Wheelchair symbol at the skytrain station

When installed and used properly, detectable warning tiles can improve safety and accessibility. However, there are common mistakes which can actually make these surfaces dangerous for users.

Installing Too Many

The steps have stainless steel tactile indicator studs that have been installed in a grid formation

Although it may seem that a higher number of ADA tiles would make surfaces safer, the opposite can actually be true. Tiles that are too large or too many in number can cause confusion with regard to the direction of travel. This has the potential to lead users to dangerous areas.

A high number of tiles also means a larger area of uneven surface, which presents issues for pedestrians and those using mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires an extension of warning tiles to at least 610 mm in the direction of travel.

Installing Too Few

ADA compliant detectable warning surface tactiles installation

The purpose of detectable warning products is to provide enough notice of upcoming surface changes or dangerous areas. Too few tiles won’t provide the warning that a user needs, and so can present serious risk of injury or danger.

The ADA requires installation of warning tiles along the full width of transit platforms, blended transitions, stair landings, and curb ramps.

Using Truncated Domes and Wayfinding Bars for the Same Purpose

Yellow braille on the way down the stairs to the railway station.

Both truncated domes and wayfinding bars provide users with non-visual cues. However, each of these does so in a different, yet equally useful way.

Truncated domes warn visually impaired users about potential hazards so that they may proceed with caution. Therefore, they should be placed at the start and end of pathways.

Wayfinding bars allow visually impaired users to navigate through large and open spaces. They indicate the beginning of a path that the user should follow.

Each of these solutions should be used in combination, but never interchangeably.

Incorrect Installation

tactile tile for the blind before a pedestrian crossing on a city street

When detectable warning surfaces are installed correctly, the speed, flow and safety of pedestrian foot traffic is enhanced. However, incorrect installation, such as when truncated domes aren’t close enough to the ground, can not only impede foot traffic but also present a tripping hazard.

Too little spacing between domes will increase difficulty of travel for those using mobility aids like walkers and wheelchairs, and if installed too close to the ground, will not provide sufficient warning of upcoming hazards.

All of these can result in costly tile damage. Fortunately, following the ADA’s strict guidelines for the spacing and size of cast in place tiles can ensure proper installation and safe navigation.

Installing in the Wrong Areas

Tactile tiles for the visually impaired in the city

Transit platforms, pedestrian crosswalks, and several other public areas are required by law to contain detectable warning tiles. Failure to install them in these areas increases injury risk and liability that can lead to serious charges.

Installing tactile warning surfaces in the wrong areas can be equally dangerous. For example, a visually impaired user who encounters warning tiles on a median instead of the beginning and end of a pedestrian crossing may assume they’ve reached safety, when in fact they are in a very dangerous area.

The safe and proper installation of tiles is covered in federal and local building codes, and should be followed to ensure the safety of the visually impaired.

A North American Leader in Detectable Warning Systems

ADA truncated dome and tactile warning surface products

impaired individuals who use and visit your property. Every product from ADA Solutions is designed and perfected by installation practitioners and industry experts, and manufactured in our ISO 9002 certified facility.

We invite you to discover why we’re the choice for a growing number of businesses; visit us online to browse our cost-effective, slip-resistant ADA compliant detectable warning panels, or call to speak with an ADA Solutions team member today at 1-800-372-0519.

Blind african businessman in business office

The World Health Organization estimates that over two billion people worldwide live with a visual disability.1 Therefore, running a business means making it accessible to all customers, including those with color blindness and who are legally blind or otherwise visually impaired. When you empower these customers to access your business safely, easily, and independently, you can impact the way they experience the world.

Reasons for Accessible Design

Making your business more accessible to those with blindness or visual impairment is a good idea for multiple reasons.

It’s a Legal Requirement

First, business owners are bound by the laws set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide accommodations to those with disabilities. In doing so, your business is communicating both its commitment to upholding this law and its refusal to discriminate against these individuals.

It Supports Independence

Thanks to technology and assistive devices, a vast majority of people with visual impairments  are able to enjoy more independence than ever before. Increasing accessibility at your location supports this independence.

It Is All-Inclusive

Visual impairment occurs across an incredibly wide spectrum. Incorporating design that provides accessibility for anyone with any level and type of visual impairment ensures that all, including people with visual impairments, can safely and easily enter, exit, and navigate your business.

It Expands Your Understanding

A sighted person may not realize the way in which those with vision impairment perceive the world around them. In exploring accessible design options, you gain a better understanding about how to use certain elements to optimize the customer experience.

It Is Cost-Effective

When you choose the right accessibility products, you can be assured of reasonable cost without having to shut down during business hours.

Forms of Accessible Design

blind man and woman walking on the street using a white walking stick

Accessible design can consist of any or all of the following:

  • Sound, which helps direct individuals unable to receive visual cues
  • Color, which can call attention to changes in the immediate environment
  • Light, which can assist those with low vision to see important areas, like entrances and stairs, more clearly
  • Tactile products, which communicate environmental changes or indicate landmarks from the ground
  • Temperature, which offers subtle cues to visually impaired customers that they are entering a different environment
  • Stability-enhancing features, which allow individuals to maintain physical balance

All of the above forms are available in a wide range of products, which include:

  • Motion- or button-activated features, which emit sound that can guide
  • Bright-colored paint, which can be applied to step lips and landings, along with a virtually endless amount of surfaces
  • Lights, which can be mounted in hallways and vestibules and on stairways to improve visibility
  • ADA-compliant handrails, which contain features to increase the safety of use
  • Detectable warning panels consisting of domes, which communicate environmental changes

How ADA Solutions Products Can Help

tactile paving with textured ground surface with markings

ADA Solutions specializes in the creation of detectable warning systems for businesses wanting to increase or improve accessibility to individuals with visual and physical challenges. Our products include radius systems, graphic tiles, way-finding surfaces, photoluminescent systems, and tactile panels.

Radius tactile systems assist individuals with navigating surfaces that change in contour, such as a curb ramp.

Graphic tiles feature photographic-quality artwork and color to communicate information, as well as raised domes for tactile communication.

Way-finding surfaces are available in both bar and guide tile styles for optimal navigational assistance.

Photoluminescent systems are charged with ambient light to provide bright visual cues to individuals where illumination is inadequate.

Tactile panels feature domes that provide clear and unmistakable cues indicating upcoming surface transitions.

Many of these products are ready for foot traffic as soon as they’ve been installed, with very little downtime.

Why Choose ADA Solutions Products?

stonescape home

ADA Solutions manufactures all of its leading detectable warning systems from premium-quality materials. All of our universal designs are manufactured in our own state-of-the-art facility to ISO 9002 standards.

In addition, all ADA Solutions products meet or exceed all state and federal accessibility standards and offer ease-of-installation as well as construction that offers long-term resistance to the elements.

Products including our graphic warning systems allow you to customize your image or message for maximum reach. Many of our products are also fully and easily replaceable and don’t require extensive concrete disturbance or the cordoning off of a large area to install or replace.

Whether you require a temporary solution or wish to install permanent products to provide visually impaired individuals with assistance for accessing your business, ADA Solutions is a North American leader with products that have been designed by experts in the accessibility industry. Those who install our products are professionally certified in proper installation procedure.

If you’re a business owner looking to enhance accessibility for your visually impaired customers, ADA Solutions can help you to achieve this goal. We invite you to view our product lines and request free samples at our website or call 1-800-372-0519 for more information.


  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment
Tactile Paving On Railroad Station Platform By Train

Tactile paving refers to the panels, surface indicators, or detectable warning plates used near street crossings and on transportation platforms. A common form uses rows of truncated domes, arranged in a grid pattern, which can be felt under foot or by a wheelchair or cane. Other plates consist of rows of long narrow bars to help guide a visually impaired pedestrian on a certain path.

While tactile paving solutions have become more commonplace with modifications to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, they are not new. Here is a look at the history of tactile warning systems and why they are so important.

History of Tactile Warning Tiles

Tactile pavers were developed by Seichi Miyake, who was inspired by Braille, and they were first introduced in 1965. They were installed for the first time in 1967 on a street in Okayama, Japan. They debuted at a single crosswalk near a school for the blind but were soon used at pedestrian crossings around the country. The technology proved to be such a success that Japan National Railways adopted it system wide.

Truncated domes in front of a building entrance to a sidewalk

The paving system was formally named “Hazard Guide for the Vision Impaired” in 1985. Its original design featured precast concrete, but later paving included concrete, ceramic, polyurethane, cast iron, and stainless steel. Two types of paving emerged in modern times; a design with small, round bumps and a directional aid with longer, more slender bumps.

Tactile ground surface indicators began appearing elsewhere in the 1990s. The United States, UK, and Australia followed Japan’s lead in using them. Having been used in many Asian cities, they were installed at all Sydney Olympic Games facilities in 2000. By the early 2000s, Canada had integrated tactile paving systems into transportation and other developed areas.

Tactile Paving and the ADA

Currently, tactile paving is regulated in the U.S. It is mandated by the U.S. Access Board in places like train platforms and at the ends of sidewalks. The Board promotes accessible design and standards for the built environment that accommodate people who have disabilities. Businesses in the private and local government sector must follow ADA guidelines while the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), passed in 1990, applies to properties built with federal funds or leased by federal agencies.

Why Are Tactile Pavers Important for the Visually Impaired?

The raised domes or bars communicate a message to visually impaired pedestrians about navigation. They mark transition points, so pedestrians are aware of where a safe route turns into a roadway, such as at a curb ramp. Tactile surfaces are also used to signal a person to take caution near stairways.

yellow Tactile paving to assist pedestrians

Partially sighted individuals benefit as well. While one might not see the difference in levels along a path, they can often see the bright or contrasting colors of the panels. Patterns of domes or grooves may be evident as well.

Tactile paving:

  • Accommodates Universal Design elements such as curb cuts.
  • Provides tactile feedback through footwear and audible feedback when touched by a cane.
  • Allows the visually impaired to navigate unaided and without concern for safety.
  • Must have at least 70% color contrast per ADA guidelines.
  • Comes in many colors to provide contrast with various surfaces.
  • Has an anti-slip surface to minimize any fall hazards.
  • Comes in multiple sizes and can be cut without voiding the warranty.
  • Is non-porous, so water isn’t absorbed and wintry weather does not affect quality.

An important trait of warning plates is they are built of durable materials and often painted or powder coated. Cast iron plates oxidize into a coating that maintains a contrasting color. Tactile warning surfaces do not wear out so are well-suited for use in heavily traveled urban areas.

Tactile Paving that ADA Solutions Provides

ADA Solutions provides cast-in-place truncated dome detectable warning surfaces. Our Cast-in-Place Paver Tactile Surface panel features a durable design with a heavy panel and supporting embedment ribs, also ensuring a strong bond, and homogeneous glass, carbon, and fiberglass-reinforced composite material that’s durable, colorfast, and UV stable. The ¼” thick panel installs into freshly poured concrete and is completely secure when the surface dries.

Cast in Place Yellow ADA Tile

Our products feature 0.9” diameter, 0.2” high truncated domes with a center-to-center spacing of 2.35”. The panels are 0.25” thick (not including the domes), and they don’t use paint to achieve color stability. They’re also moisture- and chemical-resistant. ADA Solutions’ cast-in-place pavers and other tactile warning surface products comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, Public Right-of-Way, and California Title 24 requirements and are approved by all major municipalities, state departments of transportation, and departments of public works.

Request a Free Quote Today

Our cast-in-place tactile paving products meet all ADA guidelines pertaining to pedestrian safety. At ADA Solutions, we manufacture these and other warning surfaces at an ISO 9002 certified facility in Ohio. To learn more or request a free quote, call 800-372-0519 today.

california ada requirements feature image

This guide to small business ADA requirements in California will help your business or public facility achieve compliance and avoid the most common pitfalls. Are you wondering if the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to your business? If your doors are open to the public, or you maintain an outdoor public space, the answer is almost certainly yes.

The California ADA requirements that are outlined here require specific ramp slopes, tactile strips, and other design elements that will help protect you from ADA lawsuits. The most common ADA violations that might result in expensive fines can be avoided by using the right ADA compliant materials.

California businesses pay an estimated 20 million dollars in ADA fines and legal costs each year. With penalties starting at $4000 per offense, it pays to review this visual guide and ADA inspection checklist, and keep it handy for your next safety meeting or remodelling project.

Don’t get caught on the wrong side of these important regulations or become a target for smear campaigns and groups doing their own inspections in order to find a reason to file a complaint. Use this guide to California ADA requirements to help put your business ahead of the curve and breeze through your next ADA inspection.

California ADA Requirements Infographic

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

Wheelchair ramp

Used by millions of people with mobility problems, wheelchairs offer the opportunity for free movement and independent, caretaker-free living. For these individuals, wheelchair ramps that offer easy access are absolutely essential.

Why Do We Need Wheelchair Ramps?

Wheelchair ramps are needed for every reason, but all mean the same thing to those who use them: the ability to access the world around them with ease.

Ramps can allow for easy access in a home, and also make wheelchair access to vehicles, places of business, and many other locations effortless.

What Difficulties Do Those in Wheelchairs Face When No Ramps Are Available?

When no ramps are available, those who use wheelchairs may face several difficulties. They may feel they are not visible to their communities. This can cause feelings of worry and stress.

The inability to access needed products and services can make life far more difficult than it needs to be for those who use wheelchairs. However, when the right ramps are installed, a person can feel confident and included and maintain their individual freedom.

Types of Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair ramps are available in a nearly endless array of designs and sizes. This is because there are so many instances where even the smallest ramp can make access easier.

One good example is the portable ramp; it offers versatility and ease-of-use, and there are many styles and sizes available. The same is true of vehicle and track wheelchair ramps.

Ramps can also be permanent for communities and businesses needing long-term solutions. These ramps are typically cemented or bolted in place, but they can also be installed on the surface of a sidewalk or road. While a ramp is certainly useful, it is only one piece of the solution.

Making a Wheelchair Ramp Fully Accessible

White Handicap Sign Painted on Dark Asphalt

Those in wheelchairs who need to access public spaces and services require a two-part solution that includes both a wheelchair ramp and some type of warning surface to allow for easier navigation.

A warning surface alerts individuals that a ramp is nearby. This could be a ramp on a bus, at a curb, or in front of an entrance to a business. There are several types of detectable warning surfaces available, including:

  • Surface-applied products, which offer navigation assistance on transit platforms, sidewalks, ramps, and more
  • Truncated dome pavers, which alert individuals to an upcoming transition of surfaces, such as from a sidewalk to a ramp
  • Radius tactile systems, which allow wheelchairs to follow the contour of surfaces like curb ramps
  • Cast iron dome plates, which offer a more permanent and durable solution for communities and businesses

Top-Quality Detectable Warning Systems

ADA Solutions, Inc. is a North American leader in detectable warning systems. Manufactured in our state-of-the-art, ISO 9002 certified facility from premium-quality materials, all ADA Solutions access products have been designed by industry experts and installation practitioners.

Visit us online to learn more about the benefits of our cast iron systems for the access needs of your business.

Warning textile for the disabled from a train station

Cast-in-Place tactile panels from ADA Solutions are extremely durable and reliable. They’re made of a homogenous glass, carbon, and fiberglass reinforced composite material that holds up in many environments, in a range of conditions.

Pedestrian walking on tactile paving on footpath

Using detectable warning products helps your business or facility comply with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and California Title 24 Requirements. When you’re looking for ADA-compliant tile, Cast-in-Place products we manufacture to the latest standards are suited for the following applications:

Pedestrian Crossings

The color contrast of tiles and tactile feedback of truncated domes warn pedestrians of changes, including those associated with the transition from a sidewalk to street intersection or sidewalk to a ramp. Cast-in-Place panels also improve safety for disabled pedestrians, especially those who are visually impaired. Anyone who uses a cane, walker, wheelchair, or another mobility device can feel the surface changes that alert them of hazards such as oncoming traffic or differences in elevation.

Yellow warning line in a station

Rail Crossing Sites

The tactile panel should be located outside the rail crossing. The edge nearest the crossing should be at least six feet from the edge of the crossing and 15 feet from the centerline of the closest rail. Truncated domes must be aligned parallel to the direction of the wheelchair user’s travel.

Boarding Platforms

Required at platform edges, detectable warnings are found in commuter, light, rapid, and intercity rail stations. They must extend the entire length of the platform to indicate where there is a drop-off and be at least 24 inches wide. However, a detectable warning tile’s presence does not mean there is a designated safety zone.

Curb Ramps

Tactile feedback enables pedestrians to identify where a curb ramp is and can represent a visible curbline. Panels should be placed in close proximity to the street edge. Otherwise, a wide curb radius could make it difficult for someone to determine where it is safe to cross. Detectable warnings are specifically required at curb ramps at transit facilities, while the U.S. Department of Transportation requires them on Federal Highway Administration funded projects.


Cast-in-Place warning tiles are also used for raised islands. At the location they are installed, there must be a cut through that’s level with the street, unless there are curb ramps on both sides. The tiles must border a level area at least 48 inches long by 36 inches wide (in the direction of a running slope).

Tops/Bases of Transitions

Warning textile for the disabled from a train station

The tops and bottoms of stairways and escalators present challenges for pedestrians with disabilities. Warning tiles alert them of where a stairway or escalator begins and ends, as they do for ramps. Strips at these locations prepare a pedestrian for changes in the path of travel and protect them against potential injury.

ADA-Compliant Parking Areas

Tiles are used near accessible parking spots and paths of travel so an individual can determine how to find a building entrance from the lot and vice versa. They’re also used to indicate transitions between roadways and safe walking paths around the vicinity.

Order Tactile Warning Tile/Cast-in-Place Replaceable Panels from ADA Solutions

Yellow Cast-In Place Detectable Warning Tiles Leading to Street

Since 2006, ADA Solutions has installed more than 18,000,000 square feet of Cast-in-Place replaceable panels. Delivered with a heavy-duty anchoring system, our panels are easily inserted/embedded into fresh concrete and can last for years.

We work with local governments and private businesses that need to comply with the ADA and other laws specific to their industry and/or location. All panels are manufactured at our Ohio-based ISO 9002 Certified facility.

To learn more about our products or to obtain a free quote from our knowledgeable representatives, call 800-372-0519 today.

Wheelchair lift with stairs Disability elevator Indoor Public building

If you are a business owner, it’s important to be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for accessible design. Since being introduced in 1990, the guidelines have changed over the years. There are many requirements. One of which is to include tactile warning surfaces on sidewalks, curbs, and ramps to help people who are visually impaired. Here is a detailed look at accessible ADA design standards so you can better understand the right solutions for your building, facility, or grounds.

What Are the ADA Standards?

Applying to newly constructed facilities, newly designed facilities, and any facility that has been altered or renovated, the standards require them to be readily accessible to and usable by any individual with a disability. The latest set of standards was introduced in 2010. If your facility was built or altered in compliance with the 1991 standards, no modifications are required unless alterations are made on or after March 15, 2012.

These updates impact public facilities such as judicial fa+263cilities, detention and correctional facilities, and residential dwelling units in apartment complexes. Recreational facilities with amusement rides, exercise machines/equipment, pools/spas, and play areas are included. Golf facilities, fishing piers/platforms, and saunas/steam rooms are as well.

The standards cover minimum guidelines for:

  • Accessible Routes: Must be at least 36″ wide and narrow to 32″ minimum but for only 24″ at a time. Running slopes must be no steeper than 1:20 or an inch of height change for every 20 inches of run.
  • Curb Ramps: Must be at least 36″ wide, excluding flares, with a cross slope of no steeper than 1:48. Running slopes must be no steeper than 1:12. Curb flares must be present if the landing on top is less than 36″ long.
  • Ramps: The surface must be stable and slip resistant, with a level landing at least 60″ long and at least the width of the ramp. If the ramp changes direction, a level landing at least 60″ by 60″ is required, as are handrails if the ramp rises higher than 6″.
  • Entrances: Signs must indicate the location of the nearest accessible entrance. The opening width of an accessible door entrance must be at least 32″. Door hardware must be operable with one hand and not require strenuous wrist action.
  • Parking: At least one accessible space per 25 total spaces is required for areas where there is public parking. Accessible spaces must be at least 8 feet wide adjacent to an aisle at least 5 feet wide.

These are just a few requirements of the ADA standards. Review this ADA checklist for a more detailed look.

Why ADA Standards Are So Important

One in five, or 54 million, Americans have a disability, which is growing as the population ages and due to other factors.1 The standards were introduced to ensure no one is left behind when trying to open a door, go up or down stairs, or use a restroom in a public facility. Various guidelines are in place to ensure people with disabilities have easy access to buildings.

Tactile paving is a system of textured ground surface indicator found on footpaths

ADA compliance is important for businesses, as violations can lead to costly fines and lawsuits. An organization can be found negligent if unsafe conditions cause injury, while being compliant can help boost a company’s reputation. Becoming accessible is usually an ongoing process, while quick fixes rather than full renovations can allow your business to be creative with its updates. Additionally, there are tax credits to help cover the costs of meeting accessibility standards.


The accessible ADA design standards cover many types of structures. In addition to curb ramps and businesses serving the public, assembly areas such as stadiums, medical care facilities, and educational housing must meet ADA guidelines. Generally, if your business serves the public or employs 15 or more people, you must be compliant.

The standards outline the dimensional requirements for public restrooms, signage, and other forms of communication (elevator buttons, ATMs, directories, etc.), hotel rooms, fitting rooms, kitchens, and transportation facilities. Requirements for built-in elements like benches, dining surfaces, and accessible showers are set as well.

Another important application of ADA standards is the detectable warning surface. The law has set requirements for the placement and size of truncated domes, which provide audible feedback for people with walking sticks and wheelchairs, visual cues, and a tactile response when traversing over raised bumps.

Get a Free Quote on ADA-Compliant Products


At ADA Solutions, we produce and distribute cast-in-place and surface applied detectable warning surfaces. We also provide education on ADA standards and the latest updates. As the leader in detectable surface products in North America, we are committed to superior quality and customer service. Request your free quote online or call 800-372-0519 for more information.

ADA truncated dome and tactile warning surface products


  1. http://adacourse.org/docs/ADA_Brochure_Final_052012_2.pdf
cropped panoramic view of man using wheelchair with bag on street with sunlight

We use wayfinding solutions every day. You might not even think about it, but navigating any facility would be much more difficult without signs, maps, or directories. In fact, just about any business can benefit from innovative wayfinding solutions, not to mention the perks these provide for individuals with disabilities.

Importance of Wayfinding

Directional signage helps people get from point A to point B. One of the most important aspects is that wayfinding systems help businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Local regulations that require accessibility compliance must be considered as well.

modern wheelchair lift near the building

An ADA-compliant wayfinding solution is designed to provide a tactile response via raised bars or domes. Directional tiles make paths of travel easier to follow for pedestrians who are visually impaired or who otherwise struggle with traversing a walking path.

Other benefits of wayfinding solutions include:

  • Convenience: Customers and visitors can feel more at ease when navigating your facility. They don’t have to ask for help or assistance, and they have a sense that your business is willing to accommodate them.
  • Differentiate Your Business: Your organization will likely stand out from competitors that may not use the same innovative wayfinding solutions. Be as creative as you want. The right wayfinding systems can earn you accolades via word-of-mouth on social media, for example.
  • Strengthen Your Brand: In addition to projecting professionalism, wayfinding graphics can be used to build your brand. The design and message conveyed can provide new ways to deliver your company message and make visitors’ experiences more memorable.

Wayfinding solutions can also serve these key purposes:

  • Identify where a visitor is, certain rooms, and building exits and entry points.
  • Provide direction to a specific destination, such as an elevator or office.
  • Indicate where to take caution, access more information, and whether there’s free Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Inform of regulations like no smoking, where safety precautions are needed, or if a parking spot is legal.

Facilities/Businesses That Could Benefit from Wayfinding

man in wheelchair in front of a shopping store

Places where you’re most likely to find the most innovative wayfinding solutions include:

  • Healthcare Facilities: Patients with an appointment or visitors looking for a specific area benefit from intuitive directories and interactive maps. Navigating the floorplan of, for example, a hospital can be frustrating. A wayfinding system, including tactile tiles, can reduce frustration and even increase staff efficiency.
  • Corporate Campuses: Employees can more easily find where they are going, improving your company culture and productivity while clients and vendors benefit as well. Intuitive wayfinding systems can be used to provide alerts, share announcements, and communicate events.
  • Malls: Mall directory kiosks help provide a more positive experience for shoppers. With a directory, you can find specific stores and where to dine or play. Many print directories are being replaced by digital interactive displays for even more functionality.
  • Hotels and Resorts: Signs pointing to restaurants, amenities, and events help accommodate guests and create the least frustrating experience possible. A wayfinding platform can also point to where a meeting, convention, or on-site entertainment venue is.
  • Airports: Of any facility, an airport benefits the most from wayfinding. Travelers often have limited time to find where they are going, whether parking, checking in, or arriving at the right gate. Airports often have places to dine, shop, and lounge; wayfinding signs and paths can help locate any amenity available.
  • Museums/Parks: Museums often have large, complex floor plans; wayfinding can help visitors see everything they want. Venues such as amusement parks can help visitors find rides, dining facilities, and entertainment options they want to experience most.
  • Stadiums: Finding your seat at a stadium can be challenging, especially if you’ve never been to the venue. Wayfinding solutions can help people get around, advertise/promote products or events and provide quick information using digital signs, wall-mounted screens, or overhead signage.
  • Universities: A sprawling college campus can make any student, faculty member, or visitor feel intimidated. Wayfinding can help get around easier and communicate general information. Students can more quickly get to class, while users in general can find restrooms, public workspaces, or offices/meeting rooms.

Wayfinding Solutions that ADA Solutions Offers

Walkway with a detectable warning surface next to the hand railing

ADA Solutions provides ADA-compliant directional bar tile and guide tile. In addition to indicating the path of travel for pedestrians, these weather- and wear-resistant products last several years. Our directional bar tile is available in five different sizes: 6” x 24”, 6” x 48”, 12” x 12”, 12” x 24”, and 24” x 24”. Guide tile is produced as 4” x 24” units.

These surface mount or cast-in-place replaceable products are UV stable and built for exterior applications. Homogeneous glass/carbon/fiberglass-reinforced composite materials maximize durability. Color options include Federal Yellow, White, Brick Red, Black, and Dark Gray.

Our innovative wayfinding solutions are designed for installation on a concrete substrate. In addition to the ADA, they also comply with California Title 24 and other regulations and standards. Each is manufactured at our ISO 9002-certified facility in Ohio.

Call 800-372-0519 to learn more.

Pedestrian walking on tactile paving on footpath

Detectable warning surfaces are one of many requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They help people with visual impairments identify transitions between sidewalks and roadways, the tops and bottoms of ramps, and the edges of transit platforms. The ADA sets guidelines on detectable warning surface colors, the size of warning tiles, and dimensions and placement of truncated domes.

The ADA requires these visual contrasts between detectable warning tiles and adjacent surfaces:

  • Light tiles against darker surfaces
  • Dark tiles against lighter surfaces

However, ADA regulations don’t set a specific color requirement. So long as the colors contrast with surrounding areas, any color or combination of colors can be selected. Businesses, municipalities, and other entities may set their own rules. For example, California requires warning surfaces to be yellow. In New York City, gray has traditionally been the color of choice, although safety-red is becoming more commonplace in New York and New Jersey.

Contrasting color is important because it:

  • Allows the visually impaired to notice the warning. A pedestrian may be legally blind or have depth perception issues; a highly contrasting color lets them know the raised domes are there and to be cautious when proceeding beyond the warning surface.
  • Contrasts with other surfaces. A community may use different colors of cement, such as a lighter cement around the perimeter of a park. An alternative to yellow may be used to help pedestrians navigate to and from the park at nearby crosswalks.
  • Helps meet Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). The ADAAG suggests, but does not require, a 70% light reflectance value or higher for the visually impaired. Depending on the color combination, 60% to 70% light reflectance can suffice.
    • What is light reflectance value (LRV)? A contrast percentage is obtained by dividing the LRV of a lighter area by the LRV of a darker area and multiplying the answer by 100. Concrete is generally rated LRV 50 while cast iron is typically around LRV 11; this exceeds the 70% threshold—LRV ranges from zero or black to 100 or pure white.
  • Stands out to individuals using their phones. People who make calls, text, or use social media are alerted they’re approaching a transition to a potentially hazardous area. Pedestrian fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents have been on the rise in recent years.

The Most Common Detectable Warning Surface Colors

Colors often used for warning tiles include:

  • Yellow: This is effective at catching the attention of the human eye and provides strong contrast with surrounding surfaces. Yellow is also a color that signifies caution.
  • Red: Red universally implies “stop.” It contrasts well with light concrete. In some states, regulations require the use of red tactile warning surfaces for controlled pedestrian walkways or crossings, such as those near major intersections or on pedestrian bridges.
  • Dark Red: This creates a brick-like appearance on a path. It is sometimes a design choice in areas where asphalt or concrete is lightly colored; in this case, it will meet ADA contrast requirements.
  • Blue: A bright blue paint is often used for warning surfaces in handicap-accessible areas. Blue tiles often have wheelchair symbols painted on the surface in white.
  • White/Light Gray: These may be used for detectable warning tiles placed on or near roads or paths made of dark-colored asphalt.

Orange-red, clay red, brown, dark gray, and black may be used for truncated dome tiles as well. Often, the choice of color is tied to aesthetics rather than purpose. The United States Access Board conducted a study in 2007 of tile colors and found that traditional yellow and brick red provided an equal level of contrast. In areas where a single color doesn’t provide adequate contrast, it found using multiple colors was beneficial. One color could be used as a border around a second color, as is often done at rail stations.

The Use of Custom Colors

There’s generally no limit as to what colors and shades are used, aside from federal requirements for contrast and any applicable state mandates. A business may use custom colors to reflect its brand. For example, an arena may use team colors for detectable warning surfaces, or a retail store may use tiles with different colors, images, and logos for specific seasons or holidays.

Beyond Detectable Warning Surface Colors

Color isn’t the only factor in making tactile walking surfaces more noticeable. Photoluminescent walking surfaces made by ADA Solutions emit light even when sources of electricity aren’t available. A product called Glow-Dome™ is suited for emergency situations such as power failures in pedestrian areas, as well as in train stations. The product is charged by ambient light and requires no power source; it is available in paver tiles and in a replaceable or retrofitted transit format.

ADA compliant detectable warning surface tactiles installation

ADA Solutions also offers replaceable graphic tile systems. They can feature messages, different fonts, and reflective ink in up to four colors. A custom message can be fit on one tile or be placed across multiple sequential tiles. All custom panels feature ADA-compliant, slip-resistant truncated domes.

Contact ADA Solutions

ADA Solutions manufactures and supplies truncated dome, Directional Bar, and Guide Surface
Tiles. Our Cast-in-Place replaceable panels for fresh concrete and surface applied detectable warning panels suited for new construction or retrofits meet the latest ADAAG requirements. We can provide our products in all common detectable warning surface colors.

Different Color ADA Tile Squares

Continue browsing our online resources to learn more about our detectable warning products. Feel free to call us at 800-372-0519 for additional help or to request a free quote online today.

yellow detectable warning tiles

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990 to expand opportunities for individuals with disabilities, prevent discrimination, and improve safety. In addition, it set requirements for detectable warning systems. The criteria for these was revised with the ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. To be compliant, you must factor in the latest guidelines; here are key points to think about when choosing detectable warning products.

  1. Color

Warning surfaces tend to be yellow, red, or other bright colors. However, the ADA does not require a warning tile to be a specific color, although state and local laws vary in what colors they permit or restrict. ADA guidelines do require the warning surface to contrast with the color of surrounding surfaces. If the sidewalk, street, or platform it is installed on is dark, the tile should be light; if the surrounding surface is light, the warning surface should be darker.

  1. Spacing

The ADA specifies precise spacing between truncated domes, based on studies of what works best for tactile feedback when using a wheelchair, walker, cane, or other mobility aid. From center to center, raised domes must be 1.6 to 2.4 inches apart. There must be at least 0.65 inches of space between each adjacent dome.

  1. Size

The base diameter of truncated domes must now be between 0.9 and 1.4 inches, with a height of 0.2 inches above the surrounding panel surface. Domes are arranged in a grid to provide a distinct feel when an individual’s feet or mobility aid contacts them. The warning surface itself must be at least 24 inches long and extend in the direction of travel. It must reach across the entire width of the surface it’s installed on. Detectable warning systems can be square, rectangular, or radial.

  1. Location

Since 2010, the ADA requires detectable warning surfaces only on curb ramps and transit platforms. They had previously been required in front of doors near hazardous locations, the edges of reflecting pools, and any area where vehicles travel that could be dangerous. A warning surface should be installed on any public right-of-way that transitions to an area that is hazardous. Therefore, transit platform edges, curb ramps, and crosswalks are among the most common places to find tactile warning surfaces.

  1. Curb Cuts

A curb cut must be at least three feet wide and a minimum of two feet from where the pedestrian path transitions into a street or other vehicular way. A 24-inch warning strip must be installed across the bottom of a curb ramp. The slope of a ramp must not exceed 8.33 percent. That means there must be at least 12 inches of distance for every inch of height change.

  1. Product Quality

For warning tiles and other products, the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) provides data on strength and other properties. Make sure a detectable warning tile meets ASTM standards before choosing it. That way, you can verify it is reliable and safe.

  1. Function

Detectable warning surfaces must do more than provide tactile feedback. They need to be slip-resistant, as rain, snow, ice, oils, and other substances can create dangerous conditions for pedestrians. Tiles must also have low water absorption to extend their life. Water expands and contracts, depending on temperature, so water entry can damage the material, make the tile less effective, or put people in danger.

  1. Installation

The installation procedure depends on the type of product. For cast-in-place tiles, holes in the flanges of the panel help anchor it; concrete can flow through before it cures, effectively sealing the product. Surface-mounted detectable warning systems include fasteners and adhesives to secure them. The perimeter should be properly sealed during installation, using a high-quality sealant.

Cast-in-place replaceable Tile

Order Detectable Warning Systems from ADA Solutions

The leading supplier of ADA-compliant detectable surfaces in North America, we provide quality products including cast-in-place pavers and replaceable as well as surface-applied tiles. We also supply radius systems, cast iron ADA plates, photoluminescent domes, and replaceable graphic tile systems. Various tactile surfaces are available for transit platforms as well. To learn more or get a free quote, call us at 800-372-0519.