How to Install a Ceiling Access Panel

How to Install a Ceiling Access Panel

Posted by Best Access Doors on 14th Sep 2017

Suppose you have just bought a ceiling panel that you need to install, such as the BA-UF-5000-PC universal flush access door. Sometimes our customers will buy one of our access panels but do not know how to install it. Before we begin, you have to determine if the one you purchased is a surface or a flush type panel. The difference is that the flush type panel, like the BA-UF-5000-PC, provides a seamless and precise look in the ceiling. A surface panel protrudes outwards; the advantage is that it is easier to install than the flush type panel. Note that some ceiling panels have a solid structure held in place by screws which is helpful if the access panel doesn’t need to be opened or accessed often.

What Makes Ceiling Access Panels Convenient?

You can provide an easy passage to hidden storage space by installing a convenient access door. Access doors allow quick access to commercial building components such as HVAC, wiring, and plumbing. You can paint the door to match its surrounding surface area for an aesthetic finish with a seamless blend. To make things easier, follow this step-by-step guide and identify the tools you will need in installing your ceiling access panel:

Step#1: Prepare the Tools

List of the tools you need in installing your ceiling access panel:

  • Pencil/marker
  • Flashlight
  • Handsaw
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Stud finder
  • Construction adhesive/glue
  • 2’’ x 4’’ or 2’’ x 6’’ lengths board

Step#2: Inspect

Install your access panel in between the joists. You can use your stud finder to locate the joists/post—double-check to make sure before cutting. It will help if you consider the purpose of your access panel, whether it is for access to storage or access for HVAC components. The objective will help you determine the perfect place to make a hole.

Be safe: Start cutting by making a small hole, then inspect if any wires are attached to the joints. Use the flashlight for your thorough inspection. When everything is clear, and you are sure, proceed to Step#3

Step#3: Create an Outline

Get the size and measurements of your access panel. Use a pencil to mark the hole for your guide. Please note, before you start to cut, accurate measurement is essential.

Step#4: Cut the Hole

To make it easier, saw directly alongside the hoist, leaving some space between the outer edge of the line you drew until it crosses the other joist. After you cut, remove the ceiling cover and place it in a safe place.

Step#5: Create a Frame

Measure and cut the board with the handsaw that fits between the ceiling joists. Once it is measured, firmly drill the boards into the wall joists on each end to create a wooden frame around the access panel. You can put other finishing nails from the outside to add more strength.

Step #6: Fit the Panel

You can take off the door since it can make the panel easier to install. Test fit the access panel to ensure that the hole is wide enough to fit the entire access panel. If some adjustments are needed, it is time to get it right.

To match your access panel with the ceiling surface, paint it with the same color as your ceilings and allow it to completely dry.

FLUSH: If you have purchased a flush access panel and fits inside the newly cut hole, apply a bead of construction adhesive or glue around the flange. Then insert the access panel and press firmly against the back surface of the ceiling. Once it is in place and the adhesive or glue is completely dry, you can snap the panel then close it.

SURFACE: If you purchased a surface access panel, apply an adhesive and press it against the front ceiling surface. Once your surface ceiling access panel is in place and the adhesive is completely dry, snap the door and close it.

Step#7 Touch Up

The last step is to touch up the area around the access panel and correct any scratches or divots in the ceiling.

Installation Is Complete!

A ceiling access panel is essential and convenient in using the extra space on the ceiling to make storage, especially if you want to have easy access to your plumbing, HVAC, and electrical components for maintenance or inspections.

Don’t know where to start? Get a quote from Best Access Doors today!