ADA Bathroom Sink Height Requirements

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

The United States government has established guidelines and requirements for bathroom facilities in order to protect the rights of the disabled. Imagine if you were in a wheelchair and needed to use a sink that was difficult to reach. What are the ADA Bathroom Sink Height Requirements to make sure facilities are disabled-friendly?

History of the Americans with Disabilities Act

With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, African-Americans were given protection against racial discrimination. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extended the legal protections against discrimination to the handicapped. The ADA specifications are required in public buildings, they are recommendations for private establishments.

As the American population ages, the number of people in wheelchairs or with walkers is also increasing. Handicapped people might use a sink as a support against falling. Thus, builders must create a solid, stable sink free of any sharp, protruding edges on top, the side or underneath. The ideal sink is mounted on the wall to allow a wheelchair to pass underneath.

If you do not have a tape measure, you could set a chair under a sink and sit on it. Do your knees have plenty of space? Can you reach the faucet handles?

ADA Sink Measurements

The goal of ADA is to provide equal access to bathrooms for the disabled. The ADA has the following categories for knee clearance and sink top height: 1) Kindergarten, 2) Elementary and 3) Adult. At the Kindergarten level, knee clearance should be 19 inches minimum and sink top should be 24 inches maximum. At the Elementary level, knee clearance should be 24 inches minimum and sink top should be 29 inches maximum. At the Adult level, knee clearance should be 29 inches minimum and sink top should be 34 inches maximum.

The ADA Bathroom Sink Height Requirements include a depth maximum of 6.5 inches. The knee clearance should also have a width of 30 inches and depth of 19 inches. The disabled man should be able to position his wheelchair in front of the sink. ADA even suggests that the faucet handles should be push, lever, touch or motion sensor.

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