Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

Skip to content

Text resize: AAAA

Change contrast: AA

Français

Section Menu

Design Needs

Design Basics

Exteriors and Interiors

Exterior Design Elements

Interior Design Elements

Home > Design Needs > Interior Design Elements > Floor finishes, etc.

Floor Finishes, Grilles and Mats

A good example of differentiating a floor surface from a wall using colour and brightness contrast. The use of colour also enhances the visibility of the furniture.

All floor finishes in a building should be slip resistant and present a matte (non-glare) surface. Avoid heavily patterned floor tiles or carpets with a busy design.

Use colour and brightness contrast to differentiate floor surfaces from walls, or use boundaries between walls and floor surfaces that contrast in colour and brightness.

The colour of the flooring contributes to the overall reflectance factor for light in an interior space. Lighter flooring can help create a brighter space if that is desirable.

For the safety of everyone, carpeting should be securely fixed to the floor, with a firm cushion, pad or backing. Its pile texture should be level loop, level cut or uncut. The maximum pad and pile height of any carpet should not exceed 13 mm. Fasten exposed edges to the floor surface with trim.

Small changes in level should follow this guide. If the rise is:

Gratings and grille openings should run perpendicular to the path of travel, with the opening width no more than 13 mm. This will prevent canes and the heels of shoes and boots from being caught in the grating or grille spaces.

Mats can be used to indicate doorways or circulation intersections. Mats that contrast in colour and brightness from the surrounding floor surface provide textural and visual cues for people with vision loss. Floor mats should be no more than 13 mm thick with a bevelled edge. They should lie securely on the floor (use a rubber backing if needed) or be fastened to the floor.