In private homes, where the attic is always present, the attic staircase plays a large role. Particular attention must be paid to the choice of this design.
Modern stores can help with this by offering a rich assortment of various finished products. But it is often difficult to determine which staircase is best installed in the house. Therefore, it is important to know in advance about the features, types and characteristics of attic structures.
The attic is a compartment that occupies the upper territory of a private house and is connected to the rest of the territory through staircases. The stairs are installed directly to the entrance to the attic. A tight connection is necessary so that there are no holes where the leg may get stuck.
The staircase can be located in the room connected to the attic, and on the street, forming a "cold" entrance to the attic. The internal structure can be made in various variations, but a prerequisite is the harmony of the stairs with the interior of the room.
The product should not get out of the general concept or fade against the background of a catchy design. External variation should be combined with the design of the facade of the building. It is necessary to select the appropriate material that is resistant to various weather manifestations . An important feature of attic stairs is the degree of their reliability. No matter what type of fixation the structures have, they must be firmly attached to the attic hole and withstand heavy weight .
Materials, types and sizes
There are many varieties of staircases for the attic. Each of them is distinguished by a number of characteristic features, but all of them imply the obligatory presence of a hatch - an attic hole through which access to the attic is made. The hatch is often also the holder of the attic stairs.
When the choice comes to the stairs, buyers usually consider several varieties, according to the design of the structure.
This design is called standard. It is presented in the form of a complex frame with steps, occupying the entire territory from the floor to the hatch. A distinctive feature of such a product is its thoroughness: the ladder cannot be moved or removed if necessary .
Such designs are typical of classic old houses. They often have a complex shape and design, are screw or marching. Sometimes the space under such a structure can perform a separate function (for example, be used as a storage room).
The spiral staircase is a narrow spiral design. Often such a structure is equipped with a railing made of a material different from that used to create the frame itself.
Spiral staircases are made of various materials, they are embodied in a variety of styles. This design requires that the room leading to the attic should have a sufficiently high ceiling , otherwise the staircase bends will look ridiculous.
This type of attic construction with a hatch has been particularly popular recently. It includes many varieties of staircases.
The staircase itself is a mobile structure, folding in various ways and not cluttering up the space. Folding options are endowed with many interesting mechanisms that allow you to mask the stairs in various ways.
Such models have a rather complicated design. They do not depend on the attachment to the hatch, as they are folded to join the wall .
Using special card loops, the steps are fixed. Such a staircase allows you to save space as much as possible.
Equally popular are the sliding mechanisms of the attic stairs. The staircase is divided into sections that connect to each other by means of metal tubes. Particularly popular is the three-section design . In assembled form, it is difficult to notice a clear arrangement of the steps of such a ladder; when disassembled, they are precisely fixed, and each step is clearly in place.
Such a ladder is not one of the most stable, it has certain weight restrictions.
With telescopic mechanism
Among the sliding stairs, constructions with a telescopic mechanism are of particular interest. The essence of such a structure is that in the folded state, the sections are one in the other.
When the ladder needs to be disassembled, the sections advance one by one (like a telescope mechanism). The thickest parts are the lower ones, it is in them that the remaining sections are placed during assembly (the higher the section, the thinner its frame). When the staircase is assembled, it takes up little space.
In another way, a similar staircase is called an accordion or scissor. Its sections are presented in the form of rhombs or ovals, specially bonded to each other. The compression method of this design resembles a harmonic compression mechanism.
Most often, such an easy construction is made of metal, it requires careful care, so that when dismantling the staircase does not emit a squeak.
This type of stairs includes direct portable structures or stepladders. They are placed at a certain angle under the attic hatch and, if necessary, cleaned.
Attic stairs are classified by disassembly method. Consider the basic mechanisms.
Using a special cane mounted in the ceiling, the assembled structure is hooked to a special hook and pulled onto itself. Often, it is not necessary to exert great forces to get the ladder into working position.
Electric ceiling products allow automatic staircase extension using remote control.
This method is especially convenient if your house has a high ceiling.
In addition to the main options for the design of the stairs, an important feature in dividing products into groups is the material from which the product is made. There are several types of raw materials for the production of attic stairs.
Wood is the most popular material for the manufacture of stairs. Complex structures like spiral staircases and compact folding models are made from it. The most affordable option is pine, sometimes maple or oak wood is used in production .
The structures are quite strong and solid, however, under certain conditions, stairs can rot. To avoid this, it is necessary to periodically treat the stairs with special compounds or apply a protective coating on it . Do not forget about the means against wood parasites.
The second most popular material is metal. It is used mainly for creating stairs leading to the attic from the street. Inside the house, such a design will be appropriate if it is combined with a certain style of interior. The indisputable advantage of the metal is its strength, but in conditions of high humidity on the stairs may appear rust and corrosion (in the case of using special ferrous metal).
It is necessary to cover structures with special anti-corrosion compounds . Unlike a wooden system, a staircase made of metal is not so easy to make on your own. The metal staircase does not suffer from fire, in case of fire it will not impede the exit from the attic.
Consider the relevance of different materials:
- Stainless steel is popular for folding stairs. It has a light weight and increased resistance to moisture. Such structures must be lubricated periodically so that the mechanisms operate silently.
- Aluminum can be seen in telescopic retractable attic structures. This material is used because of its low weight. This creates additional convenience in the operation of the stairs.
- For individual parts of the structure (steps or railings) use additional materials: rubber and PVC . They help to avoid unnecessary sliding on metal structures. Creating a stronger grip with different soles of shoes and hands, such protection mechanisms do not allow to slip on the stairs and get injured.
- The combined staircase is popular in the design of the space between the room and the attic. Such a ladder may consist of a combination of wood and metal, sometimes wood looks appropriate with glass , a combination of wood and stainless steel is found. All these combinations open up vast scope for imagination. By combining materials, the staircase can become a bright accent of the interior.
Another important sign of attic stairs that you should pay attention to is the size of the product.
In order not to make a mistake with the dimensions, in addition to the possible weight load on the product, a number of nuances must be taken into account.
Ceiling height in the room
If the structure is too large, its rigidity is violated, it becomes unsafe to walk around such a structure. The minimum number of steps is usually 13 pieces, and the maximum reaches 16 pieces.
It should not go beyond the range of 65 to 75 degrees . With a larger value, the degree of safety of the device is significantly reduced, with a lower one, the design itself looks unpresentable.
Household height and width
This indicator affects the height and width of the steps. The distance between the steps is determined by the standard, given the average length of a human step, usually it is a little more than 19 cm.
Only taking into account all of the above parameters, you can take care of the beautiful view of the stairs to the attic and your safety during its operation.
Advantages and disadvantages
Each of the models of stairs leading to the attic has its pros and cons, which you need to know before buying a particular option.
Monolithic designs are distinguished by a number of advantages. Note the main ones:
- Since the products consist of durable materials and have a fairly dense frame, they are difficult to deform during operation. Such species, with proper care, retain their shape, size and presentability much longer than folding structures.
- Having an unusual appearance, monolithic products make a strong impression on guests and give aesthetic pleasure. Due to such designs, you can emphasize the status of the owner of the house and give the home a luxurious look.
- In the manufacture of such stairs the greatest variety of materials is allowed. If in other cases the design is mainly steel or wooden, in the case of a monolithic product, various decorative materials are used, including metal and glass.
Non-standard options have disadvantages:
- They take up extra space. Such structures require a lot of space, the premises should be sufficiently large. This is especially necessary if you want to install a spiral staircase in the attic.
- Such large products are often very expensive, especially if high-quality and expensive materials are used for their manufacture.
Attached structures, although used temporarily during repair work, have a number of pluses and minuses.
Denote the positive features:
- Mobility . Such stairs can be cleaned after use in a specially designated place for their storage, this saves space.
- Cheapness . Attached models are made from simple materials. They are not equipped with additional decoration and decor, so their prices are quite low.
- The principle of using such structures is optimally simple. It is enough to put the product at the required angle to the attic hole or disassemble the structure itself to a stable position (in the case of a stepladder).
- In case of damage to the product, it is easy to repair , since there is no need to disconnect the stairs from the mounting mechanism, work can be carried out in any place convenient for you.
Attached structures have disadvantages:
- Not always a ladder is light . Some wooden products have a very impressive weight, not every household can move the product to the attic hatch independently.
- The security level of the attached structures is low . With fuzzy fixation with a support, the ladder can change the angle of inclination, lose stability or even collapse. Not always such structures have a clear mount with a hatch.
Folding stairs, gaining more and more popularity, also have their positive and negative qualities:
- Such products save space as much as possible. When folded, they can be removed into the hatch, creating a perfectly even ceiling. This ability allows you not to clutter up the room.
- Due to the possibility of equipping structures with an electric drive, they are easy to use. Even with the mechanical method of disassembling, the layout of the stairs does not take much time.
- Since the ladder is firmly fixed on the opening of the hatch, during its operation provides greater security.
- Most of the folding structures are light in weight compared to attached counterparts. During mechanical disassembly, you do not need to exert much effort to bring the product into working condition.
- Folding-type stairs are suitable for a large number of styles (from country to hi-tech). This allows you to choose a design that fits perfectly into the interior concept.
- In comparison with monolithic models, it can be noted that the price of a folding product is affordable. A lot of material is not spent on the production of one staircase; such products do not require large financial expenses.
- Using special hatch finishes, you can create a warmed zone in the ceiling. At the same time, the staircase is compactly cleaned, creating an aesthetic appearance in the room and keeping heat in the room.
There are also negative features:
- To install the mechanism in most cases, you need to seek help from specialists.
- In the event of a staircase breakdown (especially if the structure is equipped with an electric drive), it will be problematic to repair it.
To choose a finished attic staircase of any type correctly, you need to listen to the recommendations of specialists who have deduced certain criteria for choosing stairs leading to the attic.
Note the main guidelines:
Particular attention should be paid to it if your family has small children or elderly households. In this case, factors such as the presence of the railing and the possible risk of slipping on the surface of a certain material must be considered.
This criterion depends on how important it is for you to hide the attic opening. This priority will determine whether the structure from the room will be visible, or whether it will be completely hidden behind the hatch.
The convenience of use
Consider the choice of such a mechanism so that all members of the family, regardless of their growth and complexion, can use the device independently. You should pay attention to lightweight aluminum products.
Not all models are easy to install in the opening. Calculate your strength more carefully. Consider all the features of the room that may interfere with the installation of certain structures.
Make sure that the staircase design matches the interior concept of the room in which it will be located.
Cost is an important factor. It determines the number of product options that you can consider as a potential acquisition.
Features of the hatch box
It is better to choose a warming box that will not let cold air into the room bordering the attic. If you live in places with a warm climate, you can ignore this recommendation.
Regardless of whether you choose a structure or metal from a tree, it is important to consider a number of parameters that help to create the ideal entrance to the attic.
- The maximum permissible height of the product should not exceed 350 cm.
- The standard dimensions of the openings for the hatch are 80 x 70.
- The minimum allowable angle is 55 degrees.
- Consider the type of attic opening , which can be ceiling, wall or corner.
Given all the necessary indicators, you can choose the perfect staircase to the attic or attic. Even with a minimal deviation from some parameters, other indicators can change.
How to arrange?
There are various options for the location of structures leading to the attic. They depend on the location factor of the structure itself. A street staircase is usually located along the wall of the house so that it does not intersect with the window openings. This requires a significant area, so in most cases such a structure is made from the side of the house where there is a minimum of windows. It is important to equip a small area in front of the entrance to the attic, be sure to equip it with a railing .
If a spiral staircase looks bulky at home, such a building will be much more suitable for the street. The staircase is not so overall in length, therefore, it can be installed on the side where there are windows, it may well take the distance between them.
When installing the stairs in the attic, it should be noted that it should not interfere with movement around the room . A monolithic staircase is usually installed in a corner or along a windowless wall. The location of the mobile structures is significantly affected by the location of the hatch.
If the staircase is compact, it can be installed in almost any part of the room. You can’t place the folding ladder directly in front of the doorway : as you enter the room, you can hit the disassembled device.
Tips & Tricks
Summarizing all the recommendations of specialists and experienced users, you can make a list of universal tips for choosing and installing stairs in the attic:
- Consider the features of the layout of the house.
- Consider the frequency of operation of the stairs in the attic.
- Check the compatibility of the product with the interior of the room before buying.
- Use only products of trusted manufacturers, having studied previously reviews about firms.
- Take care of your own safety when choosing a design.
Taking into account all the above tips, requirements and characteristics, you can choose the perfect model of the stairs to the attic, which will be a functional part of the interior and interestingly complement the interior of the room.
The process of installing the attic stairs, see the next video.