The Property Brothers Have A Clever Solution For Your Hard-To-Reach Cabinets

In the kitchen, storage space can be at a premium. This typically means that the more you can squeeze in, the better. A prime spot of often-unused real estate is the area near the ceiling above standard-height cabinets. While adding additional cabinets here can be a great way to get more storage and make a room seem vaster, they are usually not very functional unless you can reach them easily. HGTV's "The Property Brothers," however, recently showed off an ingenious solution to this problem, using a very cool library-style ladder to reach the highest cabinets. In the episode, Jonathon Scott says, "Jen wants all the cabinets flush with the ceiling, but that could pose a problem reaching the highest ones. So I've come up with a clever solution."

Not just perfect for home libraries, this solution is great for other spaces where you need a higher reach. The result is beautiful and filled with nostalgia. But the rolling ladder is also extremely functional, helping you reach all of your cabinets sturdily and safely that's more stylish than traditional stepladders. Even better, hooked varieties can be moved about the kitchen and placed on the necessary track, perfect for a space with a more complicated layout. 

Is a library ladder right for your kitchen?

If you're thinking about installing a library ladder in your kitchen, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Since the support rails will attach to the wall and must support both the weight of the ladder and the person on it, you must make sure that the track is installed securely. Many experts suggest attaching it to solid wood cabinets that are secured to the wall. If you need to attach it directly to the wall, make sure you use proper anchors and studs for the estimated weight. 

You will also need a ladder set-up that allows easy passage between it and other counters or an island. There are types of ladders that sit flush with the counters and cabinets. But, if your counters are wider at the bottom, you'll need one with a greater angle. You will want to allow plenty of top clearance in all parts of the kitchen where it's used. Keep in mind its placement in relation to any protruding elements like appliance knobs, hardware, and fixtures that may impact the movement. Library ladders work best on hard floors, so make sure to have a solid, even surface for it to slide along. 

Adding a ladder to your kitchen

Many homeowners decide to get a custom unit built from places like Hafele, whose builders will take into account where the ladder will be placed, how it will be attached, the size needs, materials, and necessary clearance. You can also buy a ready-to-install ladder from Lowe's in a variety of sizes in the $800-$2500 range depending on materials and finishes. Moveable ladders will typically cost more than those that are fixed to a single bar and only for use in a certain area. 

In addition to better access, these provide a far safer alternative for reaching high spaces than traditional step stools. With a ladder, you have more support and ability to hang on to something than with a simple stool. This is particularly great for handling fragile items like dishware. It also prevents having to store bulky step stools in the kitchen when space is limited.