An access panel isn't the most attractive part of a home, but it is a necessary one. Without an access panel, you will have to break holes in your wall to reach plumbing valves when issues arise. After fixing the plumbing problem, you then have another repair to make. If you've considered doing away with your unsightly access panel, why not try one of these ideas to transform it instead?
Give Your Access Panel some Personality
One of the easiest ways to transform the access panel is to use a cute hatch opening instead of the standard white cover. Give the panel the same personality as the rest of your home. Some hatch ideas to consider include:
- Cabinet Door: Purchase a small cabinet door from a home appliance store and use it to cover the hole to your plumbing valves. The door can be wood or plastic, whichever suits your home, but should be waterproof in case of plumbing leaks.
- Vintage Grate: This might take a little more effort to find, but if you like vintage, it will tie in with the theme of your home nicely. Purchase a vintage cast iron grate and to use as an access panel.
- Kid's Decorations: Before you install a new access panel, let your children decorate it however they want. This is a great idea if the access panel is in a playroom or kid's bedroom. You can also cover the panel with a chalkboard for them to decorate and erase as much as they want.
- Handprints: Along the same line as letting your children decorate the panel, you can put their handprints on it. Instead of seeing a tacky cover for a hole in your wall, you will see a beautiful reminder of your growing family.
Blend or Conceal Your Access Panel
There are ways to completely conceal your access panel by blending it into the rest of your home décor. If the above ideas didn't appeal to you, try one of these instead:
- Cover with a Painting or Mirror: This only works if your access panel is in the right spot, but sometimes you can simply cover the panel. Conceal a high access point with pictures of your family, a painting or a mirror. Just keep track of which decoration it's behind, so you don't have to pull all the pictures off the wall to find it!
- Repaint the Wall: Another option is to paint the wall and your access panel at the same time. This is most effective if you paint with two or more colors as it disguises the cracks and hinges of the access panel better.
- Use Removable Tile: If your access panel is in your bathroom, you might be able to cover it with the same tile as the rest of the wall. However, the tile needs to be removable. Install tile to the access panel and grout it separately from the rest of the room so it isn't fixed in place.
- Place a Cabinet in Front of It: You can always put a dresser, vanity, or television stand in front of an access panel. However, these heavier furniture items make for difficult entry when issues come up. Another idea to consider is to place a medicine or linens cabinet in front of the access panel. The cabinet shouldn't be very deep. You can then make an opening in the back part of the cabinet to reach the panel without moving furniture.
If you've considered filling in your access panel because you don't like the way it looks, take a minute to think about these alternate ideas instead. Access panels are necessary to replace plumbing parts and can save a lot of time and money in an emergency plumber service situation. Instead of filling in the hole, you can cover it with a hatch that suits the home. Or you can blend it in with your home décor so you don't notice it at all. You have a lot of options to transform the panel from unsightly to appealing.