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LADDERS: BUYER’S GUIDE & FAQ



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Should I get a ladder, a step or a combination? [open]
You should base your decision on a couple of things: budget, ease of use and aesthetic.

If the price tag is your biggest concern, you should look at ladder systems. Whether you need an A-frame or just something to mount to your deck, ladders are typically cheaper. A-frames are defined as step in pool ladders which normally have handrails, making it safe and easy to use. They also typically take up less space as well.

Having a safe and easy entry is important for a pool. If safety is your main concern we recommend looking limiting your search to pool steps and step systems.

Looking for the best of both worlds? You may want to consider a combination system with in-pool steps and additionally purchasing a ladder for the outside of your pool. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
How do I install a pool ladder? [open]
This will vary depending on if your ladder attaches to your deck or if you have an A-frame ladder. For both types, you’ll want to make sure that you put your ladder in a clearly visible location. You’ll likely need to fill your resin ladder with water or sand to serve as a weight keeping it in place. Be sure to follow the specific instructions that come with your ladder system.

For ladders that mount to your deck (above ground or inground), you’ll begin by attaching your flanges where you’d like to place your ladder. You may need to buy flanges separately. Then you’ll slowly begin to place your ladder in the water, placing the rails in the flanges and then securing them.

A-frame ladders will need to be placed in the water and then secured to the top rail of the pool. As you begin placing it, you may need to begin adding water to serve as a weight to hold the ladder in place. Be sure to avoid damaging your pool’s liner or walls while attaching it. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
How long does a pool ladder last? [open]
Pool ladders all have a different lifespan depending on the material they use. A plastic or resin ladder may not last as long as metal or aluminum. Storing ladders, weather and upkeep can all affect the longevity of your ladder's life. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
Does the number of rungs matter? [open]
This primarily comes down to personal preference.

Above ground ladders typically have 4 to 6 steps that stretch from the pool floor to the top rail or deck. The distance between steps varies from ladder to ladder. For example, if you have small children swimming in your pool you may want to purchase a ladder that has steps closely placed together. Having more specifications will cause you to limit your search, less preferences create more options for you.

Inground pool ladders have anywhere from 2 to 4 steps and rarely reach the bottom. Their main purpose is to help swimmers pull themselves out of the deep end with ease.

It comes down to preference. If you are looking for a ladder to go deeper into your pool you will want to look for ones with more rungs. If you are worried about the ladder fitting where you'd like to place it, then you should opt for a shorter ladder with fewer rungs. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
Do I need to take my ladder out during the winter months? [open]
You’ll want to remove your ladder when you’re closing your pool. This removes an obstacle for closing and helps to keep your ladder in better condition, keeping it safe from harsh winter weather. When storing your ladder for the winter months make sure to keep it in a dry and safe space to avoid any unwanted damage.

Don’t worry though; taking your ladder out for the season is easy, and it won’t be too difficult to put it back in during opening. [Shop All Pool Ladders]

LADDERS

A good pool ladder makes getting in and out of your above ground or inground pool safe and easy. With so many options, you may want to start basic, upgrade or you may prioritize the look, finding the perfect ladder to fit into your décor.

There are so many options varying from material to size, and choosing from step or ladder. Above all, you’ll want to make sure the ladder you select is compatible with your pool. This stretches beyond inground or above ground.
Step vs. Ladder [open]
At PoolSupplies.com, we differentiate between steps and ladders to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. While both make it easy for you to get in and out of your pool, steps and ladders have a few key differences to consider.

Steps allow you to walk right into your pool while ladders require more of a climbing motion as you go up or down rungs. This may be easier for people to maneuver despite taking up more space. Steps tend to be a little more popular and a little more expensive. For more information, check out our Buyer’s Guide on Steps.

Alternatively, ladders have the traditional rung-style you may be familiar with from ladders on land. They’re typically a less expensive option than steps and will take up less space in your pool since they don’t stick out as far. If you have an inground pool with built-in steps, you may want to add a ladder in the deep end.

If you’re getting an entry and exit system for your above ground pool, you may want to consider a combination of step and ladder. To enter the pool, you can get a portion of steps that connect to a ladder outside the pool. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
Picking a Material [open]
If you’ve decided to go the ladder route, you should also choose the material you’d like it to be made of. Ladders are commonly made from alloy stainless steel or plastic resin. Both materials are corrosion-resistant and durable enough to handle pool life.

Resin ladders are typically less expensive, lighter and generally low maintenance. Stainless steel ladders are also fairly low maintenance but are more expensive, heavier and the most common for inground ladders. They also tend to be more stable than resin ladders.

Some ladders have a mix of stainless steel and resin components such as having stainless steel side rails and non-slip resin steps. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
Size Matters [open]
Not all ladders are made the same. Getting the right height for your pool ladder is more important for above ground pools than inground pools. In above ground pools, the ladder you purchase will have to be tall enough to reach the bottom of your pool while also reaching the deck or top rail. Above ground pool ladders are usually adjustable a few inches. For inground pools, ladders rarely reach the bottom and instead span a few steps to help swimmers exit the pool.

You also need to consider how wide the steps are. Some steps are only about 18” wide while some are over 24”. The wider the step, the easier it may be to climb out. Alongside this, you’ll want to look at the ladder’s weight capacity. You want to make sure that the ladder you select is sturdy enough to handle your needs. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
Other Things to Consider [open]
As you begin shopping, you’ll also want to be familiar with the codes and ordinances of your area. You may have restrictions or requirements on the type of ladder you can use. Things to consider can include the placement, angle and security.

If you’re looking into an A-frame ladder for your above ground pool, you’ll want to consider getting an exterior ladder that slides up or has a gate that locks. While it may not be required in your area, it’s a good way to keep your pool secure while not in use and prevent unwanted, unsupervised visitors.

And remember, check if you need to pick up some deck flanges to attach your ladder to your deck. Not all ladders come with flanges in their packaging. [Shop All Pool Ladders]
More Questions?
If you’re unsure of what pool-entry system is best for you or have more questions, call our in-house pool experts at 1-800-356-3025.