Ladder vs. stepladder vs. stairs vs. steps
Ladder, stepladder, stairs and steps.
What is the difference between these words?
In general, a ladder and a stepladder are pieces of equipment that are used for climbing up or climbing down something. They can be moved from one place to the next.
Stairs and steps are used for going from one level to another level. They are in a fixed position.
Let’s look at each one in a little more detail:
A ladder is a piece of equipment that has a series of steps (also called rungs) between two upright lengths of wood or metal. It needs to be leaned against a wall or other flat surface for support in order to use it. A ladder is portable which means it can moved from one place to another location.
Originally most ladders were made of wood though now they are mostly made of aluminum as it is lighter.
Extension ladder is a ladder that can be extended in height.
A stepladder consists of two ladders joined together with a hinge at the top. It can support itself without needing to be leaned against something. It looks like an inverted V.
Stepladder is sometimes written as two words (step ladder).
In general a ladder needs to be supported against something.
A stepladder doesn’t need external support. It stands by itself.
Stairs are a set of steps built between two or more floors in a building. They are fixed in position and cannot be moved.
The row of posts on the side of stairs (with a wooden or metal top) is called a handrail or banister. You hold onto the handrail or banister as you go up or down the stairs so that you don’t accidentally fall down them.
Steps are a series of fixed individual steps outside of a building. There can be a small number of steps or a large number. Steps can be narrow or very wide and they are usually made of concrete or stone.
The main difference is that stairs are inside and steps are outside.
Bonus word: ESCALATOR.
An escalator is a mechanical device which has moving stairs that carry people between different floors in a large building. Escalators are common in shopping malls (or shopping centers) and department stores. Escalators are great in that people don’t have to walk up or down stairs. The escalator slowly takes them from one floor to the next.