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Guest Post: ADA Compliance for Restooms

What does ADA compliance mean for a restroom?


“ADA” stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was a law that was established back in 1990. This ensures the minimum requirements for designing spaces that can be used by everyone, including those with mobility problems, vision impairments, hearing issues, and those suffering from other alignments that require special accommodations.

If you’ve heard of ADA before, you’ve probably seen it as it relates to products or certain areas such as restrooms. For use in public lavatories or restrooms in hotels and other spaces, faucets, sinks, tubs, toilets, and the accessibility to the bathroom itself all must be ADA compliant. But do you know what’s really involved with making a lavatory ADA complaint? In this post, we’ll highlight the guidelines that result in an ADA compliant restroom.


Single-User Restrooms

All commercial bathrooms have the same general guidelines to follow for ADA compliance, but there are some slight differences to understand. Here are some guidelines for single-user lavatories:

  • Sinks: The sink area in these restrooms must be 36 inches by 48 inches. And it’s important to note that the door can’t swing open into this specific area.
  • Toilet: For the toilet in single-user restrooms, the centerline of the toilet must be between 16 and 18 inches from the wall on the side of the restroom. Additionally, the toilet seat height must be between 17 and 19 inches.
  • Area for Wheelchairs: To create space for wheelchairs, a commercial lavatory must have a clear circle that’s at least 60 inches around the sidewall and 56 inches from the rear wall. This area provides access for wheelchairs to turn around completely.


Multi-User Restrooms

The ADA compliant rules for multi-user bathrooms are very similar to single-user lavatories, but there are some minor differences. Take a look at the following guidelines for ADA compliant multi-user restrooms:

  • Sinks: For the mounting of sinks, they shouldn’t be mounted any higher than 34 inches from the ground. In addition, there should be a knee clearance of at least 27 inches high, 30 inches across, and 11 to 15 inches deep. Also, the area on the floor should be clear and the pipes under the sink should be insulated.
  • Faucets: An ADA compliant sink includes a faucet that is operated by a lever, push method, touch-operation, or electronically controlled. That’s why you commonly see a sensor faucet, an automatic faucet, or a touch-less faucet in most bathrooms today. These faucets should be able to be used with one hand and shouldn’t need a tight grasp or twist of the wrist to work properly. Also, there shouldn’t be a great deal of force needed in order to start the commercial sink faucet. In fact, an ADA compliant faucet is one where no more than 5 pounds of force is needed to use it.
  • Stalls: In order for a urinal to be ADA compliant, it must either be a stall-type of hung from a wall no higher than 17 inches from the floor. In a standard stall, the top of the toilet seat to the floor must be between 17 to 19 inches in length. And similar to faucets, toilet flush valves should never require tight grasping, twisting of the wrist, or pinching.
  • Grab Bars: Inside stalls, grab bars need to be at least 36 inches long for bars on the rear wall or 42 inches long for bars on the sidewall. In addition, these bars should be located between 33 and 36 inches from the ground. Additionally, there needs to be a gripping surface of at least 1.25 inches, which should be mounted at least 1.5 inches from the wall. It’s also important to note that these bars should withstand a great deal of pressure—up to 250 pounds to be exact.


ADA Compliant Products from Hydrotek

If you’re a mechanical or plumbing engineer and you’re looking to design an ADA compliant lavatory, then it’s important to work with a qualified team to find the reliable products you need. Since 1985, Hydrotek has been the number one resource for finding outstanding solutions for your lavatory.

Hydrotek offers an innovative sensor shower system, state-of-the-art toilet flush valves, and sleek sensor faucets. We have a wide selection of products to suit your every need.