The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides standards for ensuring inclusivity and accessibility to all people. Since all people use the bathroom, accessibility is vital in this high traffic room. And one fixture of utmost importance is the toilet. Follow these simple tips to choose an ADA compliant toilet.
1. Height Matters
The height from the top of the toilet seat to the floor must be 17"-19" once installed. Be sure to measure before you buy. Some toilets are labeled "comfortable" or "chair" height… although these are taller, they still may not meet ADA height requirements, at least before adding a seat. (Remember, the height is from the toilet seat — not the bowl — to the floor.)
2. Foot Space
Ample foot space is required for ADA compliance. Undercut bowls (also called wall-mount) are recommended. They provide the space needed between the bottom of the bowl and the floor thanks to the plumbing hidden conveniently behind the wall. The ADA says the gap under the bowl must be at least a 9" high and 25" deep.
3. Flush Form
The flush control must be no higher than 44" from the mounting surface and activated with no more than 5 lbs. of force without twisting or straining one's wrists. Most toilets with flush levers meet this requirement. (Note: most button flush toilets need more than 5 lbs. of force, therefore they do not meet ADA requirements.)
4. Location, Location, Location
Wall space and bathroom layout play roles in the choice of toilet. Flush levers must be easy to access with no barriers. Will the toilet be close to a wall on one side? Manufacturers offer toilets with levers on the left or right side of the bowl.