5 Types of Simple Loft Stairs
There are several different types of loft stairs available. If you’re finishing the loft you’ll need to consider which to use to make the loft accessible. Even if the loft remains unfinished you still need to be able to get into it for any number of reasons (such as insulating it). These options are all relatively simple.
The most common type of loft stairs is the loft ladder. This is an extending ladder on a hinge that’s stored in the attic. Once the loft trapdoor has been opened the ladder can be pulled down and extended to the floor. Once that is done it’s safe to climb up to the attic.
To slide the ladder back up, the ladder is compressed and then pushed up. It will catch against the hinge and a device keeps it in place. After that, all that needs to be done is to close the loft trapdoor. It’s very basic access and will only work for those who can climb ladders. Where the loft has been finished and made into a room for living it’s definitely not appropriate.
Alternating Tread Staircase
An alternating tread staircase represents a good option when you don’t want to use a ladder as loft stairs but space is still limited. It takes up much less space than a regular staircase but still does the job and includes a handrail, as all staircases must.
They will be steeper than traditional stairs, due to the lack of space, and this might make them inadvisable for some people. However, they’re a good choice for most folk, and don’t encroach too much into space, which can often be the greatest problem with loft access.
Folding stairs fold down from the loft to the ground and are a compromise between the loft ladder and a staircase. There are two types of these. Accordion stairs are hinged at each stair, so every single step unfolds, meaning they can fold up into a small area.
Telescoping stairs will fold out a hinge at a time. In both cases the stairs will extend along rails to keep them firmly in place for the security of those using the stairs.
A spiral staircase can be the ideal loft stairs. Not only do they look good but they have the advantage of taking up a small amount of floor space. They do require a larger loft opening than some other types of loft stairs (especially loft ladders). The greatest problem is that on a typical landing, even spiral stairs can be too large.
Where space isn’t a problem you can use fixed stairs for loft stairs. These have the advantage of continuing the look up from the ground floor. These straight-run stairs are easy to use for anyone who can manage stairs and allow the movement of goods to the attic without problems the other styles can cause. You’d only use the fixed stairs option when you’re having a fully finished loft.