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 Clearance

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 and other 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 some of their selection of ADA-compliant products, including the popular Highline® Comfort Height ® Two-Piece Elongated Toilet, below:

  • K-3999-0 Highline Comfort Height Two-Piece Elongated 1.28 Toilet
  • K-20197-RA-O Betello Two-Piece Elongated Toilet 360 Swirl Flushing
  • K-3519-RA-0 Highline Classic Comfort Heights 1.0 Elongated Toilet Right Hand

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. Some American Standard’s Right Height compliant toilets are listed below:

TOTO. TOTO is a distinguished manufacturer with nearly a century of experience in producing innovative plumbing products. TOTO’s products, including their selection of ADA bathroom products, offer customers high quality and creative solutions.

  •  MS920CEMFG#01 Washlet Bidet Seat Toilet ADA 1.28 gpf
  • CST744EL#01 Eco Drake 2-piece ADA Toilet Elongated Bowl  1.28 gpf
  • MS854114ELG#01 Eco Ultra Max One-Piece Elongated Bowl 1.28 gpf  Cefiontect

ZURN. Zurn has been a leading company in providing innovative water solutions since 1900. Zurn aspires to protect human health and the environment and is committed to offering safe and efficient products, such as:

  • Z5555-K Eco-Vantage ADA High Efficiency Elongated Toilet 1.28 gpf
  • Z5561 Elongated Pressure-Assist ADA  1.0 gpf
  • Z5560 Elongated Pressure-Assist ADA 1.6 gpf

Mansfield. Mansfield manufactures ADA-compliant bathroom products that provide reliable performance, beautiful designs, affordable prices, and are made in the USA. For your reference:

Icera. Icera was founded in Southern California in 1987 and has sought to improve quality of life through luxury bathroom design ever since. Icera embraces innovation in design and technology to deliver industry-leading products for a unified bathroom experience.

  • C-6610.01 Clarity Wallhung ADA install height 1.6/0.8 gpf Dual Flush  Elongated Bowl White
  • C-6270.01 Cadence OP Toilet Chair Height 1.28 gpf HET White
  • C-6190.06 Muse OP Toilet Chair Height 1.28 gpt Balsa

Delta. Delta Faucet’s solutions are inspired by putting customers and their needs first. Pairing thoughtful features and breathtaking designs, Delta is one of the leading innovators in the bathroom space, with plenty of selection for high-quality ADA-compliant solutions.

Western Pottery. With over 70 years in business, Western Pottery has a long history of providing high quality vitreous chinaware products. Western Pottery products, including ADA-compliant products, are tested and certified to meet or exceed industry standards for performance and water savings.

  •  872HY ADA Elongated Bowl 12″ Rough-in

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