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How to Install a bauco softline Access Door – Part 1

Bob Jackson
Last Updated on
by Bob Jackson

This project explains how to install a bauco softline access door in the bathroom drywall to access the shower and bathtub plumbing.

bauco softline Access Doors

The bauco softline access door (access panel) by Access Panel Solutions is simple to install, fits flush against the wall and requires no drywall finishing! Additional benefits and features are:

  • Attractive powder-coated sheet metal doesn’t require painting
  • Galvanized sheet metal resists rust
  • Concealed hardware hinges and touch-spring latches
  • Removable door for unobstructed access
  • Anchor straps automatically adjust for the wall thickness
  • For use with drywall, wood paneling, brick, stone, tile, etc.
  • Available in a variety of standard and custom sizes
  • Keyed lock and spring-touch latch models
bauco softline Access Doors
bauco softline Access Doors

Exterior Walls and Ceilings

The bauco softline is best suited for installation in interior walls and ceilings inside the home because it doesn’t have an air seal gasket around the door to prevent drafts. If your access door application requires an air seal – for example if installed in the ceiling below the unheated attic or in an exterior wall – the bauco Architectural Drywall Access Panels are an ideal solution.

bauco softline Product Details

Two examples of the bauco softline access door are the 10 inch by 18 inch touch latch model #30-1018-TL. The 10 inch wide model fits great between 2×4 wall studs set on 12 inch centers with plenty of room to reach through and do maintenance work.

bauco softline Access Door: 10
bauco softline Access Door: 10″ x 18″ Model: 30-1018-TL

The following photo is the bauco softline 14 inch by 14 inch model #30-1414-TL. The 14 inch wide model is preferred for mounting between 2×4 wall studs or ceiling joists set on 16 inch centers. The distance between 2×4 stud faces on 16 inch centers is 14-1/2 inches where the 14 inch bauco softline requires a rough opening of 13-1/2 inches. See the bauco softline size chart for more information on door sizes and rough opening dimensions.

bauco softline Access Door 14
bauco softline Access Door 14″ x 14″ Model: 30-1414-TL

Here’s the rear side of the bauco softline sheet metal access panel showing the frame flange and touch latch hardware:

bauco softline Access Door Hardware: 14
bauco softline Access Door Hardware: 14″ x 14″ Model: 30-1414-TL

A key feature of the bauco softline are the adjustable wall anchor straps. The straps swing out for attachment to the wall supports with nails or screws. Have a shallow wall with limited clearance? Simply move the anchor straps left or right in an arc to shorten the effective length. Mounting to 2×4 blocking is shown here:

bauco softline Access Door Hardware: Wall Anchor Mounting
bauco softline Access Door Hardware: Wall Anchor Mounting

The next photo illustrates the bauco softline mounting concept in drywall with 2×4 cross blocks between the wall studs. After sawing the rough opening, the bauco softline is held against the wall surface for fastening the wall anchor straps for a flush fit. The anchor straps adjust automatically to the correct depth; no measuring or guesswork! A flush fit every time.

bauco softline Installation Example: 2x4 blocks
bauco softline Installation Example: 2×4 blocks

The touch latch door opens by pressing inward slightly to actuate the spring touch latches. The door fully removes by pulling on the hinge release to compress the hinge spring which frees the door from the frame. Door installation is the reverse sequence. The door removes and installs in seconds. A key lock model is available to prevent unauthorized access or if you need child-proofing in the home.

bauco softline Access Panel: Removable Door
bauco softline Access Panel: Removable Door

This project is continued in How to Install a bauco softline Access Door – Part 2.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

30-1018-TL30-1414-TLaccess panelaccess panel solutionsbauco architectural drywall access panels
Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson
Technology product manager by day and a prolific handyman in the evenings and over the weekends. Bob was the founder of the original Handyman How To website and that tradition continues on this site with excellent new handyman content into the future.
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