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Sign Install Guide: 7 Easy ADA Sign Height Tips

ADA SIGN HEIGHT & LOCATION REQUIREMENTS

Make sure that your restroom signs and all other ADA signs meet location and ADA height requirements to comply with federal regulations.  The acronym ADA refers to the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA compliant signs and braille signs must meet requirements established by the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (SAD).

From restrooms and bathrooms to elevator and exits, ADA compliant signs are everywhere, but often misunderstood. Federally regulated signage provides the 7.5 million Americans that are legally blind or visually impaired equal access to public spaces across the U.S.

Read below for easy to follow guidance on the correct ADA signage height and sign location.

Federal ADA sign requirements apply to all U.S. jurisdictions. Some state and local jurisdictions have codes and legal requirements in addition to what’s covered here. Jurisdictional additions are typically minor.  Because ADA signage requirements vary, when in doubt contact your local building inspector to confirm ADA signage compliance.

MOST COMMON ADA SIGN MOUNTING HEIGHTS & LOCATION

ADA Sign Height & ADA Sign Location

 

The sign installation diagram above shows the most common ADA sign mounting height and location that should be used in more than 85% of situations. 

 

ADA RESTROOM SIGN HEIGHT & ALL ADA SIGN HEIGHT

ADA sign height requirements, signs must be hung between 48 and 60 inches as specified in SAD chapter §703.4.1. Sign mounting height is measured from the floor to the bottom of the lowest raised lettering on an ADA sign.  For the braille sign height maximum, mounting heights should be measured from the floor to the bottom of the highest tactile character on a braille sign.

This 12-inch range of allowable sign hanging ADA height requirement, between 48 inches and 60 inches, allows ADA and wayfinding signs of varied size to be consistently hung on the same visual line along a wall. Often, it works well to hang all signs about 54 inches from the floor to the bottom.

Note that California ADA signage height requirements vary slightly from federal signage installation regulations. Measure to the bottom of braille on an ADA sign instead of measuring to the bottom of characters.

ADA SIGN LOCATION

In practice, almost all ADA signs are located on the handle side of the door.  A key portion of SAD chapter §703.4.2 explains the two location components that apply to most ADA sign installation.

When a braille sign is provided at a door, it should be wall mounted on the latch side of the door.  Signs with tactile characters should be located with a clear floor space of at least 18 inches by 18 inches, centered on the tactile characters. The clear floor spacing should be beyond the arc of the door swing between the closed position and a 45 degree open position.

By requiring a narrow range of ADA sign locations, anyone anywhere in the U.S. needing signs to navigate knows where to look or feel for signs. The federal height range is also accessible for many building users including those in wheelchairs.

SHOP DURABLE ADA SIGNS

When you’re ready to order ADA signage for your building, shop Green Dot Sign’s standard signs for fast delivery and custom interior and exterior signs for braille signage that is just right for your brand.

Shop Fast Standard Signs

Metal Exterior ADA Signs

Custom Interior Wood ADA Signs

ADA SIGN PLACEMENT

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that U.S. public buildings have signage to mark every permanent room or space.  The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (SAD) detail what braille signs should look like and where signs should be mounted. 

ADA compliant signs, including ADA restroom signs with braille, are almost always positioned at doorways. This is because doors mark the point of entry into a permanent building space or other area that requires identification. 

It is important to correctly install signs to ensure compliance with SAD chapter §703.4 requirements to avoid fines and lawsuits.

 


This ADA Room Number sign is part of our fully custom economy Baltic Birch FSC Mix Plywood Signage line.

USE THE ADJACENT WALL IF NECESSARY

If there is not sufficient wall space at the latch side of a single door or at the right side of double doors, ADA signs should be installed on the nearest adjacent wall according to SAD chapter §703.4.2. 

DOUBLE DOOR ADA SIGN HANGING

Because each building and doorway is unique, SAD chapter §703.4.2 Location also includes guidance for where to position and install signs in unusual situations.  Exceptional situations include when a doorway contains double doors.

One active door – Where a braille sign is provided at double doors with one active door, the sign should be mounted and centered on the inactive door.

Two active doors – Where a tactile sign is provided at double doors with two active doors, the sign should be installed to the right of the right-hand door.

Outward swinging doors – Where an ADA sign is provided at double doors that swing outwards, the sign should be centered in an 18 inch clear wall area outside of the door arc swing.

 

ADA Sign Requirements & Allowancesdiagram showing how ADA signs may be hung for double doors

MOUNTING ADA SIGNS ON DOORS

In exceptional cases a restroom sign or other ADA sign may be centered on door instead of a wall. SAD chapter §703.4.2 specifies when an ADA sign may be mounted on the push side of a door.

All three of the criteria below must be met in order for door mount ADA sign to be compliant:

  1. The door must swing in the push direction.
  2. The door must have an automatic closing device.
  3. The door does not have a hold open device, including a kick down or plunger stop.

In practice, almost all ADA signs that can be door mounted are signs for restrooms or bathrooms and locker rooms.

Note that the required ADA sign height is the same for wall and door mounted signage.

 

diagram illustrating how and when an ADA may be hung on a door

ADA GENERAL SIGN HANGING REQUIREMENTS

When mounting any type of signage to a wall or ceiling, signs must not protrude too far into the walkway or cause a blockage.  This sign install requirement applies to tactile signs, directories, wayfinding sign systems and other interior building signage. 

Ceiling hanging – When mounting signage from the ceiling, the bottom must be at least 80 inches above the floor.

Wall hanging – When installing a wall sign, a projecting sign must be at least 27 inches above the floor and only protrude 4 inches into the hallway.

Obstructions – Signs may not block doors or emergency equipment.

 

 

diagram showing ADA sign installation requirements for hanging and wall mount signs.

 

MORE ADA SIGN REQUIREMENTS RESOURCES

For additional restroom sign and ADA signage requirements information go to our ADA Signage Requirement FAQs and Braille Signage FAQs pages.  For all federal ADA sign requirements information in one place download our 55+ page ADA Sign Requirements Guide.  This Guide contains easy to understand diagrams and is a great resource for all members of your team that work with signage design and installation.

ADA Sign Requirements

Braille Signage FAQs

55+ Page ADA Sign Guide

INSTALL SIGNS SECURELY

Foam tape with silicone is the most common way to install restroom, ADA and wayfinding signs. These adhesives work quickly and bind to most wall surfaces.  

The Green Dot Sign® preferred approach to mounting ADA signs utilizes four sustainable wood pegs. This method not only reduces plastic production and use, but is also the most secure.

If wood pegs are part of your order, our signs are shipped with the pegs glued into holes made on the back of the sign blank. Customers then use the provided pattern to drill four holes into their wall. 

Next, silicone or eco-friendly caulking compound is applied to the holes and sign back to ensure a strong, long-term hold.  

Many of our experienced clients insist upon mounting signs with wooden pegs. They have found that adhesives, such as foam tape, do not withstand vandalism and other risks associated with long-term use.

ADA SIGN INSTALLATION TOOLS

  • Cordless drill with 5/16” bit (for 4-peg method)
  • Low tack tape
  • Silicone or equivalent
  • Torpedo level
  • Tape measure
  • Installation pattern (for 4-peg method)
  • A written ADA compliant location plan
  • Paper towels, trash receptacle and vacuum

HIRING A SIGN INSTALLER

While most handymen or construction crews are more than capable of installing a signage system, sometimes there is value in using a professional sign installation company.

If you want to hire a professional sign installer, feel free to contact us for suggestions. If you want to contract a sign installation company directly, we recommend searching the Professional Decal Application Alliance (PDAA) Directory or the 3M Certified Installers Database.