ADA requirements for single family residential home bathrooms

As the manufacturer of toilets that exceed ADA toilet bowl height requirements, the Convenient Height Company often receives emails from residential contractors or plumbing departments with a question asking if our toilets comply with ADA  standards. And on this page we wanted to provide readers a brief review in reference to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

the big question about ADA toilet regulations standards

Does the ADA regulations cover private apartments and private homes? No.

The answer is No, ADA does not cover your private home, period, and there is no small print here. That’s why the Convenient Height 20 inch height toilet bowl has virtually no infractions of any ADA standards when installed at any private residence in the United States. The ADA compliance rule does not cover strictly residential private apartments and homes. This means that if you are an owner of a private home ADA has no legal jurisdiction of any kind over what type of a toilet you are using at your own property. Additionally, even if you are leasing an apartment or a house where you and your family are the sole users of the private bathroom, ADA does not cover regulations related to a private residence individually used toilet. The only permission for leased properties is a requirement for the owner to approve the installation of the plumbing fixture of your choice. We hope the above provides some clarity in regards ADA regulations towards our toilet bowl height.

Below we list the situations and instances where ADA compliance is a must.

For example, if a place of public accommodation, such as a doctor’s office or day care center, is located in a private residence, those portions of the residence used for that purpose are subject to the ADA’s requirements.

are you ada compliant
ADA does NOT regulate the Convenient Height Company 20 inch tall toilet bowls when installed in the residential property for private use. In the private sector, the ADA Standards apply to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities.

Facilities Covered by the ADA

State and Local Government Facilities

Units of government at the state, county, and local levels are subject to the ADA and must comply with the ADA Standards in new construction and alterations. All types of public facilities are covered, including schools, hospitals, public housing, courthouses, and prisons. Federal facilities are not covered by the ADA, but by an earlier law, the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) and must meet separate, though very similar, standards.

ada compliance toilet accessibility drawing
ADA compliance toilet accessibility for public restrooms. This does not have any regulation for private homes.

Places of Public Accommodation and Commercial Facilities

In the private sector, the ADA Standards apply to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. Places of public accommodation are facilities that affect commerce and that fall within twelve categories listed in the statute, including stores and shops, restaurants and bars, sales or rental establishments, service establishments, theaters, places of lodging, recreation facilities, assembly areas, private museums, places of education, and others. Nearly all types of private businesses that serve the public are included in the twelve categories, regardless of size. Commercial facilities include office buildings, factories, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and other facilities whose operations affect commerce.

Transportation Facilities

Bus stops and stations, rail stations, and other transportation facilities are required to be accessible by the ADA. The ADA also establishes standards for transportation vehicles, including buses, vans, and rail cars (which are not discussed in this guide).

Exemptions (Religious Entities and Private Clubs)

The ADA does not apply to religious organizations and private clubs, entities which historically have been exempt from federal civil rights laws. Places of worship and other facilities controlled by a religious organization, such as a school or day care center, are not subject to the ADA Standards. Private clubs may be similarly exempt depending on their exclusiveness, operations, and other factors. Facilities not subject to the ADA Standards may still be subject to state or local access codes.

ADA Coverage of Housing

Although private residential housing is not covered by the ADA, government-owned or operated housing and certain privately owned facilities that provide housing are subject to the ADA and its accessibility requirements. Government owned or operated facilities may include public housing, student and faculty housing, employee housing, nursing homes, temporary housing provided in emergencies, and social service facilities, such as homeless shelters and halfway houses.

In the private sector, the ADA’s coverage of housing is limited to places of public accommodation, such as social service establishments and housing provided on or behalf a place of education. The ADA does not apply to individually owned or leased housing in the private sector not used as a public accommodation, including single family homes, condominiums, or apartments. (Many types of multi-family housing in the private and public sectors are subject to the design requirements of the Fair Housing Act.) Places of public accommodation located in residential buildings, such as rental and sales offices, commercial spaces, and hotel accommodations, are covered by the ADA Standards.

If you would like to review a full version of the ADA Standards, please visit the ADA website.

ada standards for accessible design
Visit ADA website for ADA standards for accessible design