Can a Wheelchair Fit Through a 30-Inch Door?
Many people who’ve suffered from an injury or another debilitating experience that impacts their mobility use wheelchairs to commute and get around. Wheelchairs make it easy to get around from one destination to another while providing a comfortable seat to keep your body parts relaxed while traveling. Whether you know someone who uses a wheelchair or you use one yourself, you know how complicated it can be to access certain doorways.
Most standard wheelchair sizes range from 25in-36in wide, and power wheelchairs start at 23in from tire to tire. It is recommended by the ADA that you have a minimum of 32” for door openings. However, for most people, a door with a 30-inch opening is more than enough for standard wheelchair access. In the event that your wheelchair can’t fit through a 30-inch door, you may need to consider widening your doorways to accommodate free movement within the home.
Choosing the right wheelchair for you
All wheelchairs aren’t created equally, so you need to choose the right sized wheelchair for your needs. One of the significant problems people who use wheelchairs face is not being able to move through doors. Most wheelchairs in production are 25in wide but you have to account for room to use their hands and arms to propel the chair through door openings when using a standard chair so that surely adds a few inches.
Of course, you find wheelchairs larger or smaller than those dimensions or consider a power wheelchair which is controlled with a joysticks so the hands can remain “in the cabin”. However, sometimes, you can’t help the fact that a wheelchair won’t fit through a particular door or entryway, especially when using a heavy-duty chair for a larger person. You’ll have to find an alternative way to access the specific building or area you need to in these instances.
So, can a wheelchair fit through a 30-inch door?
Most traditional residential and commercial buildings have doorways made with measurements of 30-32in wide. Since this is the standard door size for many buildings, it’s essential to know whether your wheelchair will fit through it. Informing yourself about the various door sizes out there will enable you to avoid accidents or other instances in which you won’t access specific areas or locations.
For starters, most standard wheelchairs can fit through a 30in wide door with no issue. However, this is just for standard wheelchair which is approximately 25in wide. If you have a wheelchair larger than that, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your home to ensure it can accommodate your wheelchair.
When considering the ADA guideline of 32in doorway opening, note that it isn’t just the width of the gap in the wall as if there were no door there, because the door itself takes up part of that space. This means that even if the door frame is 32 inches wide, the actual width a wheelchair can travel through is less than 32 inches, and would not be acceptable by ADA standards.
And sometimes the way the door swings in or out of a room can matter too if the space is super tight. You may need to flip the hinges so the door swings the other way!
Here are a few other techniques you can use to widen your home’s entryway and doorways:
⦁ Remove Trim & Doors– removing the door trim or entire door is a great way to increase clearance in an entryway for your wheelchair.
⦁ Widen Your Door Frames– if you cannot get your wheelchair through the existing doors in your home, try widening their frames but cutting into the drywall then reframing them.
⦁ Install “Z” or Offset Hinges– offset and “Z” hinges allow doors to swing independently from the doorway itself. They can easily give you an extra inch of clearance. The best part is, they are affordable and easy to install.
Choosing the correct wheelchair for your needs
While it’s not possible in all situations, you can try to get another wheelchair that accommodates your existing doorway sizes. Some people are naturally bigger, so they need larger wheelchairs; however, there is always a workaround when your wheelchair can’t fit through the existing doors in your home.
People Also Ask
Q: Do wheelchairs fit through standard doors?
A: Most wheelchairs have an average seat width of about 18in-22in and wheel-base of 23in-26in, so those sizes can fit through standard doorways that are 30-32″.
Q: How wide should a door be for a walker?
A: An optimal door size for walkers is anywhere between 34in-36in. However, you’ll rarely find standard doors in these sizes unless they are custom made.
Q: What is the narrowest wheelchair available?
A: The narrowest manual wheelchair available has a 16in seat width. The narrowest standing/reclining power chair is 23in from wheel to wheel; the Redman Power Chair.
Understanding how a wheelchair can fit through a 30-inch door
Now, you know the answer and how to handle situations where your wheelchair won’t fit through a door opening. Use all of the tips and information we’ve included in this article so you can move around freely without restrictions.
Contact Redman Power Chair today to get a free in-home demonstration of the narrowest standing/tilting/reclining power chair in the industry. That way you can know for sure that it will be a perfect fit!