Choosing an Access Door / Access Panel
There are several different styles of access doors readily available. Access doors are used to conceal an opening usually in walls or ceilings and they come in just about any size needed. Most manufacturers will even custom make these access panels for you if need be, but usually the standard stock sizes work for most applications.
Things to consider when purchasing an Access Door / Access Panel:
Fire Rated - Do you need a fire rated access door? Are you installing this access door into a fire rated wall? Fire Rated access doors are listed by the Underwriters Laboratories for walls and Warnock Hersey ratings for ceilings. Look for these logos when purchasing a fire rated access panel.
What material are you installing the panel into? Do you need an access panel for drywall installation? Drywall installations have are usually taped and floated so they look professional and finished in the wall. There are also several universal doors that work in most all wall or ceiling materials. Karp offers a press and fit style access panel that is easily installed by bending the tabs on the return back to grip the drywall.
Where are you placing an access panel? This is an important factor when using a fire rated access door. Fire rated access doors have different fire ratings for ceilings and walls. Make sure you use the proper access panel rating when you are installing your access door.
Specialty Ceiling Applications: There are special ceiling installations for commercial buildings. Ceilings such as concealed grid panel systems or drop ceilings / suspended ceilings use special access panels that work specifically with those style ceilings. The Sesame access panel for both concealed grid panels systems and exposed grid systems the panel opens up to receive the tile. This provides a safe and aesthetically pleasing access panel.
Exterior Access Doors: These exterior grade access doors are designed to withstand the outdoor elements. Look for an insulated exterior door to keep the elements out. Because these are exterior access doors you should consider whether you need a key locking latch. Make sure the door you choose is designed to be resistant to water and the outside elements.
Security Access Doors: There are situations that require a secure access door to keep people and vandals out of the access panels. Determine if you need a medium security or a maximum security access panel.