Share on:

Request A Quote

Blog

Elan Tile: Elegant Porcelain Tactile Indicator for Interior and Exterior Applications

15th Dec 2023

Elan Tile is revolutionizing the world of tactile indicators with its elegant and durable porcelain products designed for both interior and exterior applications. As a leading supplier of tactile warning systems in Canada, we at Tactile Solution are excited to showcase the unique benefits and applications of Elan Tile’s Truncated Dome Tiles and Wayfinding Bar Tiles.

 

An Introduction to Elan Tile

 

Elan Tile has set the new standard for excellence in tactile indicators. Made from the finest raw materials, Elan Tile surpasses industry standards for porcelain stoneware. This allows the tiles to be used in demanding interior and exterior environments while providing unmatched durability, versatility, and style.

 

Key Features

  • Certified porcelain stoneware construction
  • Extremely durable, stain-resistant, and chemical resistant
  • Slip-resistant R11 finish for safety
  • Can withstand heavy foot traffic
  • Easy installation
  • 5-year manufacturer’s warranty

 

Available in contemporary colors like Cultured Grey, Vogue Black, and Sand Stone, Elan Tile marries form and function. These colors and textures seamlessly integrate into any design scheme. The tiles are an elegant solution for projects requiring both aesthetic appeal and accessibility compliance.

 

Exceeds Safety Standards

 

Elan Tile undergoes rigorous testing to confirm slip resistance and product performance over time. All Elan Tiles utilize advanced laser etching technology to ensure consistent depth and diameter across the detectable warning surface area. With a long-lasting R11 slip rating, Elan Tiles promotes safety and accessibility in high-traffic locations.

 

Elan Truncated Dome Tiles

 

Elan Truncated Dome Tiles serve as a textured cue underfoot to alert pedestrians of an upcoming drop-off or change in elevation. Ceramic domes are a familiar and proven technology for enhancing accessibility. Elan builds on this legacy with unmatched porcelain quality in terms of performance, longevity, and style.

 

Applications

 

Elan Truncated Dome Tiles are ideal for:

  • Transit platforms and rail crossings
  • Curb ramps at sidewalks and parking lots
  • Blended transitions between pedestrian and vehicular routes
  • Ramps and stairs
  • Reflecting pools and fountains

 

Complies With Accessibility Standards

 

With a 60% visual contrast between tile and domes, Elan Truncated Dome Tiles meet stringent detectability requirements. Dome spacing, diameter, height, and overall coverage area also adhere to accessibility regulations across Canada. Elan Tiles carries cUPC certification and contributes to LEED building certification.

 

Elan Wayfinding Bar Tiles

 

Elan Wayfinding Bar Tiles incorporate discrete raised bars running in the direction of travel. The linear texture provides a cue for sight-impaired individuals to navigate safely through open interior spaces.

 

Applications

 

Elan Wayfinding Bars guide users along:

  • Primary travel routes in venues like malls, airports, and transit hubs
  • Paths to key destinations, including information kiosks, registration areas, elevators, and escalators
  • Store or office entrances

 

Intuitive and Versatile

 

The elongated raised bars indicate directionality through the layout of the tiles themselves. Minimal depth makes them easy to traverse for those with mobility devices. Wayfinding Tiles can also incorporate directional arrows, numbers, letters, or symbols as added visual cues. Custom signage further enhances usability.

 

With limitless design options, Elan Wayfinding Tiles integrate seamlessly into any floorscape. Bars run perpendicular, diagonal, or parallel to walls and walkways. Mix and match with field tiles like granite, marble or porcelain pavers to match interior décor requirements.

 

Elan Tile Tactile Systems

 

Elan Tile offers complete tactile systems consisting of the tiles themselves, plus setting materials, protective sealants, and installation accessories.

 

Our team works directly with designers, contractors, and construction crews to specify and deliver the right tactile products for each unique application. We guide proper installation and provide onsite support to ensure correct implementation.

 

Contact our product experts today to request samples, specifications, shop drawings, or pricing.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Elan Tile tactile products:

 

What are the main differences between Elan Truncated Dome Tiles and Wayfinding Bar Tiles?

Truncated Dome Tiles act as a warning indicator and alert pedestrians to upcoming hazards like drop-offs or transit platform edges. Wayfinding Bar Tiles provide directional and navigational cues to guide visually impaired individuals through large open spaces.

 

What tile sizes are available?

Elan Porcelain Wayfinding Bar Tile and Elan Porcelain Attention Domes Tile are available in 12" x 12" sizes. You can get these tiles in three different colors,: Cultured Grey, Vogue Black, and Sand Stone.

 

Can the tiles be used outdoors?

Yes. With porcelain stoneware construction, Elan Tiles are frost and chemical-resistant for exterior use. Ensure proper pitch and drainage for outdoor installations.

 

Do the tiles meet accessibility standards in Canada?

Elan Truncated Dome Tiles comply with CSA B651 requirements. The tiles undergo regular independent testing to validate detectability, slip resistance, durability, and dimensional stability.

 

How should Elan Tiles be cleaned and maintained?

Elan Tiles require minimal maintenance thanks to the durable porcelain material. Gentle sweeping or damp mopping is generally sufficient for cleaning. Avoid abrasive chemicals or cleaning tools. Apply protective sealants as needed.

 

Who should I contact to order Elan Tile products?

Our team at Tactile Solution Canada would be happy to quote Elan Tile tactile systems for your construction projects across the country. Contact us online or call toll free on 1-877-761-5354.

 

We hope this overview has showcased the unique benefits of Elan Tile for enhancing accessibility and safety with sleek tactile design. Get in touch with any other questions about these revolutionary porcelain indicators.

 

Read More Read less

Facilitating Safe Evacuation with Ecoglo Exit Signs

11th Dec 2023

Ensuring safe evacuation during emergencies has always been a top priority in Canada, considering the stringent code standards and accessibility laws. As a reputed supplier of code-compliant tactile solutions, here at Tactile Solution Canada, we understand the significance of prompt egress guidance, especially for people with disabilities or vision loss. Our photoluminescent products, like Ecoglo exit signs, have significantly been helping contractors and building authorities achieve 100% compliance.

 

In this blog, we'll explore how Ecoglo Photoluminescent Exit Signs in Canada can facilitate safe evacuation from buildings and why they should be your go-to choice for indoor/outdoor exit signage. We'll also discuss the code requirements regarding emergency signage in Canada, along with installation and maintenance best practices. But first, let's understand how these innovative signs work their magic.

 

How Ecoglo Building Exit Signs Work?

 

Ecoglo exit signs use photoluminescence science to glow brightly even without electricity. They absorb ambient light during the day and re-emit that stored light at night or during power outages. This long-lasting glow makes them highly visible, allowing people to see the way out.

 

The secret lies in a special luminous pigment called zinc sulphide, which is applied over the sign's surface. When this pigment absorbs visible or UV light, electrons in the material jump to a higher energy state. Once the light source is removed, the electrons slowly decay back to their normal state, releasing the stored light photons in the process.

 

This photoluminescence continues until all the photons are released, providing a glow for many hours. Over multiple charge-discharge cycles, Ecoglo signs can retain 80-90% of their initial luminance, ensuring long-lasting performance throughout their lifespan. If you are thinking - Are Photoluminescent Exit Signs Code Compliant? Then read on:

 

Photoluminescent Fire Exit Signs Regulations and Code Requirements in Canada

 

As per the National Building Code of Canada and provincial codes like the Ontario Building Code, illuminated or photoluminescent exit signs are mandatory in any building that requires an emergency lighting system. Some essential requirements include:

 

  • Exit signs must be located near exits, along the path of egress, and wherever directional changes occur.
  • In addition to normal "EXIT" text signs, evacuation plans with directional arrows are also required on floor/exit plans.
  • Signs should be high mounted between 1800-2400 mm from the floor for optimum visibility.
  • They must provide contrast against the surrounding decor and illuminate to a minimum intensity of 10 lux.
  • Photo-luminescent signs like Ecoglo must provide at least 60 minutes of glow time without external illumination.
  • Procuring and installing code-compliant emergency Signage for Fire Exit has become extremely important after the Grenfell Tower fire incident in the UK that claimed 72 lives during the 2017 evacuation.

 

Canadian regulations explicitly require properly marked exit pathways in buildings to enable efficient emergency evacuation:

 

  • As per the National Building Code 2010, Clause 3.4.5.1. (2), "Exit signs conforming to Sentence (3) shall be installed to indicate the direction of egress from each exit level clearly."
  • NBC 2010 Clause 3.4.5.1. (3) further states, "Exit signs shall show an illuminated white or luminous green pictogram on a contrasting background." Exit signs with illuminated or white lettering on a green background are also permitted.
  • The National Fire Code 2010 Division B, Section 2.7.3 mandates, "Except as otherwise required by this Part, exit signs shall consist of a green pictogram and a white or lightly tinted graphical symbol meeting the color specifications referred to in ISO 3864-1."

 

Ecoglo signs help meet these legal requirements for exit path marking. Their bright green glow and directional arrows fulfill code mandates on exit sign visibility and wayfinding.

 

Let's see why Ecoglo Exit Directional Signs are a highly recommended solution.

 

Why Ecoglo Exit Directional Signs Facilitate Safe Evacuation?

 

1. No Power Required

As Ecoglo signs do not require electricity to glow, they can continue guiding occupants to safety even during complete power outages caused by disasters like fires or earthquakes.

 

2. Excellent Visibility

The evenly distributed luminous surface area and minimum luminance of 10 lux as per codes ensure Ecoglo signs are highly conspicuous from long distances, clearing all visibility hazards.

 

3. Long-lasting Performance

After just 30 minutes of daylight or ambient light exposure, Ecoglo Glow in the Dark Exit Signs in Canada can glow brightly for a minimum of 60 minutes as codes mandate. This allows adequate time for evacuation, even from the most extensive facilities. These signs can glow for more than 70 hours after just 54 minutes of lux charging.

 

4. Indoor and Outdoor Use

Ecoglo signs are weatherproof, UV resistant, and ideal for both indoor and outdoor installations, eliminating the need for multiple signage types.

 

5. Reduced Lifecycle Costs

Being maintenance-free, Ecoglo signs last over a decade, far exceeding typical LED signs, reducing the total cost of ownership. There is no requirement for frequent battery replacements, too.

 

6. Compliance with AODA & NBC

As the only photoluminescent exit sign endorsed by accessibility organizations across Canada, Ecoglo assures effortless AODA and NBC compliance for all projects.

 

Best Practices for Ecoglo Sign Installation

 

Here are some recommended practices to ensure maximum performance and durability of Ecoglo signs post their installation:

 

  • Mount signs high between 1.8m to 2.4m at standard eye level for best visibility.
  • Face signs towards oncoming traffic flow and avoid surfaces that cause glare or reflections.
  • Fasten signs securely at least seven mounting points using corrosion-resistant hardware suitable for outdoor/indoor use.
  • Clean signs regularly using a soft cloth and plain water to remove dirt, keeping the photoluminescent surface scratch-free.
  • Inspect signs periodically and replace them if 10% or more of the photoluminescent coating is damaged or worn out.
  • Conduct regular fire evacuation drills to ensure signs continue functioning as per codes.
  •  

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. How long will an Ecoglo sign last?

A. Ecoglo signs can continuously glow bright for 10-15 years of service life if installed correctly and with adequate daily charging.

 

Q. Do Ecoglo signs meet NBC requirements for emergency lighting?

A. Yes, Ecoglo exit signs are independently tested and certified to meet all NBC guidelines for luminance, duration, and location of emergency lighting and signage in Canada.

 

Q. Can Ecoglo signs be used both indoors and outdoors?

A. Absolutely, Ecoglo signs are fully weatherproof, UV resistant, and CSA certified for indoor or outdoor use without requiring any cover or protection.

 

Q. What is the best way to clean an Ecoglo sign?

A. Wiping the luminous surface with a lint-free cloth or tissue paper dampened with plain water is the recommended cleaning method for Ecoglo signs.

 

We hope this detailed blog has given you good insights into Ecoglo photoluminescent exit signs and how they can play a pivotal role in facilitating safe evacuation according to Canada's accessibility codes. As a leading supplier, Tactile Solution Canada is committed to supplying only top-quality, thoroughly tested, and code-certified tactile solutions. Please feel free to contact us for any order queries.

Read More Read less

Finding the Best Indoor Tactile Solutions for Your Facility Needs

11th Dec 2023

As a leading supplier of tactile solutions in Canada, we understand the importance of selecting suitable tactile warning systems to enhance accessibility and safety in indoor facilities. With various options now available, choosing compliant and durable tactile products suited to your unique requirements can get overwhelming.

 

This blog provides a comprehensive guide to finding the ideal tactile solutions for any indoor facility – whether it's a commercial space, transit hub, institutional building, residential condo, or complex. We'll overview everything from product types and key standards to material options and installation methods. Read on for insights into specifying the best tactile warning systems for your next project.

 

Understanding Indoor Tactile Warning Systems

 

Indoor tactile warning systems, also called Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSIs), provide critical navigation cues and hazard warnings for pedestrians with visual impairments or other disabilities. Installing compliant tactile surfaces is mandated under accessibility legislation like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

 

Two main types of tactile solutions are used indoors:

  • Attention Indicators: Feature standardized truncated dome textures to caution users about upcoming drop-offs or other dangers. Typical locations include platform edges, stair nosings, and building entrances.
  • Directional or Wayfinding Indicators: Contain parallel raised bars or cones to delineate designated interior pathways toward key amenities. Help guide users along expansive corridor spaces.

 

Durable and thoughtfully placed tactile warning systems foster confidence, allowing people with disabilities to navigate unfamiliar indoor environments independently and safely.

 

Key Factors When Selecting Indoor Tactile Solutions

 

Here are key considerations when choosing tactile solutions for an indoor facility:

 

  • Location Type: Will they be installed in a high-traffic commercial space or a lower-traffic residential building? Material durability needs differ.
  • Surface Material: Popular options include metal, stone, composite, porcelain, or rubber. Consider aesthetics, performance, sustainability, and costs.
  • Installation Method: Cast-in-place or surface-applied. The former is embedded into fresh concrete, which is suitable for new builds, while surface-applied is retrofitted onto existing floors.
  • Hazard Type: Specify appropriate attention dome or directional bar tactile texture based on what hazards need marking, or paths need defining.
  • Accessibility Standards: Solutions must align with all applicable codes and regulations like AODA and CSA B651 for tactile walking surface indicators in Canada.
  • Contrast: Choose tactile material and color that distinctly contrasts the surrounding flooring for high visibility. Standard colors are safety yellow, brick red, or onyx black.
  • Customization: Many systems offer custom sizing, unique geometrics, branding, and material durability needs differ.

 

Exploring Indoor Tactile Solution Options

 

With the factors above guiding selection, next explore available system options matching your needs:

Cast Iron Tactiles: Extremely durable metal tiles embeddable into concrete offer longevity in high-traffic locations. However, more costly and rigid material limits custom shapes.

 

  • Porcelain/Ceramic Tactiles: Made from premium clay materials fired at high temperatures, these systems are highly durable, weather/stain-resistant, and aesthetically elegant for upscale interiors. Limitations are higher price points and low traction when wet.
  • Composite Tactiles: Polymer or composite tactile products provide great value, combining durability, customization, and easy installation or replacement. Great for facilities on tight budgets. Limitations may be strength and fire resistance compared to metals/porcelain.
  • Rubber Tactiles: Flexible rubber attention and directional tiles suit high footfall spaces like transit hubs and hospitals. It offers contemporary visuals, acoustic properties, shock absorption, and corrosion resistance. It may be less durable than other materials in the long term.
  • Fire Resistant Tactiles: Specialized composite tactile systems with integrated flame retardants meet indoor stairs, lobbies, and vestibule codes. Useful when typical polymer products don't satisfy fire/smoke spread requirements.
  • Stainless Steel Tactiles: Elegant metal tactile plates with stamped anti-slip texture add contemporary aesthetics to upscale indoor applications like corporate lobbies. Provides lasting durability though restricted on shapes.

 

Different Solutions available at Tactile Solution Canada

 

Specify durable and compliant tactile warning systems indoors with these leading options from Tactile Solution Canada:

 

1. AccessTile Cast-In-Place Tile

 

The AccessTile Replaceable Cast-In-Place tactile system from Access Products combines engineered polymers and intelligent design for the ultimate replaceable tactile tile. These lightweight composite tiles are embedded directly into fresh concrete, delivering industry-leading replaceability. Available with truncated dome textures or wayfinding bars.

 

2. AccessTile Surface-Applied Tile

 

Also, from Access Products, the AccessTile Surface-Applied tiles retrofit onto existing cured concrete—the durable polymer tactile feature beveled edges for a smooth transition and easy compliance with accessibility codes. Choose from attention domes assisting the visually impaired or wayfinding bars options.

 

3. ArmorTile Cast-In-Place Tactile Systems

 

ArmorTile Cast-In-Place truncated dome systems consist of vitrified polymer composite tiles that lead the industry in strength, durability, and weather resistance when embedded in new concrete builds. It fully meets ADA/CSA/ISO standards and has ten high-visibility color choices.

 

4. ArmorTile Surface-Applied Tactile Systems

 

Similarly, the Surface-Applied ArmorTile tactile tiles from ArmorTile consist of durable polymer composites that can easily be retrofitted onto existing concrete. These non-slip tiles suit a variety of indoor applications needing visual contrast and tactile warnings.

 

5. Elan Tactile Porcelain Tile

 

Elan Porcelain Stoneware Tactiles made from premium natural materials surpass durability standards for long-lasting indoor performance. The porcelain tactile domes and wayfinding bars add aesthetic elegance to any commercial, institutional, or public space needing accessible design.

 

6. Eon Flexible Rubber Tactile Tiles

 

Eon flexible rubber tactile suit transit facilities, hospitals, and malls for heavy traffic environments. State-of-the-art polymers provide contemporary styling and category-leading quality matched with anti-slip textures that promote accessibility.

 

Getting Compliant Solutions for Your Facility's Needs

 

When selecting tactile solutions, first confirm all accessibility compliance based on the system's intended application within your facility. Work with manufacturers to get recommendations aligned to your specifications - surface type, high vs low foot traffic durability needs, required tactile texture, available dimensions, and any unique spatial constraints. We at Tactile Solution Canada offer a diverse range of the aforementioned top brands of tactile warning systems so you can find ideal options matching both form and critical function. Consult our product experts as a trusted resource in finding the best solutions for your next project.

 

For essential hazard warnings or interior wayfinding, investing in compliant and durable tactile warning systems brings immense value, enhancing safety, accessibility, and experience for all users.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are answers to some common questions about indoor tactile solutions:

 

What's the difference between cast-in-place and surface-applied tactile systems?

Cast-in-place tactile tiles are embedded directly into freshly poured concrete, making them integral to the floor surface. Surface-applied systems adhere to existing cured concrete floors, allowing retrofit application.

 

What indoor spaces typically require tactile warning systems?

Indoor areas like transit platforms, top/bottom of stairs, escalators, elevators, exit pathways, wide corridors, and lobbies typically need compliant tactile warning strips for hazard caution or wayfinding.

 

How often should indoor tactile tiles be replaced?

Quality indoor tactile tiles generally last 10-15 years. Heavy-duty cast metal or porcelain systems can have even longer lifespans of 20+ years. Higher foot traffic areas may require tile replacement every 5-8 years for polymer-based products.

 

What maintenance is needed for indoor tactile pavers?

Indoor tactile surfaces mainly just require routine cleaning as per the flooring around them. Some replaceable tile types allow convenient section-by-section replacement if damage occurs over time rather than replacing entire applications, saving costs.

 

What fire rating is needed for interior tactile warning systems?

Tactile warning systems installed along interior exit pathways generally need fire protection conforming to the National/Ontario Building Code. Fire-rated tactile products meeting flame spread/smoke development requirements are available.

 

Conclusion

 

Specifying compliant and durable tactile warning systems for facilities ranging from transit hubs to office towers is key for accessibility and safety. With creative solutions now available matching both form and critical function, selecting durable, tactile products specifically meeting your spatial needs is vital. Work with experts to find ideal options - whether porcelain tiles add contemporary elegance or composite products balance affordability and strength. Connect with the pros at Tactile Solution Canada today for lasting safety enhancements compliant with codes and standards.

Read More Read less

Stair Edge Nosing Buyer's Guide 2024: Everything Explained

1st Dec 2023

Whether renovating an existing building or constructing a new one, installing code-compliant stair nosings should be a top priority. Stair nosings (stair edge treads) are essential for safety, accessibility, aesthetics, and longevity.

 

This comprehensive buyer's guide by Tactile Solution Canada will walk you through everything you need to know before purchasing stair nosings for your project.

 

Why Do You Need Stair Nosings?

 

Stair nosings serve multiple important purposes:

 

1.    Prevent Slip and Fall Hazards

 

The leading cause of injuries on stairs is slip and fall accidents. Stair nosings create traction and allow for safe traversal on the stairs by providing a non-slip surface with glow-in-the-dark visibility.

 

2.    Increase Visibility and Accessibility

 

Photoluminescent stair nosings embedded with luminescent strips provide guidance in case of failure of the main power supply. Such stair edge markings enable safe egress and prevent trips or falls in darkened environments.

 

3.    Protect Edges from Damage

 

Quality nosings protect tread edges from cracking, chipping, peeling, or other physical damage. This saves money on repairs and replacements over the long run.

 

4.    Enhance Aesthetics

 

Stair nosings lend an ultra-modern, uniform look to stairs. Their sleek finish makes the stairs look neat and elegant.

 

5.    Adhere to Safety Codes and Standards

 

Installing stair nosings allows compliance with local and national safety codes concerning slip resistance, visibility, and accessibility.

Now that you know why stair nosings are important, let's go over the buying considerations.

 

Main Buying Considerations

 

Follow this comprehensive checklist when purchasing stair nosings:

 

•    Type of Substrate  - Ensure compatibility with the stairs' surface material - concrete, wood, metal, tile, carpet, etc.


•    Application Method - Choose nosings embedded into new concrete stairs or surface-bonded options for existing stairs.


•    Dimensions - Take measurements and select the appropriate length, depth, height, and thickness.


•    Safety Features - Opt for slip-resistant material with photoluminescent strips for visibility.


•    Standards Compliance – Ensure nosings meet safety codes and standards like IBC, ACA, AODA, etc.


•    Warranties - Select nosings backed by long-term manufacturer warranties.

 

Below, we explain each of these factors in detail.

 

Detailed Buying Considerations

 

1. Types of Substrates

 

Stair nosings need to be compatible with the stairs' surface material. Common options include:

 

•    Concrete Stairs: Opt for nosings designed for installation in newly poured concrete or surface-bonding on existing concrete.


•    Wood Stairs: Choose self-adhesive nosings for retrofitting wood stairs. Also suitable for laminate or parquet.


•    Metal Stairs: Special heavy-duty bonding aluminum nosings explicitly made for metal pan stairs.

 

2. Application Methods

 

Cast-in-Place: Embedded into new wet concrete stairs during pre-construction. Sturdy and vandal-proof.


Surface-Applied: Bonded post-construction by gluing or screwing onto existing stairs. Easy retrofitting.

 

Use heavy-duty cast-in-place nosings for public infrastructure projects like mass transit systems and arenas. Opt for surface-applied nosings for simplicity for residential buildings and office renovation projects.

 

3. Dimensions

 

Proper stair measurements are vital for precise nosing sizes. Key dimensions:

 

•    Length – Measure horizontally along the step edge.


•    Height – Perpendicular distance between the tread and the underside.


•    Thickness - Vertical depth from the wear surface to the bottom edge.


•    Overlap - Extent of overhand over step edge or previous riser.


Follow manufacturer size charts based on rise height and tread depth. Order 1-2 inches longer to accommodate imperfect stair dimensions.

 

4. Safety Features

 

The primary purpose of stair nosings is safety through slip resistance and visibility. Our Ecoglo stair edge nosings provide:

•  Slip Resistance: Opt for nosings with etched non-slip abrasives, ceramic grits, or carborundum crystals bonded to durable aluminum. These maintain traction in wet and dry conditions.


• Photoluminescence: Nosings with glow-in-the-dark strips provide guidance during power outages or darkness. Ensure luminance intensity, duration, and uniformity per local codes and standards.

 

5. Appearance

 

Stair nosings must align aesthetically with interior décor. Consider nosing color, texture, pattern, sheen, and lighting elements. Match nosing colors to floors or walls. Our stair edge nosings are in federal yellow, grey, and black.

 

6. Standards Compliance

 

Ensure stair nosings conform to national and regional safety codes and standards.

 

•  International Building Code (IBC): Provides egress and accessibility requirements in Chapter 10.

 

•  Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): The AODA Section 80.25 necessitates exterior access stairs to have full-width tread markings with slip-resistant, high-contrast finishes on the leading edge of each step.

 

• CSA Group Standards: Outlines illumination performance metrics for LLL stair nosings.

 

For Canadian projects, verify CSA B651 compliance. For the US, check ADA Title III compliance. For global projects, ensure conformance with ISO standards for safety.

 

7. Warranties

 

Opt for nosings backed by long-term warranties. This safeguards against premature damage or wear.

 

Types of Stair Nosings

 

Various nosing types are available based on specifications, site conditions, and budget. We explain a few common varieties below:

 

1. Cast-in-Place Stair Nosings

 

Description: Embedded into newly poured concrete stairs. Durable, seamless, and tamper-proof.

Types:


Photoluminescent: Glow-in-the-dark guidance

 

Non-Photoluminescent: Visible contrast sans glow element. Both feature non-slip surfaces.

 

Applications: Public infrastructure - mass transit, stadiums, external staircases.

 

Benefits: Robust, vandal-proof, long lifespan, safety compliance.

 

2. Surface-Applied Stair Nosings

 

Description: Bonded post-construction by adhesives/screws onto existing stairs.

 

Types:


• Photoluminescent: Step edge glow strip plus non-slip surface


• Non-Photoluminescent: Contrasting nosing minus glow

 

Applications: Commercial and residential renovation projects.


Benefits: Easy retrofitting, quick installation, safety + aesthetics.

 

How to Install Stair Nosings?

 

We outline the installation procedures for cast-in-place and surface-mounted nosings:

 

Cast-in-Place Installation

 

1.    Prepare concrete mix as per the manufacturer's instructions
2.    Pour concrete into stair forms
3.    Level and smoothen the surface
4.    Place nosings along step edges and press down for stability
5.    Lightly tap nosings with a mallet for bonding with concrete
6.    Repeat the process for each step
7.    Allow adequate curing before removing formwork

 

Surface-Applied Installation

 

1.    Thoroughly clean and dry the application surface
2.    Cut nosings to appropriate lengths
3.    Apply adhesive manufacturer's recommended adhesive, like premium polyurethane adhesive, evenly
4.    Position and press nosings firmly along step edges
5.    Drill guide holes and insert screw anchors for stability
6.    Allow adequate bonding drying time before use
7.    Repeat the process on all steps

For detailed specifications, trust these installation guides.

 

Here are the manufacturers' preferred installation instructions for Ecoglo Stair Edge Nosing

 

Preparation:

 

Thoroughly clean the surface and remove any loose paint or sealant. Allow the surface to dry completely.


For concrete, use adhesive to allow for expansion/contraction. For timber, ensure the surface is dry for best adhesion.


Maximum recommended outdoor installation length is 1.5 meters with a 3mm gap between lengths.
Alignment:

  • Mark 50mm from the left edge of the top and bottom steps.
  • Run a string line between these points to align the nosings.

Installation:

  • Apply adhesive in a zigzag pattern to the back of the nosing strip, keeping it clear of the edges and drill holes.
  • Press the nosing firmly onto the step, lining it up with the string line and pre-drilled holes.
  • Install screws into the pre-drilled holes if necessary for extra support.
  • Allow 24 hours for adhesive to fully cure before use.

Finishing:

  • Trim any excess strip material with a sharp blade.
  • File edges smooth. Clean away any excess squeezed out adhesive after full curing.

 

FAQs

 

Q: Are Tactile Warning Strips & Stair Edge Markings the same as Stair Nosings?

A: No tactile warning strips are designed to indicate hazards for visually impaired pedestrians before stairs or ramps. Stair edge markings are painted with contrast stripes. Stair nosings are durable, non-slip aluminum/metal profiles installed along step edges.

 

Q: Can Stair Nosings be installed outdoors?

A: Yes, stair nosings are explicitly rated for both indoor and outdoor durability. These feature UV resistance, frost/waterproofing, and corrosion protection for long-term outdoor performance.

 

Q: Why are Stair Nosings mandatory as per safety codes?

A: Codes like IBC, AODA, CSA, etc. require stair nosings to prevent slip & fall accidents and ensure safe emergency evacuation through adequate visibility. Stair nosings provide both non-slip grip and visual contrast.

 

Q: How often should nosings be inspected or replaced?

A: Quality stair nosings require minimal maintenance and last 10-20 years. However, annual inspections checking bonding, gaps, cracks, visibility, etc., ensure continued safety. Replace immediately if damage, wear, or performance issues are spotted.

 

Why Choose Tactile Solutions Canada?

 

Tactile Solution Canada is your trusted stair safety specialist supplying the highest-quality Ecoglo stair nosings across Canada.

For uncompromising stair safety, enhanced aesthetics, and reliability, look no further than Tactile Solution Canada for all your stair-nosing needs. Reach out today for personalized product recommendations from industry experts.

 

Read More Read less

What the Ontario Building Code Says About the Tactile Attention Indicators

3rd Nov 2023

Tactile attention indicators, also known as Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSI), are an important accessibility feature required by the Ontario Building Code (OBC) to help visually impaired persons safely navigate buildings and public spaces. 

 

As a leading supplier of tactile products, we at Tactile Solution Canada want to provide a comprehensive overview of what the current OBC says about tactile attention indicators to help architects, contractors, building owners, and property managers understand the code requirements and select compliant products.

 

OBC Standards for Tactile Attention Indicators

 

The key section outlining standards for tactile attention indicators in the current OBC is Section 3.8.3.18. It states that where a tactile attention indicator is required, it shall conform to the specifications outlined in Sentence (2) and Clauses 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 of ISO 23599 standard for Assistive Products for Blind and Vision-Impaired Persons – Tactile Walking Surface Indicators.

 

Some key criteria for OBC-compliant tactile attention indicators as per ISO standard 23599 are:

 

  • Detectable from surrounding surfaces by raised profiles and visual contrast
  • Durable and maintain long-term detectability
  • Beveled edges to prevent tripping hazards
  • Slip-resistant
  • Installed in a consistent square grid pattern aligned perpendicular to the path of travel
  • Sufficient depth for detectability underfoot
  • Extend across the full width of the accessible path or travel

 

Where Tactile Indicators Are Required

 

The OBC mandates the installation of tactile attention indicators in the following locations:

 

1. At Stair Edges

 

Per OBC 3.8.3.17, tactile attention indicators must be installed:

 

  • At the top of the stairs, start one tread depth back from the edge of the top step
  • At the leading edge of landings where a doorway opens onto stairs

 

This alerts those with vision impairments that they are approaching a set of stairs.

 

2. At Platform Edges

 

As per OBC 3.8.3.17, tactile indicators are required:

 

  • Along platform edges not protected by guard and higher than 250 mm above floor or ground
  • At platform edges with slopes steeper than 1 in 3

 

This prevents people from unintentionally walking off the edge of an elevated or steeply sloped platform.

 

3. At Accessible Paths Near Vehicular Areas

 

Per OBC 3.8.3.18, tactile attention indicators must be demarcated:

 

  • Where an accessible pedestrian path enters a vehicular route or area where no curb or element separates the two

 

This warns pedestrians when they are entering a potentially dangerous vehicular travel way.

 

OBC Specifications for Tactile Profiles

 

The OBC requires tactile attention indicators to have truncated dome textures with specific dimensions:

 

  • Dome height: 4 to 5 mm
  • Top diameter of domes: 12 to 25 mm

 

Spacing between centers of adjacent domes:

 

Dome Top Diameter      Spacing

 

  • 12 mm                42 - 61 mm
  • 18 mm                48 - 65 mm
  • 25 mm                55 - 70 mm
  • 15 mm                45 – 63 mm
  • 20 mm                50 – 68 mm

 

These specifications allow the tactile cues to be easily discernible underfoot and detectable with a cane without posing a tripping risk.

 

How Tactile Solutions Can Help

 

At Tactile Solutions, we supply a wide range of OBC-compliant tactile attention indicators to help buildings and public spaces meet Canadian accessibility standards. Our products are:

 

  • Manufactured to ISO 23599 specifications
  • Available in a variety of durable materials like composite, aluminum and stainless steel
  • Customizable in size, color, engraving and installation method
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor applications
  • Complimented by installation services

 

With over 20 years of experience supplying tactile solutions across Canada, we can recommend the right products for your specific project requirements. We also provide hassle-free shipping across the country.

 

Our customer service team is happy to answer any questions on OBC tactile indicator requirements and provide code consultation. We aim to ensure architects, contractors and property owners have access to compliant tactile safety solutions for all projects.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What are some common indoor applications for tactile attention indicators?

A: Indoors, tactile attention indicators are commonly installed at stair nosings, elevated platforms and stages, exit doors, accessibility ramps, and high-contrast surroundings to define paths of travel.

 

Q: How are tactile attention indicators installed?

A: These products come with rear-applied tape or can be installed using mechanical fasteners. Set into fresh concrete during new construction. Indicators must be flush with the ground surface.

 

Q: How often do tactile indicators need replacing?

A: With proper installation and maintenance, quality-compliant tactile indicators can last 10-15 years outdoors and 20+ years indoors. Replace immediately if damaged, lifted or missing.

 

Let Tactile Solution Canada help make your building or public space accessible and OBC-compliant with quality tactile indicators installed correctly. Contact our experts today to discuss your tactile attention indicator needs.

Read More Read less

Mastering Wayfinding: The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Navigable Building for All

3rd Nov 2023

Wayfinding refers to how people orient themselves and navigate from place to place. In building design, thoughtful wayfinding enables all users, regardless of abilities, to traverse spaces safely, intuitively, and with confidence.

 

Optimizing wayfinding for architects, interior designers, engineers, and facility managers is crucial for creating truly accessible and inclusive environments. Confusing, unintuitive wayfinding disproportionately impacts individuals with disabilities, hampering their ability to access and enjoy spaces independently.

 

This comprehensive guide will explore the fundamentals of wayfinding design, strategies and solutions for enhancing navigability, and recommendations for creating seamlessly navigable buildings for diverse users.

 

Understanding Wayfinding and Its Significance

 

At its core, effective wayfinding involves:

 

  • Knowing where you are within a building
  • Understanding your destination options
  • Identifying the best route to reach your destination
  • Recognizing your location during your journey
  • Detecting orientation cues and decision points

 

For many individuals, especially those with visual, cognitive, or mobility impairments, navigating unfamiliar buildings can be challenging due to an inability to acquire such spatial information intuitively.

 

Thoughtful wayfinding design provides cognitive and sensory cues through:

 

  • Architectural differentiation
  • Tactile guidance paths
  • Auditory signals
  • Tactile maps and models
  • Signage and visual markers

 

This enables all users to form a mental map of spaces, follow logical routes, and reach desired destinations seamlessly.

 

Done right, wayfinding design has an immense impact:

 

  • Enhances accessibility and mobility
  • Provides independence and dignity
  • Reduces disorientation and anxiety
  • Improves user experience massively
  • Reflects a commitment to inclusion

 

Key Principles for Inclusive Wayfinding Design

 

The following principles serve as a framework for optimizing wayfinding for diverse users:

 

  • Provide Consistent Cues: Maintain uniform wayfinding cues across locations. For example, use the same tactile guidance indicators throughout all floors. Consistency aids comprehension.
  • Offer Multisensory Channels: Enable wayfinding through multiple senses like sight, touch, and hearing. This caters to different capabilities. For instance, tactile strips can guide visually impaired individuals along paths.
  • Use Intuitive Placement: Strategic positioning of wayfinding aides anticipates needs. Place tactile maps at entrances, indicating “You are here”. Guide strips lead to key decision points.
  • Simplify Decision Points: Minimize complex paths, stairs, and corridor intersections. Simpler circulation routes are more memorable.
  • Define Architectural Spaces: Distinctive décor, signage, flooring, etc., helps differentiate zones like lobbies, corridors, and wings. This contrast makes areas recognizable.
  • Provide Adequate Lighting: Illumination should be ample for clear visibility without glare or shadows. Supplement with photoluminescent markers.
  • Offer Supportive Amenities: Wayfinding directories, information counters with sighted guides, accessible washrooms, rest areas, and water fountains spaced at strategic intervals make journeying through buildings less taxing.
  • Engage User Input: Expert and user feedback helps gain insights into wayfinding challenges and solutions. Strive for intuitive inclusiveness based on real-world needs.
  • Exceeding Expectations: Navigability that exceeds legal compliance transforms buildings into welcoming spaces that put accessibility first.

 

Wayfinding Solutions and Recommendations

 

Here are some impactful solutions and best practices for enabling seamless wayfinding:

 

  • Tactile Guidance Paths: Grooved indicators along floors guide visually impaired users along designated walking routes and to key areas through detectable underfoot cues.
  • Accessible Signage: Visual signage for room numbers, directions, exit locations, etc., should have good color contrast, large fonts, braille markings, and non-glare placement at consistent heights for all users.
  • Auditory Cues: Sounds from chimes, moving water, echoing materials, etc., can help with orientation and recognition of different zones.
  • Tactile Models and Displays: Physical 3D building models with tactile components provide non-visual spatial understanding and navigation assistance.
  • Technology Integration: Wayfinding apps with indoor navigation, building information systems with location services, and audio transit announcements amplify accessibility.
  • Support Staff Training: Front desk, security, and facility staff should be trained as sighted guides to assist disabled users politely upon request.
  • Furniture Design and Placement: Thoughtful placement of well-contrasted, accessible furnishings provides resting points without obstructing routes.
  • Circulation Simplicity: Straight corridors with minimal directional changes, open visibility facilitating eye contact, and simple decision points enable easier navigation than maze-like designs.
  • Maintenance Prioritization: To maintain usability, damaged or worn wayfinding indicators should be promptly repaired or replaced.
  • Lighting Maintenance: Burned-out bulbs in critical signage or pathway illumination should be rapidly addressed.
  • Engaging People with Disabilities: Their insights and suggestions help shape wayfinding designs and solve challenges.
  • Review from All Perspectives: Conduct accessibility design reviews accounting for diverse abilities - mobility, vision, hearing, cognitive, and age-related - to highlight issues.

 

By thoughtfully incorporating such inclusive wayfinding strategies, architects and facility managers can enable users of all kinds to form mental maps, follow logical routes, safely reach destinations, and intuitively orient themselves within built environments. The path to seamless navigation starts here!

 

Optimizing Workplace Wayfinding

 

For architects outlining office spaces, enhancing workplace wayfinding holds unique significance. Offices have high circulation needs, dense occupancy, and contain unfamiliar users like visiting clients and guests.

 

Here are some workplace-specific tips for intuitive wayfinding:

 

1. Provide Dedicated Reception

 

A clearly visible reception desk offers a welcoming reference point for first-time users to establish their bearings and seek assistance.

 

2. Outline Clear Circulation Paths

 

Use arrows, contrasting materials, and tactile guidance strips to delineate paths between key areas like elevators, meeting rooms, amenities, etc.

 

3. Create Distinct Zones

 

To make areas easily identifiable, Define unique personalities for sections via theming, architectural features, colors, and décor—for example, finance, marketing, executive offices, etc.

 

4. Install Accessible Directories

 

Well-lit information kiosks with tactile maps at strategic locations enable users to pinpoint their location and destinations.

 

5. Offer Multilingual Signage

 

Incorporate legible multilingual visual signage and audio announcements to assist international visitors.

 

6. Include Photoluminescent Markers

 

Glow-in-the-dark emergency strips help guide people to exits and stairs in an emergency or power outage.

 

7. Integrate Wayfinding Technology

 

Use apps and beacons for automated turn-by-turn indoor navigation assistance through smartphones.

 

8. Train Staff on Accessibility

 

Educate all employees to provide courteous assistance or directions when approached by lost or disabled visitors.

 

9. Seek User Feedback

 

Actively request input from disabled employees or visitors on any wayfinding difficulties faced to drive improvements.

 

10. Audit Accessibility Proactively

 

Conduct accessibility design reviews of offices accounting for diverse user perspectives to identify wayfinding gaps.

 

By proactively planning workspaces with wayfinding inclusivity in mind, architects and office managers can enable employees and guests to navigate interior work environments with ease, comfort, and independence.

 

Wayfinding Products from Tactile Solution Canada

 

As Canada’s premier accessibility solutions provider, Tactile Solution Canada partners with builders, architects, and building owners to incorporate inclusive wayfinding systems in public and private projects. Our extensive product range includes:

 

  • Tactile Floor Tiles - Provides detectable guidance and hazard warnings through contrasting tactile patterns underfoot.
  • Photoluminescent Step Edge Demarcation – Visually defines stair edges and nosings in all lighting conditions for the visually impaired.
  • Photoluminescent Exit Signs - Highly visible directional exit signs to mark egress pathways for emergency evacuation.

 

Designed for simple installation and long-lasting intuitive guidance, our wayfinding products make public environments seamlessly navigable for citizens of all abilities.

 

Get in Touch with Tactile Solution Canada

 

Wayfinding is a complex multidimensional process that requires thoughtful design considering the abilities, behaviors, and needs of the diverse populations who will use spaces. This guide provides a blueprint for developing highly navigable built environments for all.

 

Tactile Solution Canada offers a complete range of compliant wayfinding products and solutions to enhance accessibility for your next building project. Our team of experts can recommend and custom-tailor guidance and warning tactile, optimal signage, and step-edge markings to transform confusing spaces into intuitive, accessible environments.

 

To explore compliant wayfinding products or get design guidance to create seamlessly navigable buildings, contact the experts at Tactile Solution Canada today!

Read More Read less

Mastering the Art of Human-Centric Design: Tactile Solutions for Enhanced User Experience

31st Oct 2023

In today's world, universal design and human-centric thinking have become indispensable pillars of any well-planned built environment. The idea of designing for all people, regardless of physical ability, age, or other factors, creates welcoming public realms that integrate accessibility seamlessly.

 

Tactile solutions play a vital role in putting human-centric design into practice. As a leading Canadian provider of tactile warning systems for over a decade, we at Tactile Solution Canada recognize how thoughtful tactile design caters to diverse needs and creates intuitive spaces.

 

This blog explores how tactile technologies enhance the human experience through an accessibility lens. We discuss key principles of human-centric design, showcase innovative applications of tactile solutions, and provide guidance on elevating tactile user experience.

 

The Basics: What is Human-Centric Design? -centric design, also known as user-centric or human-focused design, puts human perspectives and needs at the core of planning. It views problems through a human lens, aiming to deeply understand contextual factors that shape user interactions, pain points, and behaviors.

 

Unlike conventional design thinking, a human-centric approach asks:

 

  • Who are the users?
  • What are their unique goals, capabilities, lifestyles, and motivations?
  • What challenges might they face in navigating the designed environment?

 

Armed with human insights, the design process then shapes solutions to enhance usability, accessibility, and experience quality for diverse users.

 

Human-Centric Design Principles for Tactile Solutions

 

Here are 10 key principles for a human-focused approach with tactile systems:

 

1. Know Thy User

Research targets users' abilities, limitations, and accessibility needs. For example, understand how vision impairment impacts public space navigation.

 

2. Walk in Their Shoes

Engineer empathy for the user perspective through immersive observation and feedback. Test designs from a user viewpoint.

 

3. Focus on Experience

Consider the complete user journey. How can tactile guidance enhance wayfinding, safety, independence, and confidence?

 

4. Adopt a Holistic Lens

Consider the physical, cognitive, and emotional aspects of user experience. How do tactile textures make people feel? How usable are the patterns?

 

5. Make Accessibility Intuitive

Seamlessly integrate accessibility into designs to be useful naturally, not as an afterthought. Tactile cues should enable intuitive navigation.

 

6. Plan for All Ages & Abilities

Design for diverse physical and mental faculties. Children, the elderly, and those with disabilities have specialized needs.

 

7. Empower Users

Intuitive controls, options, and modifications give users more autonomy over environments. Tactile wayfinding enables independent mobility.

 

8. Iterative Enhancement

Employ agile design improvements based on human feedback. Be open to critiques, suggestions, and new perspectives.

 

9. Meet Higher Standards

Exceed legal compliance. Champion innovative accessibility solutions and set best practice benchmarks like CSA B651.

 

10. Universal Benefits

Tactile accessibility features give users of all abilities better experiences. Curb cuts aid parents with strollers, too!

 

By internalizing such human-focused principles, tactile system design can evolve beyond essential compliance into an art form that intimately serves user needs.

 

Innovative Applications: Creative Tactile Design in Action

 

Canada's vibrant public spaces and business landscape have seen highly innovative adaptations of tactile solutions to enhance the human experience. Some stellar examples of human-centric tactile design thinking include:

 

Science Centers with Tactile Exhibits

 

Ontario Science Centre's renowned interactive exhibit on the human body features a giant walk-through heart with tactile textures to explore blood flow. Tactile elements allow visually impaired visitors to engage fully.

 

Amusement Parks Using Sensory Design

 

Canada's Wonderland has started incorporating tactile maps, guides, and interactive exhibits into its rides to create multi-sensory magical experiences for visitors with visual disabilities.

 

Museums Providing Tactile Tours

 

Vancouver's Museum of Anthropology offers monthly touch tours where blind patrons can appreciate historical objects through 3D-printed replicas and tactile diagrams.

 

Sensory Gardens Using Tactile Landscaping

 

Toronto's Lynett Memorial Park contains a "sensory garden" with scented plants, auditory elements, and tactile gravel walkways tailored to users with special needs.

 

Public Transit Integration

 

Cities like Toronto are rolling out platform edge tiles with bright color contrasts and anti-slip coatings to prevent accidents in subway systems.

 

Office Spaces with Tactile Wayfinding

 

CIBC Square's modern offices integrate porcelain tactile flooring with an elegant arrow pattern to guide users to reception areas.

 

Responsive Architecture

 

Some airports have pioneered interactive tactile installations where patterns shift dynamically based on passenger footsteps and ambient sounds.

 

Through such creativity, businesses and public spaces are pioneering more inclusive environments attuned to diverse needs.

 

Tactical Tips: Elevating User Experience of Tactile Solutions

 

Here are some professional tips on enhancing tactile user experience based on human factors:

 

1. Conduct User Testing

Design mock-ups and engage visually impaired users for feedback through controlled tests. Address any detectability, safety, or usability issues.

 

2. Use Intuitive Design Patterns

Consistently employ familiar tactile, easily interpretable tactile patterns, like truncated domes, for hazard warnings.

 

3. Ensure Multi-Sensory Appeal

Combine tactile experience with audio, visual, and olfactory cues for enhanced detectability. Bright contrasts aid those with low vision.

 

4. Provide Options & Alternatives

Offer flexibility in solutions like removable versus permanent tiles. Cater to varied needs and contexts.

 

5. Make Maintenance Convenient

Modular tiles allow affordable replacement of damaged sections. Minimize user disruption during maintenance.

 

6. Promote Consistency

Standardized tactile surfaces ensure uniform user experience across different locations, enabling instinctive learning.

 

7. Seek User Feedback

Actively engage and incorporate ideas from accessibility advocates to continually optimize designs.

 

8. Plan for Safety Margins

Account for decreased tactile sensitivity with age. Ensure high detectability even with minimal pressure.

 

9. Leverage Expert Partners

Collaborate with accessibility consultants and providers like Tactile Solution Canada to engineer best-in-class human experiences.

 

10. Set New Benchmarks

Pilot innovative solutions that exceed standards. Forge ahead of competitors in enhancing inclusion, safety, and experience.

 

Tactile solutions can genuinely empower and delight by ensuring attention to user-centric detail.

 

The Impact: Why Human-Focused Tactile Design Matters

 

Thoughtful human-centric design has profound positive impacts on quality of life:

 

  • Enhances health, safety, and well-being by addressing real user risks and challenges. Intuitive tactile surfaces prevent accidents.
  • Removes barriers to access and participation by seamlessly accommodating diverse physical and mental abilities. Wayfinding tiles guide users safely through spaces.
  • Uplifts independence and dignity by enabling freedom of navigation and control over environments. Users navigate confidently on their terms.
  • Promotes equality and inclusivity by welcoming all citizens into shared public landscapes, regardless of ability or age. Cities have become more caring and cooperative.
  • Boosts economic prosperity by allowing citizens to contribute through education, employment, and civic involvement actively. Accessibility enables productivity.
  • Saves expenditures over the long term by proactively meeting specialized user needs and retrofitting for accessibility costs more.

 

Human-focused thinking creates more liveable, resilient, and ethically evolved societies. Tactile technologies positively impact millions of lives when designed thoughtfully.

 

At Tactile Solution Canada, enhancing user experience motivates our mission to make infrastructure accessible. Our extensive range of tailored tactile solutions, from durable metal plates to interactive tiles, aims to give users excellent safety, independence, and ease of access.

 

Reach out to our experts today to explore how our human-centric approach can craft custom tactile innovations that work for your users and needs.

Read More Read less

Accessibility Standards Canada and CSA Group Collaborate to Publish Three New Accessibility Standards - A Tactile Solution Canada Perspective

31st Oct 2023

In February 2023, Accessibility Standards Canada (ASC) and CSA Group announced a new collaboration to publish three updated accessibility standards that will help create more inclusive and barrier-free spaces across Canada.

 

As Canada's premier supplier of tactile solutions for the visually impaired, Tactile Solution Canada recognizes the immense value these new standards will have in advancing accessibility and safety in the built environment.

 

In this blog post, our team of experts will provide an overview of these landmark standards, highlight key improvements and takeaways, and discuss the importance of regulatory compliance for Canadian contractors, architects, and property managers.

 

An Introduction to Accessibility Standards Canada

 

First, let's provide some background on Accessibility Standards Canada. ASC is an accredited standards development organization created in 2019 under the Accessible Canada Act.

 

The mandate of ASC is to develop voluntary accessibility standards, fund research, and share information to help achieve a barrier-free Canada by 2040. ASC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including persons with disabilities, industry representatives, regulators, and subject matter experts, to create consensus-based accessibility standards.

 

These standards aim to remove barriers and enhance accessibility in priority areas like employment, built environment, transportation, information & communication technologies, and service delivery. They outline technical requirements and best practices that organizations, including federal entities, can voluntarily adopt to improve accessibility.

 

While not legally mandatory, ASC's standards are considered the gold standard for accessibility and are increasingly being referenced in provincial and local regulations across Canada.

 

Overview of the Three New Accessibility Standards

 

Now, let's take a closer look at the three critical accessibility standards recently published through the collaboration between ASC and CSA Group:

 

1. CSA/ASC B651 - Accessible Design for the Built Environment

 

This revised standard provides best practice requirements for making buildings and facilities accessible for persons with varying disabilities. Key updates in this edition include:

 

  • New anthropometric data for better dimensional guidelines
  • Enhanced luminance and color contrast specifications for signs, controls, and walking surfaces
  • Expanded guidance on addressing functional and cognitive limitations
  • Revised recommendations for door controls and water stations

 

2. CSA/ASC B651.2 - Accessible Design for Self-Service Interactive Devices

 

This standard sets recommendations for creating accessible automated banking machines, self-checkout kiosks, self-order menus, and other public-facing interactive systems. The main focus areas are:

 

  • Improving physical access through reach range, clearance, and usage requirements
  • Enhancing perceptual accessibility via visual, tactile, and audio feedback
  • Optimizing usability by accommodating diverse users and abilities

 

3. CSA/ASC B652 - Accessible Dwellings

 

This new residential accessibility standard establishes best practices for designing adaptable and accessible homes. Key provisions include:

 

  • Minimum area allowances for manoeuvering and living spaces
  • Guidelines for reachable controls, work surfaces, and storage
  • Tactile and visual wayfinding recommendations
  • Lighting and acoustics criteria for accessibility
  • Accessibility considerations for all residential rooms and amenities

 

These standards were developed through extensive consultations with subject matter experts, alongside invaluable lived experience input from persons with disabilities.

 

Why Do These Standards Matter?

 

The publication of these new standards represents a major milestone in ensuring accessibility for all Canadians. Here are some of the key reasons they are so important:

 

  • They set consistent, nationwide criteria for accessibility in priority areas like housing, banking, and the built environment. This benefits both consumers and providers/contractors.
  • With a rigorous development process and evidence-based guidelines, they reflect the latest knowledge and best practices in accessible design.
  • They will be increasingly referenced in building codes, municipal by-laws, and procurement policies across Canada, underscoring the need for compliance.
  • Adherence to these standards demonstrates a strong organizational commitment to inclusivity and universal design.
  • For contractors and architects, meeting these voluntary standards signals your expertise in accessibility and helps attract clients.
  • Ultimately, widespread adoption of these standards will tangibly transform communities by removing barriers to participation and enhancing the quality of life for all Canadians.

 

Compliance is Crucial for Constructors and Property Managers

 

While voluntary, compliance with standards like ASC/CSA B651 is becoming a crucial part of risk management for constructors and property managers in Canada.

 

Here are some reasons why adhering to accessibility standards is vital:

 

  • It helps avoid legal liability and penalties under laws like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which references accessibility standards for the built environment.
  • It lowers the risk of human rights complaints and lawsuits from consumers impacted by inaccessible facilities.
  • It meets the requirements of increasing municipal building codes, zoning by-laws, and development standards across Canada.
  • Federal, provincial, and municipal agencies now actively integrate compliance with standards like ASC/CSA B651 into procurement frameworks as evaluation and eligibility criteria. Compliance is key if contractors want to tap into lucrative public sector bids.
  • Certifications like LEED are also beginning to reference these standards. Constructors can gain a competitive edge by showcasing their commitment to voluntary accessibility standards.

 

By proactively ensuring projects meet or exceed ASC's accessibility standards, constructors and property managers demonstrate leadership, responsibility, and expertise in inclusive design. This open approach to accommodating Canadians of all abilities represents the future of ethical and sustainable construction.

 

Tactile Solutions Canada - Your Partner in Accessibility

 

As Canada's leading tactile solutions provider, Tactile Solution Canada helps constructors, architects, building owners, and property managers enhance accessibility and regulatory compliance with our diverse product range, including:

 

  • Access Tile® Tactile Systems - Replaceable and surface-applied tactile tiles made of durable engineered polymers.
  • Armor Tile® Tactile Systems - Heavy-duty outdoor tactile tiles made of polymers, concrete, and metals. Withstand extreme weather and loads.
  • Advantage® Tactile Systems – Tactile tiles made of robust metals like stainless steel and cast iron plate suitable for high-traffic locations.
  • Ecoglo® Photoluminescent Wayfinding - Provides visual guidance and orientation in low-light emergency conditions.
  • Eon Tile – Flexible rubber tactile tiles suitable for retrofitting existing surfaces. Available with anti-slip truncated domes.
  • Elan Tile – Smooth porcelain tile with slip-resistant tactile domes.  Aesthetically pleasing for indoor settings.

 

Designed for strength, slip resistance, and CSA/AODA/ISO standards compliance, our solutions create accessible built environments that accommodate Canadians of all abilities.

 

By consulting our team of experts early in your project, we can recommend optimal tactile solutions tailored to your unique specifications and compliance needs. Contact us today!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are some key benefits of the new CSA/ASC accessibility standards?

The new standards provide consistent, nationwide criteria for accessibility across priority sectors. They reflect the latest evidence and universal design best practices. They also demonstrate an organization's commitment to inclusivity.

 

Who developed these new voluntary accessibility standards?

The standards were developed through extensive consultation between Accessibility Standards Canada, CSA Group subject matter experts, and persons with lived experience of disabilities.

 

What risks do contractors and owners face by ignoring accessibility standards?

Potential risks include:

 

  • Lawsuits.
  • Human rights complaints.
  • Failing to meet building code/zoning requirements.
  • Ineligibility for public projects.
  • Reputational damage.

 

How do Tactile Solutions from Tactile Solution Canada enhance accessibility?

Our tactile tiles, pavers, and wayfinding solutions provide critical visual, tactile, and orientation cues for persons with visual disabilities as per CSA and AODA regulations.

 

How can constructors ensure projects meet accessibility standards?

By consulting accessibility experts like Tactile Solution Canada early in the design process, constructors can seamlessly integrate compliant tactile solutions into public space projects.

 

Read More Read less

Expert Tips to Find the Suitable Detectable Warning Tiles According to Your Project

31st Oct 2023

Installing compliant and durable detectable warning tiles is crucial for architects, contractors, and property owners to enhance accessibility in public spaces. But with a myriad of tile options available, choosing the right product tailored to your unique project requirements can get confusing.

 

This comprehensive guide provides expert insights to simplify the selection of appropriate detectable warning tiles based on factors like setting, traffic, longevity, costs, and aesthetics. Let’s explore how to pick ideal solutions to fulfill form and function.

 

Understanding Detectable Warning Tiles

 

Detectable warning tiles, also known as tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs), are textured ground surface tiles that provide critical, non-visual navigation and hazard detection cues. Installed on pedestrian walkways, the tiles contain standardized textures like:

 

  • Truncated domes – Small raised and flattened domes indicating upcoming hazards
  • Elongated bars – Parallel raised bars providing directional guidance

 

As per provincial accessibility legislation, integrating compliant detectable warning tiles is mandatory in public spaces to accommodate individuals with vision impairments or blindness.

 

Properly installed tiles serve dual purposes:

 

  • Caution users about potential dangers like platform edges or curbs
  • Outline safe walking routes through open spaces

 

Factors to Consider When Selecting Warning Tiles

 

With a wide variety of tile materials, textures, sizes, and installation formats available today, how do you pick the ideal options aligned to your project’s unique specifications?

 

Here are the five key factors experts recommend considering:

 

1. Indoor vs. Outdoor Setting

 

Will the tiles be installed in exterior spaces exposed to weather or interior environments? Indoor options focus on fire ratings, noise reduction, and aesthetics. Rubber, stainless steel, composite polymers, and porcelain tiles suit interior spaces.

 

While outdoor spaces demand extra durability to withstand heavy foot traffic, UV radiation, moisture, freeze-thaw cycles, and abrasive agents like sand. Popular exterior tile materials are metals, porcelain, and engineered polymers.

 

2. Installation Format

 

Is this a new construction or retrofit project? For new builds, tiles can be directly embedded into fresh concrete to create a seamless finish. Access Tile and Armor Tile offer excellent cast-in-place detectable warning tiles.

 

For existing surfaces, self-adhesive surface-applied tiles are ideal for rapid upgrading. Access Tile, Eon Tile rubber tiles, Armor or Advantage Tactile stainless-steel plates suit surface-applying.

 

3. Expected Traffic

 

Footfall volume impacts longevity; for high-traffic zones like transit platforms, durable metal or porcelain tiles withstand decades of walking. Where occasional use is expected, composite polymer tiles suffice.

 

4. Maintenance Needs

 

Certain tiles allow replacing only the damaged section instead of the entire installation. Access Tile Cast-In-Place and Cast-Iron replaceable Tactile Systems enable this. Other tiles require complete tile replacement. Assess long-term costs.

 

5. Aesthetics

 

Composite polymer or rubber tiles offer more color/texture options to match surrounding finishes. Metals like stainless steel complement modern designs. Porcelain tiles provide upscale aesthetics for indoor lobbies.

 

Top Tile Options for Public Spaces

 

Based on the above factors, here are some recommended compliant detectable warning tiles suitable for diverse public space projects:

 

  • Access Tile Cast-In-Place - Durable replaceable polymer tiles installed directly into concrete for exterior use. Withstands heavy loads.
  • Armor Tile Cast-In-Place - Concrete detectable warning tiles embedded in concrete for high-traffic exterior areas. Heavy-duty and weather-resistant.
  • Eon Tile Rubber Tiles - Flexible surface-applied rubber tiles. It is ideal for interior retrofits needing acoustic dampening.
  • Advantage Cast Iron Tile - Robust metal tiles installed into concrete for enduring performance in harsh conditions. Withstands decades of abuse.
  • Elan Porcelain Tile - Classy porcelain tile with inlaid detectable warnings. Suitable for upscale interior lobbies and walkways.
  • Access Tile Surface-Applied - Adhesive polymer tiles easily affixed to existing hard surfaces. Rapid upgrade solution for interiors.
  • Advantage Stainless Steel Plates - Single stainless-steel plates screwed into floors. It has a sleek, modern look and is easily replaceable.

 

Tile Installation Tips

 

Proper installation is vital for tiles to have optimal longevity and meet standards. Here are expert tile installation recommendations:

 

  • Follow manufacturer instructions for setting, orientation, adhesive usage, and spacing.
  • Ensure proper tile alignment, primarily perpendicular to the path of travel for wayfinding bars.
  • Provide sufficient ambient lighting for maximum visibility. Use colors contrasting with flooring.
  • Confirm there are no lips or gaps between tiles and surrounding surfaces to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Check for damaged or lifted tiles regularly. Undertake prompt replacement to maintain accessibility.
  • Consider user testing and feedback from vision impairment groups post-installation.

 

Achieving Compliance through Tile Selection

 

In Canada, detectable warning tiles must adhere to accessibility legislation and standards to ensure safety. Key regulations include:

 

  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
  • CSA B651 - Provides specifications on tile material, visual/tactile detectability, installation methodology, labeling, high color contrast, etc.
  • Ontario Building Code
  • National Building Code of Canada

 

By consulting these codes, you can select options that fulfill crucial compliance mandates around tile durability, detectability, dimensions, slip resistance, and placement in public spaces.

 

Shop Tactile Warning Tile at Tactile Solution Canada

 

As Canada’s premier accessibility solutions provider, Tactile Solution Canada offers the widest selection of detectable warning tiles from trusted brands like Access Tile, Armor Tile, Advantage Tile, Eon Tile, and Elan Tile.

 

Engineered to be long-lasting, weather-resistant, and easy to install and replace, our tiles facilitate compliance with Canadian regulations like the AODA and CSA.

 

With in-house technical experts providing personalized recommendations, we simplify the selection of complaint tiles tailored to your unique specifications and setting.

 

Contact our team today for advice on finding suitable tactile warning tiles for your next public space project. Let us pave the path to universal accessibility and safety.

 

FAQs

 

What are the main types of detectable warning tiles?

Key options are:

  • Cast-in-place tiles.
  • Surface-applied tiles.
  • Replaceable polymer or metal tiles.
  • Porcelain.
  • Single-embedded domes or bars.

 

Where are detectable warning tiles mandatory?

As per the regulations in Canada, locations like transit platforms, information kiosks, ticket counters, sidewalks, building entrances, curb ramps, stairs, and pedestrian crossings require compliant detectable warning tiles.

 

How frequently should damaged tiles be replaced?

Based on setting and traffic, tiles may need replacement every 5-10 years. Durable options like metals and porcelain can last decades with minimal replacement needs.

 

How do detectable warning tiles enhance accessibility?

The tiles provide standardized tactile and visual cues to help visually impaired individuals detect hazards, navigate safely, avoid disorientation, and travel independently.

 

What factors should one consider when selecting tiles?

Key considerations are the indoor vs. outdoor setting, expected traffic and loads, required longevity, ability to replace tiles, costs, required aesthetics, and applicable accessibility codes.

 

Read More Read less

Advantage Tactile Systems Single Domes & Bars: Built to Withstand Decades of Heavy Foot Traffic

18th Oct 2023

In public infrastructure projects across Canada, from interior streetscapes to transit hubs, ensuring accessibility and safety for all users is a key priority. This is especially crucial when accommodating the needs of citizens with visual disabilities. Tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs) provide an invaluable communication interface between pedestrians and the built environment.

 

Advantage Tactile Systems offers robust and durable stainless steel tactile solutions engineered to deliver long-lasting performance even under punishing loads. Their single domes and bars are designed to withstand decades of heavy foot traffic while providing essential textured cues.

 

Understanding Advantage Single Domes and Bars

 

Advantage Tactile Systems provides individual stainless steel domes and bars as part of their code-compliant detectable warning systems. These are available with a choice of textures and finishes.

 

Key products include:

  • Stainless Steel Domes - With surface patterns like concentric rings, crosshatch, or carborundum grip. Ensure slip resistance.
  • Stainless Steel Bars - Available with crosshatch, carborundum grit, or linear groove textures. Optimize wet and dry slip resistance.

These domes and bars are designed to be surface-applied onto existing concrete or asphalt. The installation involves drilling into the substrate and securing each piece individually with adhesive anchors. The products can also be customized with radial edges to accommodate curved boundaries.

 

Unparalleled Durability and Strength

 

Stainless steel and cast iron give Advantage single domes and bars unmatched durability compared to traditional polymer tactile products. These robust metals withstand decades of intensive foot traffic, vehicle loads, extreme weather, and maintenance abrasion - still providing continuous slip resistance and hazard warnings.

 

Key properties that make these single domes/bars extraordinarily sturdy include:

  • High Compressive Strength - Withstands heavy static and dynamic loads without damage, deformation, or loss of texture.
  • Impact Strength - Resists sudden impacts from pedestrian traffic, carts, maintenance vehicles, etc.
  • Wear & Abrasion Resistance - Provides lasting slip traction despite constant abrasive foot traffic and maintenance activities.
  • Corrosion Resistance - Offers long-term corrosion protection for extended service life in outdoor settings. Stainless steel, in particular, provides excellent rust resistance.
  • Fire/Flame Resistance - Low flammability and high melting points enable survival in fire emergencies.
  • Slip Resistance - Optimized surface textures provide reliable wet and dry slip traction even when worn.

By harnessing the innate advantages of steel and iron, Advantage Tactile Systems engineered single domes and bars that truly stand the test of time despite punishing conditions.

 

Careful Installation for Optimal Performance

 

Proper installation is crucial to actualize the full durability benefits of these robust single domes/bars. Certified installers undertake the following key steps:

  • Marking - The desired layout is marked on the installation surface using a template.
  • Drilling - Holes are drilled perpendicularly into the substrate to seat each dome/bar.
  • Cleaning - Dust and debris are cleared off the holes.
  • Bonding - Construction adhesive is injected to fill each drilled cavity by 1/4th capacity.
  • Mounting - The domes/bars are firmly seated into the adhesive-filled holes using gentle mallet taps.
  • Finishing - Excess adhesive is cleaned off for a neat finish.

The domes/bars must be left undisturbed during curing. When cured, the adhesive creates a tenacious bond between the metal and substrate. Additionally, sealant is applied around the perimeter of each dome/bar for waterproofing. These measures result in a long-lasting installation able to withstand heavy loads.

 

CSA-Compliance and Customization

 

Advantage Tactile single domes and bars meet stringent accessibility requirements. Key compliance features include:

  • Truncated domes with compliant dimensions, spacing, and square grid layout as per CSA guidelines.
  • Beveled edges to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Minimum visual contrast ratio between metal and ground for partially sighted users.
  • Integral anti-slip texture for wet/dry slip resistance.

These domes and bars can be customized to specifications like:

  • Size - Various diameters and lengths are available.
  • Texture - A choice of surface patterns for optimal traction.
  • Color - Contrasting colors like yellow offer increased visibility.
  • Shape - Radial-edged pieces for curved boundaries.

The ideal code-compliant tactile solution can be tailored to any public project by consulting designers and installers.

 

Key Applications of Advantage Single Domes and Bars

 

Advantage Tactile’s robust single domes and bars are commonly seen enhancing accessibility and safety in settings like:

  • Revolving Door Approaches.
  • Sidewalks: Mark crosswalks and curb edges.
  • Transit Platforms: Warn of platform drop-offs.
  • Building Entrances: Indicate changes in elevation by stairs or ramps.
  • Parking Areas: Guide to pedestrian crossings.
  • Pedestrian Crossings: Define crosswalks across vehicle lanes.
  • Top of ramps and Staircases: Alert of inclines and stairs.
  • Office Lobbies: Direct users from entrance to reception, lifts, etc.
  • Retail Spaces: Help navigate expansive open floors safely.

Proper Use and Maintenance

 

Advantage single domes and bars are designed for minimal maintenance. However, some care is needed:

  • Avoid painting or coating the pieces, as it reduces slip resistance.
  • Clear leaves, debris, dirt, and snow promptly to maintain visibility and slip traction.
  • Inspect annually and replace damaged pieces to sustain compliance. Replacement is straightforward.
  • Clean using non-abrasive brushes/pressure washing. Avoid corrosive alkaline degreasers.

With simple care, Advantage single domes and bars reliably indicate hazards and guide accessibility for decades.

 

Advantage Tactile Solutions from Tactile Solutions Canada

 

Tactile Solutions Canada proudly supplies and installs Advantage Tactile Systems’ premium single domes and bars to enhance public realm accessibility from coast to coast. These products withstand heavy foot traffic and ensure safer movement across the facilities.

Read More Read less