Advice on a pool ladder


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
NW Ohio
I am building a pool, approx 20x35. Standard rectangle, about 5 foot deep.

I am looking at ladders and the SR Smith Commercial ladders have caught my eye. Expensive, but seem heavy duty.

Unfortunately I do not have stairs, so instead I am going to install 2 ladders and I want something that will last a very long time.

Is there an advantage to the 35" ladders, over the 30" or less? I assume they are easier to get in and out of the pool? Are they for bigger people? How about the # of treads. I was thinking 3, but they make 4 & 5. Again, is there an advantage to having more stairs?

Thanks in advance,


TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
Sacramento, CA
You need to think about who is going to be using your pool. Most gunite recreational pools built today have steps in the shallow end and usually a swim out or step in the deep end that is used as a resting place and deep end exit. In the 70s this would have been a ladder. Most vinyl lined pools also have steps. Pools with steps are at least perceived safer.

Who who is going to be using your pool? Small children? You need some steps. Teenagers playing volly ball? I don't think they care. If you are going to have people with mobility problems you want the longer steps. That is what they are for. Other than that I don't think it matters. Three rungs is standard.

But ladders are more difficult to use than steps.

As you can see SR Smith makes a wide variety of ladders. Most of those today are used in pools for diving or competition.