DIY ladder platform for stairs
There are many types of ladders that suit various types of tasks. A “Platform” ladder is a type of “A” frame ladder set that has two sides and a hinged top.
These types of ladders are opened up and form the shape of a letter “A”, hence the name.
Not to be confused, an “A” frame ladder or step ladder will only consist of the hinged top and treads.
In most cases, the treads will stop before they reach the top as standing on the top tread can be quite dangerous and unstable.
Even if an “A” frame ladder has a top tread that incorporates the hinge mechanism, it is not advisable to stand on this. Check out our ladder safety article here.
A “Platform” ladder is an “A” frame ladder essentially but will have a small platform tread plate to allow you to stand more comfortably on the ladders and be much more stable.
If the ladder set is a folding type, the platform in most cases will also be hinged and fold in with the legs for easier storage.
Larger platform ladder types that do not fold and look more industrial in nature tend to have much larger platforms and can also have safety gates, handrails and guard rails.
They can also have wheels or castors to help move them into position.
Ladder with platform and handrail
Ladders with platforms and handrails that are built in are usually manufactured from steel tubing for extra strength.
They tend to be found in a commercial or warehouse setting where an operative needs to reach much higher to access storage racking for example.
The handrail will usually also be steel tubing and fixed or welded. They will also in most cases be on both sides of the steps.
Some may also come with rubber or foam on the handrails for extra grip.
As well as handrails that will aid you as you climb, most, if not all commercial type platform ladders will also have a guard rail around the top of the platform.
Again, in most cases, this will be around three sides of the platform giving you extra security and peace of mind that you will not step off the platform when carrying out a task.
Platform ladder with safety gate
Some platform ladders as described above may also have an additional feature of a safety gate.
As well as having a guard rail wrapped around three sides of the platform, the open side that faces the steps will also benefit from having a safety gate.
These will also be made from steel tubing and be hinged with a locking latch. The height of the safety gate will match the height of the guard rail on the other three sides giving a uniform fall arrest all around.
The obvious benefit to a safety gate is that it provides that extra bit of safety and peace of mind if you step backwards on a platform.
Without a safety gate, there is always the chance that you could fall back down the treads.
Platform ladder UK
Platform ladders can be very beneficial in certain situations. Where tasks at height are higher in nature, more repetitive, tend to be longer in nature and need that extra footing for stability, they are the correct choice.
Platform ladders can be suited for a domestic situation or a slightly more commercial situation. Within these situations, a domestic platform ladder may not have wheels and a commercial type most probably will.
We have found some excellent examples of typical domestic and more commercial platform ladders for you.
Platform ladder Werner
This ladder with platform and handrail coming from the manufacturer Werner, you’ll know that this will be a quality product and these platform ladders will not disappoint.
More suited to a domestic situation, they are a great compromise between lesser tread steps and the more commercial type.
These platform ladders benefit from being lightweight due to their clever aluminium design. You can read more about aluminium ladders in our article here.
The clever part is that they have been through some exceptional testing and have a 150 Kg maximum load capacity. The twin safety handrails are a great feature and sadly not a common feature on a lot of ladder sets.
Another great feature is the removable tool tray. This really helps when your task needs several tools or even a resting area for a pot of paint! The Werner platform ladder is super sturdy and will give you great confidence at height.
Lifestyle solutions folding platform ladder
What we like:
Max load capacity of 150 Kgs
Folds for easy storage
Rubber slip resistant treads
Side hand rails
What could be better:
Requires some small assembly
Must remember to engage the bottom tread for stability
The Lifestyle ladder with platform and handrail are a great addition to any home and again work very well in a domestic situation. They work so well that we had to offer them up as a possible solution for the home.
They do require a small amount of assembly as they are delivered in three sections but this will not cause too much of an issue for most people.
The only other requirement is for the bottom tread to be hooked over and fully engaged when opened up. This will avoid the bottom tread tipping forward and forms a part of the rigidity.
It really is just something that needs to be remembered.
They fold for easy storage and also have a good sized platform to stand on if needed. We really liked the additional handrails for climbing just to give you some extra confidence.
The rubber treads are a really nice feature as they massively increase grip and the deep treads give a sure footing.
The ladder set weighs in at 12 Kgs so can ‘feel’ slightly heavier than other ladder sets but it’s a small compromise as it adds to their strength.
Workplace Depot safety platform steps
What we like:
Comes in 2, 3, 4 and 5 tread varieties
Has 4 spring loaded wheels
Narrow enough to pass through a standard doorway
Three sided guard rails
What could be better:
Hard to find any drawbacks!
Our final suggestion is the safety platform step solution from Workplace Depot. This last offering is for someone looking for a slightly more robust, commercial type solution.
We liked these because they covered a lot of the bases that we discussed earlier.
The main great thing about these is that they come in several sizes to suit different heights and budgets. Starting at the top, they have great safety because of the three sided guard rails.
The platform is also more than large enough to stand on comfortably for a length of time.
The treads are also very deep with a slip resistant surface on each tread. British made from 25mm steel tubing, the frame is super strong and very robust.
The whole set for the 5 tread version still only weighs 24 Kgs. The clever design allows the platform ladder set to pass through a standard width doorway.
It also benefits from having four spring loaded feet that are cupped with a steel domed foot over each wheel. Being spring loaded, the ladder set lifts automatically allowing it to be pushed around.
When in position, your weight drops the ladder set down onto the solid cups giving it stability and not allowing it to move under load.
Platform ladder sets have advantages over standard ladder sets by having a small platform incorporated into their design.
These platforms are designed to be stood on, and because they are generally larger than a standard tread depth, they can be stood on for longer periods.
Platform ladders also have the advantage of having handrails and also guard rails depending if being used in a domestic or commercial situation.
The examples above give a good cross section example of the types that are generally available.