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Floor height between rooms

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Topic by Racer2007 posted 01-23-2014 11:49 PM 23199 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Racer2007

8 posts in 3120 days

01-23-2014 11:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question passageway floors

Wondering if anyone can tell me the legal height allowed between rooms. the case in point here is the transition between my living room and kitchen in my Apartment , the width is about 6 feet and there is carpet in the living room and vinyl in the kitchen. the question is how high can this be legaly between the rooms. Location is San Jose Ca. , the current height is about 1 inch all across the 6 foot width of the room after recent repairs to the kitchen floor where they basicly just laid down a 3/8 inch underlayment and then the vinyl.
Tried to get info. from the Building Department but got bounced around on the phone to 4 or 5 different spots and no answer.



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DylanC

8 posts in 2427 days

01-24-2014 04:36 AM

This is a bit tricky, but I’ll pass along what I think I know. I’ve worked more with non-residential codes here in MN.

The model code for California is the 2009 International Building Code (reference). The state then modifies portions of the code based on its agenda. Those amendments are public documents and can usually be downloaded from the state or count building department’s website. The main body of the code, however, is almost never freely available and you have to go to the physical office to view the publicly available copy (or buy your own for $140).

That said, since this is residential construction, there may be no legally specified height. Any code language would have to be “open” enough to allow sunken living rooms and the like, and would probably only require that stairs, if any, have a minimum tread depth and are all of equivalent height. Since you have one step of 1/2 inch, the code may be satisfied. However, if this were a public facility, or is otherwise covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the maximum allowable height difference is 1/4”, if left unmodified, or 1/2” if gradually transitioned. Anything greater becomes a “ramp” (see Section 303, here).

Bottom line: It’s sloppy workmanship, but it’s probably not a code violation.

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Charlottergreenberg

19 posts in 2068 days

01-25-2014 09:31 AM

Different heights call for a reducer strip. Most used is a wood reducer and can be cut and shaped as needed. Also be stained and urethaned .

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Racer2007

8 posts in 3120 days

01-25-2014 08:18 PM

Thanks guys.
DylanC it is actually a 1 inch level between the Kitchen an Living room and Yes it is very sloppy workmanship which I did report to the owners but they don’t seem to care to much since I think the people who did the work are related to them so to them it Has to be right.
The reducer strip is a metal strip that is just at a 45 degree angle and only about 1 and a half inch wide total so the drop is pretty steep.
I will try the local Code Enforcement Office again next week.

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10-01-2016 09:33 PM

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JeanS

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03-17-2017 05:32 PM

I’m not exactly sure of legal height differences between floors, but I can tell you this. We have a very slight difference in floor heights between the main office and my private office and I am always catching my foot on it and I just about fall each time! Going from carpet to tile on a concrete floor is terrible! Jean from Colorado Springs Towing

-- Jean S.

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