ADA Restroom Requirements Your Business Needs to Meet

In a perfect world, every establishment and commercial space will design its restrooms to be more accommodating to persons with disabilities. After all, even though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards are not included in the International Building Code, they are still a significant law with stringent requirements.

Unfortunately, not all businesses believe it’s a big deal. When it comes to planning your commercial space, the restrooms are usually the last item on your agenda. However, restrooms should be near the top of your to-do list due to their numerous code requirements, especially if you want to avoid unexpected roadblocks that can damage your timeline or budget.

Here are important toilet standards for your bar or restaurant that have been broken down and clarified.

Be Aware of the Turn-Around Radius

The 5-foot turning radius is the most common clearance requirement when it comes to floor clearance. This means that within the restroom stall, there is a 5-foot circle of unobstructed floor space for a wheelchair user to turn around.

Measure Your Grab Bars

In an ADA-accessible commercial restroom, three distinct grab bars are necessary. The first two bars should be parallel to each other. 

To make it easier to get up, put a grab bar on the wall behind the toilet. It should be 36 inches long. A second grab bar should be 42 inches long and must be put on the opposite wall next to the toilet. 

A vertical 18-inch-long bar must be positioned vertically above the 42-inch grab bar, in addition to the horizontal bars.

Observe Toilet Seat Height and Distance

Always verify ADA compliance before purchasing plumbing fittings. The seat height of an ADA-compliant toilet would be 17 to 19 inches, and its center should be 16 to 18 inches from the next wall. 

Your 36-inch grab bar should be set correspondingly.

Think about Your Door Accessibility

Because restrooms aren’t exactly a cash cow for a restaurant, owners attempt to keep the square footage in these sections as low as possible. However, less square footage implies fewer clearances, which may limit the accessibility of your restrooms. 

Fortunately, there are numerous approaches to designing a door and the necessary surrounding clearance, including approach direction, door swing direction, handle type, and so on.

Measure Your Sink Clearance

Bathroom sinks can be designed in various ways, but they must all be ADA compliant. Sink height limitations are the same across all solutions and should not exceed 34 inches. If the sink is incorporated into the countertop and is under-mounted, the countertop surface should be 34 inches as well.

In addition to the height requirements, you’ll need to allow enough clearance beneath the sink for a wheelchair to be able to go under the sink, allowing 8 inches of free space from the front of the sink.

Strategically Place Your In-Wall Fixtures

Soap, paper towel dispensers, seat covers, and sanitary dispensers are just a few of the in/on-wall accessories or dispensers that are required in a restroom. The dispenser hole should not be higher than 48 inches off the ground. 

The mirror is another piece of equipment with a height requirement. Vanity mirrors are commonly seen over sinks, and the maximum distance from the floor to the bottom of the mirror, in this case, is 40 inches. The bottom of the mirror should not be more than 35 inches from the floor if it is put elsewhere.


If you want your establishment’s restrooms to follow code and be as inclusive as possible, you’ll have to keep these guidelines in mind. They can help your property become more friendly to persons with disabilities and also keep you out of legal trouble.

If you’re in the inspection industry and want to improve your ADA compliance kit, trust All Things Inspector to have your back. We offer inspection tools that inspectors or owners of commercial spaces need to comply with ADA standards. Check out the products, blogs, and forums on our website today! 

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