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Install & Replace


Ceiling access panel trim


The issue I'm having is kind of hard to explain and hope I'm also in the right thread. But here goes... I recently installed an access panel in the ceiling of (what will be) my home theater for future wiring (projector). The ceiling is drywall and the access panel is square piece of drywall (roughly 12"x12") on 1x3's hinged also to 1x3's (which are secured to the joists). My problem is that I didn't anticipate how jagged the edges of the drywall would be I would now need some sort of trim along the four edges. However, the trim on the hinged edge needs to be flexible enough so that when I open the access panel I wouldn't damage the ceiling. Any ideas?


Thanks so much!



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Posted 2010-11-11T01:15:47+0000  by racer racer

Hey John,

Good call on the projector. What are you going to use as a screen? I’ve seen a lot of really cool ideas for that if you don’t have one in mind.  From what I gather from your description your access panel is hinged to open down into the room, correct? But I am not sure if you want the trim to go on the ceiling around the access panel, or on the actual access panel?

I think the 14”x14” access panel that Pat was talking about in the video is the best way, but there are a couple of other things you can do in your situation. A lot of ceiling access panels are trimmed with standard door and window casing. The casing is framed around the hole in the ceiling, but a little smaller so that the edge of trim sticks out into the hole about a ½”. The reason for that is so a piece of wood or drywall cut to the size of the hole would be able to sit on the edge of the casing and appear flush with the ceiling.

If you just want something to go along the edge of the drywall there is a flexible vinyl J-channel made for ½” drywall. You could put this along the edges of your 12”x12” piece of drywall to give it a nice clean look. Take a look at this

 Let us know what you are going to do. -Gregg

Best Answer

Posted 2010-11-11T15:45:11+0000  by gotogregg

Hello Racer,

Home Theater, WOW! That is a home improvement we would all love!


GoToGregg and I are co-oping on your answer to provide two different approaches. Like many repairs, this one may have more than two satisfactory solutions. Please review the attached video for ready-made access doors. Gregg's solution will be posted in the following thread. Others members of the Community may be able to follow this thread with their own ideas and solutions (i.e. do you need an electrical junction box behind the access panel?)


Gregg and I hope these ideas help.


Posted 2010-11-11T14:49:44+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Pat, Gregg,


Thanks so much for the suggestions. To answer your questions.

1) Unfortunately, I've already put the access panel in place and in fact there is already a low voltage box on it for me to wire HDMI and VGA cables, so while the 14"x14" would've been a good idea say 2 months ago :) I'm sort of "stuck" with another solution.

2) Yes, the access panel will swing down into the room.

3) I'm actually thinking of having the trim on the access panel so that when I close it no gaps are visible at all. I though of just using door casing around the hole since I do have some left, but you would still be able to see some of the jagged edges. Yes, I'm picky.


Originally I thought to use some kind of "accordion" flexible type plastic/vinyl that I can secure to both the ceiling and panel on the hinged side so that when I opened the access panel, it (some accordion type plastic/vinyl) would "close in on itself". I may have to end up using the door casing for the hole and the J-channel for the panel edge to hide the imperfections.


Thanks though!

Posted 2010-11-11T20:55:33+0000  by racer

Pat, Great Job on the ceiling access panel video. You'll be in HD commercials soon!



Posted 2010-11-22T17:42:14+0000  by Mike_HD_OC

PatInPaint, This is awesome! A customized video response. Wow. Love what you guys are doing at HD. Now I only wish I had a problem that I needed a video answer for. Shoot.... Let me think about this one. Anyway, super work, and well explained.--Peter

Posted 2010-11-23T23:21:00+0000  by PMeans123

Answer to his question on video. Posted on the internet to help others. Just like BETTER than being in the store. Well done.:manhappy:

Posted 2010-11-25T13:57:50+0000  by Glide2Fly
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