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What You Need to Know About ADA Compliant Doors

What You Need to Know About ADA Compliant Doors

17 May 2022 By Admin

When it comes to making sure that your business is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many different areas need to be addressed. You will need to work with an ADA construction specialist to get everything right. One of the most common areas that business and property owners need to address is their doors.

Let's look at the requirements for ADA doors and how an ADA construction specialist can help you achieve ADA compliance.

Does My Door Even Need to be ADA Compliant?

If you are wondering whether or not the door to your business needs to meet the ADA requirements, the answer is almost certainly yes! The legislation covers almost every door found in businesses and accommodations, with very few exceptions. ADA compliance is not something that you should put off!

ADA Compliant Door Width & Surfaces

It makes sense to start with some of the basics, like how wide an ADA compliant door needs to be to allow easy access and what the surface of the door needs to be like. The ADA requires that the bottom rail of the door is a minimum of 10 inches from the floor, and there must be a smooth surface on the 'push' side of the door that is the entire width of the door. There are other more complex stipulations regarding things like cavities and projections, but your ADA construction specialist will know what is necessary to make your doorways ADA compliant.

When it comes to the width of an ADA door, the opening needs to be between 32 inches and 48 inches wide. When dealing with swinging doors, the measurement should be taken from the face of the door to the stop, and the door must be able to open 90 degrees.

Threshold Guidelines

Another key point to consider when working with an ADA construction specialist to make sure that your doors are ADA compliant is the door's threshold if one is present. This must not exceed a height of ¾ inch for sliding doors and ½ inch for other styles of doors. If the change in level is less than ¼ inch, no edge treatment is required at the threshold. However, if the level change is between ¼ and ½ inches, a beveled slope of 1:2 must be used. In the event that the change of level exceeds ½ inch, the threshold will require a ramp in accordance with the relevant ADA requirements.

Handles & Other Hardware

It isn't just the width of your doors that matters. In order to be fully ADA compliant, you will also need to make sure that the handles and other hardware are in line with the regulations set out by the ADA. For example, all of the operable parts such as handles, locks, pulls, and latches need to be between 34 inches and 48 inches above the floor. It is also essential that these parts can be operated with a single hand and should not require more than 5 pounds of force. As an ADA construction specialist, we recommend hardware that needs only a loose grip rather than a considerable amount of dexterity and hand-eye coordination, as this makes it more accessible for a wide range of people.

Pro Tip! A traditional doorknob, like the kind you probably have in your home, is not ADA compliant. It requires a tight grip and a twisting motion of the wrist. ADA regulations can more easily be met by using a lever-style handle as these can be operated with a loose grip and minimal amount of force.

ADA Compliant Door Closers

If a door is going to be equipped with an automatic door closer, ADA regulations state that it should take a minimum of 5 seconds to move from a 90 degrees open position to a closed position 12 degrees from the latch. This requirement changes to 1.5 seconds for spring-hinged doors from a minimum open position of 70 degrees.

These are just a handful of the requirements set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act that relate to doors and entrances. There are many more to consider, and the margin for error is small. Your best defense against an ADA lawsuit is to work with an ADA construction specialist like Protrk Construction to make sure that all aspects of your business are fully compliant with the ADA and California Building Codes.


Design | Build | Certified

Why Wait to be "Forced" into ADA Compliance. If you are a public business or public property owner, save money, lawsuits, time and headaches by being prepared and avoiding it all in the first place. It’s time to call in the ADA pros. Use Protrk, an ADA construction expert, to Get it Done Right Prior to Forced Compliance. 

Call 415-813-9877 today or visit www.protrkconstruction.com for more details.


Being involved in ADA design and construction has given me the opportunity to help a lot of business owners and commercial property owners prevent costly ADA compliant lawsuits.

Mike Schaeffer

Owner & Founder Protrk®


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  • Step 1 - Third Party CASp Report
  • Step 2 - "As-Built" Drawings
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  • Step 5 - ADA Build Out
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