Here are some questions for you to help as a guide on how to comply with the Australian Standards on Tactile Indicators.
Does the facility need products with maximum self-retaining compliance with Australian standard 1428.4?
Or is the maintenance of tactile indicators okay?
What is the colour of surrounding surfaces – ask your supplier for LRV before specifying. Be careful of white /light colour and black very dark colour mix carpets it is possible that nothing will comply with them.
Full tiles (integrated tactiles ) need 30% contrast to the area around them
Individual stud tactiles require 45% to the area beside them.
Top decks and insert tops need 60% LVC. (many trains of thought on this) is it to the sides of the individual studs or to the surrounding surface? You may need help here.
All adhesive studs require care and maintenance industry practice is that 10% of studs will need to be replaced every year. Check your client is happy with this.
Will tactiles be on the carpet? – then you need a crash test done which Novaproducts does, you can not use glue on carpets and cannot use any tactiles. The non-stud is needed to make it equal to a hard surface.
Who will install tactiles, are they experienced, and do they know the code? Many jobs have failed for instance in regional Melbourne or NSW.
Do you have grout lines or wood slat line gaps, this is a nightmare and very difficult to make to Australian Standard 1428.4. Keep lines 90 degrees to stairs or ramps better still use a different substrate. The best option is rectified tiles as there is no gap to worry about although tactiles may be moved past join to stop tile cracking.
Most Ceramic or porcelain projects will end up with a cracked tile this is not likely the tactile installer’s fault it is more likely bad bedding in of tile by the tile installer, the tiler should be made aware of the need for 100% bedding in contact to the best standard possible in tactile zones. The tactile installer will likely recharge for the reinstallation of bad bedding in tiles, an alternative is using NOVAPRODUCTS’ ultimate tactile service where tactiles are installed in the factory off-site this has a 99% success rate.
You must consider cleaning, if they never get clean then they will get dirty and may go out of contrast compliance quickly.
You must consider wear and tear and environmental effects and possible oxidisation eg brass TGSI this is bad in Sydney NSW where salty air travels inland.
Which way will pedestrians be walking, this changes the layout of tactiles.
If there is a 2-metre walk to the zone you may need a 600 mm deep zone, for fire staircases you may not.
Have you asked the council and fire dept about fire stairs there are differing opinions in every shire.
If using a curved design you need to get a DAC to check the layout before proceeding, you could easily get non-compliance.
If there are 2 different colours of flooring eg tiles in a zone of tactiles you may not be able to use the same tactile across the zone. Keep flooring near tactiles with either dark or light luminescence, not both.
Stainless steel TGSIs last the longest but do not automatically comply with AS/NZ1428.4 – we need to consider luminescent contrast. The tactile indicator zone must contrast or have a luminescent difference not just a colour difference, eg Gloss glass black may not contrast with a light grey. it is light and colour and gloss combined which gives contrast.
Some bonus points
Do you then need black stainless steel, PVD coated, but it is a coating so how long does PVD coating last, well it depends on the quality of coating and thickness and PVD material used. It will wear off in time, then considering where the PVD coating wears, will it still be compliant? These products have been well used in Sydney and the central coast but now showing failure of colour contrast.
You can use TOP DECK (black sinter/epoxy/carborundum insert/panther insert) but the contrast is more difficult to achieve.
A layman’s way of checking contrast is to squint your eyes until you can not see colours and then see if the tactile contrasts distinctly. It will look like a black-and-white photo, this is not an official test method and we take no liability for it. However, if it does not stand out with contrast in this method it is an indication contrast is no good GET a disabled access consultant to check for you either way a DAC should check before installation.
There is the Stainless Steel TGSI shell, very economical and quick to install, once again check LRV values.
DISCLAIMER: Call Novaproducts in your state for further help. The above information is for social media purposes and is in no way to be used for any dispute or reliance upon for decision-making. Normal disclaimer terms apply to this blog post. www.novaproducts.com.au
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