Individuals who rely on wheelchairs for day-to-day mobility find themselves at times with unnecessary doorway challenges. Whether you are a wheelchair user yourself, or someone trying to make your business or home more accessible, knowing how wide a doorway needs to be is crucial. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), doors must be a minimum of 32” to satisfy accessibility requirements. Traditional mortise hinges on popular 3080 doors, however, consume entryway space and therefore fail to meet ADA 32” requirements. 

Here are a couple possible wheelchair door access solutions:

  • Remove Doors or Trim – You can improve clearance by removing the entire door, however this may pose privacy, noise and safety problems. This is not a great solution for those who work from home.
  • Widen the Door Frames – A more intrusive solution involves widening the door frame, which requires a significant modification. This is a big commitment of time, money and effort, not to mention the question of space availability.

Sadly these aforementioned solutions lead to costly and time-consuming renovations that involve frame modifications, changing doors, etc. These are possible solutions, but they will undoubtedly cause higher costs and effort.

Waterson hinge wheelchair-door-access

The Waterson Solution

The Waterson swing clear door hinges (K51L-SW) uniquely combines swing clear design with our patented self-closing function in an innovative and attractive stainless steel component. Easy to install and heavy-duty, the K51L-SW meets Fair Housing Act (FHA) code, and thus provides a minimum 32” clearance when using a 34” door slab. This attractive hinge is also fire-rated hardware that meets ADA requirements. The increased clearance afforded by Waterson’s state-of-the-art design greatly improves wheelchair door access without requiring complicated renovations.

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