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ADA Requirements Overview:

Width and Height Requirements:

By ADA standards, the clear width of a door opening must be a minimum of 32 inches and a maximum of 48 inches. This clear width measurement is taken between the face of the door and the stop of the frame with the door open to 90 degrees (Figure A).

figure A, diagram of swing of door

Figure A

The clear height of a door opening must be a minimum of 80 inches (Figure B).

Figure B, diagram of clear opening

Figure B

Requirements Regarding Door Surface:

If there are any projections on the face of the door, they must be no lower than 34 inches above the floor or ground and must not extend more than 4 inches from the surface of the door (Figure C).

Figure C, diagram of hardware placement

Figure C

Door surfaces within 10 inches of the floor or ground must be a smooth surface on the push side extending the full width of the door. Any parts creating a horizontal or vertical joint on the surface shall be within 1/16 inch in depth. If cavities are created by added kick plates they must be capped.

Handles, pulls, locks and latches

  • Handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operating devices on accessible doors must have a shape that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate.
  • Lever-operated mechanisms, push-type mechanisms, and U-shaped handles are acceptable designs.
  • When sliding doors are fully open, the operating hardware must still be exposed and usable from both sides.
  • Hardware must be mounted no higher than 48 inches above finished floor.


  • Thresholds, if provided at a doorway, must not exceed 3/4 inch in height for exterior sliding doors or 1/2 inch for other types of doors.
  • Changes in level up to 1/4 inch can be vertical and do not need an edge treatment.
  • Changes in level between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch must have a beveled slope equaling 1:2.
  • If the changes in level are greater than 1/2 inch, the threshold must be equipped with a ramp. The floor or ground surface within the maneuvering clearances at the doorway must not have a slope steeper than 1:48.

Closing Speed (ADA Guidelines 4.13.10)

If a door is equipped with an automatic closing device (door closer), then the sweep range of the closer must be adjusted so that from an open position of 70 degrees, the door will take at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3 inches from the latch, measured to the leading edge of the door

A.D.A. F.A.Q.'S.

Q: What types of facilities require ADA compliant doors?

A: Most building with public access need to meet ADA regulations, including a certain number of doors that access the building, certain doors within the building and toilet facilities where there is limited access space.

Q: Are automatic doors always required to meet ADA requirements”?

A: Not necessarily, but they are frequently the most cost effective answer, especially if there are space limitations. You should consult with your architect to determine the optimal door type.

Q: What buildings types have used power assisted doors to accommodate their handicapped customers?

A: Power assisted doors have been used in most types of building including

  • Commercial and office buildings.
  • Retail stores such as restaurants fast food outlets, convenience stores, deparment stores, super markets.
  • Medical facilities such as hospitals, doctors offices and assisted living facilities.
  • Educational facilities including colleges, universities, schools and libraries.
  • Industrial facilities including warehouses and manufacturing plants.
  • Transportation facilities including airports, bus stations and train stations.
  • Government buildings and Financial institutions including banks, savings and loan offices and credit unions

Q: What Type of Door Handle Is ADA Compliant?

A: The door handle must have a shape that is easy to grasp only using one hand.
Lever operated, push type and U- shaped handles are all acceptable.
The door handle must be able to be operated without any tight grasping, tight pinching or wrist twisting.

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