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Detectable warning


Registered User
Dec 5, 2016
Chicago, Il
Can the grout joint between tile suffice as a detectable warning?

The tile will be cut into 2" widths and installed with a 1/4" wide joint that is grouted to be 1/8" below the surface, in order to achieve the dimensional constraints of the code. It will be the same color/finish as the tile in the surrounding area, but arranged differently.


Nov 25, 2009
West of the river CT
Sounds reasonable, but I am not an Illinois expert...I am sure it does not give you a "it shall be this media" requirement, so whatever you can make it out of should work if you can get the proper dimensions...


Registered User
Dec 5, 2016
Chicago, Il
Thank you for the reply, that's how I interpret it.

This is the except from the IAC text

Detectable Warnings Detectable warnings shall be provided as follows: 1) Detectable Warnings on Walking Surfaces. Detectable warning features on walking surfaces shall consist of exposed aggregate concrete, cushioned surfaces made of rubber or plastic, raised strips, or grooves. Features shall contrast with that of the surrounding surface. Raised strips or grooves shall comply with Illustration B, Fig. 40.

it does not have a specific requirement for different media/material, only contrasting "features."

My only other concern is maintenance and how the grout will hold up over time.


Feb 20, 2014
Southern IL
See below for a snip of an email from 2014:

Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 10:14
Illinois Attorney General rules detectable warning section of Illinois Accessibility Code will no longer be enforced on private property

<Illinois Chief Accessibility Specialist, now retired> told me this morning (09/29/14) that the Illinois Attorney General has ruled that the “detectable warning at hazardous vehicular areas” section of the Illinois Accessibility Code is no longer to be enforced on private property. This is consistent with the 2010 Federal ADA Standard and the proposed new Illinois Accessibility Code (Targeted release January 2016). Again, this is for private property, so detectible warnings are still required on public property (sidewalks at streets, etc.). So, short of a Village/City ordinance (as Chicago has), we can no longer require detectable warnings at vehicular areas on private property.

____ stated that while this is still in the 1997 IAC, he stated the Attorney General overrules that. ____ asked that we try and help spread the word. Please send this out. Thank you,

End of email ______________________________________________________________________________

Here's the proposed new IAC on detectable warnings:

11-208 Detectable Warning Surfaces
11-208.1 Where Required
. Detectable warning surfaces complying with 11-305 shall beprovided at the following locations on pedestrian access routes and at transit stops:
1. Curb ramps and blended transitions at pedestrian street crossings;
2. Pedestrian refuge islands;
3. Pedestrian at-grade rail crossings not located within a street or highway;
4. Boarding platforms at transit stops for buses and rail vehicles where the edges of theboarding platform are not protected by screens or guards; and
5. Boarding and alighting areas at sidewalk or street level transit stops for rail vehicles where the side of the boarding and alighting areas facing the rail vehicles is not protected by screens or guards.
11-208.2 Where Not Required. Detectable warning surfaces are not required at pedestrian
refuge islands that are cut-through at street level and are less than 1.8 meters (6.0 ft) in length
in the direction of pedestrian travel.

11-305 Detectable Warning Surfaces
11-305.1 General.
Detectable warning surfaces shall consist of truncated domes aligned in a square or radial grid pattern and shall comply with 11-305.
11-305.1.1 Dome Size. The truncated domes shall have a base diameter of 23 mm (0.9 in) minimum and 36mm (1.4 in) maximum, a top diameter of 50 percent of the base diameter minimum and 65 percent of the base diameter maximum, and a height of 5 mm (0.2 in).
11-305.1.2 Dome Spacing. The truncated domes shall have a center-to-center spacing of 41mm (1.6 in) minimum and 61 mm (2.4 in) maximum, and a base-to-base spacing of 17 mm (0.65in) minimum, measured between the most adjacent domes.
11-305.1.3 Contrast. Detectable warning surfaces shall contrast visually with adjacent gutter, street or highway, or pedestrian access route surface, either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.
11-305.1.4 Size. Detectable warning surfaces shall extend 610 mm (2.0 ft) minimum in the direction of pedestrian travel. At curb ramps and blended transitions, detectable warning surfaces shall extend the full width of the ramp run (excluding any flared sides), blended transition, or turning space. At pedestrian at grade rail crossings not located within a street or highway, detectable warnings shall extend the full width of the crossing. At boarding platforms for buses and rail vehicles, detectable warning surfaces shall extend the full length of the public use areas of the platform. At boarding and alighting areas at sidewalk or street level transit stops for rail vehicles, detectable warning surfaces shall extend the full length of the transit stop.
11-305.2 Placement. The placement of detectable warning surfaces shall comply with 11-305.2.

So, under the current code, you might be alright the way you have it drawn. In the new code (once adopted) if you're going to/required to install detectable warnings, on a public right-of-way, they have to be truncated domes at the specs above. If you're on private property, you don't need them at all.

Contact this lady if you have IAC questions:
Felicia Burton , Accessibility Specialist, Capital Development Board
401 South Spring Street
Springfield, Illinois 62706
(217) 782-8530 office

And call Vicky at the Attorney General's office if you want the real answer, because she's the one who sues you when you screw up:

Vicky Simpson, Disability Specialist, Disability Rights Bureau, Office of the Attorney General
500 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 785-5726 office