Common Types of Access Doors
Access doors are a standard element of countless building and assembly designs, regularly implemented for the means of permitting access to spaces behind walls, floors, or ceilings. While some may be as large as an individual, a majority of access doors are much smaller as they are typically intended for reaching smaller spaces directly behind the door. Despite access doors varying in construction depending upon their application and design, most are fitted to align with the installation surface for practical and visual reasons. Depending on one's applications and needs, there are numerous common access door types, each with unique designs and features. To help you find the best fit for your particular needs, we will provide a brief overview of the most common access door types.
General Purpose Access Door
The general purpose access door is a standard type, capable of being used indoors or outdoors for providing access to a space behind a wall or ceiling. Such access doors may come in a variety of sizes and will often take advantage of concealed hinges and a recessed frame to align with the installation surface. For their use, general purpose access doors may be implemented for most applications as long as there are not specified fire codes or regulations for the building.
Drywall Access Door
Many commercial and residential buildings are constructed of drywall, that of which consists of robust construction panels that must be cut through to create any space behind walls. While cutting into drywall can disrupt its ability to maintain heat and insulation, drywall access doors can maintain a seal while also remaining discrete on a surface. While such access doors may be a retrofit to a building, they are often installed during the initial construction of a space. Generally, drywall access doors are best for utility boxes and crawl spaces.
Fire Rated Access Door
When regulations require equipment to meet certain standards for fire safety, fire rated access doors are preferable. As openings in a wall or ceiling can create a risk of fire spread due to drafts, the fire rated access door is beneficial due to its air-tight sealing capabilities. Utilizing galvanized steel, insulation, smoke-proof gasketing, and other materials, such access doors are the safest option that may even maintain their seal when open. If increased capabilities are desired, some fire rated access doors may be capable of self-latching, open with upward or inward swings, feature automatic panel releases, and more.
Acoustical Tile Access Door
As acoustics can be an important aspect of any space, one may not want an access door that will leak sound. Acoustical tile access doors are a type capable of absorbing sound, and they often feature a recessed frame to allow for the addition of an acoustic tile. As a very discrete door, such pieces are often used in recording studios, interrogation rooms, and other spaces.
Exterior Access Door
While a majority of access doors are specifically designed with the intention of being installed inside a space, the exterior access door is made for the outdoors. As such, they are designed to withstand weather and temperatures, wear and tear, and more to protect what is inside. For their robust construction, such access doors often utilize galvanized steel or other similar materials fit for outdoor use. Generally, exterior access doors are used to contain fuse box equipment, HVAC controls, pool system controls, and more.
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