2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 07:54
- What is an invisibility hatch?
- Selection of tools and materials
- Creating the frame and door
- Installation steps
- Video on self-made homemade plumbing hatch
You can provide access to the communications hidden under the tiles by making an inspection hatch with your own hands and installing it on the wall. This will reduce installation costs and will not take much more time compared to choosing a ready-made structure.
Installation of special plumbing hatches is required, first of all, in toilets and bathrooms. They provide access to communications, metering devices, filters, control units and even water heaters hidden behind the tiled walls or, in rare cases, the floor. With the help of such structures, which perfectly fit into the interior, it is easy to check the condition of pipes and water meters, and to replace them. It is not difficult to make an inspection hatch with your own hands, although for this you should know the peculiarities of manufacturing and installation.
What is an invisibility hatch?
There are two types of inspection hatches. The usual option is affordable and easy to install, but visible on the wall. Stealth hatches are not striking, but require more time and experience to install. Ready-made structures, frames and doors can be purchased from a selection of renowned manufacturers (Praktik, Hago and Lukland). But it is more profitable to make a plumbing hatch with your own hands, disguising it with tiles, it will come out several times cheaper.
Selection of tools and materials
In order to make and install a hatch under the bathroom yourself, you need the following tools and materials:
- a push-to-open mechanism for opening the door without handles;
- moisture-resistant drywall (except for options with a brick or concrete wall) and plywood;
- wooden beam;
- reinforced mesh;
- PVA glue and tile adhesive;
- the ceramics itself to the size of the entire surface for cladding, since its installation will be carried out immediately after the installation of the hatch;
- drills and screwdrivers;
- self-tapping screws;
- tape measure and pencil.
Plywood, chipboard or OSB can be used as material for the door and hatch itself - it all depends on the number of tiles glued to it. The more ceramics, the stronger the structure should be. Oriented strand board will be the most stable option, while plywood is suitable if the door is designed for only one tile. When choosing OSB, the thickness of the opening part of the hatch must be at least 12 mm.
Creating the frame and door
After choosing the materials for the manufacture of the frame and door, measurements are taken to determine their dimensions and the location of the hatch is planned. It is advisable to install it in such a way that it is easy to get to it. If the location of the hatch is possible only in hard-to-reach places, it is worth considering not the usual hinged door design, but a hinged one (if there are obstacles at a distance of less than 120 mm from the hatch) or sliding.
It is recommended to choose the size of the door in multiples of the cladding elements. For ceramics with a width and height of more than 25-30 cm, self-made inspection hatches for the meter can coincide in size with one tile. And for access to key communications, a door of at least 400x600 mm should be provided, coinciding in area with 4 standard tiles 20x30 cm. Large dimensions do not always increase the ease of use of the hatch. And in order not to waste extra time and materials on the structure, it is not recommended to make it too high or wide.
Tip: Dimensions can also be selected according to the dimensions of the opening in a brick or concrete wall. At the same time, they may not coincide with the parameters of the tile, but the distance between the edges of the door and the ceramics glued to it should not be more than 5 cm from the hinge side and 7.5 cm from the other sides
In the process of planning the location and dimensions of the door, it is necessary to take into account what material the enclosing structures are made of:
- if the basis for laying the tiles is a concrete wall or brick, you should focus on the dimensions of the existing niche;
- by mounting self-made hatches under the tiles in drywall, the opening is reinforced with a frame made of a metal profile.
Having decided on the size, you should choose the number and location of the hinges for installing the door. For a normal hatch, two fasteners are sufficient. For a large one - three or four, located at a distance of at least 100 mm from each other and about 1-2 cm from the edges of the door.
We separately recommend watching the video below on the use of neodymium magnets for the manufacture of a plumbing hatch.
You should start installing the bathroom inspection hatch with your own hands by creating a frame. For plasterboard walls, the installation process is simplified, since the profiles that reinforced the opening can act as the frame of the structure. And the lining of the inner perimeter of the hatch is sheathed with strips of the same OSB from which it is made. When installing inside a stronger wall, wooden blocks are installed along the edges of a niche with communications or devices.
The next step is to install the hinges on the door, and their counterparts in the right places in the frame (but only for one screw). Next, you need to carry out a test installation to determine the correct installation of the mounts. The installed door must be in the same plane as a brick wall or drywall. In the second version, the hatch is tried on with the already glued plasterboard part. After checking, the mating parts of the hinges are finally fixed with the second screw, the door is installed and its position is adjusted again.
The process of installing ceramics on a plumbing hatch under a tile with your own hands is as follows:
- The outer part of the door is degreased and primed;
- The wooden surface is greased with PVA glue;
- A plaster mesh is glued on top (using a spatula);
- After the glue has dried (at least 12 hours), an adhesive solution is prepared;
- The tile is glued to the nylon mesh;
- The rest of the ceramics are being laid.
Tip: Continue to install tiles from the access door. First, a row is brought to the end (or 2-3 rows in height), and then laying under the door continues. Thus, the position of the ceramics will not be disturbed, and the hatch will be invisible
After installing the tiles on the wall on the sides of the door, the position of the hatch relative to the plane of the wall is additionally checked. If it protrudes or, conversely, is too recessed inward, it is allowed to adjust the position of the fasteners again. And in order to simplify the adjustment, a push system is installed last.
Video on self-made homemade plumbing hatch
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