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California Building Code Excerpt

Section 11B-306 Knee and Toe Clearance

Code excerpt regarding technical requirements for knee and toe clearance.

11B-306 Knee and toe clearance

11B-306.1 General. Where space beneath an element is included as part of clear floor or ground space or turning space, the space shall comply with Section 11B-306. Additional space shall not be prohibited beneath an element but shall not be considered as part of the clear floor or ground space or turning space.

Advisory 11B-306.1 General. Clearances are measured in relation to the usable clear floor space, not necessarily to the vertical support for an element. When determining clearance under an object for required turning or maneuvering space, care should be taken to ensure the space is clear of any obstructions.

11B-306.2 Toe clearance.

11B-306.2.1 General. Space under an element between the finish floor or ground and 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor or ground shall be considered toe clearance and shall comply with Section 11B-306.2.

11B-306.2.2 Maximum depth. Toe clearance shall extend 25 inches (635 mm) maximum under an element.

Exception: Toe clearance shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) maximum under lavatories required to be accessible by Section 11B-213.3.4.

11B-306.2.3 Minimum required depth. Where toe clearance is required at an element as part of a clear floor space, the toe clearance shall extend 17 inches (432 mm) minimum under the element.

Exceptions:

  1. The toe clearance shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) minimum under sinks required to be accessible by Section 11B-212.3.
  2. The toe clearance shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) minimum under built-in dining and work surfaces required to be accessible.

11B-306.2.4 Additional clearance. Space extending greater than 6 inches (152 mm) beyond the available knee clearance at 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor or ground shall not be considered toe clearance.

11B-306.2.5 Width. Toe clearance shall be 30 inches (762 mm) wide minimum.

Figure 11B-306.2 Toe Clearance
Figure 11B-306.2 Toe Clearance

11B-306.3 Knee clearance.

11B-306.3.1 General. Space under an element between 9 inches (229 mm) and 27 inches (686 mm) above the finish floor or ground shall be considered knee clearance and shall comply with Section 11B-306.3.

Exception: At lavatories required to be accessible by Section 11B-213.3.4, space between 9 inches (229 mm) and 29 inches (737 mm) above the finish floor or ground, shall be considered knee clearance.

11B-306.3.2 Maximum depth. Knee clearance shall extend 25 inches (635 mm) maximum under an element at 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor or ground.

11B-306.3.3 Minimum required depth. Where knee clearance is required under an element as part of a clear floor space, the knee clearance shall be 11 inches (279 mm) deep minimum at 9 inches (229 mm) above the finish floor or ground, and 8 inches (203 mm) deep minimum at 27 inches (686 mm) above the finish floor or ground.

Exceptions:

  1. At lavatories required to be accessible by Section 11B-213.3.4, the knee clearance shall be 27 inches (686 mm) high minimum above the finish floor or ground at a depth of 8 inches (203 mm) minimum increasing to 29 inches (737 mm) high minimum above the finish floor or ground at the front edge of a counter with a built-in lavatory or at the front edge of a wall-mounted lavatory fixture.
  2. At dining and work surfaces required to be accessible, knee clearance shall extend 19 inches (483 mm) deep minimum at 27 inches (686 mm) above the finish floor or ground.

11B-306.3.4 Clearance reduction. Between 9 inches (229 mm) and 27 inches (686 mm) above the finish floor or ground, the knee clearance shall be permitted to reduce at a rate of 1 inch (25 mm) in depth for each 6 inches (152 mm) in height.

Exception: The knee clearance shall not be reduced at built-in dining and work surfaces required to be accessible by Section 11B-226.1.

11B-306.3.5 Width. Knee clearance shall be 30 inches (762 mm) wide minimum.

Figure 11B-306.3 Knee Clearance
Figure 11B-306.3 Knee Clearance