How-To Guide

How to Choose a Threshold Ramp

 Posted: Feburary 2nd, 2021
How to Choose a Threshold Ramp

As you go through the process of retrofitting your home to make sure it’s accessible for people in wheelchairs or with disabilities, it’s important to make sure you consider doorways and thresholds. You might have raised thresholds in some of the doorways in your home, especially in doorways leading to the outdoors, which can make it difficult for people to pass through if they are using wheelchairs or mobility assistance devices.

The best way to work around this issue is to get a threshold ramp, which serves as a simple, safe way to help people using this equipment to cross over raised or rough surfaces by creating an inclined, smooth platform. You can use these ramps for raised landings, doorways, small steps or raised curbs.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about selecting a threshold ramp for your home.

Choosing your home’s threshold ramps

Any threshold ramp you use for your home should ideally meet ADA requirements, which are 12” of ramp for every 1” of rise. While these standards are not actually required for residential homes, this is the best way to ensure the safety and accessibility of your property. So before you look at any other elements of the ramp, make sure there’s something noting it is ADA compliant.

You may need multiple ramps, because a ramp that works for a curb might not work for your front door, or for steps up to that door.

You’ll also need to determine if you want a permanent or portable ramp. If you’re just using the ramp for when loved ones visit you can probably get away with a portable ramp, but if the ramp will be used at the disabled person’s home, a permanent installation may be more worthwhile.

There are several common types of threshold ramps, including:

The Silver Spring Adjustable Threshold Ramp fits rises up to 6”.
The Silver Spring Adjustable Threshold Ramp fits rises up to 6”.

Adjustable Ramps

These ramps are ideal for single step rises of six inches or less, and can quickly and easily be adjusted to the proper height.

 Silver Spring Modular Entry Ramp with Handrails
The Silver Spring Modular Entry Ramp with Handrails supports up to 850 lbs.

Bariatric threshold ramps

These ramps are capable of holding up to 800 pounds, providing more than enough support for some heavier types of wheelchairs and their users.

 Silver Spring Modular Entry Ramp with Handrails
The Silver Spring Aluminum Threshold Ramp fits rises up to 4”.

Aluminum threshold ramp plates

These ramps are highly useful if you only need to get over a small rise of four inches or less.

 Silver Spring Solid Rubber Threshold Ramp
The The Silver Spring Solid Rubber Threshold Ramp supports up to 1,500 lbs.

Rubber threshold ramps

These ramps come in a wide range of styles and provide a durable, heavy-duty support at varying heights.

Measuring your threshold ramp

One of the most important factors to consider in your search for a threshold ramp is the size of ramp you’ll need. There are several steps to take before you purchase a threshold to make sure it meets your size requirements.

  • Measure the rise: The first step is to measure the rise from the walking surface to the top of the threshold, curb or step. You should measure the height of the rise on both ends of the threshold so you can determine if there’s any height variance, because if one side is taller than the other you may need a special ramp style to accommodate that difference.
  • Measure the width: Next, measure the width of the area where you need the ramp. If you’re using it for a front door, you should measure the width of the door opening on both sides. Otherwise, for steps or curbs that do not have nearly the space restrictions that doorways do, simply making sure the ramp can accommodate your wheelchair is sufficient.
  • Measure the extension: The higher the rise, the longer the ramp you’ll need. If you’ve got a rise that only measures an inch or so, then you’d only need a threshold ramp that extends about a foot on to the surface of the walking area. However, a four-inch rise would require two feet or so for the proper incline. Again, the taller the rise, the longer you can expect your ramp to be.
Remember: depending on the layout of your home, you might need multiple ramps, so make sure you measure every area that will require a ramp at your home.

Our Wheelchair Ramp Calculator is a convenient resource to determine the minimum ramp length you need based on the rise of the step. It not only calculates the ADA-Compliant length; it will also tell you the minimum ramp length for residential access when the mobility device is occupied or unoccupied.