Installing A Bathtub Access Panel

Have you considered installing a bathtub access panel in your bathroom to get access to plumbing easier?

Your building has many vital components necessary for its comfort, function, and occupants. It is not an easy feat to maintain these components because some are in hard-to-reach areas, which would require a unique means of access.  

One area that needs maintenance to its plumbing and other components is the bathtub. You might think it’s unnecessary to place one since other areas require extra attention. However, with the many upgrades that bathrooms have today, it has become a requirement to have one installed for regular maintenance or emergency access in case of repairs.  

Roughly 69 percent of users globally and 100 percent of Americans shower in bathtubs, and 80 percent have bathtub-related issues. They encounter problems since they either don’t have access to its plumbing or don’t have a backup drainage system.  

You can efficiently resolve this by installing recessed access panels since it is an excellent measure to add convenience for your hired professional. Of course, you can’t always rely on their services if the instance does not allow it, so it is beneficial to arm yourself with the knowledge.   

Here’s how to make an access panel for your bathtub and other much-needed information about them:   

Making an access panel for the tub

What Is a Bathtub Access Panel?  

Understanding a bathtub access panel is crucial before starting your project. A typical access panel is an entry point or gateway, while a bathtub access panel is a detachable entrance. It links the bathtub to the drainpipe and a more convenient plumbing system. In other words, a bathtub access panel door or opening improves the efficiency of the bathtub drainage system.  

How to Make One  

The subject here is not the manufacturing process of a bathtub access panel from known brands but how you can make an entryway and attach it there. Here are the fundamental things you must follow:  

Get the Necessary Supplies   

To finish and install the bathtub access panel, you’ll need to acquire the necessary kits and components. Here are some things you should always have on hand:  

  • Wood piece  
  • Steel Tape Measure   
  • Woodcutter  
  • Glue tape  
  • Hammer  
  • Pin or glue  
  • Screw  
  • Scale  
  • A large tile  
  • Grout  
Large tile for access panel for plumbing

Measure the Area and the Bathtub  

Take the scale and inch tape to measure the bathtub and its space after gathering the kits and supplies. Take the width, height, and length of the bathroom floor and bathtub front with a marker, then write the measurements down on paper.  

Remember to measure the bathtub’s exterior bottom space and the distance from the drainage pipe to the front floor. If you have two-person baths, the size of your bathtub will double.  

Set the Bathtub Panel Up  

You won’t be able to place a bathtub plumbing access panel without first setting up the panel space. So, how do you create a bathtub access panel? Check for drain troubles, systems, space, leaks, and pipes before putting up the wooden frame or covering it with tiles.  

Install the Wood Framework  

Building a tub platform isn’t complicated, but it does involve precise measurements and cutting. For a carpenter, this task is straightforward; thus, you could be better off contracting this part out. However, if you’re out of options, you can follow this general guide:  

  • Measure the platform’s wall studs height based on the size of the platform your tub needs. For instance, if the tub has a 36-inch-high platform, you should trim the studs to 31 34 inches. The thickness of the bottom and top 2-x-4 plates, the 34-inch backer board, tile, mortar, and plywood are all accommodated by this length.  
  • To make the platform’s walls, nail the studs to the bottom and top of the plates.  
  • Utilize nails to anchor the wall framework to the floor and use deck screws to cover the frame with plywood to create the deck.  
  • Cut an aperture in the deck for the tub with a jigsaw, either using the manufacturer’s pattern or after carefully noting the measurements for the primary opening.  
  • Measure and mark the rough-in positions for supply pipes according to the faucet manufacturer’s instructions.  
  • Drill the deck holes, then rough in the drainpipes and water supply.  
  • Caulk and pin the frame to the bathtub.  

Make a Lid  

It would help construct a lid whenever you cover the entire portion with tiles except for the primary access panel area. As a result, you may quickly access the panel whenever you need to clean, repair, or install plumbing.  

For the lid, you can create a 10″x16″ door. Install it in the proper area and double-check its location by opening and closing the door. If you require a lot of access panel room for installation, go with the 20″-24″ size lid.  

The Suitable Bathroom Access Panel for You  

There are many different sorts of bathroom access panels. When you do your research, you can see the many products under this category. Each access panel has its characteristics, benefits, and setup. You need to understand the functions of each to optimize their use. However, it can be overwhelming if you don’t consult an expert.    

Working alongside an expert allows you to weigh your selections and gives you the information you need to choose the best one to satisfy your unique settings. It will also help if you provide all the answers necessary for them to give you what you need. Communicate your specifications and ask them about things that you need to clarify before making any significant decision.  

Working with a professional

The Cost of Making a Bathtub Access Panel  

If you do not wish to do this work on your own, you will undoubtedly require the assistance of a plumber contractor. Your technician may charge $500 to $600 to create an access panel. If you’re serious about finding a cheap plumber, you could spend up to $400. Decide on what you’ll do with the tub access panel.  

The Takeaway  

Any project will involve a significant level of skills, knowledge, and confidence to complete. It would be best if you have these qualities, or you can hire someone who does before you start doing anything. It will be a form of safeguarding your project against the risk of failure, which could cost you more than you expect. 

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