The accessibility standards require manually-operated swinging doors to have a flush, smooth surface that extends from the floor to 10 inches up the face of the door on the push side. This allows people using wheelchairs, crutches, or other assistive devices to contact the bottom of the door without concerns about protrusions that could impede their use of the door.
This requirement has been included in ICC A117.1 for several decades, but was not required by the ADA standards until the 2010 edition. The inclusion in the ADA standards has resulted in greater awareness and enforcement of the requirement.
There are several exceptions to the requirements for a flush bottom rail, affecting some glass doors, existing doors, sliding doors, and doors that do not extend to within 10 inches of the floor or ground. Manual doors that are not specifically addressed in these exceptions are required to have a bottom rail that is at least 10 inches high (nominal – measured from the floor), and must not have protruding hardware within that area.
Read this Decoded article for more detailed information about this requirement and the exceptions. Then, check out these two applications I found in a shopping mall – one which doesn’t meet the requirements for a flush bottom rail, and an interesting application that looks like it was specifically designed for that purpose. After reviewing this information, proceed to the review questions below.
1. Which doors are required to have a flush, smooth surface that extends 10 inches above the floor?
- Low-energy automatic doors
- Power-operated pedestrian doors
- Sliding doors
- Manually-operated swinging doors
2. Which of the following hardware items would likely create a conflict with the requirement for a 10-inch flush bottom rail?
- Kick-down holders
- Full-height pulls installed on the push side
- Surface-mounted vertical-rod panic hardware with top and bottom rods and latches
- Surface-mounted automatic door bottoms
- All of the above
3. Glass doors without vertical stiles may have bottom rails that do not meet the minimum height requirement, if the top of the bottom rail is tapered at what angle?
- Any angle is acceptable
- 60 degrees
- 45 degrees
- 30 degrees
Answers: 1 – D, 2 – E, 3 – B