Why Do I Need Visual Contrast Between Flooring Surfaces?

Posted by Sean McDermott on Tue Jul 2015

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When you're considering the design of a new structure or renovation of an older location, there are many changes that must be kept in mind to build universal design and handicapped accessibility options into the new design.

When your flooring surfaces transition, as occurs with stairs, ramps, and similar changes in elevation, a visual contrast provides a cue for the person approaching it that something is changing and they need to be cautious of their approach.

Code Requirements

Gradus Transition Strip 2.jpgThis concept is reflected in building codes for California under Title 23 as well as international law, and the concept is being spread into building codes in many other states and countries. It's also starting to show up in recommendations for universal design and handicapped accessibility.

But beyond code and recommendation, why is providing visual contrast between flooring surfaces a necessity in modern building planning?

Universal Design

By providing a visual contrast between flooring surfaces at the top and bottom stair when flooring surfaces change, it's easier for visually impaired people to see these changes and adjust for them as they're traveling through a building.

While there are many products out there, Gradus offers a line of accessories that provide an appropriate contrast for stairs, ramps, and similar flooring surface transitions. Available in 26 insert colors, choosing a contrasting color that still ties in with your decor and color scheme is easy. Whether using Gradus or other products, you can customize the design simply by selecting a different color for the first and last stair on your staircase.  

See the entire line of Gradus stair nosing profiles in this free floor trims &  stair edgings catalog.

Help Prevent Slips and Falls

Gradus provides more benefits than simple contrast. Constructed from high-quality materials, the PVC inserts help prevent slips and falls by providing a non-slip surface at the edge of the stair.

With several different nose materials available for the leading edge of the stair, stair edgings from a high quality manufacturer provide long-term durability and protection of your stairs and floor coverings. The nosing is available in four different common shapes to help accommodate your business' specific needs.

Even if your state or local building codes don't require contrasting stair edging, you're providing a little extra insurance for your business if someone has a slip and fall accident, whether it's a visitor, a customer or an employee.

In addition to stair nosing, Gradus has a wide range of other products designed to help meet your safety and visibility needs, from transition strips for the edge of ramps to slip-resistant stair finishes that help prevent accidents and keep your property safe.

Gradus stair edgings & floor trims digital catalog - June 2015



Topics: Gradus Products, Stair Nosings and Edgings, Flooring Accessories, Commercial Product FAQs