Plumbing Fixture Mounting Height
Bathroom plumbing fixture manufacturers offer items at a variety of heights to accommodate short, average and tall individuals. In addition, fixtures in public locations often have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and have mandated heights and locations. Manufacturers often refer to their standard fixture heights and installation specs as "comfort height."
Bathroom sinks are either mounted on a wall, a pedestal or placed on a cabinet. The standard (comfort height) installation is 31 inches, but taller families may want to consider 34 inches. Pedestal units vary in width and depth, but most are built to about 35 inches in height. Tall and short units are available by special order at most home building centers. ADA-compliant units should be no lower than 29 inches with ample knee and toe clearance.
The standard height used for showerhead installation is 6 feet above the drain. In addition, shower walls should be waterproof up to 6-1/2 feet. This is the same height that the shower curtain rod should be installed. ADA requirements for a shower include a hand-held spray unit on a 60-inch hose.
Toilets tend to offer the greatest variety of sizes in bathroom fixtures. Consideration of sizes tends to be determined by the location of the unit. Comfort height for an average person is 14 to 15 inches. Most manufactures make special order units that can accommodate larger or smaller people. Pre-school children's toilets are around 11-1/2 inches. ADA-approved toilets are often a bit higher than comfort level, averaging between 17 to 19 inches from floor to the top of the toilet seat. Often a standard toilet will be used with a toilet seat mounted on lifters to meet the minimum height requirement.
Bidets, which are more common in Asia and Europe than America, are used for personal hygiene. Proper height selection for a bidet is crucial, as too tall a unit will have trouble fulfilling its purpose. Comfort height bidets are around 15 inches. There are no ADA compliance issues with bidets.
Most drinking fountains are manufactured to be ADA compliant since it is an increased expense to have more than one unit in most locations. Normal installation standards are considered both "high" and "low." On high units, the bubbler is often between 30 and 43 inches from the ground. In addition, the height of the stream needs to be 4 inches above the drain basin. Public sites with more than one fountain must have the second unit be a low unit. Low units are accessible to wheelchairs with a bubbler height of 36 inches.
Tom Nari has been writing professionally since 1998 and has written extensively for a variety of websites. He has coached competitive swimmers and triathletes and holds an additional degree in Kinesiology Theory, specializing in nutrition and resistance training. Nari holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from Loyola Marymount University.
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