Can you think of a more sensational feeling than plunging into a swimming pool during a hot summer’s day? Or the tranquility of relaxing in a pool after a long day with the birds chirping their final goodnight. If you already have a pool, you know this feeling. If you’re in the market for one, you have many things to look forward to.
Before you get started, you need to get a few ducks in a row. If you’ve stopped at this article it’s because you’ve read the title and you’re looking at getting yourself some steps for your pool – not just any pool, but one of those new above-ground pools that turn your backyard into a personal resort!
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And you’re right, you need some way to get in and out of your pool. And there are several things to take into consideration.
The material – you’ll want something that will last for more than just one season. There’s stainless steel, aluminum, resin and hard plastics with a UV stabilizer mixed in. Never settle for a plastic model that doesn’t contain a UV stabilizer as this is a chemical that prevents colours from fading and surfaces from cracking or even disintegrating.
The weight capacity – will the step have the required strength to bear up under your weight. Consider the weight of the heaviest person you know. If your steps won’t have the tensile strength to sustain that person, don’t invite them to come for a swim.
The space available – will the location of your pool affect the size of the stairs. Will the shape of your pool affect the size and shape of the steps.
The funds available – keep your budget in mind as you go shopping for this essential pool accessory.
We’ve used some of our favourite steps currently on the market to get you going.
Confer Curve Base Staircase for above-ground – CCX-AG
This is our number one choice for above-ground pool ladders. It forms part of a system and can be utilized whether your pool has a deck built around it or not. The set is molded from hard plastic that’s been coated with a UV stabilizer that can withstand 400 lbs. It has graceful handrails and sweeping curved steps.
It comes with adjustable base pads to compensate for a pool floor that might be slightly dish shaped. It comes with mounting brackets that will safely secure the steps. The complete system is easy to install and doesn’t require any professional help. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this model.
durable and steady
oversized handrails for easy use
extra fittings can be added on later if you’d like a change
it can get expensive
needs a lot of space
can be hard to clean in all the nooks and crannies
Confer Deluxe Heavy-Duty In-Pool Ladder – #6000
This model has ladder-like steps designed for the inside of the pool and is to be used with pools with a deck built around it. It’s adjustable for deck heights ranging from 46” to 56” and includes a deck platform. It also features an anti-entrapment barrier and sturdy handrails.
It has 5 flat treads that are 18” wide for easier climbing. The weight capacity is 300 lbs and there’s an extension kit available to extend the ladder to about 68”. This deluxe in-pool ladder falls in the mid-price-range for pool ladders. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this model.
allows for easy entry and exit
sturdy and secured onto the deck
top platform makes for safer movement
is reasonably affordable
does need to be bolted onto the deck
the ladder-like rungs are less comfortable than stair-like steps
the weight capacity is only 300 lbs, whereas other models can take up to 400 lbs
Pool steps vs. Pool ladder
Do you want to use a ladder or a staircase to access or exit your swimming pool?
That is the main difference between a pool ladder and a pool step – the stairs. The ‘depth’ of a ladder’s rungs are narrower, which then also means the support rails on each side can also be narrower. When the ladder is in the water it doesn’t restrict the flow as much as a staircase might and takes up less space. You can have 3 types of pool ladders – one that’s only for the inside (if the pool is built into a deck), or one that’s only on the outside of the above-ground pool to help you climb up the side wall, and the last type is an A-frame which straddles the pool wall with a mirror image ladder both inside and out.
Pool steps have stairs with a wider ‘depth’ of tread, and to stabilize a larger step you need broader side support rails. This impacts water flow quite a bit, but many manufacturers have found ways around it. With pool steps you also have the 3 different options (inside, outside or both) but obviously this type of stair can take up a lot of space. Most people that have chosen to go with pool steps agree that the amount of comfort gained from a ‘staircase-like’ design outweigh any negative components.
Regardless of how often you use your pool, how unique its shape is, whether it’s sunken or above ground, with a deck or without a deck, some facts remain: you need to get in and you need to get out. However you choose to do so is entirely up to you and with some research you will most certainly find the perfect Pool Entry System for you.