the locking mechanism is functioning correctly to prevent unauthorized access and ensure safety.