The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into legislation to prevent discrimination and maintains equal access to facilities. It is from this legislation that the need for an ADA compliant bathroom was born. All across the nation, in cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg all the way to Los Angeles and Seattle, certain buildings and companies must comply with these standards. In fact, it is a bit more important here as Florida’s population is advanced in age; more than half the population is over fifty-five. So, whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, here is why you may want to care about your restroom being serviceable to all body types and abilities.
It Is Not Just Being a Good Person — It Is the Law
Say, for example, you own a restaurant in the Tampa Bay area. You chose standard toilets when renovating the building. Then, on your opening night, or even ten years down the line, a differently-abled individual uses your lavatory, and they hurt themselves because there were no bars installed. That decision for standard toilets when you renovated just opened you up to a serious lawsuit that could potentially bankrupt your livelihood. And that is not even considering if the government gets wind of your facilities and their lack of accessibility. Having an ADA compliant bathroom is not just considerate, it is the law. Failure to provide an accessible restroom may result in you being hit with serious fines. Do not take a chance and seek out a construction and renovation company to keep you up to code.
Homeowners Can Reduce Liability with an ADA Compliant Bathroom
In the previous example, you saw how the Americans with Disabilities Act impacts companies, but you may be wondering why a homeowner should care since their home is not in the public domain. This is true, but in a litigious world, having an ADA compliant bathroom may prevent home injuries and accusations of negligence. If you, your family, or any close friends that visit are advanced in their years or differently abled, it may be prudent to contact a professional about having your restroom renovated. Slips and falls are the number one ways homeowners injure themselves, so manage that risk by bringing your lavatory up to accessibility standards.
What Goes Into an ADA Compliant Bathroom?
There is a PDF available that lists all of the requirements to make your restroom in line with the American with Disabilities Act, but it is over three hundred pages long. To roughly summarize, a single person ADA compliant bathroom has:
- 30-inch by 48-inch access to the sink (to fit a wheelchair)
- A door that cannot breach this “bubble” of space
- Toilets that are at least 18 inches from the side wall
- Toilet seats with a height of approximately 18 inches
- Wheelchair access of at least 60 inches circular diameter
For a multi-person bathroom in Tampa:
- Sinks cannot be higher than 34 inches from the ground
- Sinks must also have a knee clearance of 27 inches
- Urinal stalls may hang a maximum of 17 inches from the floor
- Grab bars should be no less than 36 inches, no thinner than 1¼ inches, and must hold 250 pounds
As you can see, many elements go into making a water closet safe and within accessibility standards. Skip a trip to the DIY store and choose a local contractor in Tampa who specializes in this, such as Greaves Construction.
Quality Renovation. Expert Craftsmen. Greaves Construction.
There are many benefits of retrofitting an existing restroom to become an ADA compliant bathroom. From homesteaders to Tampa restaurateurs, obeying the law is something to be taken seriously. Failure to do so can land you in hot water, legally. If you want to ensure your business meets the requirements, give Greaves Construction a call. We have years of experience and use quality, eco-friendly products.
If you are in the Tampa Bay area and want to renovate for an ADA compliant bathroom, give us a call today at (813) 985-2739.