are there alternatives to tile?

Ok long story short:
*** a leak developed in the piping behind the drywall in my bathroom (underneath) the wall facing the toilet. I had a plumber come in to the condo apt and smash out three tiles at the bottom to get welding equiptment in. *****
I thought about hiring out work to replace the tile (which would involve two straight/square tiles and one with a hole in it to fit the cold water shutoff valve
But I would sort of like to leave that hole accessible should more work EVER need to be done. Is there a substitute for tile other than what i currently have there (a cardboard covering the hole and duct tape around it)???
I have heard of "access panels" but dont know where the look or get these
please advice thanks
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Access panel is a good idea. Often they are in the room on the other side of a bathroom if it is an interior wall. I've never seen one that you can buy, but rather they are built in when the plumbing and drywall is done. Just a wood frame and a sheet of 1/4" hardboard or plywood screwed in place.
I had a similar problem with my shower and had to make a hold on the partition wall next to the vanity. Rather than patch the drywall, I hung a mirror.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Hanging a mirror under the toilet would certainly generate questions...
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I second Edwin's recommendation. Putting an access panel in the tub enclosure is just begging for a leak. You want the access panel on the OTHER side of the wall in which the plumbing runs, if possible.
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wrote:

He could use a boat hatch in the shower. Waterproof, but either stupid or cool, depending on whether there's a woman in the house with an opinion.
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Every access panel would be different depending on all sorts of factors. So, you make them out of wood, or have someone make one for you, usually out of wood.
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HDTV had an episode about this I'll post the link.
I did a reno on my MB a few years ago. I put metal access panels on the exterior wall. I can get beneath the tub from outside access and not disturb tile or the tub surround.
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/rm_walls_other/article/0,,HGTV_3805_1385975,00.html
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Access Panels are available at the HD or other Bigbox stores. The come in sizes to fit any hole. They even cover irregular holes. Made of plastic and just snap into the hole. The look neat and cover a lot of sins.
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anubis wrote:

Be brave - patch up the wall and put the tile back. If it leaks, it won't leak in the very same place again :o)
Art stores have pre-primed masonite panels (for art work). I used one, with an unfinished frame of same size, to make an access panel. I glued together, painted, and screwed it to the wall. Might be tough to fashion it to fit your need, though. My panel is in guestroom, next to guest bath, and is kind of out of the way. I used brass screws with little brass "o" rings to pretty it up to fasten to the wall.
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Thank you, one and all!!!

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