Everything You Need to Know About Truncated Domes

What are Truncated Domes?

Truncated domes are a standardized surface feature that are either built in or applied to walking surfaces to warn pedestrians of hazards on a circulation path. In other words, truncated domes are mats with raised three-dimensional bumps that alert a visually impaired person that he or she is about to walk into a parking lot, and to be wary of potentially dangerous vehicle traffic.

truncated domes


Truncated Dome Mat Options

There are multiple options to choose from when it comes to truncated dome mats. However, most people tend to go with one of the top two main choices. A third option involves masonry paving stone, but is more expensive than the other two, and is therefore rarely selected in practice. The two most popular forms of truncated domes include: hard plastic truncated domes, which are cast in place; and soft glue down truncated domes, which are surface applied.


Benefits of Cast in Place Mats

The cast in place mat has several advantages, including ease of application. Cast in place mats can be quickly installed into wet or fresh concrete. In locations where snow plowing is needed in the winter, this type of mat can be recessed to avoid damage to the plows. Some manufacturers of this type of truncated dome have even created a "quick removal and replacement" version of the mat for easy replacement. In addition, cast in place mats are extremely hardy, because they are made of a tough, durable material that resists damage.



Drawbacks of Cast in Place Mats  

Although cast in place mats are tough, these mats also come with a few particular disadvantages that you need to be aware of, involving location and visual appearance. Cast in place truncated mats are made of highly durable material, so they do not tend to completely deteriorate. But over time, and with sun and water damage, these types of mats can warp and bend, resulting in a raised edge. If warped cast in place mats are not immediately dealt with, they can create serious trip hazards for both visually impaired and non-visually impaired pedestrians, leading to the danger of a potentially costly lawsuit.

Cast in place mats also tend to fade after prolonged exposure to sunlight. This creates unseemly discolorations that may affect the overall aesthetic of a high-end business or establishment. Most of these mats typically cannot be painted over, so if you want beautiful, uniform mats, you will have to replace them, which is a costly endeavor. Some people may not care about the way their cast in place mats look, but if you do, remember that freshly installed mats only highlight the discoloration of nearby mats. Therefore, if you replace one for aesthetic reasons, you will have to replace each and every one of the other mats as well to prevent this unsightly contrast.

Discolored cast in place truncated dome mats


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Benefits of Glue Down Mats

There are a variety of different glue down mats, but most of them are sturdy, reliable mats that offer several advantages over cast in place mats. The biggest advantage that glue down mats provide is a longer lifespan and lower cost maintenance over time.

Glue down mats are made of woven rubber material, which is both repairable and paintable. Typically, when these mats start to wear out, individual domes may be lost due to sun or water damage. However, the surface of the mat continues to remain well bonded. Moreover, the missing domes can be simply and easily replaced by a skilled contractor, and for a much lower price than what it would cost to replace the entire mat.

Glue down truncated domes

With glue down mats, discoloration is not a problem, since these mats can be easily painted and sealed without excessive costs. The paint material that was used on the original mat can be used again to recoat and seal the mats over and over again, as often as needed.

Glue down mats also have the advantage of being easier to install around radius style projects. Moreover, pedestrians can walk on top of them within hours of installation, and rolls of glue down mats come in 10' lengths, which is perfect for larger sized projects.

Truncated dome around utilty box



Drawbacks of Glue Down Mats

Surface applied mats actually do not have many drawbacks. They do tend to cost a little more than other mats when you are first purchasing materials, but these costs are quickly recouped over time. Be sure that you invest in purchasing a high quality mat, however. Some glue down mats are sticker backed and do not work quite as well as the adhesive glue down style of mat. All in all, glue down mats are our preferred choice when it comes to truncated domes.

When you are choosing what type of truncated domes mat you want for your project, remember to consider location. If your project involves freshly poured concrete, you may want to consider using cast in place mats. If you are simply upgrading an existing project to meet regulatory standards, then surface applied mats are probably your best bet, considering its flexibility and durability. Whichever type you prefer, if you are looking for a professional, experienced company to help you install your truncated domes detectable warnings on your property, Empire Parking Lot Services will fulfill your every need to your perfect satisfaction.




We perform all of our services with the utmost quality, value, and professionalism, and seek to make the process as easy and efficient for you as possible. From the first phone call to project completion, we aim to provide the highest quality work and the best value for your budget.

Empire Parking Lot Services is your go-to Southern California lot maintenance neighbor, offering a variety of services to help make your property look clean and function smoothly. Truncated domes detectable warnings help keep visitors and pedestrians safe from potential accidents, and you safe from potential lawsuits and other hassles. Remember to give us a call today for assistance selecting and installing the perfect truncated dome mats for your project and property today.