The 5 Best Attic Ladders [Ranked]
In this post, we examine 5 of the best-selling attic ladders and see how they compare. First we'll take a look at how they're used and installed.
Attic ladders are useful to have in your home if you have an attic or loft. Without one, you won't have a convenient way to reach the attic.
These ladders install into your attic and easily drop down so you can quickly clamber up. (Scroll down for an installation video).
You will want a quality option, though, since you won't want it breaking as are climbing through a musty attic access panel (Source).
These ladders are generally retractable. This is because you won't want to leave the ladder to your attic down all the time. Usually, these will fold up into the attic when you aren't using them (Source).
You will need to consider the material as well as the tread on the ladder. The material will ensure durability while the tread secures the weight it can handle. If you want to carry a lot of heavy loads, look for a wider tread.
How To Install
How Do They Compare?
Most of the attic ladders that we are looking at here today are steel or aluminum, giving them durability. The shorter Louisville option is wooden, though, making it a flimsier, if more aesthetically attractive, choice. This difference isn't too noticeable though and didn't bother many customers.
The next difference is if they are telescoping or folding attic stairs. Both Louiseville options are folding, each made with strong hinges. The Werner and OxGord ladders, though, are telescoping.
The Fakro option is interesting in its design. Rather than folding or telescoping in the traditional sense, it is a steel scissor design. This means that each step has an almost circular space between it and the next step.
The areas fold in on themselves, making this a folding ladder. Instead of folding like the other models, though, this ladder has a more accordion design.
How to Install an Attic Ladder
- First, you need to measure your attic ladder opening size and mark it on your ceiling.
- Next, you are going to want to cut this opening out. If you are fitting a ladder into a pre-existing opening, skip to the next step.
- You will now need to create and cut header boards to fit the opening. The easiest way to install these is with a nail gun.
- Installing support boards around the opening is crucial as well. This will ensure that the system won't collapse under its own weight.
- Install shims. These are small, wooden blocks that will help to ensure support of the supports. It may sound redundant but you want to make sure this doesn't fall.
- Secure the ladder so that when it's open the legs are flat against the floor.
- From here, you will be able to open and close the ladder at will. If you are planning on closing it, you might want to also install a door to keep the ladder in place when it isn't in use (Source).
What Are Buyers Saying?
Before you buy an attic ladder, you should run through a list of important considerations.
There are a variety of brands you can choose from- Home Depot options, Louisville ladders, Werner ladders, telescoping ladders, ones that are heavy-duty and pulldown, and others that are sliding and folding.
Doing our research, we discovered a variety of different styles including large attic stairs, attached loft hatches, fold up attic ladders, attic ladders for 10 foot ceilings, pull down attic stairs, drop ladders, electric loft hatches, attic ladders and even sliding wooden loft ladders. In addition, our readers submitted the following different types in an effort to disambiguate this unexpectedly complex product category: folding wooden loft stairs, timber loft ladder, steel attic stairs, 12 foot attic ladders, folding stairs for garage, 11 foot pull down attic stairs, Ramsay Loft ladders, timber loft hatches, stair systems, foldable ladders, 10 ft attic ladder, collapsible loft ladder and extra wide attic ladder.
Where To Buy
You can purchase them at retail vendors such as Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, Ace Hardware, Walmart, Harbor Freight, Walgreens, in addition to Costco.
One of the primary advantages is that with a ladder installed you're more prone to access those hard to reach, elevated areas of your residence. This means that you'll be using the storage space more often, helping to keep your first and second floors more organized and neat.
Installation usually isn't too complex and can be a fun DIY project for the family. While you can buy them online, local hardware stores will also sell you pre-assembled kits with do-it-yourself instructions to make it easy to build. While most of these attic ladder kits will seamlessly integrate between the ceiling and the framing which comprises the attic floor, sometimes you will have to enlarge the access hole slightly.
Make sure you have some power tools on hand so that you can frame and cut a wider access opening for your ladder. It should be said that you shouldn't cut truss roofs because of their interlocking system, but if you have a standard rafter framing system you can cut it. In terms of the exact spatial requirements, for a full-size attic ladder to properly function the ceiling opening should measure minimum 22.5" x 54".
Model Numbers To Consider
We took some time and compiled all the different attic ladder model #s. Check them out by cross-referencing them on Walmart. Let us know in the Comments section which one you'd like us to review next: 62022, 66801, 66802, 66803, 66804, 66809, 66820, 66821, 66822, 66823, 66854, 66855, 66858, 66859, 66865, 66866, 66867, 66868, 66869, 66875, 66891, 66892, 66893, 66894, 66894, 66895, 860432, 869716, 869717, 869718, 869719, 869720, AA1510B, AA2210, AA2510, AE2210, AH2210B, AH2510B, AH2512, AL228P, AL258P, CL254P, CS224P, CS254P, L224P, L254P, L305P, LTK RB-021185, LTK RB-021186, S224P, S254P, S305P, W2508, W2510, WH2508, WU2210
Other Installation Considerations
Another often overlooked consideration is adequate landing space. This means that when you climb up it you'll want there to be suitable headroom and area space to access the attic without hitting your head or destroying your knees. You also want to do some length wise measurements to ensure that you don't purchase a ladder that is too long.
Perform these measurements by assessing the distance from the ceiling to the floor and then purchase one that is appropriately sized. Obviously, you'll want to purchase a sturdy ladder. Sometimes you have to consider who will be using it- an obese member of the family will be going up and down on it, make sure that it is rated for their weight.
You'll also want to consider whether to purchase wood, steel or aluminum. Aluminum is widely considered a solid all-around option because it is strong and lightweight. Unlike wood that can be prone to rotting, aluminum is rust-resistant so it is hypothesized that it will withstand the negative effects of temperature changes and moisture better.
Other Buying Considerations
Some other options you'll want to consider is whether you prefer steps or rungs, whether you want to handle rail, how steep the angle of the stairs and ladders are, and whether you prefer a folding or telescoping ladder.
Finally, make sure that your attic access panel is insulated. Many homeowners don't realize that you can lose a lot of cool air and heat through them.