The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 and was designed to allow disabled persons to use public facilities with ease and comfort. It’s especially important to know because it applies to all areas of newly designed or newly constructed buildings and facilities, and altered portions of existing buildings and facilities.
Consult Your Code Inspector
The first thing to keep in mind is that even though most ADA compliances are general in nature, there are some state specific compliances too. So before starting your project, consult your local code inspector. After all, it is your local code official that will do the final inspection and determine you’ll pass or not!
One of the criteria that an ADA stall must meet is that the stall door must have an open clearance of 32 inches making it easy for wheelchair access.One error that is commonly made is that people mistake that for a 32 inch door not 32 inch clearance. It typically requires a 34” wide door to achieve the 32” wide true clearance (you must allow for the door hardware)
Another criterion specified by the ADA is that the clear space inside the stall must be at least 5 feet (60 inches) square to allow a wheelchair to rotate completely around. In addition, handicap rails must be provided. While this is the most common,this is not the only ADA
compliant configuration. Your local codes office can advise you on other acceptable options.
Exception to ADA Compliance
Not all bathrooms can be ADA compliant. For example, older buildings that only have stair access to the upper floors cannot be accessed by disabled persons and therefore are usually exempt from ADA compliance. However, the ground floor must be made up to ADA specs.
NOTE: Please consult your local code inspector for ADA Compliance codes. This post serves as generalized information on ADA compliance.