Access panels are made to access mechanical elements inside a house that may otherwise be hidden by walls, floors or ceilings. The most common access panels are in ceilings to access attic spaces. Other common access panels are behind the taps where a bathroom tub or shower shares a wall with another room. These panels are designed to allow a plumber to access the pipes or motors that run special systems in the tub. Other access panels may cover similar mechanical systems that occasionally need servicing. Making an access panel is not difficult.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- 2-by-4-inch studs
- Table saw
- 3-inch wood screws
- 1/4-inch plywood
- 1-inch self-stick PVC camper mounting tape
Cut the drywall to reveal the mechanical element you need access to. For a bathtub access panel the pipes or motor may be small and require only a small panel. For an attic or panel you need to pass through, the opening should be larger.
Measure and add blocking around the drywall opening. If you have pipes in the wall you should add 2-by-4-inch wood from the closest wall stud to within an inch of the pipes. Screw two horizontal blocks at the top and bottom of your drywall opening and one vertical block along the side of the opening. Use long screws and pre-start the screws before inserting the block into the wall cavity. Repeat for the other side. The objective is to support the drywall where you have cut the opening and give your panel a sturdy spot to attach.
Cut 1/4-inch plywood 2 inches larger than the drywall hole in each direction. Attach 1-inch self stick PVC camper mounting tape along the back inside edges of the plywood to create an air seal.
Attach the plywood access panel cover to the blocking at each corner and in the center along each side.
Tips & Warnings
- Consider adding decorative trim along the edges of the panel. Sand, prime and paint the panel to blend into the wall or ceiling colors.
- Photo Credit hitting nail image by msw from Fotolia.com
How to Make a Decorative Wood Access Panel Door
Every home has at least one access panel door, whether it's the fuse box or the control valves under a built-in bathtub....
How to Build a Removable Panel for a Whirlpool Bathtub
Whirlpool bathtubs are installed in a surrounding deck, which hides the unfinished sides of the tub as well as the plumbing hookups,...
How to Install a Plumbing Access Panel
Plumbing access panels used to be regularly included in home design. They were often unattractive, hinged doors that jutted out from the...
How to Build Drywall and Wood Trim Access Panels
Whether plumbing, electrical or HVAC controls are within a finished wall, access may someday be needed. And if it is when an...
How to Make an Access Panel for a Jacuzzi Bathtub
An access panel for a Jacuzzi bathtub makes servicing the tub motor and plumbing an easier task. The access panel will prevent...