Beautiful Signs for a Better Planet
In California, public buildings and spaces must follow three sets of restroom signage requirements: 1. Title 24 of the California Building Standards Code rules for geometric restroom signs, 2. California’s Equal Restroom Access Act requiring all single user restrooms be unisex, and 3. federal 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restroom signage requirements for tactile identification signs. The ADA sometimes requires use of the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA or person in a wheelchair pictogram) and directional assessible restroom signs as detailed in the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (SAD). Additionally, CA Title 24 has tighter ADA braille requirements and sign hanging heights than most other states.
Because California restroom sign requirements can be confusing, we’ve compiled easy to understand CA restroom sign compliance FAQs.
We are here to inform and help you buy the right ADA compliant sign. When in doubt, contact your local building inspector to confirm California bathroom signage compliance.
If you’re ready buy California restroom signs, click here to order now. You can rest assured that all Green Dot Sign CA restroom signs meet state and federal requirements!
The main title 24 California building code restroom sign requirement is that doors leading to restrooms and bathing facilities have 12″ wide geometric symbol signs indicating gender. These requirements are unique to California, and have been around since before the ADA. Geometric California restroom door signs must meet specific size, shape and color contrast requirements detailed below.
In California, the triangle on a door means it leads into a men’s restroom. Per CA Title 24, the triangle sign must have a 12″ base and be 10.4″ tall with the triangle point directed upwards. Also, CA men’s triangle restroom signs must be 1/4″ thick.
In California, the circle on a door means it leads to a women’s restroom. Per CA Title 24 the circle sign must be 12″ in diameter. Also, CA women’s circle restroom signs must be 1/4″ thick.
In California, the triangle on a circle symbol means that the door leads to a unisex restroom. Per CA Title 24 the circle must be 12″ in diameter, and the overlaid triangle must have a 10.4″ base and 9″ height with the triangle point directed upwards. Both the triangle and circle layers of Title 24 restroom unisex restroom signs must be 1/4″ thick, for a total of 1/2″.
California restroom door signs must contrast with the door they are mounted on. So light colored doors should have dark signs and dark colored doors should have light signs. For example, if you have a dark brown or grey door select either our white or natural wood signs.
For unisex CA restroom door signs, the triangle must contrast with the circle, and the circle must contrast with the door color.
Yes, CA Title 24 contains additional bathroom sign requirements. However, with only a few exceptions, they overlap completely with the federal ADA and SAD. Any requirements not noted here are related to manufacturing requirements. All signs we provide meet these requirements.
The California Equal Access Act requires all single user restrooms to be unisex restrooms available for use by everyone. A “single user” toilet is defined as having a user-controlled lock and no more than one toilet or one toilet plus one urinal.
Corresponding unisex Title 24 geometric restroom door signs and tactile signs are required. Tactile sign text must not limit users by gender. Specific wording isn’t required, and acceptable identification sign wording examples include “All Gender Restroom”, “Restroom”, “Unisex Restroom”, “Toilet” and “WC”.
Federal ADA sign requirements dictate that restrooms be identified with tactile signage complying with §703 of the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (SAD). Additionally, if not all restrooms in your building are accessible as defined in section §603, then signs directing toward the nearest accessible restroom must be posted and the ISA must on signs to identify accessible restrooms. Directional signs must be ADA visual character compliant, as defined in §703.5. This SAD section defines additional font, size and contrast signage requirements, and Green Dot ADA signs meet all regulations.
To summarize, you need a tactile wall sign in addition to your Title 24 door sign. If not every bathroom is accessible, then you must post signs directing to the accessible bathrooms and use signs with the ISA to identify accessible restrooms. It’s usually easiest to include the ISA on the tactile, wall mounted restroom sign.
This decision matrix summarizes overlapping California and federal ADA restroom sign requirements regarding accessibility and dual purpose tactile and geometric signage.
For commercial buildings, it is best practice to include the ISA on restroom signs regardless of whether it’s technically required.
Yes, in very limited cases you can combine federal tactile ADA and California Title 24 restroom signs. It’s never recommended unless the bathroom entry doesn’t have a door.
Best practices dictate having two separate restroom signs: 1. a CA Title 24 geometric door sign without tactile characters and 2. a federally ADA compliant tactile wall sign.
If your door meets all of the following requirements you can consider combining your signs: 1. sign must be on push side of door, 2. door may not have a hold open device and 3. door must have an automatic closing device.
Note that “push side of door” means the door may not push open in both directions. The door must be push – pull in one direction only.
While a single sign is allowable if all these criteria are met, dual purpose CA restroom signs put tactile sign users at a disadvantage to locate and read signs and make bathroom user collisions more likely.
If you think your building meets these three requirements, we recommend confirming eligibility with your local inspector before purchasing a single dual-purpose CA restroom sign.
In cases where restrooms or bathing facilities do not have swing doors, like what you may find in stadiums or airports, combining the two signs is allowed as stated in DSA Advisory 11B-703.7.2.6, effective July 1, 2021.
No, you are not required to put pictograms or wording on CA Title 24 geometric door signs. The signs’ triangle and circle symbols themselves indicate restroom gender.
However, there is one exceptional case in which the ISA is required. If you are using a dual purpose door sign, and not all restrooms in your building are handicapped accessible per the ADA, then the ISA must be used to mark accessible restrooms. In this situation, you must also post additional signs directing to accessible restrooms from the inaccessible bathrooms.
If you plan to use the modified ISA, which is the more active leaning-forward, handicap symbol, we recommend giving your inspector a call before ordering ADA signs. While the modified ISA is required in NY and CT, it’s not required in CA. The traditional ISA is the only federally recognized Symbol of Accessibility.
Geometric California restroom signs must be centered on the door and 58″ to 60″ high. Tactile wall signs should have their raised, tactile letters centered 9″ from the doors’ latch side edge, and their braille must be a minimum 48″ high with the baseline of tactile letters a maximum of 60″ high.
In a few cases, such as where there is not enough wall space to mount to the tactile sign, allowances are made. Descriptions of exceptions are provided in our federal ADA sign requirements summary.
The below diagram shows the most common hanging heights for both California restroom sign types.
Title 24 geometric bathroom door signs are required to be hung with their middle between 58″ to 60″ high and within 1″ of the doors’ center left to right.
Tactile CA restroom signs are wall hung on the handle side of the door. The sign’s tactile letters are centered 9″ from the door edge hung with baseline of the braille at 48″high and the baseline of the letters no more than 60″ high.
To order restroom signage that meets California requirements just fill out the below form. We’ll then be in touch to schedule a brief conversation to confirm your needs and CA restroom sign options.
Key considerations include sign colors and tactile sign text. Standard sign colors are black, white, blue and natural wood tone. These colors are available in any combination for unisex CA door signs. All signs are made of FSC Chain of Custody Certified baltic birch plywood.
-add $30 to any of the above signs to add tactile characters-
$20 shipping and handling added to all orders