Using the ADA and ABA Standards Series: Chapter 6: Plumbing Elements and Facilities

Thursday, July 2, 2020
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern Time Zone


Most technical questions about the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards concern access to restrooms and bathing facilities. In this session, presenters will clarify common sources of confusion and frequently asked questions about accessible toilet and bathing rooms and other plumbing facilities and elements covered in Chapter 6 of the standards. The session will also address drinking fountains, water closets, toilet compartments, urinals, lavatories and sinks, bathtubs, shower compartments, washing machines and clothes dryers, and saunas and steam rooms.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
California Architects Board 1.5
Certificate of Attendance 1.5
ICC 1.5


Bobby Stinnette, Accessibility Specialist , U.S. Access Board

Scott Windley, Accessibility Specialist , Office of Technical and Information Services, U.S. Access Board

Questions for presenters:

1 Can you please explain the difference between clear floor space and turning space? How much can clear floor space overlap at each element in a restroom.
2 I am hoping this presentation also addresses children's dimensions in toilet rooms. I work a lot with preschool through Grade 12 schools and it is important to know when children's dimensions need to be considered.
3 Does the 604.8.1.2 requirement for 4" maximum distance from the doorway to the opposite corner of the toilet apply if the size of the compartment is 4" or more greater than the 604.8.1 requirement for toilet compartment itself.?
4 ADA and ABA do not specifically address lab emergency eye-wash and shower installations, leaving compliance up to the reasonable application of similar chapters of the ADA, like drinking fountains, protruding objects, etc. I'd love to know if there are specific guidelines for emergency plumbing fixtures.
5 Is a wall surface mounted soap dispenser allowed in the clear floor space for a toilet in a single user toilet room, because of 604.3.2 overlap statement allowing dispensers?
6 Does the work surface 902 height requirement for a baby changing station get measured to the top of the rim preventing roll off or the top of the surface on which you lay the baby?
7 Are toilet paper dispensers allowed to stick out from the side wall more than 4"? ...effectively making them a protruding object, if this area in front of the toilet fixture is considered a circulation area for 307 determination. Please advise.
8 Does this session cover unisex restroom layouts?
9 Fair Housing required a minimum 36"x36" shower when that is the only bathing fixture in an apartment. To use a fiberglass surround in that clear dimension, we are limited to ADA style slab sided models. Also, when you move into an apartment, you can no longer have a residential looking molded shower even if a tub exists as the primary bathing fixture. The shower has to be flat sided in the area of future grab bar installation. How can the legislation be changed to only require blocking in the wall for grab bars, and leave the attachment to an irregular surface be allowed? Mounting a grab bar to an irregular surface is not rocket science. Then we can have soap shelves and molded ledges and recesses for acrylic grab bars for the 98% of users that will never install grab bars.
10 Please discuss placement of hand dryers and paper towel holders on the side wall of the sink and on the wall adjacent to the sink.
11 What is your position on adult changing tables? Arizona has a law requiring them in renovations and new construction with liberal exceptions.
12 Due to the age of Covid, and current design trends, can you discuss touchless fixtures and touchless entry to ADA stalls? For instance foot controls on stall doors, protrusion problems with touchless fixtures and reach range problems. Any lessons learned would be helpful.
13 Toilet partition door handles. Most use small door handles that have a 3/4" clearance. However it is recommended to use 1.5" clearance. Are the handles with 3/4" clearance accessible?
14 1. Is it compliant if the door of the accessible toilet stall swings out and into the required clear floor space(s) outside the stall? 2. For Toilet Stalls: is the stall door allowed to be an in-swing door and swing into the stall as long as there is an additional 30x48 clear floor area adjacent to the door?
15 ADA provides an option for a standard roll-in shower not to be provided with an attached folding seat. Is a portable non-fixed seat that has 4 legs considered ADA compliant for this shower option, or is a roll-in shower chair the only ADA compliant seating available for this option?
16 I comply with question number 12, addressing the pandemic. Has there been any research conducted on changing certain fixtures in the restrooms, due to the seriousness of this virus?
17 When ambulatory stalls are required per the 6 fixture rule, is only the (1) stall required regardless of a larger increase in total number? (i.e. 1 ambulatory stall required when 6 total fixtures provided; and only 1 ambulatory stall required when 12 total fixtures provided?)
18 213.3.1 "at least one" toilet compartment shall comply with 604.8.1 Is only the (1) accessible compartment required regardless of a large count of compartments in a toilet room? (i.e. 1 accessible compartment required when there are 4 compartments provided and when there are 20 compartments provided?)
19 If only (2) toilet rooms, both labeled UNISEX, are proposed at a new building- is it acceptable for only (1) to be accessible in accordance with 213.2? Or would both be required to be accessible since previously it was always be required for (1) accessible toilet room would be for males and (1) accessible toilet room for females- requiring both to be accessible.
20 In Single-user restrooms that are not designated Accessible, if a client installs grab bars, should it meet the requirements per ADA?
21 With the sensitivity on water conservation, I am seeing a lot of electronic water controls that turn off as soon as hands are removed from below the Lavatory faucet. Since this does not stay on for 20 seconds would it still be considered compliant Or since it remains on for the duration someone’s hands are triggering the sensor would it be considered acceptable?
22 Do the ADA Standards require an accessible sink to project at least 17 inches from the wall for knee and toe clearance or can a smaller projecting sink be used if the 17-inch knee and toe clearance is provided underneath it?
23 If the reach to the sink faucet is 20 inches, what is the minimum depth knee and toe clearance required?
24 An accessible bathroom with a toilet center of 16" - 18" from the side wall, has an accessory (double toilet paper holder and/or toilet seat cover or pape disposal canister) affixed to the side wall parallel to the toilet. The accessory protrudes 4" from the wall. The accessible BA now has a toilet center line that is obstructed by 4". Hence, center line becomes either 14" or 12" depending on the original wall distance. Is placement of the accessory to protrude 4" allowed? Do we then note only the original measurement to wall regardless of the accessory protrusion?
25 Do you know how many states have adopted IBC 2018 and ANSI 117.1 2017?
26 Does a restroom that is not used by public, but can be shared between 2 officers office space have to be built accessible?