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What is a tactile strip?

Tactile strips and their use

The term tactile strip refers to a type of tactile indicator that is used in a set pattern to warn the blind and visually impaired of upcoming hazards such as steps, level crossings, or on street light rapid transit (LRT) platforms.

Tactile strip shapes

The shape of tactile strips is usually an oblong rectangle, and they are either squared at the end or radiused.

Tactile strip materials

Tactile strips are manufactured in a wide array of materials, this includes:

  • Metal
    • 316L Stainless Steel
    • 304 Stainless Steel
    • 303 Stainless Steel
    • Aluminium
    • Brass
    • Bronze
  • TPU – Thermoplastic Polyurethane
  • GRP – Glass Reinforced Plastic aka Fibreglass

Tactile strip dimensions

One of the most common dimensions for tactile strips is 400mm (L) x 20mm (W) x 6mm (H). This is particularly the case in Britain as these dimensions are specified in the UK government guidance relating to tactile indicators and their uses. However, other dimensions are frequently used, particularly when tactile strips are being used as decoration or to denote key areas and paths for general foot traffic.

Tactile strip pattern layout

The default tactile strip pattern layout is the corduroy layout, which involves arranging the strips into sequential rows of 8. It is this specific pattern that communicates to visually impaired and blind pedestrians of the upcoming hazard and informs them that they should adjust their gait to prepare for it. For more on the corduroy pattern layout read our other article here

How are tactile strips installed?

There are multiple ways to install a tactile strip, these include:

  • Drill and resin
    • Holes are drilled for the fixing pins to be inserted into, resin is then inserted into the holes and the tactile strip is then installed.
  • Screw hole
    • Some tactile strips come with screw holes at points on the strip. These screw holes allow for a hole to be drilled in the underlying surface, and with a screw and rawl plug it can be installed.
  • Self-adhesive
    • Self-adhesive is a viable option for when temporary solutions are needed, particularly indoor