If your toilet will be used by tall individuals or those with movement disabilities, you’ll want a model that is easily accessible to all people. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has set standards for all bathroom specifications, including toilet dimensions and installation requirements. These ADA criteria ensure easy accessibility of toilets to people who need additional support or assistance while sitting on or getting up from a toilet.
If you are looking for the best ADA-compliant toilet or want to transform your regular bathroom into an ADA- compliant bathroom, the following 5 tips will help you.
1. Check the Height
The height of the toilet is a vital aspect for ADA-compliance. To check the height, you will need a measuring tape when you go shopping for a new toilet.
Use the measuring tape to measure the toilet from the base of the floor to the top of the toilet seat. Make sure that the measurement with the toilet seat attached is between 17” to 19”.
Some toilets may include their height in the product description or specifications, if you’re shopping online. Regardless, after you install the toilet, measure again to confirm that the toilet height is right and complies with ADA criteria.
2. Give it Space
The Americans with Disabilities Act recommends choosing a toilet with an undercut, which provides enough toe clearance. An undercut bowl is a bowl that has space between the bottom of the bowl and the base of the toilet. Undercut bowls provide more space for users to rest their feet, which also improves the accessibility to the toilet.
The ADA suggests that there should be a gap of at least nine inches between a toilet and the floor, with a depth of at least 25″.
3. Read the Label
Toilets can be labeled as either “chair height” or “comfort height.” Chair height and comfort height toilets have higher dimensions than regular toilets. However, sometimes these toilets don’t meet ADA’s toilet height specifications and have measurements of about 16.5,” falling short of the recommended minimum 17″.
4. Flushing System
The flushing system of an ADA-compliant toilet should also meet ADA requirements, which means that a flush control should be no higher than 44” from the mounting surface. Additionally, it shouldn’t require more than 5 lbs. of force to activate the flush. Flushing also shouldn’t twist or strain your wrists.
Toilets that have flush valve controls to activate the flush usually meet the ADA’s flush requirements. However, button-activated flush toilets often require more than 5 lbs. of power to use, meaning they don’t meet ADA criteria.
5. Right Location
Before installing a toilet, you need to consider the walls of the bathroom and any potential barriers. If you have limited space in the bathroom, make sure that you install the toilet in such a way that it’s flush lever is easily accessible. If the right side of the toilet is against a wall or a barrier, the flush valve must be on the left side, and vice versa. Essentially, the flush valve should be on the open side of the toilet so that users can easily access it.
Additional ADA-Compliant Bathroom Considerations
There are several other aspects to consider when outfitting a full ADA-compliant bathroom:
In ADA-compliant bathrooms, the distance between the toilet and the centerline of the wall must be between 16″ and 18″. The flush lever should also be on the open side of the toilet, as mentioned above. If you currently have a two-piece toilet, you may be able to replace just the tank instead of the full unit to achieve ADA compliance.
One of the things people usually overlook when buying pieces for an ADA-compliant bathroom is the height of the mirror. In a casual bathroom, a mirror would be around 40 inches above the floor. However, that height is not suitable for everyone. When building an ADA-compliant bathroom, the mirror should start between 10 and 18 inches from the floor.
In most bathrooms, sinks are too high to be used by everyone. When building an ADA-compliant bathroom, you should install the sink at no higher than 34 inches from the floor.