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Advantage One Drilled Vs. Self-adhesive Domes & Bars: Which Option is Right for Your Needs

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Advantage One Drilled Vs. Self-adhesive Domes & Bars: Which Option is Right for Your Needs

When upgrading accessibility in buildings across Canada, specifying the ideal detectable warning tactile solution is crucial. Advantage Tactile Systems' Advantage One Domes and Bars offer industry-leading durability through stainless steel construction. They are available in drilled-to-the-floor and self-adhesive formats - so which installation method suits different project needs best? Read out to know...

Drilled-to-the-Floor Domes and Bars


Advantage One drilled-to-the-floor tactile indicators are mounted by drilling holes into the walking surface substrate and fastening the domes or bars securely with anchor sleeves using the manufacturer’s recommended construction-grade adhesives. Some of the key features of this installation method include:


Maximum Durability: 


Drilling and setting the domes/bars into the substrate creates an incredibly strong bond that can withstand heavy foot traffic loads. The stainless steel construction also makes these tactile solutions highly durable against weathering effects. The drilled installation has proven long-term success, standing up to heavy use in the busiest public settings.


Ideal for Problematic Substrates: 


Drilled domes and bars work excellently on substrates that may present challenges for adhesive mounting, such as exterior concrete, rough finishes, pavers, tile, terrazzo, metal, etc. The mechanical anchoring provides reliable tactile feedback on uneven or porous surfaces where adhesive solutions can fail.


Easy Replaceability: 


The drilled fastening system allows convenient replacement of individual domes or bars damaged due to vandalism or wear-and-tear. Damaged units can be unfastened easily and replaced without having to remove the surrounding surface finish.


Versatile Application: 


Drilled tactile indicators can be installed on any structurally sound substrate, including concrete, stone, tile, steel, terrazzo, wood, etc. Their extensive substrate versatility makes them an ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor settings.


Conforms to ADA Guidelines: 


Advantage One meets the dome/bar diameter, height, and spacing requirements per ADA Accessibility Guidelines. The durable texture and high-contrast stainless steel material provide optimal tactile distinction from surrounding surfaces.


Custom Sizing Available: 


Along with standard 24" bars and inline dome patterns, custom lengths and layouts can be fabricated as per your unique accessibility requirements.


Self-Adhesive Domes and Bars


As an alternative to drilling, Advantage One domes and bars can also be installed using the self-adhesive method. This involves applying a strong bonding adhesive pad pre-attached to the underside of each dome or bar. Some key aspects of self-adhesive tactile solutions include:


Faster, Simpler Installation:


The self-adhesive pads stick to the substrate instantly, eliminating the need for drilling holes. This allows much quicker installation compared to drilling each unit individually. The simplicity also reduces specialized labor requirements.


Minimal Substrate Impact: 


Since adhesive domes/bars do not penetrate the substrate, they leave the walking surface undamaged. The non-invasive mounting is ideal for decorative surfaces like stone, tile, stamped/stained concrete, or landscaping where drilling holes may be prohibited.


Cost-Effective Option: 


While drilled tactile indicators often have a lower per-piece cost, the additional time and labor for drilling can add expenses for large installations. Self-adhesive tactile with rapid “peel-and-stick” application offers a cost-effective alternative by reducing installation man-hours.


Easy Layout Adjustments: 


The self-adhesive pads allow removing and relocating individual domes/bars easily to modify layouts or replace damaged units. Drilled tactiles are permanently fixed to the substrate, limiting layout flexibility.


Limited Durability on Certain Surfaces: 


Adhesive mounting is not as strong or durable as drilled anchors on high-load substrates like poured concrete. The adhesive bond may deteriorate on exterior applications due to moisture, temperature fluctuations, substrate inconsistencies, etc. Lifespans average 5-10 years based on substrate conditions.


Not Ideal for Heavy-Traffic Areas: 


While suitable for moderate foot traffic, self-adhesive tactile indicators are not recommended for areas with very high usage, like transit platforms. The shearing forces caused by heavy repetitive foot traffic can loosen the adhesive over time.


Substrate Limitations: 


The adhesive pads do not work well on uneven, textured, dusty, or porous substrates. Smooth, clean, and non-porous surfaces like tile, metals, or laminates provide the most reliable bond. Outdoor concrete requires proper curing/sealing for adhesive mounting.

How to Choose Between Drilled vs Self-Adhesive Tactile Indicators?


Traffic Frequency/Volume: 


For high foot-traffic zones like transit platforms, building entries, or sidewalks, drilled domes/bars are strongly recommended. Their superior durability stands up to the most punishing loads. Low to moderate-traffic pedestrian settings like offices, stores, and lobbies can utilize self-adhesive tactile.


Substrate Type and Condition: 


Drilled domes/bars are better suited for outdoor concrete, rougher finishes, uneven substrates, or surfaces prone to moisture issues. Self-adhesive works best on smooth, non-porous materials like tile, terrazzo, and metal, where they achieve maximum adhesive bonding strength.


Installation Convenience: 


Projects needing rapid installation favor self-adhesive for their quick “peel-and-stick” application, reducing labor time. Multi-story buildings or large campuses with many tactile installations make drilling-in each piece tedious and better suit adhesive mounting.


Location Accessibility: 


Areas where drilling equipment access is difficult or limited due to space constraints often utilize self-adhesive to simplify installation. Drilled domes/bars work better in openly accessible ground-level exterior settings.


Surface Aesthetics: 


Decorative walking surfaces where drilling holes are prohibited, like stamped concrete, stone finishes, etc., require self-adhesive domes/bars for non-invasive installation. Plain gray concrete can utilize drilled anchoring without affecting appearances.


Lifespan Considerations: 


For long-term applications like building entries or transit platforms, drilled tactile provides exceptional longevity of 20+ years. Shorter-term needs of 5-10 years in lower traffic settings can use self-adhesive. Their eventual replacement is relatively convenient if required.


Budget Constraints: 


Although material costs are lower for drilled domes/bars, self-adhesive tiles can be more economical for large installations when factoring in the reduced labor time. Tight project budgets may benefit from adhesive mounting's cost advantage..


Considering these factors carefully will ensure you choose the ideal tactile solution for your specific requirements. The experienced team at Tactile Solution Canada can also provide personalized guidance on selecting the best product and installation options for your application.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Are drilled or self-adhesive tactile indicators easier to install?


A: Self-adhesive tactiles are simpler to install, requiring just peel and stick application. Drilled tactile involves drilling into the substrate and fastening each piece, so the installation process takes longer.


Q: How long do self-adhesive domes and bars typically last?


A: On ideal interior substrates, you can expect 5-10 years of longevity. Exterior performance is reduced due to weathering factors. High-traffic areas also require more frequent replacement.


Q: What are the main advantages of drilled tactile indicators?


A: Maximum durability and longevity, suitability for heavy-duty and outdoor settings, reliable installation on any substrate, replaceable units, and conformance to ADA standards.


Q: How do I determine if existing tactile indicators need replacement?


A: Replace loose, damaged, missing, or excessively worn domes/bars. Also, upgrade old non-compliant indicators that do not meet current ADAAG standards.