Brad, my question concerns new construction toilets that are 19 to 19 3/4 inches off of the side walls. The contractor states that we can extend the grab bars out on the sidewall, because all that matters in the 16-18 inches measurement is the distance from the actual grab bar itself to the centerline of the toilet. Is there any proof of this in the ADA guidelines?
It is not quite as simple as just extending the grab bar out from the wall. Although, that is a possibility without moving or completely building out the wall.
The requirement according to the ADA is that the space between the wall and grab bar should be 1 1/2 inches. The space between the grab bar and projecting objects below and at the ends should be 1 1/2 inches, and the space above shall be 12 inches minimum.
The purpose for the exact measurement of 1 1/2 inches space between the wall and the grab bar is so that a person can use their forearm for leverage to push up. If the space is larger than the required 1 1/2 inches, than the person’s arm could go between the bar and the wall. If they fell, it would act as a lever arm and likely cause them to break their arm.
A feasible solution that could be considered equivalent facilitation would be to build out the wall for a minimum of 12 inches above the grab bar, and 1 1/2 inches on all the other sides. The grab bar would then be mounted to build this out.
Thank you for the question Johnny!