If your building is not accessible to people with disabilities, you’ve got a problem on your hands. The standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) establish design and construction requirements that must be followed by public accommodations covered by the ADA. This includes all public and private businesses. Existing buildings must remove architectural barriers and new construction must be built to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. If your facility must comply with these standards, you will likely need to explore ADA handrail requirements.
Handrails play a crucial role in ADA-equipped facilities, after all, and are found above stairs, ramps, and some sloped walking surfaces. To better understand the purpose of ADA handrails and the demands they must meet, please scroll down.
ADA requirements address numerous features of a facility – from the signage to the stairs to the toilets – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that handrails must meet specific stipulations. Handrails are required in many different places within a facility. If you must comply with ADA standards, you must place handrails above stairs and above ramp runs with a rise greater than six inches. In addition, handrails must be installed above walking surfaces with a slope of 1:20 or more. Heed the ADA’s standards with care.
ADA Handrail Requirements
- Height: Handrail must be located between 34″ and 38″ inches from the surface of the ground, ramp, sidewalk, etc. However, if the principal users of the handrail are children, the handrail should be no more than 28 inches from the ground.
- Size: Posts and handrail pipes must be between 1.25″ and 1.5″ in size.
- Post/Post Spacing: Posts must not be more than 8′ apart, measured from the center of each post.
- Post/Wall Spacing: The space between the inside of the handrail and the wall (or any other obstruction) must be at least 1.5″.
- Continuity: The handrail’s gripping surface must be continuous along its length, and it must not be obstructed along the top or sides. In addition, the bottom of the gripping surface must not be obstructed for more than 20 percent of its length.
- Extension: If handrails are not continuous, they must have a horizontal extension at the top and bottom of the run. At the top of stairs, handrails must extend above the landing for at least one foot in the same direction. At the bottom, they must extend beyond the stairs for at least the length of one tread.
- Stability: Handrails must not rotate within their fittings.
- Location: Handrails must line both sides of stairs and ramps. They must also line every platform in between flights of stairs and ramp runs.
- Horizontal Projections: When horizontal projections are used, they must occur at least 1.5″ below the bottom of the handrail’s gripping surface.
- Surfaces: The handrail’s gripping surface and any adjacent surfaces should be smooth, free of sharp or abrasive elements, and feature rounded edges.
Exceptions exist, of course, and you can delve into more details of ADA handrail requirements if you like. We encourage you to consult an expert as you research ADA handrail requirements for your own building. Your specific situation deserves a specific response, and a professional can ensure that your new handrails comply with the ADA standards. In addition, as you shop for handrails, seek out products that specify ADA compliance.
Purchase an ADA-Compliant Handrail Today
ADA compliance is crucial for all building projects. Not only will it protect you from potential lawsuits, but it will also help you better serve customers from all walks of life.
If you’re interested in purchasing an ADA-compliant handrail, check out the CHR Handrail Section with Return from Aluminum Handrail Direct. Including one rail and two wall returns with screws, this handrail can be mounted to wood, vinyl, brick, stucco, or concrete. The powder-coated aluminum is both durable and maintenance-free, and it’s available in twelve attractive finishes featuring a variety of colors and textures. Although the classic design of this comfortable handrail is intended for exterior use, it works beautifully inside as well. Plus, it comes with a lifetime-limited warranty. To purchase your handrail today, please visit our online store.