Loft ladders. Which ones to choose?

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Carolina Pimenta/unsplash.com
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Loft ladders – what do you need to know?

Choosing the attic stairs is another quite important and at the same time not very easy decision to make during construction of a house. Even if our attic is not usable, we still need to be able to get to it.

The advantage of loft ladders is their size – they in no way interfere with the space or the design of the attic or the lower floor, they are also suitable for very small rooms. The price also plays a big role – making traditional interior stairs is simply more expensive.

On the market we will get many models that need to be adjusted individually to the design of the house and our needs and expectations. In each case it is necessary to minimize the so-called thermal bridges, which are points through which heat could escape from the interior of the house. As a result, we would need more energy and fuel to heat the house and consequently pay higher bills.

We also need to match the type of loft ladder to the opening in the ceiling (unless you choose the stairs first and then make the opening), the height of the box and the stairs themselves.

Types of loft ladders

On the market you will find many models of attic stairs. You should get acquainted with their characteristics and then decide which will be suitable for our house.

We distinguish between loft ladders:

  • wooden – usually produced from soft coniferous trees, such as pine, spruce, but also beech, accept load up to about 160 kg, the steps are anti-slip;
  • metal – made of steel or aluminum, more resistant to loads and more durable, ideal for high rooms, the steps are non-slip;
  • folding – usually made of wood, may have three or four parts connected by hinges, are the most popular;
  • extendable – have a similar construction, but instead of hinges, fittings are used to allow free movement of parts of the stairs, do not require much space to unfold;
  • scissors – metal, folded like an accordion, easier to handle than the previous types, take up little space during unfolding and folding, you can slightly adjust their length to fit the height of the room.

How to hide the hatch from the loft ladder?

Attic stairs hide in the ceiling and at the same time in the floor of the attic. A tight hatch is necessary here to ensure, among other things, thermal comfort by separating the heated rooms from the unheated loft (the heat transfer coefficient should be as low as possible).

In addition, although usually the entrance to this unused space is not located in the central point of the house, for example, the living room, it is necessary to cover the flap aesthetically.

Mostly it is wooden or perfectly imitates this material. It can also be easily painted in such a way that it blends into the arrangement of the ceiling and thus becomes almost invisible. However, remember to clean it regularly, so that dust does not accumulate in the cracks, which would make the flap begin to stand out.

Main photo: Carolina Pimenta/unsplash.com

Peter Bowers

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