ADA Bathroom/Plumbing Requirements For Business/Residential Property Owners

Own a small business? Have an older or disabled individual living at home? ADA bathroom requirements affect every small business with a brick-and-mortar retail space. Since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, business owners are required to adapt their physical structures in order to meet the needs of millions of Americans with disabilities. ADA Bathroom/Plumbing Requirements For Business  Residential Property Owners.

These requirements may of also be important to know for residential property owners who have an older or disabled person living with them (or in an in law suite) and want them to be comfortable using the bathrooms in their home.

Federal legislation applies to a building’s approach and entrance, access to goods and services, and ability of disabled individuals to use water fountains and other public amenities. It also applies with very specific guidelines to the accessibility and use of a building’s public restrooms.

Bathrooms in every commercial and residential setting should be designed to impress those that use them. But it’s also every business’s responsibility to follow ADA bathroom requirements, or risk facing severe penalties. Reliable Contractor Services in Northeast Ohio can help with your plumbing fixtures being up to ADA standards. Consider the following guidelines when designing your bathroom:

Enough Space

Per ADA guidelines, a bathroom or handicapped toilet stall should have enough space so that a single wheelchair is able to freely rotate within it (a minimum of 60 inches in diameter for a complete 180-degree turn). This space must be designed for a forward or parallel approach to the equipment, and can be located beneath current fixtures as long as there is enough space to allow legs to move freely when a person is seated in a wheelchair.

Toilet Accessibility

According to Buildings Magazine, an ADA-compliant toilet should have a 60-inch width, at minimum, with enough space to accommodate a wheelchair on the sides of the toilet or directly in front of it. Following installation, the toilet seat is required to be between 17 and 19 inches from the toilet base to the top of the seat.

Grab Bars

According to the ADA, you should anchor the horizontal grab-bar handrail and make sure it has a smooth, easy-to-grasp surface. It should be installed on the closest wall or partition.


An ADA-compliant bathroom should contain a sink or countertop no more than 34 inches high, with enough open space beneath for acceptable knee clearance. Plumbing located beneath a countertop or sink must be insulated or protected in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the disabled customer’s movement.


Any mechanism requiring a patron’s use (faucets, knobs, valves, etc.) must be workable with just one hand. Buildings Magazine  recommends that faucets “be lever-operated, push, touch or electronically controlled” and never require having to “tightly grasp, pinch or twist the wrist.”

Hand Dryers

In addition to being ADA-compliant, hand dryers that are either touch-free or motion-activated are economical and easy to install. Many hand dryers currently in use lack any type of sensor that signals blind people as to their location; ADA regulations therefore require that the hand dryer not extend greater than 4 inches from the wall.

As noted, these are general guidelines that you should consider when designing or updating your bathrooms. Be sure to review ADA’s specific requirements thoroughly to avoid costly penalties. And consider these guidelines too to make an older or disabled member living in your household as comfortable as possible.

Reliable Contractor Services provides expert Northeast Ohio residential, commercial, municipal and industrial plumbing, drainage and foundation waterproofing services.

With Over 10,000 customers since 1999, we have a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and are a multiple recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service award. OH license #23730. We also provide new technology solutions in Trenchless Pipe, Sewer Jetting Vacuum Services, and General and Hydro Excavation. 24/7 Emergency Services available.

Other services include sewer cleaning and backflow devices, septic tank repair/replacement, water heaters, sump pump and PumpSpy sump pump monitoring system certified installer, video pipe inspection and high pressure jetting. Reliable Contractor Services, your Cleveland, Ohio experts in ADA compliant plumbing fixtures.

So if you have a commercial or residential property in need of ADA compliant plumbing fixtures, schedule an appointment today!

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