loft ladder measurement infographic

Loft Ladder Measurements

If you’re planning to install a loft ladder, there are some vital calculations you’ll need to do first. Whether you’re shopping for a wooden loft ladder or a concertina ladder, you need to know if it’ll fit your home before you make a purchase.

To help you get it right, we’ve put together this loft ladder measurements guide. Do make sure that your measurements are as accurate as possible – accurate measurements will prevent complications with your loft ladder installation later on.

DID YOU KNOW? You can use the filters on our website to find a loft ladder that meets your exact requirements! Visit laddersukdirect.co.uk/shop/loft-ladders to browse our range.

Floor to Floor Height

One of the most important measurements you need to take before purchasing a loft ladder is the floor-to-floor height. Get this measurement wrong, and your loft ladder might be too long or too short!

The floor-to-floor height is exactly what it says on the tin: the distance between the floor of your loft and the floor below it (where the loft ladder will sit when fully extended). You will need to know this measurement in order to purchase sliding, concertina or telescopic loft ladders.

Floor to Ceiling Height

Floor-to-ceiling height is important because you want to make sure your new loft ladder folds away neatly and the hatch is flush to the ceiling.

To take this measurement, you need to measure the space between the floor and the ceiling of the room under your loft. This measurement is needed if you’re purchasing a folding loft ladder or a ladder that’s integrated with a loft hatch.

Hatch Clearance

When you install a folding loft ladder, you need to make sure there’s enough space for the ladder hatch to move freely. So it’s important to measure the arc between the hatch and the wall.

To take this measurement, you should measure the distance between the back of your loft hatch and the nearest obstruction in the room below.

Loft Hatch Opening

If you don’t have a loft hatch in place already, then you’ll need to take loft hatch opening measurements. These define the size of the hole you’ll need to cut to install your new loft ladder and hatch.

You may need to consider where the structural beams in the ceiling are – you definitely don’t want to cut through those! Also take into account wires, pipes and other obstructions before you start cutting.

Did we mention we sell complete loft ladder and hatch kits here at Ladders UK Direct? Don’t forget to check them out!

Horizontal & Vertical Clearance

When you’re folding your loft ladder away, it will take up some space in the attic. Ideally, you want your ladder to fit neatly into the attic without bumping into your belongings or other obstacles. If you get the horizontal and vertical clearance of your loft ladder wrong, you might have a hard time putting it away.

This measurement is usually determined by the height of your attic. To find out if your chosen loft ladder will fold away into the attic, you should check its maximum clearance in the product specification. If you can’t find it, get in touch with your loft ladder supplier.

 

Popular Types of Loft Ladder

Having trouble choosing the right type of loft ladder for your home? Let’s take a look at the two most popular styles…

Sliding

Sliding loft ladders are the most common type of loft ladder on the market. The sections of the loft ladder slide together to create one compact unit inside the loft ladder hatch.

Concertina

Concertina loft ladders are ideal if you have very little attic space. Rather than sliding together in large sections, the whole ladder concertinas (folds in on itself) to become a very small unit. These loft ladders are often used for mezzanine floors.

 

Popular Loft Ladder Materials

When it comes to choosing the right material for your loft ladder, there are two options that dominate the market: wood and aluminium.

Aluminium Loft Ladders

If you’re in the market for an inexpensive, lightweight loft ladder, aluminium is the way to go. Aluminium loft ladders can be used by most people. We’d recommend aluminium loft ladders to homeowners who want to purchase one loft ladder to last a lifetime, but don’t plan to access the attic often. This is simply because aluminium loft ladders don’t offer the most comfortable climb.

Wooden Loft Ladders

Wooden loft ladders are a beautiful, natural alternative to aluminium loft ladders. They’re made to last, can be customised using wood paints and are especially comfortable to climb because of their smooth edges. We’d recommend wooden loft ladders if you’re planning a loft conversion and want to access your attic more regularly.

 

Now you know a bit more about the measurements you need and the options on offer, we hope you can choose the perfect loft ladder for your home.

We offer a wide range of loft ladders including wooden ladders, mezzanine ladders, concertina ladders and even loft ladder and hatch kits! Head over to our Loft Ladders page to shop.

Loft Ladders >

Email sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk for more help finding your perfect loft ladder.

Man climbing up a wooden loft ladder

If you want to access your attic more easily, installing a loft ladder is a great way to achieve this. A permanent loft ladder saves you the hassle of fetching and setting up a conventional ladder every time you want to go up there - and most loft ladders can be neatly folded away when you're done.

Before you purchase a loft ladder, though, we recommend taking a moment to familiarise yourself with the different types of loft ladder that are available. Here's a quick guide from Ladders UK Direct...

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Bedroom

People are constantly looking for creative ways to expand their living space and increase the value of their home. Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular ways to do this is by converting the loft into a usable space. Whether you need to add a new bedroom in time for a new arrival, or you want to add a private office space away from the rest of the house, making the most of the space in the rafters is an appealing choice. 

It turns out, you can't just pop a double bed, a desk and a lamp into your loft and call it a day. As with most major renovations, there are a few legal hoops that you have to jump through before you can declare your loft conversion as a safe and functional room. You've probably seen properties for sale with the elusive promise of a 'potential fourth bedroom subject to regulations'. This just means that there's a loft that could be turned into a bedroom, so long as it complies with building regulations. 

But what are these building regulations and what do you need to do to comply with them? Let's find out.

General Loft Conversion Regulations

Whether you're planning to turn your loft into a bedroom or an attic, there are some fundamental building regulations that your conversion needs to comply with. Most of these are to do with the stability and safety of the loft itself and set out the minimum requirements for things such as:

  • The structural integrity of the loft floor and ceiling
  • The installation of a suitable stairway access
  • Any changes you plan to make to the outside of your home
  • The additional fire escape route
  • The insulation required in the floor and walls

Specific Bedroom Regulations

Once you've made sure that your loft conversion complies with the various regulations listed above, you can turn your attention to the more specific, additional regulations that you must adhere to if you want to use the finished space as a bedroom. That's right, there's an extra layer of regulations in place to make sure that the room can be used as a bedroom safely. These regulations include:

  • Headroom - There needs to be sufficient room for someone to get in and out of the bed without hitting their head. This might mean that you have to make alterations to the pitch or overall height of the room. Bear in mind that the headroom required along your allocated fire escape route needs to be a minimum of 2 metres.

 

  • Insulation - When it comes to insulation for a loft conversion bedroom, there needs to be 50mm of insulation along the roof as well as sufficient insulation in the floors and walls. You should consider the additional insulation required when you're making your headroom calculations.

 

  • Fire and safety - The requirements for fire safety vary greatly depending on the nature of your loft conversion. As such, it's important that you contact your local authority or building control specialist to ensure that your loft bedroom conversion complies. In general, taller buildings have stricter fire requirements for obvious reasons. Descending from a third or fourth storey in an emergency is going to be infinitely harder than the first or second. 

 

  • A proper loft staircase - Unlike your usual lofts that you maybe pop into once or twice a year, loft bedroom conversions require a suitable, sturdy staircase. Typical aluminium or concertina loft ladders are not appropriate for use in this scenario. Instead, you should opt for a loft staircase. These staircases offer permanent access to your loft, boast a traditional wood look, and will help you create a safe loft conversion. 

 

  • A fire safety door - This door should be able to open fully allowing easy access in and out of the new loft bedroom. Doors along the proposed fire escape route also need to be replaced/upgraded to fire doors. This helps to control the spread of a fire, should the worst occur.

Does Boarding a Loft Add Value?

If you decide to do a loft conversion that complies with the necessary building regulations, it can definitely add value to your home. If your loft conversion also applies to the specific bedroom guidelines, you can safely upgrade your housing listing from a 3 bedroom property to a 4 bedroom property! This can make your home much more appealing to potential buyers when/if you decide to sell it. 

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we offer a wide range of loft staircases, designed to help you get your loft conversion underway. If you're unsure which loft staircase is right for you, why not drop us an email? sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

space saving staircase

Do you feel like you could be making better use of your loft space? Perhaps getting a new loft ladder is a good place to start! It can be quite difficult to choose a loft ladder, after all, there are so many different types on the market. Whether you want to organise your storage space, or you want to do a full-on loft conversion - we have a loft ladder that's perfect for you here at Ladders UK Direct! 

Shop Loft Ladders Now >

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Best loft ladder

A question we get a lot from our customers is - what is the best loft ladder? The answer to this question varies depending on your loft, your decor and your needs. Will you be using the ladder often? Do you need a loft ladder that's suitable for someone elderly?

Does it need to fit in with the aesthetic of your home? There are several factors you need to consider before you make your purchase, but rather than buying blindly, let us help you find the best loft ladder for you.

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