The Toilet: Taking Care of Business
Providing accessible and safe navigation for toilets is an essential component of meeting the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. ADA guidelines specify that clearance around the toilet must be maintained for easy navigation, as well as requirements for seats, grab bars and flush controls. In order to maintain ADA compliance, builders, architects, and engineers should be aware of the standards for accessible toilet design and should develop a plan for how to implement ADA guidelines in their projects.
ADA Section 604 for Water Closets and Toilet Compartments
ASA Section 604 “Water Closets and Toilet Compartments” governs the ADA’s requirements for toilet installation. The following standards are outlined that must be met in order to ensure ADA compliance:
604.1 General. The first section requires that toilet compartments must comply with following standards listed in 604.2 through 604.8.
604.2 Location. Section 604.2 requires that toilet compartments must be “positioned with a wall or partition to the rear and to one side.” The center line of the water closet must be positioned between 16” and 18” from the side wall or partition. The water closet should be positioned 17” to 19” from the side wall or partition in the ambulatory accessible toilet compartment, which is covered in more detail in section 604.8.2. Water closets should be accessible to left-handed people as well as right-handed people.
604.3.1 Size. Section 604.3.1 specifies that clearance around a water closet must be at least 60” measured perpendicular from the side wall and at least 56” measured perpendicular from the rear wall.
604.3.2 Overlap. ADA guidelines state that the clearance around the water closet is permitted to overlap with the water closet, in addition to grab bars, dispensers, other fixtures, clear floor space and clearances required for other fixtures as well as the turning space. There should be no obstructions or fixtures blocking the required clearance for the water closet.
604.4 Seats. ADA guidelines specify that the seat should have a minimum height of 17” to 19” measured to the top of the seat. For residential units, the seat height may be 15” to 19” above the floor. In addition, seats should not be sprung to return to lifted position.
604.6 Flush Controls. ADA guidelines specify that flush controls should be hand-operated or automatic. Flush controls should be located on the water closet’s open side, with the exception of ambulatory accessible compartments.
Keep in mind that if designing a restroom for children, the dimensions will be different:
|Advisory Specifications for Toilets Serving Children Ages 3 through 12|
|Ages 3 and 4||Ages 5 through 8||Ages 9 through 12|
|Water Closet Centerline||12”||12” to 15”||15” to 18”|
|Toilet Seat Height||11” to 12”||12” to 15”||15” to 17”|
Often when specifying ADA toilets, the wording is general such as “provide ADA compliant toilet/water closet.” Sometimes the specifications list a specific manufacturer or manufacturer list. At this writing, there were over 537 projects in ConstructConnect within the Plumbing Division that specified ADA toilets for this year. Although many contain specific manufacturers, the field has room for product manufacturers (and there are many) to become a basis of design or position their toilet as THE ones for ADA restrooms.
Now that you are aware of some of the guidelines surrounding ADA toilet installation, here are several manufacturers that offer ADA toilets for residential and commercial construction:
Ferguson. Ferguson is a leading supplier of residential and commercial plumbing products. With a 65-year history, knowledgeable staff and locations worldwide, Ferguson is an excellent resource to consult for advice on various ADA compliant products. Browse Ferguson’s collection of ADA toilets, including the PROFLO® Elongated Toilet Bowl.
Kohler. Since 1873, Kohler, located in Kohler, Wisconsin, has been a world-renowned manufacturer of plumbing products. See their selection of ADA-compliant products, including the Betello® Comfort Height ® Two-Piece Elongated Toilet.
American Standard. American Standard has a legacy spanning 140 years as a premier North American manufacturer of plumbing and building products. American Standards manufactures faucets, sinks, whirlpool tubs and many other high-performance fixtures for the kitchen and bath, including ADA-compliant toilets. See American Standard’s full range of ADA-compliant toilets on their website, including the Homestead VorMax 1.28 gpf Right Height Elongated Toilet.
TOTO. TOTO, a major manufacturer of restroom products, produces a number of toilets that meet ADA criteria. Consider the Toto’s Drake ® two-piece toilet.