To properly design and build an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible bathroom, you need to get fixtures that meet ADA codes and standards. From sinks to toilets to shower stalls, learn the types of fixtures available for your bathroom.
Types of ADA Accessible Bathroom Fixtures
Bathroom fixtures are defined as the permanent, large non-faucet components of the bathroom. This includes the toilet, sink, shower and tub as well as any vanities or cabinets. Each of these fixtures is available in an ADA-approved version perfect for handicap bathrooms.
All toilet companies make several ADA-accessible toilets, many in several styles and features. The key is the height of the toilet. While standard toilets may only measure 14-inches to the rim, an ADA accessible toilet will measure 17-inches, giving a few extra inches of height that can allow easier lowering onto the seat or transferring.
Toilet manufacturers refer to these higher toilets by different names, including:
- Comfort height
- Universal height
- Right height
A selection of ADA accessible toilets includes:
- Toto's Promenade - Toto's Promenade is a classic style, two-piece toilet that is also available as an Eco version.
- Toto's Nexus - Toto's Nexus is a contemporary style, two-piece toilet with a low-water flush.
- Toto's Clayton - Toto's Clayton is a traditional style, two-piece toilet with a low-water flush.
- Toto's Guinevere - Toto's Guinevere is a traditional style, one-piece toilet with an easy-to-clean finish.
- Kohler's Archer - Kohler's Archer is a transitional style, two-piece toilet.
- Kohler's Cimmaron - Kohler's Cimmaron is available in both one and two-piece styles and features Kohler's newest flushing technology.
- American Standard's Cadet - American Standard's Cadet is a two-piece toilet with high efficiency and low consumption.
For a sink to be ADA-accessible, it must allow wheelchair access below it, while not hanging or standing too low to the ground. This can be achieved by mounting any style of sink in a wall-hung countertop, including vessel sinks, drop-in sinks or undermount, or purchasing a dedicated ADA- and wheelchair-accessible sink. Some options include:
- Toto drop-in sinks - Toto makes several varieties of standard, drop-in sinks that are ADA-compliant.
- Toto wheelchair access sinks - Toto makes a wall-hung sink that slants back to allow extra room for wheelchair users.
- Kohler's Caxton sinks - The Caxton is Kohler's classic and popular undermount sink.
ADA-accessible shower stalls need a flat threshold for ease of transfer or to allow wheelchair access. This can be accomplished through an entire, acrylic shower surround, or by using a shower base with your choice of wall materials. Grab bars, moveable shower heads and a transfer seat are also acceptable options.
Some ADA-accessible shower stalls include:
- Barrier Free Transfer Showers - Barrier Free makes several varieties of transfer showers with multiple features like positionable grab bars.
- Barrier Free Roll In Showers - Barrier Free's roll in showers are one-piece shower units with no threshold, which allows wheelchair access.
- Sterling's Advantage shower base - Sterling's Advantage is a shower base with no threshold that can be used with any style shower walls.
ADA-accessible bathtubs are truly innovative. They use different kinds of technology to help make entry and transfer easier, while providing a quality bathing experience. Some examples include:
- Kohler's Elevance, which has a lifting and lowering front panel to allow for easy transfer
- Barrier Free Tub and Shower Units. which feature lower entrance sections for easy access
- Sterling's Accord adaptable bathtub which has options for seats and grab bars
Bathroom vanities and furniture can be ADA-compliant if the cabinet or furniture allows for wheelchair access beneath the sink or counter. This can be achieved through the use of open front cabinets, sink legs or wall-mount cabinets. Some examples include:
- Palmer's Sink Legs - Use Palmer's Sink Legs with any style top for a wheelchair friendly sink and counter. You may also use the sides as grab bars.
- Waterfall's The Illusionist - The Illusionist is a contemporary, sleek roll-in vanity.
- My Trading Companies Solid Wood Open Vanity - My Trading Companies' Solid Wood Open Vanity is wall hung, with enough clearance beneath for a wheelchair, with storage available.
Other Components of an ADA Compliant Bathroom
In addition to the large fixtures, every ADA-compliant bathroom should also have:
- Grab bars near the sink, toilet and shower
- Faucets with lever handles
- Hand held shower heads on positionable bars
- Non-skid flooring such as mosaic tiles
- Adequate lighting
Design a Bathroom to Your Needs
Not every handicap-accessible bathroom will look the same. Design a bathroom that fits your mobility and accessibility needs, both today and in the foreseeable future.