Recommendations for flooring material to go on top of a trap door?


OK, here goes. I bought this investment property and I'm fixing it up. I'm to the point of installing some sort of flooring material in the laundry room/rear entry. Right now the floor is 3/4" plywood. When the previous owners installed this floor they made it 3/4" taller than the large closet in the room which houses the furnace and hot water heater. The problem is the furnace is an updraft model which has the filter laying flush with the floor. The first thing I did was cut a piece of the floor out so I could slide out and replace the filter and then I replaced the flooring. (btw-the filter looked to be 10 years old and was almost sucked up into the squirrel cage). Having the ability to remove this piece of flooring seems to be the easiest way to access the filter. Now comes the hard part. I need to install some sort of finished floor material to the 3/4" plywood that can withstand the rigors of this setup. My first choice would be vinyl sheet goods, but I'm worried it will eventually peel and curl. The area of this trap/access door will see a fair amount of traffic because it will be in front a doorway going into the kitchen from the laundry room. Any ideas?
Yes, I realize I could raise the furnace, but I was kinda thinking about getting away easy on this project.
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CraigT wrote:

Raised floors in computer rooms had almost all kinds of flooring: vinyl, wood, carpet. Each 2x2' "tile" was supported on the corners by floor stand-offs. Each "tile" had a metal edge that overlapped the flooring material, similar to the metal edging used on countertops.
So, then, line the hole with this metal edging and do likewise with the trap door.
Don't forget you have to have some way to LIFT the door. Computer tiles were picked up with either a suction cup or, in the case of carpet, a spikey-thingy that grabbed on carpet.
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Use recessed tie down loops like truckers have in truck beds for securing cargo. Lots of sizes and types at Ace, Grainger, other good hardware sources. You will have to route out a recess for the hardware, of course.
Joe
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CraigT wrote:

What is under the 3/4" plywood?
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Nothing but the floor joists and an inaccessible crawlspace. Between the bottom of the joices and the dirt floor of the crawlspace is about 12".
My intentions are to install cross bracing to the joists using hangers to hold the trap/access door.
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Cork:
http://askarlene.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/cork_tiles.jpg
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"CraigT" wrote

It's a laundry room. I'd use some of the outdoor carpets on the market in solid 'cut to fit' sheets. Take a peek, it's a lot more than just 'looks like green grass' now. My sunroom has a nice berber version. If it gets wet, it isn't damaged by it. Probably cheaper and easier than laying vinyl tile and will likely wear better too. (Cover the trap better too).
Just lay it over things. No need to nail it down. Peel back when needed to access the trap.
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