Universal Washroom Installation
In the pursuit of making Canada more handicap accessible, the new universal washroom standards have become operative. By the year 2025, the government of Ontario plans to make the whole state accessible to people with disabilities. To achieve this goal, all public places, including offices, shopping malls, and movie theaters, are obliged to handicap washroom installation.
The list of requirements is long and confusing, so keep reading to learn the basic regulations as well as the set of equipment required for installation.
Basic Requirements for Universal Washrooms
Ontario’s Building Code was expanded on January 1, 2015, to include amendments about requirements revolving around universal washrooms. The new code states that every building must have at least one universal washroom for every three floors. A contractor can decide the exact location of these washrooms. The regulations only affect buildings that are currently under construction or undergoing a renovation and are at least 300 sq. feet in size. Already existing buildings, as well as smaller buildings, are not obligated to make these adjustments.
The amendments include the list of requirements for the universal washrooms regarding toilets and sinks, size and dimensions, washroom accessories like grab bars and paper towel dispensers, and many more.
Installation of barrier-free washroom systems will make your building more accessible and attractive to more handicapped or elderly customers as well as provide privacy for people with impairments. What should wheelchair accessible washroom installation services entail?
The Types of Universal Washroom Accessories We Work With
Barrier-free toilet installation requires a water closet that is covered with a toilet seat and is mounted between 17 inches or 430 mm and 19 inches or 485 mm above the floor. It is necessary to have an automatic flushing mechanism or easy flush control: operable with a first and a force of 22.2 N or 5 lbs.
It is recommended to consider a toilet bidet combo toilet that provides maximum hygiene, especially to people with disabilities. Moreover, there are water closets with adjustable height that eliminate the problem of the toilet placement and provide appropriate access to everyone.
Emergency call button
Universal washroom emergency call system installation involves a device of audible and visible signal both inside the washroom that can be quickly and effortlessly activated. The emergency sign should be adjacent to the device and say the following: IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY PUSH EMERGENCY BUTTON AND AUDIBLE AND VISUAL SIGNAL WILL ACTIVATE. The message should be in letters 25 mm high and located above the emergency mechanism.
Emergency system call devices come in both push buttons and pull cords that are easy to install, waterproof, and provide light flashes and an alarm when pulled or pushed to ensure the message reaches the responsible person.
Automatic swing doors
Barrier-free washroom door installation implies a door that can be locked and released from the inside to ensure privacy as well as unlocked from the outside in case of emergency. A barrier-free door operator installation is required so that the doors can be closed automatically.
Universal washroom should have an opening of 33 inches or 860 mm for a swing door as well as provide 32 inches or 820 mm by 57 inches or 1,440 mm clear floor space to perform an automatic door closure and avoid interference with the wheelchair.
Inside a bathroom stall, a side grab bar should be placed 12 inches or 305 mm away from the rear wall and should be at least 42 inches or 1065 mm long. A grab bar should be able to sustain a load of 1.3 kN or 292 lbs and have a slip-resistant surface.
Mirrors should be mounted with the bottom edge at 40 inches or 1,000 mm from the floor. It is recommended to install a full-length mirror so that everyone, including children and wheelchair users, can easily use it.
Each universal washroom needs to be equipped with a soap dispenser that is located at 48 inches or 1,200 mm above the floor and can be operated with one hand. The soap dispenser needs to be automatic or operable with a closed fist and with a force of 22.2 N or 5 lbs. In order to make the right choice, make sure your soap dispenser meets the regulations of the 2010 ADA Standards for operating mechanisms.
Towel dispenser or hand dryer
Universal washroom installation services are obliged to provide a towel dispenser or hand dryer that is located in the area that is the most convenient for people using wheelchairs. One should install dryers with enough floor space underneath in order to provide access for both right-handed and left-handed people. Alternatively, two dryers can be mounted: one at the 40 inches or 1,015 mm above the floor, and another at 48 inches or 1,220 mm.
Adult-size changing table
Universal barrier-free washroom services are obligated to provide a free space for an adult-size changing table. Each universal washroom needs to have a clear space of 31,8 by 72 inches or 810 mm by 1,830 mm in the proximity of a wall. The table itself needs to be able to take on the load of 1.33 kN or 299 lbs and be adjustable in the positioning from 450 mm to 900 mm from the floor to suit people of different heights. Finally, all operating mechanisms for the adult-size changing table should be located not higher than 47 inches or 1,200 mm above the floor.
Clear floor space
In order to provide enough free floor space for a single wheelchair, barrier-free washroom systems services need to provide an empty space of at least 60 inches or 1,525 mm in diameter to allow a wheelchair user to make a full 360-degrees turn. To enable access for both right-handed and left-handed people, make sure to position the clear space in the center of the lavatory in front of the mechanisms and accessories. Moreover, the important accessories like dispensers, buttons, and mechanisms should be placed at the mounting height of 48 inches or 1,220 mm above the floor.
Universal washrooms ensure privacy and dignity for those with disabilities. Embracing amendments will help Canadians ensure an accessible setting for people with impairments and improve their quality of life. Moreover, bringing in new customers or employees could be lucrative for your business. By not complying with AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act), you are losing potential customers that bring up to §25 billion each year. You might also find potential employees among people with disabilities, most of whom are unemployed and actively looking for a job opportunity.
On top of that, you might be facing a significant fine if you do not comply with the new regulations: an organization can be fined up to $100,000 per day, whereas the company’s director can be fined up to $50,000 per day. If you would like to avoid unnecessary charges, refer to a specialist as soon as possible. The benefits that AODA brings will definitely overshadow the costs of a universal washroom and make your business more progressive and appealing.
Locks&Doors is a company located in Canada with extensive experience in automatic handicap door services and universal washroom installation. Having handled hundreds of projects, we have successfully performed the installation of automatic sliding entrance doors as well as a fully equipped washroom in compliance with the latest requirements.