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As a consultant and provider of prestige commercial washroom products, we frequently get asked about ambulant toilet dimensions and what the requirements are.
Fortunately, planning a standard ambulant toilet cubicle in a commercial building is not complicated, and the requirements are simple.
Let’s take you through the minimum dimensions of an ambulant toilet as specified by:
- Document part M Building Regulations – Access to and use of buildings – Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings – Sanitary Accommodation in Buildings
- BS 8300-2:2018 – Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment – Part 2: Buildings – Code of practice
- BS 6465-2:2017 Sanitary Installations – Space recommendations. Code of practice
Standard ambulant cubicle dimensions in separate-sex washrooms
Ambulant cubicle size
To safely and comfortably accommodate those with ambulant impairments, the minimum size of an ambulant toilet should be between 800mm to 1000mm wide and 1500mm long.
There is a separate WC and grab rail arrangement to observe in BS 8300-2:2018 if the cubicle width is greater than the ambulant toilet dimensions of 1000mm.
Ambulant cubicle activity space
As per Document part M, the minimum activity space should measure 750mm in front of the WC pan and be clear of the door swing. The minimum activity space is crucial to observe in ambulant toilet dimensions because it accommodates enough manoeuvring space for those who use crutches or have impaired leg movements.
Ambulant WC door opening
The door should preferably be outward-opening and provide a minimum clear width of 700mm. Inward-opening doors should only be used in existing buildings where there is no other alternative.
Heat emitters and boxing in of pipework
The overall ambulant toilet dimensions of the WC cubicle for ambulant people exclude boxing in of pipework and heat emitters such as a radiator or a similar heating device because the room size will need to be adjusted to accommodate those cubicle fittings.
Fittings and ambulant WC dimensions
Projection and height of ambulant toilet seat
Ambulant toilet dimensions for a WC pan must be a height of 480mm (same as an accessible toilet) above the finished floor level to the toilet seat. This dimension applies to all ambulant WC pans if they are floor mounted, wall hung, or close-coupled.
Unlike wheelchair-accessible WC pan dimensions, an ambulant toilet seat does not require an extended projection of 750mm because users with ambulant disabilities do not require that extra space to transfer onto the WC pan.
Document part M specifies that the WC pan should conform to the key dimensions found in BS EN 997:2012. The ambulant WC pan must be able to accept a variable height toilet seat riser because some people with ambulant impairments find it difficult to use a standard height WC seat.
Ambulant WC flushing mechanism dimensions
The flush mechanism should be located between 800mm and 1000mm above the finished floor level, irrespective of whether the cistern is located within a duct or is external (close-coupled).
For an independent WC pan and cistern
The flush plate should be touch free, or it should be a spatula-type lever. However, if the flush plate is a manual system, it must be manually operable using a closed fist to make it easier for amputees to operate.
For a flat-topped close-coupled WC
The flush handle should be a spatula-type lever and manually operable with a closed fist.
Ambulant grab rail requirements
Grab rails for ambulant cubicles should include a minimum of:
- 600mm vertical grab rails (fixed at 800mm above the finished floor level if required).
- 600mm horizontal grab rails adjacent to the WC pan (fixed horizontally at 680mm above the finished floor level or set at 15⁰ as required).
- One 450mm horizontal pull rail fitted to the inside door face on the outward-opening door (fixed at 680mm above the finished floor level).
Ambulant toilet shelf height
Where there is no flat surface in the cubicle, it is good practice to provide a shelf for colostomy bags or other medical devices. A shelf should measure approximately 125 mm deep × 400 mm wide or 200 mm triangular (corner position) and fixed at 950mm above the finished floor level.
However, if the WC is a flat-topped close-coupled toilet, the screw-down cover provides the same function as a colostomy bag changing shelf, and an independent shelf surface would not be necessary.
BS 6465-2:2017 notes that the shelf may be omitted where there is likely to be persistent social misuse of the toilet.
Ambulant sanitary disposal bin size
BS 6465-2:2017 space recommendations specify that there should be a sanitary disposal bin in ambulant toilets for medical waste disposal. However, there is no specific information regarding its measurements in the Standards relating to ambulant toilet dimensions.
What we do know is, UK law requires a sanitary bin or an adequate alternative for female toilets in every business or workplace, and BS 8300-2:2018 stipulates that a sanitary bin should, where practical, be recessed into the wall for accessible washrooms.
BS 6465-2:2017 also notes that a sanitary bin within male toilets is not required if there is likely to be social misuse of the toilet cubicle.
Toilet tissue dispenser
A toilet tissue dispenser should be mounted between 650mm – 1 000mm from the finished floor level. Considering the horizontal grab rails are fixed at 680mm, placing the tissue dispenser above or below the rail will comply with ambulant toilet dimensions.
Two clothes hooks should be provided, one fixed at a minimum of 1 050mm and the other at 1 400mm above the finished floor level. Coat hooks should be set at an accessible height.
A toilet brush should be readily accessible to a person seated on the WC or when a person is standing. A wall mounted toilet brush beside the toilet is recommended for ambulant accessible cubicles.
Accessible WC compartment dimensions for people with ambulant mobility impairments
There is more to consider when planning an ambulant toilet cubicle, as each fixture and fitting within the toilet has individual dimensions to observe and apply. Ambulant toilet dimensions include the size and placement of grab rails, washroom accessories, WC pan, and even dimensions of the activity space to ensure the cubicle is safe and accommodates sufficient manoeuvring space for those with ambulant mobility impairments.
Are you designing an ambulant toilet cubicle? Why not reach out to one of Dolphin’s washroom consultants to help you make sure the ambulant toilet dimensions comply with your plan.