Fitting Rooms

Min. clear width of accessible doors to be 32” when door is open 90 degrees.
CBC 1133B.2

Mirrors to be 18” wide, 54” tall, mounted with bottom edge 20” max. from floor.  Mounted to provide view to person on bench as well as standing.
CBC 1117B.8

Clothing hooks to be mounted 48” max. from the floor – unless behind bench where max. height = 46”
CBC 1117B.8

Provide 24”x48” bench fixed to wall along long dimension, 17”-19” above finish floor.   Provide clear floor space along side to allow for parallel transfer.  Note: 2010 ADA requires 30” clear space at end of bench.
CBC 1117B.8  2010 ADA 903.2

Min. 60”x 60” clear space within room.  Door swing cannot encroach into clear space.
CBC 1117B.8 ADAAG 4.35.2

About Dwight Ashdown

The website is authored by Ashdown Architecture, Inc., a California Architectural firm and Certified Access Specialist (CASp) #112 All content is copyrighted by Ashdown Architecture and may not be used without the written consent of Ashdown Architecture, Inc.
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35 Responses to Fitting Rooms

  1. Shawn says:

    Do the doors have to be specific for the ADA fitting room? Swinging, special hinges, etc?

    Thank you.

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      No special hinges. Fitting room doors should swing out – not into the clear space required inside the room. The doors should provide 32″ clear opening when the door is open 90 deg. Do not use surface mounted flush bolts to secure / lock the door.
      I hope that helps.

  2. Maggie says:

    Does a retail space still have to provide an ADA compliant dressing room (with 60″ turn and bench, etc.) if all dressing rooms are curtained? Or, do curtained rooms eliminate the requirement for the larger fitting room area?

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      If your dressing rooms are defined by curtains – and you can essentially combine 2 dressing rooms by retracting the curtain between them to provide the required clear space & a bench – then you would be ok. Otherwise, simply having curtains on the dressing rooms doesn’t eliminate the need for the required turning space and bench etc.

      • Kelly says:

        Right now my dressing room is in a corner with two curtains closing it. We do not have a bench and when measured it is 30 x 48″. So basically it has to be doubled and a bench added? We have such limited space I am not sure how it is going to be expanded yet. Though I assume what I have is too small, correct?

        • Dwight Ashdown says:

          It sounds like your dressing room is too small to meet the current requirements. Without seeing it / seeing a plan drawing of your space, it’s difficult to tell you what to do. Generally, you are required to do what is “readily achievable” – which means that you don’t have to turn your store upside down in order to make it compliant – but you do have to do what can be readily achieved.

          • Kelly says:

            I did a CASp inspection in April and I did what I could with the rest of the shop to make it up to code, but the dressing room is the main issue. My main concern is there is a lawyer who here so is famous for filing lawsuits to a ton of small businesses that are not completely up to ADA code. He often puts them out of business so I am pretty terrified of that. I want to change the dressing room at some point, but I would have to rebuild the shop a bit, which I cannot at this point. If I have had the inspection and am aware of the issue, does this make me even more liable for a lawsuit? Thanks so much for your input, I really appreciate it!

  3. Boaz Hess says:


    I am about to re-fit a retail store for clothing in Manhattan Beach and wonder two things: Does my retail space have to offer a bathroom inside by law? It is part of a building and has many bathrooms.

    Second issue is fitting rooms. Is it a legal requirement to have a fitting room? And if so, is it a requirement to have a minimum space?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      Re: your question about restrooms, it depends on how large the retail space is, & at least in San Francisco, the # of employees you have. At a minimum, you need a restroom f/ your employees, or easy / close access to a restroom.
      If you have dressing rooms, one of them should be accessible.

  4. Boaz Hess says:

    Thank you so much for your kind response. I will take your advice.

  5. Gaye Clanton says:

    We are having to update 1 dressing room to ADA requirements. Is it possible to have a pocket door instead of swinging door? Thank you

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      I think a pocket door would be entirely possible – as long as the door can be operated without any grasping, pinching or twisting.

  6. Kyle says:

    Does a second floor dressing room need to be compliant as well? There is no elevator access.

  7. wade bell says:

    I’m in Canton Michigan, were can a buy a ada bench for our dressing room?

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      I’m sorry, I don’t know where to purchase one, but the requirements are:
      48″ long, 20″ – 24″ wide & 17″ to 19″ off the floor.

  8. Kim Englert says:

    Do I have to have a physical door on the dressing room or does a curtain suffice? I have wall dressing rooms but am going to have to add one more wall to make another dressing room to be ADA compliant. Must I have a door or can I curtain that area off and still maintain compliance? Thank you!

  9. Kim englert says:

    Another question…so sorry. As long as there is 60×60 turning radius that meets the requirement? As long as you can turn aND pull up along side one side of the bench that’s ok? They do not have to have 5 feet in front of the bench? And, do you consult if we send up a sketch with the layout and measurements to make sure we are in compliance? Thank you!

  10. Kim englert says:

    Regarding the bench, can it be a table that is the correct measurements? Or does it have to be open on the bottom? I have a cofree table that meets the requirement for measurements and wondered if I could use that and mount it to wall?

  11. J Linton says:

    We are being challenged with regard to a curtain as the fitting room door in so far as it DOES require grasping to close. Is there any precedent for a challenge being contested?

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      I’ve never heard of anyone having an issue with using a curtain to enclose a fitting room. The typical requirement for accessibility compliance, is that items need to be operable with a closed fist. With that in mind, would the Bldg. Dept. accept either:
      A. providing a “loop” on the curtain so that it could be drawn shut, with a closed fist, or
      B. providing assistance.

  12. C Laughton says:

    If I have three dressing rooms, do all three have to have ADA requirements or can I just make one that contains all of the requirements?

  13. steven says:

    Hi Dwight,
    Thank you for all the information. I do have a question and hope you might know the answer. Here goes:
    I am opening a retail store in a new development whereby the landlord is paying for an ADA compliant bathroom. My question is whether or not it would be acceptable to have the bathroom serve a dual purpose bathroom/dressing room so long as all the specs are met? The original plan was to build a separate ADA dressing room along with 2 regular dressing rooms but we can’t afford to lose that much square footage.
    I look forward to your reply.

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      In our experience, typically Building Departments don’t like to accept dual use Dressing/Restrooms. Having said that, I believe that we have done that on occasion (with Bldg. Dept. approval). As I think about it, I’m quite sure, that in addition to all of the Restroom clearance requirements, we had to provide the additional bench and mirror. I hope that helps.

  14. Sharon says:

    Hi Dwight,

    This post is very helpful!

    If the small business only has one unisex fitting room (not a cluster of them as referenced in the 2010 ADA Standards), does it still need to comply with the requirements, including the bench?

    Thank you in advance,


    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      The short answer is – yes

      • Sharon says:

        Thanks, Dwight. Are you aware of any grace period under CA statute for the bench? Long story short, this small business got served a lawsuit for not having a bench in its unisex fitting room. It has to pay $4,000 under the Unruh Act?! This is extortion.

      • Sharon says:

        Thanks, Dwight. Are you aware of any grace period under CA statute for the bench? Long story short, this small business got served a lawsuit for not having a bench in its unisex fitting room. It has to pay $4,000 under the Unruh Act?! This is extortion!

  15. Madeleine says:

    How do you determine how many Fitting Rooms are required to be A.D.A. compliant?
    I do not see anything under ADA 2010 section 803.

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything re: the required number of accessible dressing rooms. I would be inclined to provide an accessible dressing room in each dressing room area. If you want a more specific response, you can contact the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 and the Division of State Architect at (916) 445-8100.

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