Most tiny houses you’ll come accross use ladders in some way.
Since space comes at a premium, many tiny house owners try to maximise it by adding multiple loft areas to their property.
However, tiny house loft ladders are often an overlooked feature when it comes to designing the perfect loft for your small space.
Their design determines the access to your loft, and there are many different options you can choose from.
In this article we share the six main tiny house loft ladder designs, why they may be the right solution for you as opposed to staircases, as well as ways to build your own ladder. Let’s go.
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Best ideas for tiny house loft ladders
Sometimes just taking a minute to look over concepts already out there is the best way to go when designing your own space. Here are six different tiny house loft ladder ideas you can use to get inspiration for your own design.
One more good example of a great loft ladder comes from the Larissa and Tyler tiny house. The ladder is almost hidden from sight, climbing up the wall discreetly.
It’s made of light wood and grey bars for a modern finish. Is this getting some ideas churning for you?
For ladders in tiny spaces, the Build Tiny Company gets it right. One of their ladder designs comes from the Kapiti House. It’s made of poplar core plywood and has a modern aesthetic. The ladder is made of cylinder rungs spaced evenly apart, attached to the wall by minimalist brackets. It’s lovely and a great idea for your home too!
Folding tiny house loft ladders are a have a great design feature that make them super compact.
Like in this video, the ships ladder has hinges that mean the bottom part folds up for easy storage.
The Westcoast tiny house by Summity Tiny Homes features a sliding ladder that is perfect for access the loft area above the bathroom.
Since the walkway through the kicthen (where the ladder is situated) is not very wide at all, you couldn’t have a ladder here permanently.
Rather than carrying the ladder to and from the kitchen every time you want to use it, it neatly slides into a thin gap in beween the kitchen countertop and the refridgerator.
Then there’s the Kingfisher tiny house, which has 2 lofts. The bed loft uses a well-crafted ladder to reach the top.
It’s made of a light wood and has beautifully carved handles for support on both sides of the rungs.
The neat design allows you to remove the ladder and hang flat against the wall when not in use.
This hinge ladder has a great space saving design. This may be more familiar to those of you who have access lofts in regular sized homes, where you may not be using the ladder very much.
However, it works well in this tiny house to access the single loft area. Check it out here:
The last type of tiny house loft ladder design on our list isn’t a conventional ladder, but it works just the same.
Rungs attached to the wall in the Millennial tiny house allow access to the lofted office space. They take up hardly any room and there’s no need to worry about moving, folding or sliding a ladder, ever.
How to make a loft ladder for a tiny house
There are many ways to build a tiny house loft ladder. So where do you begin?
If you’re looking for something simple and sturdy, the Library Ladder is great. It comes with all the supplies necessary, including the screws for a fast and easy installation. They keep it simple by showing which boards attach where with the predrilled holes. You’ll assembled the long side pieces with the rungs for a simple and quick process.
For a more complex but beautiful project the Anna White blueprints for her multi-purpose loft bed ladder are great to follow.
She provides detailed instructions of the plywood you’ll need to create the headboard/shelving wall, and the types of pipe ladder bars and flanges needed to create the actual ladder (which doubles as a book shelf). She also lays out the exact amount of items you’ll need to pick up right at the beginning of the building blueprint so you’re never stumped or lost along the way.
You’ll find a fantastic YouTube tutorial for an industrial style pipe ladder ascending to a lofted bed. she covers the materials and tools you’ll need, how much time it takes to complete the project, and easy to understand how-to’s.
Tiny house loft ladders vs staircases
Part of the beauty of a tiny home is the innovation that goes into the design. Tiny house loft furniture, appliances, and built-in pieces have been expertly crafted and arranged with every detail in mind to create flow in a small space.
When it comes to tiny house lofts, it’s the ladder or staircase that helps the flow of the space make sense. But which is better, a ladder of a staircase for your tiny house loft?
Let’s start with Ladders. When choosing how to get up to your lofted space, a ladder can prove to be a perfect method while staying true to the minimalist roots of Tiny House Living. Here are the 4 pros to think through when choosing a ladder for your loft:
- Better at Saving Space. Ladders are smaller, more discreet, and easily put away by drawing them up and tucking them out of sight if they’re a flexible material like rope. If it’s a stationary self-supporting step ladder, it still won’t take up a lot of space.
- Chic Industrial Design. When you mount a series of industrial pipes from floor to loft, it looks incredible. These kinds of medal pipes aren’t just for shelves, they’re also meant to accommodate you up to your lofted space. You can customize the color in copper or black or silver while keeping your aesthetic fresh and relevant.
- Easily Incorporated. Ladders are small and see-through, which means they can be easily incorporated into the design of your home. You won’t have to worry about re-arranging much or changing the core design when using a ladder instead of a staircase.
- Not too Heavy. Since they are lightweight, adding them into your space is easy. You can decide where to put them, then make changes as you go. If you want to adjust the interior design at some point, having a ladder allows you that flexibility without the headache of having to redo a staircase.
Now let’s take a look at the Pros of Staircases.
There’s something about a staircase that makes a design space look complete and well thought out. If you want your tiny home to carry a strong aesthetic throughout the design, a staircase vs. a ladder is the way to go. Here are some more Pro’s for staircases:
- Safety. Stairs provide a safer, easier way to get up to a lofted space. Image if there are body ailments or restrictions at hand. A ladder cannot provide the structured support of stairs. And in a family setting, there’s this ease of access that is totally safe for you and any pets or children as well.
- Storage. This is probably the best part of incorporating stairs into your tiny home. You can get really creative with how you build-in the storage to the stairs. Some designs are pullout drawers, others are boxes for things like baskets. There are even kitchen cabinets that double as the stairs leading to the upper area.
- Can hide-away. It might seem like stairs will take up too much space in your tiny home and not be worth it. But there have been some inventive solutions that make the stairs able to slide into the wall when not in use. Then you get the best of both worlds.
Ladders and stairs alike are needed in any tiny home with a lofted area. But when it comes to DIY, ladders are the way to go.
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