Welcome back to the American Bath Remodeling, Inc. blog, where we deliver all of the information and know-how our readers seek out for their bathroom remodeling jobs. This time around we are talking about ADA compliance in bathroom remodels. ADA showers, or more colloquially known as handicap showers, have a number of specifications that are necessary to be compliant and useful for guests who need them.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Act lays out clear, concrete guidelines regarding the necessary dimensions and structure of showers and bathrooms for those
ADA Compliance Specifications for Handicap Showers and Bathrooms
There are a couple of different layouts for ADA compliant, handicap showers and bathrooms. For one, a single wheelchair must be able to rotate freely within the bathroom. That means that it must be at least 60” in diameter of unobstructed space. Features and fixtures that would infringe on that movement must be taken into account.
Requirements for an accessible toilet include have a minimum width of 60”, sufficient space for the wheelchair either to side or in front. Horizontal grab bars must be installed behind the toilet and on the nearest partition, or wall. The seat of the toilet must be between 17” and 19” off the floor. The flush control lever needs to be on the side of the toilet with the clearest floor space, no higher than 44” off the floor.
Those grab bars are for more than just the toilet. They should also be placed around the shower or tub as well, to facilitate easier entry and exit. These are not meant to be towel bars so make sure you’re installing one of those separately. The grab bar should be 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch wide, fully anchored to a smooth surface. The required height is between 34 and 38 inches off the ground. The bar must have a space of 1 ½ inch from the bar proper and the surface to which it is secured.
Kinds of ADA Compliant Showers
There are three main kinds of handicap showers, though other alternatives exist, these are just the standards. The Transfer-Type Shower, Standard Roll-In, and Alternate Roll-Ins.
A transfer shower is a very specific kind of shower under the 2010 ADA. It’s a 36” x 36” shower room with a seat and grab bars. These have the following necessary specifications:
- Must be 36” from center points of opposing sides.
- Must be 36” from the back wall to the outside of the shower.
- An L shaped seat that is no more than 3” from the entry.
- Vertical grab bar on control wall, back wall grab bar to extend 18” from control wall.
These have much more flexibility in their dimensions, and the following are all minimum. Usually, they won’t have any sort of barrier.
- A minimum 60” x 30” from center points of opposing sides.
- Minimum 60” opening from top to bottom.
- Folding seat on side wall, no more than 3” from the entry. This is optional under ADA, but ANSI needs it.
ADA SHOWER SEAT SPECS
The ADA shower seat itself has several specifications as well.
- Rated for 250lb. load.
- Mounted between 17”-19” above the finished floor.
- Extends 14”-15” from an adjacent wall.
- Distance from the adjacent wall no more than 1.5”
These are only some of those specifications that meet the ADA guidelines, there are many more depending on the different fixtures and features involved.
All guidelines and information are taken from the 2010 ADA Standards which can be found here.
If you need qualified, experienced help in remodeling your bathrooms and meeting those ADA guidelines for handicap showers, tubs, and bathrooms, look no further than American Bath Remodeling, Inc. We have the skills needed and proven success renovating over a million bathrooms since 1979! Give us a call and we can get together to make your bathrooms shine.