Doors – Clear Width

Exit doors to be 3’-0”x6’-8”.  Min. clear width of accessible doors to be 32” when door is open 90 deg.

Exception:  Doors not requiring full user passage, such as shallow closets, may have clear opening reduced to 20”.
CBC 1133B.2.2 ADAAG 4.13.5

Egress doors in group I-2 occupancies used for movement of beds to provide clear width of 44”.

CBC Fig. 11B-5Ba

CBC 1008.1.1

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12 Responses to Doors – Clear Width

  1. Gale Melton says:

    Please clarify if the door hardware/lever is included in the required clear opening of 32″? (California/San Francisco)

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      Door hardware is not counted. Dimension is from face of door – open 90 deg. to frame.

      • Gale Melton says:

        Thank you!

        • Dwight Ashdown says:

          I hesitate to reply without seeing a photo or drawing, but from your description, it doesn’t sound like enough. If the door is 36″ and opens out toward the walkway, and it’s an exterior walkway, there should be 24″ of clear wall space adjacent to the strike side of the door – on the exterior / pull side. I hope that helps.

  2. Nina says:

    Is there a specified walkway clearance required when door is open at a 90 angle? I have a school building where the outside walkway around the building has a railing. The walkway width is 72 ” from the building to the railing. When the door is open at a 90 angle the width is 36″ from the edge of the door to the railing. Does that meet CBC and ADA?

  3. Adrian Thoricht says:

    I have a Hair Salon/Day Spa that has an entry door that meets the required opening size you listed to get in and out of my business. Inside the space there are 2 other doors. 1 to a utility /storage room for my employees and 1 to a couples massage room. They are both 2′-8″ wide doors. Is this ok or do I have to have a 3′-0″ wide door at all doors?

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      Technically, the required door size is 34″, because the required clear opening is 32″ when the door is open 90 degrees. In addition to the clear opening, there are also clearance requirements at the strike side of the door, on both the pull and push sides of the door.
      From what you’ve described, I don’t think you need to worry about the utility/storage room, but I am concerned about the door to your couples massage room. The question that occurs to me, is that even if this door provides the required 32″ clearance, then what provisions do you have to accommodate a disabled person in the massage room? Are you able to get a disabled person up on the table?

      • Adrian Thoricht says:

        We have never massaged a handicapped person in 15 years. They would just do a chair massage in their chair which the massuesse can do in the main area of the salon if ever asked. My doors in my last location were 2′-6″ wide.

  4. John B says:

    I own a small one-story warehouse in soCal with a few office rooms within, which I lease out. After 20 years, I have a vacant building. I want to update paths of travel and interior doors, even though my building is not used by the public: I’ll lease to a tenant who has no retail activity, etc.

    I understand that the doorways must have at least 32″ clear, when doors are open. I’ve called my favorite door vendor and indeed I can buy 34″ hollow-core, paint-grade doors for interior use. Then I read some utterance that all doors must be 36″ width. This seems wrong. Can you reassure me that a 34″ width door is acceptable by today’s CBC and California accessibility regulations?

  5. Don Funsch says:

    I have a situation in an existing 6 story build built in the 60’s. The restrooms on each floor is 32″ wide. Been asked to upgrade for ADA compliant. We are doing one restroom now for trail opening. The wall in the opening is 12″ thick concrete. The concrete will be cut for the new opening for the 36″ door. The door swings in. That leaves about 10″ from face of the door on the push side before the corridor. The corridor does have the required 12″ clearance. Is this legal or does more of the concrete have to be removed to make the 12″ clearance closer to the door itself.

    • Dwight Ashdown says:

      I’ve run into this before – where there wasn’t enough clearance f/ the doors & we ended up putting powered door operators.

  6. Don Funsch says:

    One more question, not in regards to clear opening but to 10″ ADA clearance on bottom of doors. ADA requires the bottom 10″ of the door to be with no smooth and no projections over 1/4″, I believe. California requires the bottom 34″ to be no projections. does the bottom 34″ have to be smooth, if so what about storefronts and / or 6 panel doors that have recesses. Are they still aloud

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