Access panels are a necessity, and almost every property has at least one. They are the best way to provide easy access to equipment and maintenance spaces, while also keeping those spaces closed off when not in use. The ideal access panel is secure yet straightforward to get into if a contractor or repair person needs access. They are also low profile, or even invisible, so they do not detract from the interior design.
Because they need to meet requirements for functionality, safety, and other building codes, you will need to know all of your requirements before your contractor can plan and install an access panel.
Standards and Options for Access Panels
There are some differences when it comes to installing an access panel at a commercial property versus a residential one. For instance, commercial buildings often have different equipment that needs to be hidden behind an access panel, or they may have more extreme conditions an access panel needs to withstand. Access panels in the home often have less stringent requirements and do not need to be as secure.
Despite these differences, there are several points you will want to consider when planning for an interior access panel in any property:
- Material – Common materials for access panels include metal, plastic, and GFRG. Of these options, metal is durable and secure while plastic is affordable. GFRC shares benefits of both with a low cost and long lifetime.
- Placement – Interior access panels are generally wall panels or ceiling panels. Wall panels provide access to wiring, plumbing, breaker boxes, and HVAC equipment. Ceiling panels may provide access to similar equipment or attics. Panels made from GFRG, metal, or plastic can go in any of these locations.
- Measurements – Standard size access panels come in a range of sizes from 9” to 24” square. The size you choose is based on how much space you need to reach behind the panel, including room for any tools needed to work on equipment. In cases where a standard square panel will not work for your needs, you will need to consider a panel with custom measurements. This is often significantly more expensive with metal or plastic, but can be done relatively cheaply with more customizable GFRG.
- Safety – The safety of building components in your access panel may have specific requirements for certain residential or commercial properties, but choosing a material safety features is never a wrong choice. GFRG, for instance, is fire resistant, and stands up well to heat, making it suitable for a variety of environments.
- Appearance – Although not a requirement of any building codes, you still likely want your access panel to blend it with its surroundings. GFRG is best in this case since it has a drywall surface that you can finish in the same way as surrounding walls with paint, wallpaper, tiling, or other decorative features.
GFRG, or glass fiber reinforced gypsum, is the material that delivers on all of the requirements for interior access panels. GFRG access panels are durable and lightweight. At Ledge Products, our panels are available at affordable prices and ready to install wherever you need an access panel.
Call today to place an order for any of our standard size access panels, or talk about the possibilities for custom measurements and shapes.