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Your Guide to ADA Compliant Showers | Transfer Showers | ADA Showers | Inpro Corporation
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ADA shower guidelines 

Your Guide to ADA Compliant Showers

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lays out clear guidelines regarding the minimum dimensions and configuration of showering facilities for those with disabilities. But what we’ve learned from working with architects and contractors in the field is that there’s no such thing as a “normal” installation. So, we’ve put together this guide to help you avoid many, if not most of the problems encountered when designing ADA compliant showers.

Note: All code language is taken from the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. 

Transfer Showers

ADA Transfer Shower

Transfer type showers are a very specific type of shower defined by the 2010 ADA code as a 36" by 36" shower with a seat and grab bars and more specifically adhering to the following:

  • Must be 36” from center points of opposing sides-no construction tolerance is stated in the code
  • Must be 36” from the back wall to the outside of the shower on the wall the seat is mounted on - no construction tolerance is stated in the code
  • 36” minimum opening at the entry of the shower from the top to floor
  • ANSI calls for vertical grab bar on control wall
  • L-shaped seats placed no more than 3” from front entry and may be folding or non-folding
  • Back wall grab bar to extend 18” from control wall
  • Clearance of 36” wide minimum by 48” long minimum measured from the control wall

EXCEPTION: Thresholds up to 2” max permitted for transfer showers in existing facilities where provision of a .5” high threshold would disturb the structural reinforcement of the floor slab. However, most owners want to make every effort to comply with current codes and not rely on the exception clause.


Roll-In Showers

ADA Roll-In Showers

Roll-in showers have much greater flexibility in that the dimensions are listed as minimums. Roll-in showers are also either a zero barrier or can have a threshold as long as it complies with the threshold section below. They also must adhere to the following:

  • Must be minimum 60” x 30” from center points of opposing sides
  • 60” minimum opening from top to bottom
  • ANSI calls for seat to be provided, optional for ADA
  • Folding seat placed on side wall no more than 3” from front entry
  • Back wall grab bar to extend 18” from control wall
  • Clearance of 30” wide minimum by 60” long minimum adjacent to opening

EXCEPTION: A compliant lavatory may be placed within 30” opposite the seat.


Alternate Roll-In Showers

ADA Roll-In Shower

Alternate Roll-in showers are very similar to the Roll-in showers but have a short wall across part of the front of the shower where a seat is typically mounted. Alternate Roll-in showers are also either a zero barrier or can have a threshold as long as it complies with the threshold section below. They also must adhere to the following:

  • Must be minimum 60” x 36” from center points of opposing sides
  • Must be 36” from front wall to back wall - no construction tolerance is stated in the code
  • 36” minimum opening at the entry of the shower from the top to floor
  • Folding seat placed on front wall
  • Grab bars provided on back wall and side wall opposite from compartment entry

ADA Thresholds

ADA Threshold

With all manufactured shower systems the installation has to bring the floor to within 0.5” of the top of the threshold to be ADA compliant and comply with the following:

  • Shall not exceed a .5” change in level
  • Transfer showers allow for rounded, beveled or vertical
  • Roll-in and Alternate Roll-in permit up to .25 vertical rise with up to .25” high bevel not steeper than 1:2

ADA Grab Bars

  • 1.25” To 1.5” Diameter
  • 250 lb load rated
  • Not to be placed above seat
  • Mounted at same height where multiple bars used, 33”-36” above finish floor and no more than 6” from adjacent wall

Browse ADA Compliant Stainless Steel Grab Bars and Vinyl Coated Grab Bars by Endurant®.

ADA Shower Seats

ada shower seat by endurant
  • 250 lb load rated
  • Mounted 17”-19” above bathroom finish floor
  • Distance from seat wall to back edge, 2.5” max, to front edge 15”-16”
  • Distance from adjacent wall no more than 1.5”
  • L-shaped seats to extend 14”-15” from adjacent wall

Browse ADA Compliant Shower Seats by Endurant®.

ADA Shower Ramps

Should a change in level be greater than .5” and less than 3”, ramps not steeper than 1:8 may be used in existing sites, buildings and facilities where such slopes are necessary due to space limitations. View our ADA Compliant Shower Ramp add-on for select Endurant Shower Bases.


Need to install ADA Compliant Showers in your building?

If you need additional information about Endurant® shower system products, contact one our ADA Shower Product Experts at 800.222.5556.  or browse our BioPrism Solid Surface Shower Bases to find the perfect fit for your project.

To learn more about Endurant products please request a quote or browse our selection of washroom products.

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