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Access Door Buying Guide

Access Door breakdown

What is an Access Door?

Access Doors are required when access to an area needs to be protected. Sometimes called Access Panels, these doors can be installed to hide away certain areas like safes, plumbing equipment and electronics while still allowing for easy access. Access doors can also be used to get access ceiling and roof spaces.

To better fit their purpose, access doors come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes and can be made out of materials like metal, drywall, and plaster.

How to select an Access Door

The selection of a specific access door usually depends on the following:

How you will use the Access Door?

The 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.



Some access door materials include stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic. Most Access Doors and Panels however, are simple gray colored prime-coated steel. These doors can be painted to match (or provide camoflague) to surrounding walls. You will definitely want to consider the thickness of the material that makes up the door. This measurement is called "guage". Most access doors and panels measure between 18 and 14 gauge, the lower number being the thicker material.


Access Door and Access Panel 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.


The last thing, though definitely not the least important thing to consider when selecting an access door is what type of lock you'd like the door to have - If you would like a lock at all. Some applications for your access door will require a lock, however, some applications will require a simple hand latch. The different lock types are illustrated below:

Access Door Lock Types

Access doors are available from several manufacturers. Some of these manufacturers include:
Acudor Access Doors Bilco Roof Hatches Elmdor Access Doors JL Industries Access Doors