Q: What should I consider when buying an access panel?
- Application: Selection of an Access Door / Access Panel is primarily contingent upon the application in which it will be used. Access Doors can be simple flush mount universal, drywall, plaster, external, fire rated insulated, fire rated non-insulated, floor, and ceiling. Drywall access doors often have parts that can be mudded over, while fire rated doors can be insulated to keep the heat and cold in a room. Floor access doors are often able to take a lot of weight while ceiling doors are designed to be easy to open for access to the ceiling.
- Material: Most access doors are grey colored prime-coated steel, and in most cases, the door must be painted. Other access door materials include stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic. You will also want to consider the thickness of the steel, called the gauge. Most access doors feature materials between 18 and 14 gauge. Selecting the right material will help you to pick a door that not only works well, but matches where it is being installed.
- Size: Access Door sizes vary widely from 6" x 6" to 72" x 48". In most cases, you will measure the rough opening where you need the access door to determine the door size. Custom sizes are typically available via special order. Typical lead time for special order access doors is 6 to 8 weeks. Most access doors also have a flange that sticks out to provide a flush look to the door, typically the flange is not included in the door sizing.
- Lock Type: Another thing to consider when selecting an access door is what type of lock the door will have. Now while the doors do not always have to have a lock, providing some form of deterent can help to ease your piece of mind, as well as provide security to whatever the access door is covering up. There are many different types of locks such as cam latches for less secure applications and cylinder key locks for more secure.
Q: Can I use a non-insulated fire rated panel in a ceiling application?A: No, non-insulated panels are only UL tested for vertical applications up to 90 mins (2 hour wall). You must use an insulated fire rated access panel for a ceiling / horizontal application. These are tested by Warnock Hersey for a 3 hour rating
I-Series fire-rated, insulated access doors provide access through openings in fire-rated vertical or horizontal surfaces. UL listed "B" label for 1-1/2 hours in vertical surfaces (maximum temperature rise to 250єF in 30 minutes). Warnock-Hersey listed for 3 hours in horizontal surfaces.
U-Series fire-rated, uninsulated access doors provide access through openings in fire-rated vertical surfaces and have a minimal sight line for a concealed appearance. UL listed "B" label for 1-1/2 hours in vertical surfaces (maximum temperature rise to 250єF in 30 minutes).
Q: What constitutes a volume order? Can I get better pricing?A: A volume order is any potential panel order of 20 doors or more. And yes, you can get better pricing on a volume order, as well as save on freight charges. Please call 508-381-1090 between 8-5 EST or email email@example.com at anytime to speak to a representative who can assist you.
Q: What if I cannot find a specific access panel or what if I need a custom panel?A: We are used to being asked for special requests or custom sizing of most of our panel styles. For more info, or to discuss your custom needs please call 508-381-1090 between 8-5 EST or email firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime to speak to a representative who can assist you