Hinge Down Trap Doors
Most loft openings have a loose board that sits on top of the opening which covers the entrance into the loft. Because of the way that a loft ladder needs to be fitted into the opening, the loose board needs to be replaced with a hinge down trap door.
The new door needs to fit snugly within the existing opening and it is therefore cut to suit, so that it can operate within the opening. We normally position the new trapdoor at the ceiling line which makes for a better finish. The material we use for the new trap door is 12mm or 18mm MDF (Medium density fibreboard) depending on the application and type of ladder that we fit.
MDF is now used in all applications including skirting boards, timber mouldings and even reproduction furniture to mention but a few. We use MDF because it is a lightweight material which is free from defects, it is also smooth and easy to paint and prepare. A lightweight hinge down trap door is essential as if it is too heavy this will put unnecessary pressure on the hinges. When the new door has been cut to size we then hinge it and fit the locking mechanism which is used to open the door with the pole we supply.
We do not use normal hinges as most hinges involve putting the screws into the edge of the MDF which can cause splitting and in extreme cases if the door is dropped can result in the door become detached. We now use a special crank hinge on all our doors which has the screws going into the flat side of the MDF which prevents this from happening. If you are shopping around for company to install a loft ladder for you make sure they use this type of hinge.