Doorway Width For Wheelchair Access (Everything You Need To Know)

For those of us who are not confined to a wheelchair you probably never have given a thought about the doorway width for wheelchair access, you walk through the door and don’t give it another thought.  

Asks someone with compromised mobility that needs to use a wheelchair and they will tell you that they are extremely aware of how wide do doorways nee to be for wheelchair access.  So what is the minimum doorway width for wheelchair access? 

There are minimum doorway widths for wheelchair access and when you look at the ADA disability standards that number is a minimum of 32 inches.  Your next question is what is the average width of a wheelchair.  We will explain this below but the 32-inch door entrance is typically larger then most wheelchairs you would purchase. 

Wheelchair Doorways Within Your Home

If you are new to a wheelchair you may have doorways that are not large enough to accommodate your wheelchair.  There are some things you can do. 

First, there are types of grants available that you should be applying for that helps disabled individuals with work that will bring his or her home to a more friendly environment for your wheelchair.

Think out the entire process of using a wheelchair and what you would require in order to make it more wheelchair friendly.  This could be removing a wall in conjunction with making doorways wider for your wheelchair.  it can also be installing automatic door openers as well to make life much easier.  These types of accessories really help.

Wheelchair Doorways Within Your Business

If you have a business and you do not have accessible doorways you should think about changing them so they are.  This will also be determined by the state your business is in.  You may legally have to have wide enough doorways that a wheelchair can pass through.  

Like we stated above earlier in this article the width should be 32 inches.  It is very difficult for someone who is incapable of walking and in a wheelchair is to get stuck and not be able to proceed through a door. 

If you have a business that is not handicapp friendly and you are not under the law to change it you should anyways for the sake of the person in that chair. 

Important wheelchair sizes and minimum door requirements

minimum doorway widths for wheelchair access

The most common width you probably will see in a wheelchair would range from 21″ to 40″ wide.

21″ are typically found on transport chairs and 40″ wheelchairs are heavy-duty wheelchairs on the largest side.

ADA – Americans With Disabilities Act

Bellow is what the ADA recommends when it comes to the width of doorway and hallway widths in terms of how wide these sections should be. 

Applies toMeasurementsExplanation
DoorsMinimum 32″ with a maximum of 48″This is the ADA minimum requirement
HallwaysRequire 36″ADA recommendation
Height of door80″ADA recommendation
Hardware such as handles and locksNot higher than 48″ from the florADA recommendation
If higher than 1/2 inch require ramp
ADA recommendation

How do I Choose a Wheelchair Size?

minimum doorway widths for wheelchair access

For those of us who are not confined to a wheelchair you probably never have given a thought about the doorway, you walk through on a daily basis.  But I can assure you that someone in a wheelchair when out has these thoughts daily.  

Choosing a wheelchair size may depend on a few things but typically there are some measurements you would want to know to make the best choice when it comes to the size of a chair that would fit you best.

Width of the wheelchair seat 

The seat width in the wheelchair is important because it connects with and will determine a lot about the wheelchair like its wheel size and other features.  The typical width of the seat on a wheelchair will be roughly from 16 to 20 inches. 

Depth of the wheelchair seat

This is how far back your seat goes and is also important.  Too far back and your legs will not sit properly resulting in a less comfortable experience.  The actual distance is measured from the back of the seat all the way up to the front edge of the seat.

All these measurements in a wheelchair will help determine how the whhelchair can move in confined places and how tight the turning can be.  Or the running radious of the wheelchair. 

In Closing

Now that you know what the minimum doorway widths for wheelchair access you can determine if you meet that width in your home or business.  If you own a business and you do not have the minimum width you should really think about the changes that should be made so your business is more wheelchair friendly. 

If you are thinking about getting a wheelchair you can now make a more educated choice by the type of wheelchair and the entry widths in your home to make sure you can navigate properly.

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.