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Thread: Floor Access Panels

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Shinshi's Avatar
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    Default Floor Access Panels

    I have 3 plumbing access points in my basement foundation which are right in the middle of what I intend to be a bedroom floor. I am still uncertain on how to make them as hidden as possible and still make it possible for future access should it be required. Does anyone have any recommendations on this?

    I am planning a subfloor with Delta FL and 5/8" OSB. What I put on top of the subfloor can be changed depending on what would be best. I'd prefer carpet in this case to add warmth to the floor. I was thinking that I would mark where the access points are on the subfloor and cover with wall to wall carpet. Should access be required, the carpet can be rolled back and the subfloor could be cut where marked. Then when the job was done, the subfloor repaired and the carpet rolled back.

    I've been told that this idea would not meet code as access to these floor cleanouts must be easier than what I have described. My thinking is that it would be so rare to have to access these cleanouts that this method would be acceptable.

    What is the general consensus on this method?

    Is there any good way of making hidden access to these floor access cleanouts?

  2. #2
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    I like your ideas. My 30-year-old home had no cleanouts anywhere. When I remodeled a bathroom, I added a cleanout, but there was no practical way to put it in an accessible place, so it's now underneath a 12x12 porcelain tile, marked with a tiny brass plaque that says "In case of poop, break tile." Based on past history, I doubt we'll ever have to do that. I'm also pretty sure it's not per Code.

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    DIY Senior Member taysan's Avatar
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    I'd go with laminate wood flooring and area rugs. Access panels would be easy to make and cover with area rugs, and frankly, I think laminate flooring is a better resale investment than wall to wall carpet in a basement.

    Laminates are cheap now - as cheap or cheaper than carpet in many cases, and easy as pie to install yourself.

    That being said, if you're stuck on carpet, steal a page from commercial carpet installations which are actually done in tiles. This allows for reconfig of partition walls without ripping up rolls and rolls of carpet, and it makes installation easier given no hauling of massive rolls of carpet up in tiny elevators.

    You could, depending on the carpet, neatly cut a nice square over the cutout and have a panel with carpet glued to it in place. Depending on the carpet you might not even notice it is there.
    Last edited by taysan; 04-28-2008 at 08:11 AM.

  4. #4

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    No mention of whats beneath all of these.If its a location where your sewer leaves the structure, then remodel with ,"what would I do if the sewer backs up here on a sunday night?" in mind.
    Last edited by bombjay; 04-28-2008 at 02:40 PM. Reason: I can't spell.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default cleanouts

    You must have had a beginner plumber, because one who has been in the business for more than two weeks or so knows how to put them in the walls so your problem does not happen.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Shinshi's Avatar
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    I like the idea about putting a access point under a tile. I am planning to do exactly that in the bathroom where I have an access point to the backwater valve right in the middle of the floor.

    I've considered laminate, but had decided on carpet for added warmth. I may reconsider laminate in this room at least. It would make it easier to cover the access points with an area rug. That might be the best option if I am to make them easily accessible.

    There are still two other clean outs. One in the main stack just before it goes down through the foundation. The other is in the ceiling of the basement about the middle of the house. I definately plan to have easy access to both of those via access panels. It just sucks to have some in the middle of the floor that I'd like to cover.

    One covers the cleanout for the sanitary sewer, one for the storm sewer and the other a drain beneath the foundation. I believe the drain goes into the storm sewer. I do have a drain in the utility room that is connected to the sanitary sewer.

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