Does Your Building Need ADA Restroom Signage?

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If you’ve been tasked with obtaining signage for your building, you may find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed. In addition to acquiring displays that fit your company’s budget and space, you also need to make sure you’re not leaving your organization vulnerable to possible noncompliance issues, such as lack of ADA restroom signage.

But how do you know if your building needs ADA restroom signage? And how can you make certain you’re obeying the law?

To make things a little easier for office managers and other individuals who are unsure about their restroom sign needs, we’ve addressed some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ADA restroom signage.

With the information below, you can proceed to shop for signage with confidence.      

What Types of Buildings Need ADA Restroom Signage?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand what types of buildings are required to adhere to ADA regulations.

According to the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, state and local government facilities must follow both Title II regulations and the 2004 ADAAG. 

Nongovernmental facilities are covered under Title III of the ADA, which states any business that serves the public in some capacity must comply with ADA rules.

Examples of businesses that are considered “public accommodations” by Title III include the following:

Per ADA guidelines, facilities mentioned under Title II or Title III must have interior and exterior signs that identify permanent rooms and spaces. Since restrooms are permanent spaces, signs placed near restrooms must have certain characteristics to achieve compliance.

  1. Raised and braille characters with pictorial symbols: All letters and numbers must be raised by 1/32 inch in upper case, be in sans serif or simple serif font types, and have Grade 2 Braille. All raised characters must be a minimum of 5/8 inches high and a maximum of 2 inches high. Images placed on restroom signs should also have a written description of the picture directly beneath it. Finally, the border dimension of the pictogram should be at least 6 inches high.
  2. Finish and contrast: The background and characters on ADA restroom signs should have matte, eggshell, or other type of non-glare finish. Symbols and characters must have a significant contrast with the background—either light characters on a dark background or vice versa. The recommended amount of contrast is 70%.
  3. Accessibility symbols: Any symbols used on restroom signs should follow the international symbol of accessibility (also known as the wheelchair or handicap symbol). 

What Kind of Restroom Displays Do You Need?

In most cases, businesses only need to install 1 ADA-compliant sign per restroom. However, it’s worth noting that state and local laws can vary when it comes to ADA regulations.

In California, for example, 2 signs are typically required. Along with a federal ADAAG display, California-based organizations must have a geometric display that indicates the restroom is for male (equilateral triangle) or female (circle) usage.

Additionally, California has another rule in place that relates to unisex restrooms. Under AB 1732, all single-occupancy restrooms in public facilities must be accessible to everyone, which means gender-neutral restroom signage is required.  

Due to the fact that rules can vary by city and state, it’s crucial to do additional research and purchase signage from a business that’s well versed in ADA compliance at every level.

Why Is It Worth Having ADA Restroom Signage in Place?

Having ADA restroom signage in your facility is important for a number of reasons.

  1. It creates a welcoming, inclusive environment for all staff members and visitors.
  2. It simplifies navigation for those with visual impairments.
  3. It ensures compliance so your business won’t be hit with fines.
  4. It helps in avoiding ADA-related lawsuits.

Ultimately, installing ADA restroom signage in your facility is an affordable and practical way to meet your legal obligations while also showing those in the community that you care about providing access to everyone.  

If you don’t already have restroom signs in your facility, or your current signage is in poor condition, it’s a small investment to make considering the benefits you’ll receive.

How Do You Shop for ADA Restroom Signs?

Like any product, pricing for restroom signs varies depending on several factors, such as material, volume, customization, size, etc.

However, it’s especially important to consider quality when shopping for ADA restroom signage. If you pay less for a lower-quality sign now, chances are you’ll have to replace or repair it several more times than you would a higher-quality sign.  

Plus, while some retailers boast extremely low prices on their ADA restroom signs, they often neglect to mention the cost of shipping, so customers are hit with high fees when the time comes to check out.

So, when shopping for ADA restroom signs, you need to look for a retailer that…


If you aren’t familiar with ADA rules and regulations, shopping for signage may be a challenge. However, the information provided above should give you a better understanding of what requirements must be met for ADA restroom signage to meet compliance, along with confirmation as to whether or not your own building needs such displays in place. 

If you’re looking for attractive ADA restroom signage without any customization, take a look at the offerings in our e-commerce shop. And if you’d prefer to have signs with specific colors or designs, feel free to reach out for a no-obligation quote!

Filed Under: ADA Signage

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