The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into legislation to prevent discrimination and ensure equal access to facilities for all. It is from this legislation that the need for an ADA compliant bathroom was born. Across the nation, from cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg in the east, all the way to Los Angeles and Seattle, certain buildings and companies must comply with these standards.
Certainly, it is of particular importance in Florida state, as it is a dream residence and/or getaway for the more mature population. 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. There could be additional negative consequences if the government decides to investigate your facilities and their 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. 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.
Another key point is that you, personally, may not need it today but the unexpected happens. If renovating your bathroom, why not include some beneficial ADA features. Not only is it insurance for the day you may need it but, in the meantime, they can be convenient and practical.
What Goes Into an ADA Compliant Bathroom?
The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design includes guidelines for making your restroom ADA compliant. Since this document is quite long, we will emphasize some of the key points here.
For a single occupancy restroom:
- A wheelchair requires a 30-inch by 48-inch access to the sink.
- The commode must be at least 18 inches from the side wall.
- The height of the toilet seat approximately 18 inches from the floor.
- Wheelchair access of at least 60 inches circular diameter in necessary.
Guidelines for multi-occupancy bathrooms in Tampa include the following:
- Maximum height for sinks is 34 inches from the ground.
- Under-sink knee clearance must be 27 inches.
- Urinal stalls may hang a maximum of 17 inches from the floor
- Grab bars must be at least 1-1/4 inches and support up to 250 pounds. Additionally, they must be no less than 36 inches in length.
As you can see, many elements go into making a water closet safe and within accessibility standards. You may be tempted to head to the store and try to make these accommodations yourself. Choose a contractor in Tampa who specializes in ADA compliance. Greaves Construction has been following legal guidelines in our construction for over 30 years. Knowing the law and keeping up with it’s changes is at the core of our business.
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 real legal trouble. If you want to ensure your business meets the requirements, give Greaves Construction a call or contact us online. 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.