Truncated dome mats, or tactile mats, were developed to help visually impaired people function more self sufficiently by providing warnings of street crossings and drop offs that could be hazardous. First developed in Japan in the mid-sixties, tactile mats have spread to most countries, including the United States.
How Truncated Dome Mats Work
The idea behind truncated dome mats is straightforward. The raised surface of the mat on concrete, tile, or other surfaces alerts those with visual impairments by the change in the surface’s feeling. When a person crosses the surface, they get a distinct tactile difference between the flooring and the new surface. This alerts them that there is a sudden drop off, such as a platform on a railway station, or that they are approaching a street intersection.
What Kind of Tactile Mats Are Available?
There are many different types of truncated dome mats available including:
- Cast In Place Replaceable
- Surface Applied
- Cast In Place
Cast In Place Replaceable
Cast in Place Replaceable truncated dome mats are designed for easy embedment into fresh concrete while still easy to replace the worn surface when it is needed. Good for busy thoroughfares, this solution allows a simple replacement without chiseling the tactile mat out of the concrete.
Surface Applied truncated dome mats are designed for retrofitting concrete that does not have tactile mats currently. It is a good solution for businesses and organizations that must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
Cast In Place
Cast in Place truncated dome mats are designed for new construction where the tactile mats are embedded into fresh concrete.
Radius truncated dome mats are designed for areas that require rounded tactile mats. Circular areas that need truncated dome mats may be tricky to install without a radius mat.
Materials Used to Make Truncated Dome Mats
The very best truncated dome mats are made from a heavy-duty fiberglass polymer that is UV resistant. This is especially important as the truncated domes on these mats take the brunt of the traffic and inferior mats will wear down faster over time. These mats need to be ultraviolet resistant so as not to break down due to constant exposure to sunlight. A plus side with making the tactile mats from fiberglass is that they can be any color that will suit the need. These tactile mats often come in colors such as yellow, brick red, safety red, clay red, blue, dark gray, black, and white.
Does My Business Have to Comply with ADA?
If you provide a service to the public, chances are you need to comply with the ADA standards. That is why if you have sidewalks and a parking lot around your business, you need to be sure your walkways are ADA compliant. Truncated dome mats can help you do that.