Basic ADA (Wheelchair Accessible) Rules For Bathrooms
This is for residential guidelines based on the National Building Codes for accessibility. For more in-depth information on Building Code guidelines visit the International Code Council's website at iccsafe.org. There you can have access to building code and reference books to buy, becoming a member yourself of the ICC, or for testing information to get yourself certified in all ranges of building professionals.
I am currently studying to become a Certified National Building Code Examiner! Exciting!
Here are some very basic rules to follow when designing a wheelchair accessible bathroom.
Please note that this is very basic coverage for accessibility plans. The code books explain more in-depth guidelines for each topic covered below.
Ease of Access for Wheelchairs:
1) The minimum allowed width for a passway or doorway for a single wheelchair to maneuver is 2'-8". Ideally 3' would be best!
2) For hallways with doors on either side, the hallway should have a minimum width between doorways of 4'. Ideally 5' would be best!
Side Note: pocket doors and sliding barn doors are great for ease of access as they do not protrude into the space needed to maneuver around and are easier for handicap people to close behind them and open before them!
3) Minimum clear width allowed for two wheelchairs to pass is 5'.
4) The turning space for a wheelchair needs to be a 5' diameter space, with no fixtures within the set turning space.
For example: this bathroom floor plan shows the turning diameter with a dashed line. The bathtub and side shower walls do not enter within the designated 5' turning diameter. Note that the drain to the shower does enter within the turning diameter, but it does not obstruct the turning of a wheelchair, as it is in the floor flush to the tile.
Master Bath & Powder Room Combo Floor Plan by Khiller Designer