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Need Ideas to Install Removable Panel

350 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  icerabbit
I'm not sure if "plumbing" is the right sub-forum for my question, but I'll give it a shot.

I'm creating a removable panel in my bathroom to have future access to plumbing fixtures for unforeseen repairs. I'm brainstorming ideas about how to attach the removable panel. So far, one idea I uncovered were these FAST-CON INSERTS (pic below). I think they will do the trick, but I'd like to hear from others about ideas.

For context, the panel will have tile on it (i.e., it will be heavier than normal). It will mount in the vertical orientation on a wall. It measures roughly 3' x 1.5'. It will have additional nubs, notches, pins, etc. to help hold the vertical deadweight. Therefore, the fasteners will only hold it in the vertical orientation, and not be required to hold the vertical weight. It is not in a location where water intrusion is a concern, thus no need for tight seals.

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· Naildriver
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tiling the panel presents some problems. It will probably not line up with grout joints, so you'd need an edge like Schluter. Plastic cover is probably the way to go.
Good point. However, I already thought of that. The panel is inset and the configuration already creates a natural break in the tile pattern. So un-aligned tile is not a concern.:)
 

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Since the panel will have some weight with the tile ... You could have theaded NUT-SERTS in the wall with stainless screws through your access panel. But why go through that trouble. Simpler and cheaper to just use standard building screws into the studs, or added lumber to receive screws. Then put little plastic caps over the screws.

You could even use a few strong magnets.

Bit hard to recommend something specific, without a visual.
 

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I've used Fast-Con on heavy MDF panels. If your plans change, they will hold the weight of the tiled panel with no problem. It seems one can snap them in & out a bunch of times with no loosening.
One thing I don't understand, or perhaps missed, is when the panel is flush how will you grab it to remove it? (Maybe stick some tape to it & yank?)

IceRabbit mentioned Nutserts. (If this is the brand name, they are only for thin materials & slip loose easily. Nutsert You also need the special twist-and-expand tool $$$.)
But, IceRabbit may have meant insert nuts or tee nuts: Insert & Tee Nut Samples IceRabbit's idea would be great for your panel.

I use the heck out of insert nuts. Get the ones without the flange so they can be driven flush with the stud face & with the screwdriver slot if possible. If screwdriver slot kind isn't available, to install: Put a nut part way on a machine screw & wax the screw. Thread the screw into the insert nut until the nut hits the insert. Use a wrench to drive the insert into the stud. Remove the screw & nut.

Will hook-and-loop, like heavy duty Velcro, hold the panel? I'd attach it with the super duper tape that is used for auto body mouldings & trim. (Velcro stuff always seems to be stronger than its adhesive.) Super Tape

I hope one of these ideas helps. Be sure to enjoy your project! (Otherwise, it's work)
Paul
 

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Get the ones without the flange so they can be driven flush with the stud face & with the screwdriver slot if possible.
I've never used flange nuts from the front surface. I always install them from the back and use the screw to pull them in tight. They'll always stay in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Since the panel will have some weight with the tile ... You could have theaded NUT-SERTS in the wall with stainless screws through your access panel. But why go through that trouble. Simpler and cheaper to just use standard building screws into the studs, or added lumber to receive screws. Then put little plastic caps over the screws.
You triggered some thoughts and I'm now considering that idea.

You could even use a few strong magnets.
That thought did cross my mind. But I then wondered if the magnets would lose their strength over time.

Bit hard to recommend something specific, without a visual.
Yes, I agree a visual would be helpful. My apologies, but unfortunately, it is still just a concept in my mind. I don't have it built to show a picture. The plumbing fixture is in place, but the surrounding structure is not together yet.

I've used Fast-Con on heavy MDF panels. If your plans change, they will hold the weight of the tiled panel with no problem. It seems one can snap them in & out a bunch of times with no loosening.
Wow, that's great to know they will hold the weight. I will keep that in mind! Thanks!

One thing I don't understand, or perhaps missed, is when the panel is flush how will you grab it to remove it? (Maybe stick some tape to it & yank?)
Great question and I already thought of that. The removable panel will be inset to the surrounding structure. I'd like to leave a small gap around the panel's perimeter so I can insert a device to hook it from behind and pull (e.g., coat hanger with small hook on the end that will slip between gap and grip back of panel)

Will hook-and-loop, like heavy duty Velcro, hold the panel? I'd attach it with the super duper tape that is used for auto body mouldings & trim. (Velcro stuff always seems to be stronger than its adhesive.) Super Tape
I thought of Velcro, but then decided I don't really want to rely on it for this panel. If the Velcro and/or its adhesive to the wall slowly separates, I won't know until I walk in one day and find the busted panel laying on the floor.
 
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