Toileting Center

Clear Floor Space in the Toileting Center

Clear floor space around the toilet is a changing need at all ages. Learning to use the toilet is a major development in early childhood. Often temporary solutions are found to make a standard toilet the appropriate size for young children. The clear floor space that is used for step stools, seats, and potty chairs that are helpful during the progression of toilet training can also be used for storage of mobility aids and transfer, or for a care provider later in life.

Transfer also impacts the amount of clear floor space at the toilet, depending on how a person transfers onto the fixture and whether or not an aide is involved. Two common approaches are il­lustrated in Figure 8.49, but transfer is unique to each user and should be discussed with your client.

Toileting Center

FIGURE 8.49 Planning space at the toilet be­comes more complex because a person needs space not just to approach, but to transfer,

(A) Parallel or diagonal approach requires more space to the side of the toilet, (B) A perpendicu­lar or forward approach requires clearance in front of the toilet,



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The 30 inch by 48 inch (762 mm by 1219 mm) clear floor space in front of the toilet is a minimum, and greater clearance in front of the toilet will be required for a true forward approach or to the side of the toilet for a parallel transfer (see Figure 8.50). The ICC A117.1-2009 suggests 56 inches (1422 mm) measured perpendicular from the rear wall, and 60 inches (1524 mm) measured per­pendicular from the sidewall for residential spaces, a good guide for most bathrooms or private toileting areas (see Figure 8.51).


FIGURE 8.50 Access Standard 4: clear floor space at toilet,


Toileting Center

FIGURE 8.51 Clear floor space adjacent to the toilet.

Courtesy of Universal Designers & Consultants, Inc.


Achieving this clear floor space can be a challenge, particularly if a private toileting room is desired, a concept discussed in detail in chapter 6, "Bathroom Planning." The use of a wall-hung toilet can save as much as 5 inches (127 mm) which can greatly improve the available clear floor space.

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 7:54 pm