How to Choose the Right Pool Ladder or Steps for Saltwater Pools

Ruby McKenzie
4 Min Read

Saltwater pools are celebrated for their gentle, natural feel and reduced maintenance requirements. However, the saltwater environment poses unique challenges for pool accessories, particularly when it comes to choosing the right pool ladder or steps. Salt can accelerate corrosion, so selecting materials and designs that withstand these conditions is crucial. Here’s an expert guide to making the right choice for your saltwater oasis.

Understand the Material Options

Stainless Steel

Often used for its strength and durability, stainless steel in pool ladders and steps must be marine-grade to resist saltwater corrosion. Look for 316 stainless steel, known as marine-grade stainless, which contains molybdenum for enhanced corrosion resistance.


A lightweight and rust-resistant option, aluminum ladders and steps are suitable for saltwater pools. They are often coated for extra protection against salt and chemicals. Ensure the aluminum is high quality and anodized to stand up to the harsh saltwater environment.

Resin and Composite Materials

Modern advancements have led to the development of high-quality resin and composite materials designed specifically for saltwater pools. These materials do not corrode or degrade in saltwater and are often UV-resistant to prevent sun damage.


Heavy-duty plastics are also used for pool steps, particularly in above-ground pools. Ensure the plastic is UV-stabilized to prevent breakdown from sunlight exposure and is thick enough to handle the weight and usage over time.

Consider the Pool Type and Usage

Above-Ground Pools

For above-ground saltwater pools, you’ll likely look into drop-in steps or A-frame ladders. Ensure they are made from saltwater-compatible materials and are securely anchored to prevent shifting.

In-Ground Pools

 In-ground pool ladders and steps offer more variety in materials and designs. Consider the pool’s depth, the deck material, and how the ladder or steps will integrate with the overall look of the pool area.

Usage Patterns

Think about who will be using the pool. Families with children or elderly swimmers may prefer steps for easier access, while fitness swimmers might opt for minimalist ladders that don’t impede lap swimming.

Key Features to Look For

Non-Slip Treads

Safety is paramount, so choose a ladder or steps with non-slip surfaces to prevent accidents.


 Look for ergonomic and sturdy handrails that provide a comfortable grip and additional safety for all swimmers.

Weight Capacity

 Ensure the ladder or steps can support the weight of the heaviest swimmer who will use them, with a bit of buffer for safety.

Adjustability and Fit

 For in-ground pools, consider adjustable ladders or steps that can be tailored to your pool’s specific depth and slope. For above-ground pools, ensure the ladder or steps fit securely and match the pool’s height.

Maintenance and Care

Saltwater pools, while generally low maintenance, still require regular care to keep accessories in top condition. Rinse your ladder or steps with fresh water periodically to remove salt buildup, and inspect them for signs of wear or corrosion. Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your pool accessories but also ensures the safety and enjoyment of your pool.

Choosing the right ladder or steps for a saltwater pool involves considering material durability, safety features, and the specific needs of your pool and its users. By selecting the appropriate materials and designs, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of your saltwater pool for years to come, with pool accessories that remain functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing.

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