We recently had an enquiry for a ‘silent loft ladder’. Although this was the first time we had been asked for a silent loft ladder, there must be many situations where noise is an issue. As such, we thought it would be helpful to provide a guide to quiet loft ladders…

The problem with noisy loft ladders

When designing a loft ladder, noise is not a priority. In fact, there is no reference to noise in the industry standard BS EN 14975. As such, it is quite normal for a ladder to rattle and squeak. Even the occasional thud or bang is not unusual. Many of these noises are difficult to avoid and are simply a result of the ladder and hatch design. However, the noise could present a problem if the loft is to be accessed during the evenings or early in the morning, when it could disturb sleeping children or even the neighbours.

Quiet loft ladder

In reality, there is no such thing as a ‘silent loft ladder’. It would be impossible to eliminate all the noise and still conform to the safety and performance requirements for loft ladders. However, there are types of loft ladders that make more noise than others.

The noisiest loft ladders are those made from metal, especially the lower-cost sliding aluminium types. The metal-on-metal contact results in a lot of squeaks, rattles and clangs. High-quality, precision engineered concertina loft ladders offer a quieter solution, but there will still be some squeaks and the occasional rattle. Therefore, if noise is a concern, it is best to avoid any loft ladder made from metal.

The quietest loft ladders are therefore wooden loft ladders. This is because they typically have fewer moving parts and the timber-on-timber contact is much quieter than metal. However, there will still be noise associated with the opening and closing of the hatch door. This could include the counter-balance spring mechanism, or the ‘snap’ of the catch when the door is released or closed.

Quiet wooden loft ladder - Quadro wooden loft ladder with insulated loft hatch

Wooden loft ladders are often quieter than metal.

Which are the quietest loft ladders?

Within the Premier Loft Ladders product range, the quietest loft ladders are the Designo and Quadro. These both feature 3-part folding wooden ladders, which means there are fewer components to move and squeak. Also, the latching system on both of these ladders is multipoint (like on a high-quality window). As such you don’t get the noise associated with a sprung-catch. That combined with the substantial gasket seals make opening and closing the hatch as quiet as possible.

Quadro wooden loft ladder with insulated loft hatch with 4 point locking system

Multi-point latching system and gasket seals help to minimise noise when opening and closing the hatch.

Another consideration is vibration between the loft ladder and ceiling. The Designo has an insulating and sealing tape fitted around the outside of the hatch box as standard.  This is designed to keep the warmth in the home, but will also help to dampen and alleviate vibration-related noise. This can also be added to the Quadro as an option.

WDL sealing and insulation tape for an airtight connection between the loft ladder hatch box and the building

WDL sealing and insulation tape helps to reduce vibration-related noise.

Finally, it is worth noting that the Designo and Quadro both feature a counter-balance spring system. This is an important safety feature and makes using the loft ladders much easier. However, the springs will generate a little bit of noise, although it is certainly not loud or obtrusive.

Why not find our more about our quiet loft ladders…

…or contact us to discuss your requirements.

We hope you found this helpful!

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