Toilet Partitions, Washroom Design & The Law: What You Need To Know

toilet-partitionsIt’s a little known fact that “ADA Compliance” is a federal civil rights statute, not a building code. Though not enforced by building code officials, failure to comply is enforced through legal action from the Dept of Justice.

With that being said, it is our duty to design a comfortable and accessible restroom environment for persons with disabilities. Before you make any purchases of toilet partitions for your commercial washroom you must consider accessibility.

There are many dimensions to consider when designing an accessible bathroom stall. Distances should allow for common usage by people with a limited range of motion.

  1. Anything that a person might need to reach should be a maximum of 48” off the ground.
  2. Grab bars need to be mounted lower for better leverage, 33” –36’ high. Horizontal side wall grab bars need to be 42” minimum.
  3. Rear wall grab bars must be 36” long, and mounted so 24” are to the transfer side of the toilet and the other 12” to the wallside.
  4. Toilet tissue needs to be easily within arm’s reach. The ADA guide defines this as being within 7”-9” from the front of the bowl and at least 15” off the ground, 48” maximum.
  5. Protruding (non-recessed) dispensers must be 12” above or below grab bars.
  6. Latches cannot require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.  They must be operable with one hand, using less than five pounds of pressure.

Two primary sources for accessibility information are The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and The American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

For a free consultation regarding ADA Washroom design, call 631-582-5900.

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