In any commercial building, being able to access the wiring, plumbing systems and the space in the ceiling will be important. In new buildings, these ceiling access panels are typically installed as part of the construction and the panels are selected to match with the current ceiling system.
In older and existing buildings, it may be necessary to install ceiling access panels into an existing ceiling. With new panel or access door designs, this can be a very simple operation that your maintenance staff or a contracted carpenter can easily complete quickly and with minimal disruption to the workplace.
There different sizes that are standard in access panels. Since they are installed in an existing ceiling, you need to consider the current size of the existing panel to create a uniform look.
Additionally, and this is important to think about before making a selection, the size of the ceiling access panels will limit the access to the area above. The smaller 6 by 6 inch panels are fine for accessing wiring in a particular area, but they will not allow physical access to the area above the panel.
Larger sizes of panels such as the largest at 36 by 36 inches, will easily allow a person to get into the area above the ceiling. Knowing the type of access you require will be critical.
Installation and Finishing
Look for the ability to easily install the panel with a flange that mounts to the existing ceiling. These flanges are typically pre-punched for easy mounting with screws. Drywall compound is then applied to conceal the joint areas, giving a seamless finish.
When security is a consideration, look for access panels that have a built-in lock. These will come with fully keyed, allowing you to secure access through the panel.