My basement bathroom has drop ceiling currently and it's rather a large area with all plumbing there (from top 2 bathroom):

enter image description here

It is almost 3x5 feet area.

If I cover most with drywall and have access panel, how large of an access panel is needed?

OR should I have multiple access panel? What is the right way to do this to hide the obvious access panel to make it somehow "flushed" to the ceiling?

I rather NOT put the drop ceiling there again.


  • I would strongly consider correcting the issues i see in the ceiling before you cover it up. The flexible pipe does not look like a good permanent fix. If you replace it with copper and crimp fittings or soldered, do not use push to fit, they are only guaranteed for 25 years. Galvanized pipes, such as yours are rusting at the threads, the weakest part made weaker. If you are getting into a major remodel, that needs to be addressed. The drain pipes usually leak first, since the air in the pipes allow rusting on the inside, compounding the problem.
    – Jack
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


No real need to access anything there, frame it in and cover it all with drywall and no access panels. The flexible pipe looks "iffy" and there appears to be no valves that would need access, so if there was a leak, an access panel would not help facilitate a repair, since the ceiling would be damaged by the leak, it would need replacement anyway.

  • I tend to agree with you on the last statement. There was a leak before on top bathroom and I had to open it out to look into / troubleshoot. I left it like that since then. It was useful to troubleshoot only. But if there is significant water damage, yeah, access panel won't help (but definitely point out the leak earlier due to water going through the access panel).
    – HP.
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 7:24
  • @HP. There's an electrical junction box there (on the left side of the pic), that would most certainly need to remain accessible. Junction boxes can't be hidden behind drywall.
    – stevieb
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 19:17
  • I'd never put a non-removable ceiling, in the basement of my own home... Especially under a bathroom and/or kitchen. If you live there more than 5-10 years, you will need up there.
    – tahwos
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 0:36
  • @tahwos the ceiling of a bathroom on a first floor with a bathroom overhead on the second floor is no different. Access panels are needed for code where code requires... I seen no need in this application.
    – Jack
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 3:54
  • @stevieb, good catch on the Jbox, the OP could set it to the new framing and set a cover plate over it after drywall is done. Provided there is enough slack in the wires to do so, if not, then only a small 6X6 or 8X8 spring loaded cover will work
    – Jack
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 3:57

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