Why You Need Safety Grab Bars for Restrooms: ADA Compliance

When installing a restroom for public use in your commercial building, there are many details to consider. First and foremost, you should look into the regulations set in place by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This set of rules ensures the safety and wellbeing of all differently-abled customers who will use the space. There are many of which you should be aware of, however, a reputable builder will be aware of them and make sure to follow them as he or she builds your space. However, to make sure everything is up to code, it can help to educate yourself a little on these requirements so you can guarantee your public restroom has the necessary products and spacing. Products, such as grab bars for restrooms, and certain spacing are mandatory. Read on to learn more. 

What is an ADA-compliant bathroom? 

The main requirement for an ADA-compliant bathroom is accessibility. For those who have difficulty moving around tight spaces, The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that protects the equal rights of persons with disabilities. As a result, any facility that serves the general public is required to comply. Additionally, because the ADA also concerns itself with the rights of persons with disabilities with regards to their employment, employee restrooms must also be ADA compliant. First, you should consider building codes, followed by ADA requirements. For example, one of the ADA’s demands is a toilet stall for each gender. However, ADA guidelines are not exclusive to the number of toilets or the measurements of the finished floor and toe clearance.

Grab Bars for Restrooms: ADA Requirements

There are different requirements for different applications. For instance, if you are building a bathroom with a shower stall, you will need to follow specific directions to ensure shower safety. So, if you are simply building toilet stalls, there are varying rules to follow. The varied layouts include:

  • Grabs bars in a toilet stall
  • Grab bars in a shower stall
    • Transfer Type compartments 
    • Standard Roll-in compartments
    • Alternate Roll-in compartments
  • Grab bars in bathtubs with permanent seats
  • Grab bars in bathtubs without permanent seats

Importantly, each of these configurations has a different set of requirements from the ADA. We will break them down for you below. 

Grab Bars in Toilet Stall

From the Side Wall: The side wall grab bar shall be 42 inches (1065 mm) long minimum, located 12 inches (305 mm) maximum from the rear wall and extending 54 inches (1370 mm) minimum from the rear wall.

From the Rear Wall: The rear wall grab bar shall be 36 inches (915 mm) long minimum and extend from the centerline of the water closet 12 inches (305 mm) minimum on one side and 24 inches (610 mm) minimum on the other side.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. The rear grab bar shall be permitted to be 24 inches (610 mm) long minimum, centered on the water closet, where wall space does not permit a length of 36 inches (915 mm) minimum due to the location of a recessed fixture adjacent to the water closet.

Grab Bars in Shower Stall

Transfer Type Shower Compartments

First, transfer-type shower compartments shall be 36 inches (915 mm) by 36 inches (915 mm). They should have clear inside dimensions measured at the center points of opposing sides. Also, they should have a 36 inch (915 mm) wide minimum entry on the face of the shower compartment. Clearance of 36 inches (915 mm) wide minimum by 48 inches (1220 mm) long minimum measured from the control wall shall be provided.

So, transfer-type compartments, grab bars shall be provided across the control wall and back wall to a point 18 inches (455 mm) from the control wall.

608.4 Seats. A folding or non-folding seat shall be provided in transfer-type shower compartments. A folding seat shall be provided in roll-in type showers required in transient lodging guest rooms with mobility features complying with 806.2. Seats shall comply with 610.

Standard Roll-In Type Shower Compartments

Standard roll-in type shower compartments are 30 inches (760 mm) wide minimum by 60 inches (1525 mm). They should have deep minimum clear inside dimensions measured at center points of opposing sides. Additionally, they should have a 60 inches (1525 mm) wide minimum entry on the face of the shower compartment.

608.2.2.1 Clearance. A 30 inch (760 mm) wide minimum by 60-inch (1525 mm) long minimum clearance shall be provided adjacent to the open face of the shower compartment.

EXCEPTION: A lavatory complying with 606 shall be permitted on one 30-inch (760 mm) wide minimum side of the clearance provided that it is not on the side of the clearance adjacent to the controls or, where provided, not on the side of the clearance adjacent to the shower seat.

Alternate Roll-In Type Shower Compartments

Next, alternate roll-in type shower compartments shall be 36 inches (915 mm) wide and 60 inches (1525 mm) deep. They should have minimum clear inside dimensions measured at center points of opposing sides. A 36 inch (915 mm) wide minimum entry shall be provided at one end of the long side of the compartment.

608.3 Grab Bars – Grab bars shall comply with 609 and shall be provided in accordance with 608.3. Where multiple grab bars are, install required horizontal grab bars at the same height above the finish floor.

EXCEPTIONS:

1. Grab bars shall not be required to be installed in a shower located in a bathing facility for a single occupant accessed only through a private office and not for common use or public use provided that reinforcement has been installed in walls and located so as to permit the installation of grab bars complying with 608.3.

2. In residential dwelling units, grab bars shall not be required to be installed in showers located in bathing facilities provided that reinforcement has been installed in walls and located so as to permit the installation of grab bars complying with 608.3.

American Specialities, Inc.: Reliable Washroom Products for Peace of Mind

When searching for commercial bathroom accessories, American Specialties, Inc. (ASI) is the solution. ASI Group is a single-source provider that designs, engineers, and manufactures fully integrated washroom accessories, partitions, lockers, and visual display products. Thus, for customers with large commercial projects, ASI offers the most complete collection of products for the modern washroom. Additionally, our 24/7 Customer Service tool can create and track your order online. You can enter quotes, convert quotes to orders, and view invoices for quick and easy service. If you want to learn more about our products, please call us at 914.476.9000 or learn more about us here.

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