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How Tall A Handicap Toilet Should Be to Comply with the ADA Standards?

How Tall Is a Standard Handicap Toilet?
Written by Kai Michel
Last Update: August 10, 2023

A handicap toilet is for those who are physically disabled in some way. The disability can be related to mobility or any other shortcomings that prevent one from walking and moving freely like an ordinary person. Accessible toilets provide easier access compared to ordinary toilets. For this reason, they are designed with larger space, handicap toilet bars, increased height, and comfortable sitting arrangements.

The increased height of handicap toilets is not only suitable for persons with a physical disability but also best for tall people and the elderly. The use of handicap toilets is not just limited to hospitals; rather it is widespread among households and other places.

What is The Height of a Handicap Toilet?

The Height of Handicap Toilets for Adults

Height of Handicap Toilets for Adults

According to ADA, the maximum handicap toilet height needs to be 19 inches. The height is determined with the measurement from the floor to the handicap toilet seat. The lowest height can be the 17 inches measuring from ground to the seat.

This may not seem significantly tall compared to the heights of ordinary toilets. However, those 2 to 3 inches are comfy enough to physically challenged and tall people.

The Height of Handicap Toilet for Children

The Height of Handicap Toilet for Children

As much as an adult person needs comfort and greater accessibility in a toilet, a child requires it too. According to ADA, if you are designing a toilet for the use of 3 years to 4 years old children, the top height should be no more than 12 inches. If the toilet is for children with the age of 5 to 8 years, the top height should be 15 inches, and if the age is 9 years to 12 years, the considerable height should be no more than 18 inches.

Generally, it is hard to find standard handicap toilet for children as most handicap toilets are designed for adults. However, you can still give your children access to ordinary toilets by adding a 2″ to 4″ sitting tool below the feet. Now, your kids will be able to sit comfortably!

The Height of a Standard Toilet

A standard regular toilet is 14″ to 16″ high measuring from the ground to the seat. This is the required height for ordinary persons. Handicap toilets are a little higher than traditional toilets.

There are also other features of a handicap toilet that are not seen in standard toilets. A handicapped person can still use an ordinary toilet, but they will lack easier accessibility and comfort.

Adjusting the Height of a Standard Toilet

Adjusting the Height of a Standard Toilet

If there is no accessible toilet in your house but one or more of your family members are physically disabled, they can still use the standard toilets if you make some adjustments. An ordinary toilet does not need to be discarded or replaced. With proper adjustment both handicapped adults and children can use it comfortably.

For an adult handicapped person, use an elevated seat or a toilet seat riser to increase the height of the standard toilet seat. For handicapped children, install the platform underneath to lift the fixture to a necessary level.

Other Requirements

Other Requirements

According to the ADA guideline, it is not the only height that differentiates an ordinary toilet from the standard handicap toilet, but there are also some other requirements. These requirements are designed to provide easier access to the handicapped persons.

Clear Front Floor Space

According to ADA, there must be a minimum of 48 inches space should be kept between the two side walls. To create the right approaching space, the toilet should be positioned at least 18 inches from any sidewall.

The space required for front can vary, but the standard is to keep 66 inches from the back wall to the opposite wall of the toilet. The extra toilet space provides space for free movement as well as access to caregivers to move around along with the handicapped person.

Handicap Toilet Bars

Handicap toilet bars or grab bars are very useful for the most types of handicapped people, which is why they are one of the ADA requirements for handicap toilets. Properly placed grab bars can prevent accidental injury with greater accessibility.

Grab bars should be placed on both side walls and backside of the toilet. A handicap seat with handles can also be useful in this aspect. The height of the handles or bars should be 33 inches to 36 inches from the floor.

Toilet Flush, Seat and Paper Dispenser

Toilet Flush, Seat and Paper Dispenser

ADA guidelines do not mention the required height for toilet paper holder, but specify that it should be within reach.” The flush should be automatic or manually operable with a single hand only. The seat should not be automated that may spring up automatically after use.

About the author

Kai Michel

Hello, this is Kai, addressing homeowners in need of some help with their home renovation projects. I’ve worked on numerous toilet repair projects over the years that incorporated a wide variety of tasks, from repair to renovation and maintenance. Besides acquiring a degree on the legal codes and procedures, I gathered vast insights into bathroom settings, toilets, showers, fittings, and other household appliances, fixtures, and components. This helps me guide my clients through their home improvement and interior development plans. Since maintenance is my area of expertise, I can assist people in all phases of the actual ‘improvement’ process. To get my messages even further, I contribute to this site through my blog posts. Check my content here for expert suggestions!

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