What is a library ladder?

Library ladders came into fashion in the mid 1800’s in the homes of the rich and influential – those with enough books to warrant an extensive library. Obviously they were intended for reaching the upper most shelves and were often designed as stand-alone on wheels with ornate hand carvings on the railings. The Victorian examples look bulky when compared to the elegant designs we sell at the Library Ladder Company.

These days a library ladder can be used in any room of your home as both a functional and stylish addition. Our library ladders can be purchased in standard and bespoke heights and are available in unfinished red oak or walnut so that you can paint, stain or lacquer them as you wish. We can guarantee the highest quality finish, fixtures and technology and are proud of the safety features that ensure a fantastic product that stands the test of time.


What is a rolling ladder?

The term ‘rolling ladder’ refers to the rolling motion of the top of the ladder fixing along the rail and any ladder equipped with castors. Full rolling ladders are superior to ‘hook over’ ladders that do not include the Quiet Glide technology that allows for the ladder to glide along a rail.

Our classic rolling ladders are made to the highest quality specification with two rollers on either side of the ladder, braking wheels at the base of the ladder and an effortless roll along the rail. Rails are not hollow and are made from solid extruded aluminium. The hardware allows you to stow the ladder vertically. 


Where can I buy a ladder for my home?

The Library Ladder Company are the No.1 distributor of library ladders in the UK. We sell hook over library ladders, rolling hook ladders, full rolling ladders and corner rolling ladders to suit every room in your home. You will find plenty of information about all types of library ladders on our website including a downloadable guide to library ladders. Order online with our easy step by step guide, choose from our standard heights up to 14 feet in either red oak or walnut finishes. All our ladders arrive raw so that you can choose your own lacquer, stain or paint finish to suit your scheme. Use our comprehensive instructions to assemble your ladder in situ.

Our small and specialist team are available to assist you with any questions and can offer a personalised quote at any time. Contact us here.




Can you use a ladder in a kitchen?

Library ladders are suitable for use in any room in your home, particularly in kitchens. Work with your kitchen designer to incorporate a library ladder in the early stages, making the best use of floor to ceiling cupboard storage. Our hook over, rolling hook over ladders and full rolling library ladders are easy to add to an existing kitchen space and will allow you to access high shelves and provide a stylish accessory at the same time. If you have cupboards with doors above the proposed rail height you will want to think about the clearance required in order to open your upper doors over the top of the ladder. You will need 77mm clearance above the centre of the rail.


Can you use a library ladder for a mezzanine level?

Our library ladders are used in all kinds of ways, one of the most effective is in a mezzanine level conversion. Mezzanine levels are a clever use of unused space, providing a bedroom, office or storage area. Properties that have been modified over the years become a botch of ineffective spaces which can be reconfigured by incorporating a mezzanine area, accessed via a library ladder providing a fun and practical addition to your home.

One aspect that you must take into consideration when using one of the ladders for a mezzanine is that the top of the ladder has a hand grab rung. We can design a custom ladder without a grab rail if necessary.


Can you use a library ladder for loft access?

Library ladders are ideal for accessing loft and attic spaces and if one of our standard ladder heights doesn’t reach, we can supply a bespoke height ladder. The top of our ladders have a hand grab rung, so we can eliminate this from the final design if that suits your function better. Hook over ladders are perfect in this scenario because they can be unhooked and stored away vertically when not in use.


How does a rolling ladder work?

At The Library Ladder Company we sell three different types of rolling library ladder. The hook rolling library ladder is a fitted with hooks to enable you to unhook it and move across to a different rail. If you have more than one library bookshelf, a large wine cellar or extensive dressing room, this is the perfect option. By contrast, our full rolling library ladder is attached to the rail and has two quiet glide rollers on each side of the ladder. The high quality technology allows for a smooth and silent roll from side to side along the solid extruded aluminium rail. Our swivel rolling hardware is perfect for gliding around corners, so if you have a curved bookcase or banister, this is the ladder hardware system of choice! The ladder is attached to the rail and the swivel technology allows the ladder to roll around a curved 90 degree corner rail. All of our ladders include braking wheeled feet for maximum safety and can be stowed way in a vertical position when not in use. Find out more about our ladder range online and use our easy step by step guide to place your order here.


How does the ladder arrive?

All of the ladders arrive unassembled and unfinished ready for you to apply a paint or stain onto your new ladder to match the rest of your interior or joinery.


Can I use a ladder in my dressing room?

Library ladders are not exclusive to libraries – far from it! We sell library ladders for every room in the house and they are particularly popular for dressing rooms. Whether you are designing a dressing room from scratch or reconfiguring one, the addition of a library ladder will allow you to use the space more efficiently. Maximising storage is central to a well designed dressing room with floor to ceiling cupboards, shelving, shoe and tie racks, all fully accessible with the use of a library ladder.

We would recommend using a hook rolling library ladder with multiple rails so that you can access shelving anywhere in your dressing room.


How wide are the library ladders?

All of the library ladders are 16 inches (406mm) wide. The size is comfortable to climb, but not overbearing in the room.


How tall can a library ladder be?

We sell standard height ladders from 8 feet to 14 feet. Depending upon which height suits your space, there is a recommended rail mount height (see our online chart) to ensure comfort and safety. If our standard sizes are unsuitable in your space, we can design a custom ladder. Please get in touch for a quote. All the library ladders are 16 inches wide.

There is plenty of information on our website including a Guide to Ladders, Installation and Assembly instructions and an Inspiration Gallery to help you decide.


Is a rolling ladder safe?

We want you to feel completely safe when you are using one of our ladders, therefore it is of the utmost importance that our library ladders are safe and made of the highest quality. All of the ladders have been designed with built-in braking safety wheels that automatically lock the ladder in place as you climb it.

The technology allows every ladder to be stowed away vertically when not in use to avoid accidents. Each ladder is made of solid wood and has been tested through 10,000 cycle checks to ensure they can withstand a lifetime of use. On this basis, each ladder comes with a  limited lifetime guarantee.

*The limited lifetime guarantee is issued by the Quiet Glide manufacturer.

Browse our range of rolling library ladders here.


Is a rolling ladder better than a hook-over ladder type?

Depending on the overall design of your room and the function of the ladder, you may wish to unhook it from the rail altogether and stow it away, which a hook-over type allows. The rolling ladder will remain attached to the top rail, but can still be stowed away vertically when not in use.


Do you make short pantry ladders?

Yes. We can make a custom half height / short ladder for a pantry or ladder. If you have a wrap around U shaped pantry we would recommend a hook over style of hardware.


Can I stow my ladder away?

All the ladders can be stowed away vertically when not in use. A clever slider is built into the same mechanisms at the top of the ladder to allow for this.


Can I get help with my ladder order?

Our small and specialist team are available to assist you with any questions and can offer a personalised quote at any time. Contact us here.


Can the ladder rails be cut to size?

We supply in 6 ft (1828mm) and 8 ft (2438mm) which can be joined together or cut down to the perfect size onsite.


Do we offer an installation service?

We are a supply only company but we supply comprehensive installation instructions. If you are not comfortable with using tools we would recommend using a reputable local carpenter or handyman to fit the ladder for you.


Can the ladder come in different colours?

The library ladders are available in either red oak or walnut. They arrive raw so that you can choose how you finish them, either leaving them natural, using a lacquer or painting them to suit your scheme.