The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law in 1990, requires the installation of detectable warning surfaces throughout public spaces, in order to improve safety and accessibility for all people.
In conjunction with state and local laws, the installation of tactile warning tiles is required in order to meet code compliance and must meet stringent guidelines in order to best serve as a non-visual warning.
To ensure code compliance, and provide a safe and effective tactile warning in your next project, here is what to look for when choosing a tactile warning tile:
Tactile Warning Tile Purpose
Carefully spaced truncated domes create a tactile warning surface that helps the visually impaired safely navigate public spaces, unaided. Tactile warning tiles have been designed to be felt comfortably underfoot to provide a non-visual warning of any upcoming potential hazards. Additionally, truncated domes also provide an audible alert, when tapped with a guidance cane.
Because of their imperative role to pedestrians, tactile warning tiles must remain slip-resistant in all weather conditions and provide a non-pours surface to protect against water absorption.
Tactile Warning Tile Color
Most commonly seen in bright yellow, ADA tiles are required to provide a stark visual contrast to the surrounding substrate. The ADA, however, does not require tactile warning tiles to be a specific color. If the substrate the detectable warning surface is to be applied on is dark, then the tile must be a light color to provide contrast, and vice versa.
Truncated Dome Specifications
While tactile warning surfaces must remain easily detectable, it is imperative they do not create any potential hazards. Wheelchairs, canes and other mobility aids must be able to easily navigate truncated domes tiles without creating a hazard.
For easy navigation, the ADA requires a truncated dome spacing of 1.6 to 2.4 inches center to center and at least 0.65 inches between adjacent domes. Additionally, truncated domes are required to have a height of 0.2 inches above the ground. Installation of the detectable warning tile must be flush with the surrounding concrete, to provide a smooth transition and avoid creating a tripping hazard.
Tactile Warning Tile Installation
Tactile warning tiles are required to be installed in several public locations, including curb ramps, pedestrian crossings, and transit platforms. This is to alert the visually impaired of potential upcoming hazards, such as drop offs or oncoming traffic.
Detectable warning tiles should span 24 inches across the bottom of the curb ramp and extend 24 inches in the direction of travel.
Surface applied ADA tiles can be used to retrofit existing projects and can also be found in radius sizes to best accommodate curb ramps and pedestrian crossings. Additionally, replaceable cast in place ADA tiles are ideal for new projects and are also available in radius sizes.
The Americans with Disabilities Act helps to improve the lives of persons of all abilities, and the requirement for the installation of tactile warning tiles allows the visually impaired to safely navigate public spaces unaided
Access® Tile offers the ultimate solution in detectable warning systems, with millions of square feet installed across North America. Our American made ADA tiles boast an industry-leading replaceability feature and are the most cost-effective solution of bringing any space up to code compliance. Available in a wide range of sizes and a variety of colors, Access® Tile has the right tactile warning tile for any project.