ADA or Accessible?

If you are researching remodeling or new construction projects‚ especially for bathrooms‚ you will likely come across the terms “ADA compliant” and “Accessible”. It is important to understand the difference before deciding what you need for your project.

Introduction to ADA Shower requirements.

ADA stands for The Americans with Disabilities Act which is a civil rights legislation enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. The act dictates certain requirements for public accommodations and commercial facilities in the United States.

This means that any public or commercial building‚ must comply with ADA requirements. ADA usually does not apply to private residences.

There are two styles of ADA showers that are compliant:

A roll in shower must have a minimum inside dimension of 60”x30” and must have a finished threshold no highter than ½”.

Transfer showers must have an inside dimension of 36” x 36”.

Also ADA showers must be equipped with grab bars and a wall mounted shower seat. If you are working on a commercial project it’s important to find out what your local ADA requirements are‚ as each region has slightly different codes.

You can use an ADA shower in a home but they are often too wide to fit in the standard 60" framing pocket that exists in most residential bathrooms. Also many ADA showers come in one piece‚ which can be difficult to get into an existing room in a home, so be sure to choose a multi-piece unit.

If you are remodeling or building a home‚ you probably don’t need to meet ADA requirements‚ unless a government agency is funding the remodel. Again check with your local requirements to be sure.