ADA Shower Requirements- Everything You Need to Know

A human rights law known as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) mandates that all public and commercial buildings must adhere to ADA guidelines and provide accessibility for individuals with disabilities. An ADA shower is therefore adequately handicap accessible. These showers usually have low thresholds, built-in chairs, grab bars, and broad apertures.

A transfer shower is one of the most popular types of ADA-compliant showers; it must be at least 36 inches wide. These devices are made to facilitate the transition from a bath seat to a wheelchair. Transfer showers are standard in most contemporary hotel rooms, though they can also be installed in residences. An additional variety is the 60-inch-wide ADA roll-in shower. Roll-in showers are made so that users can stay in their wheelchairs and enter the shower stall.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets forth specific requirements for accessible design in various facilities, including bathrooms and showers. These guidelines ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to public spaces. Here are some essential ADA shower requirements.

Clear Floor Space and Shower Controls

The shower must have a clear floor space of at least 30 inches by 60 inches to allow a wheelchair to maneuver. Controls for the shower, including faucets and showerheads, should be accessible from a seated position.

The operable parts of the controls should be at most 48 inches above the floor.

Grab Bars and Shower Seat

Horizontal grab bars are required on at least two walls of the shower compartment.

These bars should be mounted between 33 and 36 inches above the floor.

The grab bars must be at least 36 inches long and extend at least 12 inches on one side of the seat and 24 inches on the other. A fold-down or built-in shower seat is required in transfer-type showers. The seat should be mounted on the wall opposite the controls and extend from the back wall to a point within 3 inches of the compartment opening. The top of the seat should be 17 inches to 19 inches above the bathroom floor.

Thresholds and Handheld Showerheads

The shower should have a low or no threshold to facilitate entry for individuals with mobility impairments. Handheld showerheads are recommended to allow for greater flexibility and ease of use. The showerhead should have a hose that is at least 60 inches long.

Controls, Outlets, and Clear Turning Space

Shower controls and outlets should be easily reachable from seated and standing positions. Ensure enough space within the bathroom for a person using a wheelchair to approach, enter, and exit the shower.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and specific requirements may vary based on the size and type of the facility. Refer to the latest ADA Standards for Accessible Design for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Additionally, local building codes may have additional requirements that must be considered. If you’re designing or installing an ADA-compliant shower, consulting a design professional familiar with accessibility standards is recommended.