Floor doors and roof hatches are among the unsung heros of the construction industry. Although they typically go unnoticed, roof and floor hatches play a vital role of the way buildings operate. They provide access to equipment and storage areas located beneath flooring or inside ceilings that must be reached through a wide opening. Hatches and doors installed into a floor of roof also allow access between levels of a building otherwise disconnected.
Roof and floor hatches are different from other access doors primarily because of where they are located. Floor hatches have to hold up to foot traffic and roof hatches are have to withstand the elements they’re exposed to. Their locks, hinges, handles, frames, and door surfaces are all designed around the need for heavy-duty durability. Roof and floor hatches must also maintain the insulative properties of the floor or roof in which they are installed by creating a suitable seal.
Types of Roof and Floor Hatches
Roof hatches and floor doors are designed for specific settings and purposes. A hatch on a roof is made to hold up to snow, wind, and rain. A simple aluminum floor door is made to disappear under carpeting or look unobtrusive on a tiled floor. Each type of door is made with safety in mind: flush surfaces for safe walking, easy-to-use handles, and sturdy frames.
Steel Roof Hatches
A steel roof hatch provides access to a roof from the interior of a building. Made of heavy-duty steel, these hatches are designed to withstand the elements and foot traffic. Weather gaskets, sturdy handles, and rust-resistant coating make a steel roof hatches suitable for installation on the outside of a building. Black and yellow tape line the perimeter and inside the door. This makes using the door safer by making it obvious when the hatch is in its open position.
Roof hatches are often used in combination with adisappearing stairway. These ladders collapse and are stored behind the access door. They are manufactured from aluminum and are custom made for the space they occupy up to 13.5 feet.
Fire Rated Floor Hatches
Floor hatches in certain commercial and industrials settings must be fire rated. An aluminumfire rated floor hatch should be both fire resistant and sturdy enough to handle regular foot traffic. These doors are stabilized with a diamond plate for this reason.
Fire rated floor hatches offer the added benefit of a recessed panel in the door to hold a square of floor material. Once installed with the flooring surface surrounding it, the closed hatch is flush with the floor. It can be fitted with tile, concrete, stone, and other thick materials in order to fit in seamlessly with the surrounding design.
Aluminum Floor Hatches
Aluminum floor hatches are a basic, sturdy choice for a floor door. These access doors are manufactured with a variety of surface materials. Adiamond-plated surface may be appropriate for doors left exposed to foot traffic in a commercial setting. Thin flooring material like linoleum can be applied to asmooth-plated door for design purposes. When placed under a carpeted area, a door that can feature noise-controlling padding is a good choice. Aluminum floor hatches come inheavy duty models for areas where a floor door is walked on and used more frequently.
Recessed Floor Hatch
Hatches are like any other door: they should fit the design of the room they’re installed in.Recessed floor hatches allow you to fit a piece of flooring into the door so it blends in seamlessly with surrounding floor surfaces. They are made to accept 1” of flooring material including concrete, stone, and tile. Recessed floor hatches are made with the same level of durability as other floor doors, but offer additional design features that make an exposed floor hatch less noticeable.
Choosing the Right Roof Hatch or Floor Door
Considering the purpose of the floor door or roof hatch and where it will be located can help you decide which option is the best choice. When installing an access door, be sure to follow the necessaryrequirements for proper installation. Finding the right location, selecting the proper size, using the right method of installation, and troubleshooting any issues with visibility ensures your door can be used safely for its intended purpose.
You’ll be sure to find the right floor or roof hatch you need among WB Doors extensive collection of high-quality access doors.