If you’re trying to get organized or tackle another home project, you probably have ladders you need to put in storage. But you may not know how to store ladders, since they can be large and cumbersome items. Check out our guide for expert ladder storage tips and tricks. We’ll explain how to use ladder hooks and tools to safely store your ladder and answer many popular questions surrounding ladder storage.
Types of Ladders
There are many types of ladders on the market, and it’s important to know the difference between the types. The type of ladder you choose depends on what you’ll use it for, and also determines how you’ll need to store it.
Ladders are all engineered with a specific use in mind. Deviating from the ladder’s intended purpose could result in an injury, so we recommend using the right one for the job. Here’s a quick breakdown of the various ladders available on the market:
These ladders can be small (often intended for use in a home) or large (used for industrial purposes). They are self-supporting, meaning they don’t have to lean against anything to remain upright. Some step ladders have usable rungs on only one side while others are OK to climb on both sides. This type is best for reaching areas in which you cannot lean a ladder.
Extension ladders are long and do not bend. They are the epitome of what you imagine a ladder to be, with two bars joined by rungs in the middle. As the name implies, extension ladders can be adjusted so they’re longer than their initial size. They also contain two pieces: the base (which plants on the ground) and the fly (which extends outward). These ladders must lean against something to remain upright, such as a house or wall.
These folding ladders have two sides, creating the shape of an A with the top half cut off. This also means they are self-supporting. Furthermore, platform ladders contain a rung that’s wider than the others. It’s intended to be used as a spot to hold items, such as a bucket of paint. The platform generally extends all the way to the other side of the ladder, and may be several feet long. Platform ladders are also often designed to support body weight.
Multipurpose or Combination Ladder
These ladders are designed to do the work of two or more other types of ladders. They often feature moving parts that lock into place and allow you to create whatever configuration you need.
Though not technically ladders, step stools are similar enough to ladders and are good options for reaching things in the house, such as picking something off the top shelf of the pantry, or for organizing shelves in the closet. We recommend keeping a step stool in the kitchen or hall closet, where it will be easily accessible. Step stools are also great for kids to use when they need to access the bathroom sink or kitchen counter. (But remember to supervise them during use.)
One of the longest ladders on the market, this type of ladder slides in and out to adjust to size, using overlapping sections. This type of ladder works in the same way as a multipurpose ladder or step ladder.
Unlike telescoping ladders, these ladders fold up when not being used. They’re used for quick indoor tasks and are a bit more stable than telescoping ladders, since they have steps instead of rungs. Try storing a folding ladder under a bed or in a closet.
How Should Ladders Be Stored?
No matter what kinds of ladders you have, you’ll need to keep them out of the way when you don’t need them. Here are a few tips for storing your tools:
Keep Them Off the Floor
While you may lean your ladder to use it, you don’t want to leave it that way all the time. Hanging your ladder on a wall hook is much more secure that leaning it against the wall in your garage.
Make it Accessible
Ladders are a good tool to keep on hand, so avoid hanging yours in the back of the garage. Keep them in an easy-to-access spot.
Storing Step Ladders
If your step ladder collapses, you can hang it like you would any other ladder. If not, you’ll have to place it against the wall. Small step ladders may fit inside a wall cabinet.
How Can You Hang Things in Your Garage
There are many ways you can go about storing your ladders. By following our ladder tips above, you should be able to determine the best option for you. Choose from a variety of components to enhance your garage storage for any type of project you’re working on. Here are some tools and accessories to make your ladder storage more organized and accessible:
Use wall hooks to get the perfect solution to your ladder storage. Pick heavy duty ladder hooks for your heaviest ladders, or gravity hooks or short hooks for an easier job. You can also use vertical hooks if you’re hanging something vertically, or a folding rack to hang a ladder horizontally (never try to hang a ladder vertically, or it could fall off!) The deluxe hook bundle or sports hook bundle will cover a variety of projects.
A slatwall panel is the perfect organizer that allows you to customize your storage solution. Add hooks, magnets, bins, and shelves to get a unique setup for your needs. Choose a 48 square foot panel if you have a lot to store, or a 24 square foot panel if you’re in a smaller space.
Bins are a great way to store small objects you want to keep within reach, such as nails, tools, and towels. If you’re using your ladder for a home improvement project, you’ll love having bins close by to keep any related accessories. Hang them on a panel for ease of use and so you have the ability to move them around as your needs change.
Cabinets are a great way to keep your storage items out of sight. Store smaller or collapsible ladders in a cabinet to have a clean look to your garage and avoid the risk of a ladder falling over when not in use.
Extension Ladder Storage Ideas
An extension ladder can easily be stored on the wall or in a cabinet, as we mentioned previously. But if you’re looking for an even more efficient option, storing a ladder on the ceiling is a great way to go. Use ladder hooks appropriate for your extension ladder to secure the ladder to the ceiling. Add rope and hinges for extra support and to make it easier to remove your ladder when you want to use it.
Ladder Storage Solutions
Ladders can also be stored on the ceiling by building two brackets that screw into the ceiling as a support system. Attach them to the ceiling and then slide the ladder into one bracket, followed by the other.
Store a ladder on the wall by installing ladder storage hooks into the studs of the wall. Be sure the area fits the ladder dimensions and is in a spot where no one will bump into it.
Can You Keep Ladders Outside?
Ladders should be stored away from changing weather and hot temperatures, meaning you should store your ladder in a garage, home, or shed. Some ladders are not rustproof, so you also want to keep them inside to protect them from moisture. Wooden ladders are especially susceptible to the changing elements if they have not been properly treated, and the heat can warp the ladder.
However, if you happen to know your ladder is rustproof and durable, you can hang it on a fence in your yard if you do not have other storage options.
What Angle Should a Ladder Be Placed At?
Once you take your ladder out of storage and are ready to use it, it’s important to take proper safety precautions. A ladder should be placed at a 75 degree angle from the ground to ensure the best stability. In addition, the feet of the ladder and the top support should be ¼ of the length of the ladder apart.
How Far Apart Are Ladder Rungs?
Most ladders follow laws and regulations to make sure they are safe for use. Rungs and steps of a ladder should not be more than 14 inches apart, and should never be less than 10 inches apart. Measure the distance between the rungs or steps of your ladder to be sure you’re safe when using the ladder.
Storing Ladders Vertically vs Horizontally
A ladder should always be stored horizontally for the maximum security and safety when not in use. If stored vertically, the ladder could fall off the support system and cause damage or harm. Be sure to use more ladder storage hooks, ropes, or other tools if you have a longer ladder. Even a step ladder stored in a cabinet should have some type of support to make sure it doesn’t fall over.
Are you looking to organize your ladder storage? Be sure to check out Flow Wall today and find inspiration for organizing your ladders and other tools.