As one of the many requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to create public spaces that are accessible by persons of all abilities, detectable warning tiles are installed in key, pedestrian-trafficked areas.
Although intended to provide a non-visual warning of upcoming potential hazards, the visual appearance of ADA tiles is stringently regulated by the ADA. Tile size, truncated dome dimensions, installation location and the color of detectable warning surfaces are all regulated by the ADA.
Despite the fact ADA tiles are most commonly seen in yellow, the ADA does not require a specific color for detectable warning surfaces but does require ADA detectable warnings to provide a stark visual contrast to the surrounding substrate. Some local building codes, however, may enforce their own standards for the color of ADA tiles.
Consequently, light surfaces require dark-colored ADA tiles and dark surfaces require light-colored ADA tiles. As a common example, yellow detectable warning tiles provide a star visual contract to concrete sidewalks at pedestrian crosswalks.
Contrast and Code Compliance
When installed in accordance with ADA regulations, many persons with visual impairments are able to recognize the stark visual contrast between ADA tile and walking surface, giving an adequate warning to proceed with caution.
The requirement for contrast allows municipalities, project designers, contractors, or others to choose the color of ADA tile that best suits their project, while still being able to uphold the visual requirements of the ADA. Meaning aesthetics don’t have to be sacrificed for code compliance.
Choosing the Right Color ADA Tile
Beyond ensuring visual contrast, there is no right or wrong color choice for ADA tiles and the color choice commonly comes down to aesthetics, and what would best match the space.
Some common ADA tile colors to consider include:
Yellow: Yellow is an eye-catching color, which provides significant contrast against most substrates! Additionally, yellow signifies caution, communicating to pedestrians to proceed carefully.
Red: Red immediately signifies “STOP” and communicates to pedestrians to asses their surroundings and proceed with caution. Red provides significant contrast against lighter surfaces.
Blue: Blue is often used to communicate accessibility and can be seen in handicap accessible areas. Against dark surfaces, blue provides a significant contrast.
Gray and Black: Dark gray and black tiles are an aesthetically pleasing choice which compliment modern design features while providing visual contrast against light surfaces.
Custom colors may also be used to in some areas to best suit design purposes, but the chosen color must provide significant contrast.
Although most commonly seen in yellow, and even red, the ADA does not require any one specific color for detectable warning tiles. Instead, however, the ADA requires detectable warning surfaces to provide stark visual contrast against the installation substrate, providing a visual warning of upcoming potential hazards. Access® Tile offers 10 standard colors for each of detectable warning tiles, allowing you to find the best solution for your project, without sacrificing design or aesthetics. Rely on Access® Tile to bring you the ultimate solution in detectable warning tiles. From replaceable cast in place to surface applied ADA tiles, Access® Tile ensures you can find the right solution for all your project needs.