5 Types of Access Panels You Need to Know

Posted by bestaccessdoors on 20th Jun 2017

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5 Types of Access Panels You Need to Know

Access panels allow you to quickly and safely move from one area of a site to another. Here are the 5 most common types of access panels to look for.


If you work in the construction business, you know how important access panels are. Having the proper type of panel is important both for safety and speed. Besides knowing what size you will need them to be, you also have to know which type fits the job you are working on.

Different jobs call for different types of panels. Just like any other job, you have to have the right tools for success. Trying to use one type of access panels for every situation will put your safety and contract at risk.

With so many to choose from, it can be hard to determine which kind best suits your needs. That's why we've put together a list of the 5 types you need to know, and what they are used for!

1) Fire-Rated Access Panels

If you are working a commercial job, particularly one that involves hotels or condos, these are more than likely going to be your go to panels.

These are used to conceal electrical wiring, HVAC, gas lines, or anything that might be flammable. Improper use of these, or a lack of them, could very well be the cause of a major residential building fire.

These panels will maintain a seal that is air-tight in the case of a fire and will prevent smoke, heat, and fire from seeping out. These come both in outward and upward swinging and you can also determine if you want them to have automatic or manual latch release.

These come both in outward and upward swinging and you can also determine if you want them to have automatic or manual latch release. They are designed for any and all purposes and are essential for safety.

Fire rated access panels are also essential in making the building LEED certified. This certification is both economically and environmentally friendly and lowers energy costs. It's a win for both developers and the planet.

2) General Purpose

These are exactly what the name implies. They are used for just about everything. Anywhere that you don't need to comply with fire codes or hide high-security items is perfect for them. 

The flexibility of general purpose access panels makes them unique. They can go inside or outside and can be used for both ceilings and walls. You also have far more options in terms of what they are made from. 

With so many options available, it is imperative from an economic standpoint to make sure you have plenty of these on hand. They will save you both money and time.

3) Drywall

You know the pain of having to work on an electrical or plumbing problem and having to cut into the drywall to reach the target area. This breaks the seal of the wall you just cut into, creating a whole host of problems. This takes unnecessary time and energy away from other tasks. 

All of this takes unnecessary time and energy away from other tasks. 

By installing the proper access panel you won't have to worry about this anymore. Drywall panels will maintain this seal and you'll be able to access the area behind them with far greater ease.  

They are easy to conceal as well, as you can paint over them to match the surrounding area. 

The two main uses for these are crawl spaces and utility boxes. There is also a concealed safety system that you can use to stop people (especially children) from accessing them without the proper tools. 

4) Exterior Panels

The last three access panels discussed are mostly used for giving you access to indoor areas. Sometimes, however, you need to access these areas from the outside without allowing natural elements into your worksite. 

You also need a panel that will not rust or warp due to water exposure and heat. Most of the indoor access panels are not a good option for this. You're going to need exterior panels.

Aluminum is often used for its ability to resist corrosion and for a panel that is light weight and easy to access. 

The gaskets and other parts of the door are also weather resistant, meaning that once you install one you don't have to worry about it working properly later. Neoprene gaskets provide great resistance to water, chemicals, and combustion. 

You'll also want to find an exterior panel that has fiberglass insulation for extra protection.  

You will often use these for HVAC controls, fuse boxes, and storage compartments that are outdoors. Any construction job is going to require these. 

5) Plaster Bead

If you are working on a job site that has plaster walls and or ceilings, you are going to need plaster bead access panels. Plaster is as durable as drywall, and using a different type of panel might mess with the integrity of the worksite. 

Make sure you find a plaster bead panel that has a recessed frame so that it is flush against it's surrounding area. You will also want them to be fire-rated, and self-closing and self-locking for added protection. 

Not using these panels for plaster based jobs is a big mistake that could lead to added time and money being put into your work.

Working construction is hard enough without having to worry about ensuring you have the right equipment for the job. Using the proper access panels will make the best use of your labor and money. 

We Can Help Make Your Construction Job Easier


We know that you also need your access doors fast. You don't have time to wait for a shipment to come from across the country.

That's why we have warehouses located all throughout North America, so that no matter where you are, we will get you working fast. 

Our dedication to getting you your product fast and delivering the best customer service possible is why so many of our previous customers have left us amazing reviews.

If you would like to experience our customer service first hand, or just have any questions about how we can help to make sure your job goes smoothly and safety, feel free to contact us here. We are always available to answer anything.

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