ADA Sign Height – Tips For Hanging ADA Regulatory Signage

What are the proper measurements for ADA sign height?

Business owners and operators need to be aware of ADA Regulatory guidelines. Purchasing and displaying ADA signage is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to achieve compliance.

But in order to be fully in compliance with the standards for proper use of these signs, they must be mounted at the correct height and position to be effective.

During the years I have been in the acrylic sign busniess, many people have asked for information about hanging tactile signage properly. Several of my customers have complained that this information is not as easy to find as they’d like. Even the government websites don’t always have the latest guidelines listed where you can find them easily.

I’ve researched the facts for you, and listed the specifications according to the latest available from the 2004 updated guidelines. These guidelines cover permanent signage for rooms, offices and restrooms.

How to measure accurately? Start at the bottom!

According to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, sign height must be measured from finish floor or ground. “Finish floor” is a building term meaning a floor surface complete with tile, carpet, or other finished covering that is not in need of any further construction. If your floor surface is concrete only, this is the surface of the finished floor from which you’ll make your measurements.

All measurements start on the ground and end on the baseline of the tactile letters on your sign. The tactile letters are the characters raised from the surface of the sign. You can tell which they are by touching the sign with your fingers. This is important to know if your sign contains any lettering painted on, made of vinyl decals, or other flat graphics. Those examples are not tactile, so you don’t need them for determining your measurements.

The baseline is the bottom of the letters making up the words of your sign. There may be only one word, or more than one line of text. I’ll show you what to do in both cases.

How to determine height for mounting signs

ADA tactile signs are to be placed a minimum of 48 inches (or 1220 millimeters) above the finish floor or ground surface measured from the baseline of the lowest set of characters.

For example, if your sign has two lines of text, the minimum measurement ends at the bottom of the lowest line of lettering. If your sign has only one word, you simply use that word to determine your sign height.

Your ADA signs are to be mounted a maximum of 60 inches (or 1525 millimeters) above the finish floor or ground surface measured to the highest tactile character.

For example, if your sign has two lines of text, the maximum height is measured to the bottom of the highest line of tactile letters. If you only have one line of text or one word, you use the bottom of that text to determine your height measurement.

Now your signs are in compliance with ADA standards

There is a difference of 12 inches (or 305 millimeters) in the two recommended height measurements. As long as your sign falls within this area, you are in compliance according to ADA guidelines.

In the unlikely event that you have a tactile sign with over twelve inches worth of lines of text, I suggest checking with state and federal ADA professionals to determine the proper measurements for your special needs.

Otherwise, the vast majority of ADA tactile signage will fit neatly within these ADA tactile sign height guidelines.

Disclaimer: The preceding information is intended as a general guide for compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The author assumes no liability for its completeness or accuracy. This article is not a legal document and is not meant to be viewed as a substitute for professional legal advice.