Company owners often give ADA toilet requirements low priority in their compliance efforts. This is unfortunate because failure to comply with these regulations can expose businesses to both heavy fines and expensive lawsuits. In this post, we’ll offer a high-level overview of what the ADA expects in terms of restroom accessibility. We encourage you to contact an ADA compliance specialist with any questions or concerns.
The ADA mandates that mirrors should have a lower reflective edge no higher than 40” from the floor. Companies are encouraged to have at least one full-length mirror in each restroom to ensure compliance with the spirit of the regulation.
Toilet Paper Holders
Holders should be mounted 36” or less from the rear wall of the enclosure and with their horizontal centerline at least 19” above the floor. To ensure ADA compliance, we recommend that you not install folded-tissue dispensers. We also recommend against using devices that limit the amount of toilet paper available to the user.
Tampon/Sanitary Napkin Dispensers
These should be easily operable with use of one hand. Pull knobs should not require more than five lbs. of pressure to use.
Paper Towel Holders
To ensure access by persons in wheelchairs, these should be mounted between 15” and 48” above the floor. In the case of combination paper towel/waste receptacle units, the paper towel dispenser should also be between 15” and 48” above the floor. If the unit protrudes more than 4” from the wall, it should be placed inside a corner or alcove, or between protruding structural elements.
Trash Cans/Waste Receptacles
The receptacle’s openings should be accessible from 15” to 48” from the floor, to allow easy use by persons in wheelchairs. If the receptacle uses hinged panels, these should require no more than five lbs. of force to operate. Units that project more than four inches from the wall should be placed in alcoves, corners, or in between other structural elements. This is to protect visually impaired people from walking into them. It also helps to guarantee that there is a minimum of 60” of turning space for wheelchairs.
Forced-Air Hand Dryers
According to ADA toilet requirements, these should require no more than five lbs. of force to operate. They should also be operable with one hand. They should be a contrasting color to the surrounding area, so that they’re easier for visually impaired people to perceive. If there is only one dryer in a restroom, its start button should be between 38” and 40” above the floor. If there are two or more dryers, then one should have a start button from 38” to 40” from the floor; the others should have start buttons located between 41” and 48” from the floor. Multiple dryers should alternate between being accessible to left- and right-sided approaches by persons in wheelchairs.
These should have between 1 ¼” and 1 ½” clearance from the wall they’re attached to. The centerline should be placed between 33” and 36” from the floor. The bars should be able to withstand at least 250 lbs. of force. The bars should never rotate in their fittings.
The bottom edge of the reflective surface should be 40” or less from the floor. They must have at least one shelf that is no more than 44” above the floor.
We strongly recommend that only shower curtains be used as enclosures for stalls. If other types of enclosures are used, these should fold back flat against the walls. Enclosures should never interfere with shower controls.
As mentioned before, this is a high-level overview of ADA compliance requirements. We encourage you to contact us, to find out how we can help to ensure your structure’s compliance with all aspects of the ADA.