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So, Do You Really Need Accessible Restroom Compartments?


Restroom compartments or most commonly known as toilet stalls may just be plain or simple to design, however, it is not as simple as it seems because there can still be a lot of complications and this will depend on the kind of material that the compartment is made of, along with the mounting of the door, or where the toilet is located.

So, to answer, yes, an accessible toilet compartment is required in all public restrooms. If you must know, there are two basic toilet compartment designs that have been named and also shown in the standards, and these are the following:

1, The Wheelchair Accessible Restroom Compartment

For this type of compartment to be accessible, it should be 56 inches in depth as the minimum for compartments that are wall-hung and should have 59 inches in depth for the floor-mounted toilets.

The minimum should be measured at the right angle from the side of the wall, and it should be measured at 60 inches. This is the minimum space that is being required in toilet compartments so that a person in a wheelchair can have enough space to maneuver into position at the toilet.

This type of restroom compartment must be offset on the back wall of the toilet centerline that should be 16 inches up to 18 inches from the sidewall or partition of the toilet. There should also be grab bars that must be mounted on the rear wall and also on the closest side wall or partition to the toilet. There should also be coat hooks and shelves that should be installed with a maximum dimension of 48 inches and projects with no more than 4 inches in order to complete the design.

Overall, the wheelchair accessible compartments should be able to serve its ultimate purpose and that is to use wheelchairs and those who transfer onto a toilet by using a variety of positions and procedures.

2,  The Ambulatory Accessible Toilet Compartment

For this type of compartment, this should have a depth of 60 inches and retaining the 36 inches of the 2009 ICC/ANSI Standards. The doors of this type of compartment must not swing into the minimum required compartment area, and the door pull hardware must also be installed on both sides of the door near its latch.

The toilet must also be located on the back wall with the toilet centerline of 17 inches in minimum and 19 inches in maximum from the side of the wall or the partition. The grab bars should also be provided on both sides as per wall requirements.

There is one other variant, and this is called the Large Wheelchair Accessible Toilet Compartment and this is one of the many kinds of larger wheelchair accessible toilet compartments that are also possible. It should be kept in mind that in-swinging doors must not overlap the toilet clearance requirement.

As for the doors on all of the accessible restroom compartments, it must always meet the 2010 ADA Standards, and this includes the pull-hardware and the self-closer. The width opening must be 32 inches at the minimum and the door should open in 90 degrees. For out-swinging doors that are approached from the latch side, it should have an access aisle of 42 inches wide as a minimum, while there are other approaches that require an access aisle of 48 inches as the minimum width.

Kinds of Restroom Compartments Size and Door Locations

The standard dimension of a restroom compartment has a minimum with of 60 inches which is measured perpendicularly from sidewall to sidewall, and a depth of 56 inches which is measured perpendicularly from the rear wall of the inside of the front wall for a wall-hung water closet, and a depth of 59 inches, if it is for a floor, mounted water closet.

If you are putting up restroom compartments for children, the standard dimension should be 60 inches wide, and 59 inches in depth regardless of whether it is a wall or floor-mounted water closet.

The reason why a minimum space is required when it comes to toiled compartments is for it to provide a person who is using a wheelchair to move into a position towards the water closet along with turning around toward the exit.

Given the limitations of a person in a wheelchair, it is important that he or she should be able to turn freely and should also be able to exit the restroom compartment in the most comfortable way possible, even if the area only has a tight space. Therefore, it is imperative that the toe clearances should give enough space for allowing the toes to project out of the restroom compartment. The standard for toe clearances is 9 inches high for the adults, and 12 inches high for children, and this toe clearance should extend to 6 inches beyond the partition.

The Standard for Restroom Compartment Doors

The standard size for a door of an accessible restroom compartment has a width of 32 inches, it should be self-closing and should have pulled on both sides. The locking mechanism of the door should be that which will no longer require tight grasping and twisting of the wrist in order to operate as provided in Section 309 of the ADA.

The door of the restroom compartment should have similar maneuvering clearances along with other doors, and it should also meet the minimum requirements that are provided in Section 404 of the ADA. If the approach of the door is on the hinge side, then this maneuvering clearance should still follow the standards provided in the same Section 404 of the ADA. However, it should always be well-noted that the door must be located in a way that the hinge is 4 inches away from the sidewall and it should be located opposite the side of the water closet.

Thus, the door of the restroom compartment should not open in front of the water closet and at the same time, the door should not be swinging into the required compartment area.