Restaurant bathroom requirements differ from state to state. However, all are mandated to follow the federal laws of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some states, such as New York, only require restaurants to provide bathroom facilities if they have a 20-person or more seating area. The ADA provides specifications that allow all members of the public to comfortably and safely use bathrooms located in the many restaurants around the country. Any restaurants that do not follow ADA requirements are subject to fines and a loss of their operating license.
The ADA requires that all toilet facilities shall be made accessible via a safe route and one of the toilet stalls must be equipped with grab bars. A standard toilet stall is required to have a minimum depth of 56-inches and a door that has a minimum width of 32-inches when opened at a 90-degree angle. Toe clearances are also specified in a standard toilet stall to be at least nine-inches off of the floor on at least one of the stall’s side partitions.
Restaurants must ensure that their urinals are at a maximum height of 17-inches off of the floor and are to be mounted on the wall or placed in individual stalls. The urinal’s flush valve is to be no more than 44- inches from the floor. Urinal areas must have a floor space of at least 30-inches by 48-inches to ensure that patrons have comfortable accessibility to the facility. The 30x48-inch area should not overlap the restroom’s accessible route.
A bathroom’s vanity area must also follow ADA specifications. The bathroom’s mirror must be fixed no higher than 40-inches above the floor and the sink’s faucet must be an acceptable design. Acceptable designs include lever-operated, push-type or electronically-controlled. Any faucet that is equipped with a self-closing valve must allow the valve to remain open for a period of ten seconds to allow the patron adequate washing time.
Other Safety Requirements
The ADA mandates restaurants and other public facilities ensure that water pipes are insulated or in an enclosed container. This minimizes patrons coming in contact with piping and sustaining injuries, such as burns or scalds. Restaurant owners are responsible for ensuring that all bathrooms are kept clean and free from any obstructions to allow safe and comfortable passage when moving through the area.
Quentin Shires has been writing since 2003, covering topics such as safety issues, travel and counseling. Shires holds a Master of Science in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern University and is working toward his Ph.D. in human behavior from Capella University.