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What Is an ADA Compliant Bathroom?

If you are a home owner, facilities owner or small business owner, you may have heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This Act requires that all bathrooms, new or old, must be usable by people with disabilties. Not sure if your bathroom is ADA compliant? Your leading CT bathroom contractor Fiderio & Sons answers all of your ADA bathroom questions.

What Is the American Disabilities Act?

There are certain product mounting requirements for compliance with ADA. The products that require specific installation include shower seats, mirrors, toilet paper holders, soap dishes, sanitary napkin dispensers, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, waste receptacles, hand dryers, combination paper towel/waste units, shower curtains, partition mounted accessories, medicine cabinets, grab bars and mirrored multipurpose units.

Here are a few of the most common guidelines that must be followed:

Grab Bar

The grab bar hand rail must be fully anchored with a smooth surface that can be easily grabbed. The grab bar must have round edges and must be connected to posts or wall. ADA grab bars must have a diameter between 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches and should be installed between 34 and 38 inches off the ground. There should also be a space of at least 1-1/2 inches between the grab bar and surface that it is anchored to.

Handicap Toilets

Handicap toilets must have a minimum width of 60″ and more than enough space to accomodate the wheelchair to the side or front of the toilet. ADA requires grab bars be installed behind the toilet or on the nearest wall partition, whichever is closest. Toilet seats should be between 17″ to 19″ above the floor.


A wheelchair must be able to rotate freely inside of an ADA compliant bathroom. This range of motion requires at least 60″ in diameter, as well as enough “clear space” (30 inches by 48 inches).

Sink Area

Sinks must have a minimum of 30-by-48 inches of open access in front of the sink, with enough space for a person with crutches or a wheelchair to access it. All hot water or drain pipes should be insulated or covered. In addition, there can be no sharp edges or surfaces below the sink.

Hand Dryers

Hand dryers should either be motion activated or touch free. Any push-button activated dryers are out of compliance with the ADA bathroom guidelines. ADA hand dryer specifications also require that the units not protrude more than 4 inches from the wall, in order to avoid the potential injury of those who can not see the dryer.

There are many more ADA regulations that need to be followed. We recommend talking with your local ADA compliant bathroom contractor who can help answer all your compliance questions.

ADA is a federal civil rights statute and not a building code. ADA requirements are enforced by the Justice Dpeartment. Want to get more information about ADA compliant bathrooms? Fill out the form on the right of this page  to schedule a no-obligation consultation with Fiderio & Sons.

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