Grab bars that are ADA compliant are placed in restrooms to allow people to support themselves and to pull themselves up. In most instances, these devices are installed near toilets, in bathtubs, or in showers.
Theses grab bars are indispensable for the safety and convenience of disabled and elderly persons who must maneuver themselves from wheelchairs to toilets. Also, these persons also need these bars to help them elevate themselves from seated positions.
In order to meet ADA standards, every bar must meet the highest level of quality assurance set forth in the accessibility guidelines for buildings and facilities the standards of ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities. These are not arbitrary standards. Years of scientific research went into determining the best placements, sizes, orientations, and strengths for grab bars.
For instance, it was discovered that the optimal height for horizontal bars must be between 33 and 36 inches. Also, a diameter between 1 ¼ inches and 1 ½ inches is optimal for grip. To be safe, all bars must be able to support 250 pounds of weight.
When used in toilet stalls, grab bars must also have a specific number of requirements. They must measure at least 42 inches in length. They must also be located no more than 12 inches from the back wall.
The bar along the back wall must be a minimum of 36 inches in length and it has to extend 12 inches from one side of the toilet and 24 inches from the opposite side. If the back wall is too small to permit this, ADA regulations allow the bar to be a total of 24 inches, and centered on the toilet.
ADA regulations also stipulate specifications for ADA bars in different types of shower stalls. In standard stalls, the bar must go across the control wall and extend at least 18 inches from the corner of the control wall and the back wall.
When there is a roll-in shower with a seat, the bar must extend along the back wall and the side wall across from the seat. There can be no bar above the seat.
In a roll-in shower without a seat, grab bars must be installed on three walls. Each bar must run along the length of the wall and go no farther than 6 inches from the corner of the adjacent wall.
In alternate roll-in showers, bars have to be installed on the back wall and the side wall that is farthest from the entry area. They cannot be above the seat, and they can be no further than 6 inches from the corner of the adjacent wall.
In bathtubs with permanent seats, there must be two ADA compliant grab bars on the back wall. The lower bar must be 8-10 inches above the bathtub rim. The upper bar should be 33-36 inches above the finished floor. There should be a third bar on the control end of the wall as well, and it should be a minimum of 24 inches in length.
If there are no permanent seats, the minimum length of the bars must be 24 inches and an extra 12 inch bar should be installed on the head wall.
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