Understanding the Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act requires accessible environments to be provided for disabled people, either in their place of work or for access to goods, services or facilities (public spaces). Those commissioning new buildings or adaptations to existing buildings must consider the implications of the Equality Act and their ability to provide buildings that do not discriminate against disabled people (physical or mental impairments).

When specifying ceramics there are two main areas of relevance within the Equality Act as below:

Colour Reflectance (contrast) 

The Act gives guidance on good visual contrast for the visually impaired between various elements of a building by the use of Light Reflectance Values (LRV).

LRV is a general term for contrast and is measured as the proportion of useful light reflected by a coloured object, floor, wall or ceiling. LRV is measure on a scale of 0 to 100 where 0 is perfect black and 100 perfect white (in reality 0 and 100 are unobtainable colours). According to NCS Colour Centre in practical terms black is approx 6 and white approx 85.

The current guidelines from Building Regulations Approved Document M on contrast are that a minimum different of 30 LRV points should be specified for adjacent surfaces to ensure that visually impaired people are not discriminated against. In specific example of ceramic tiles this difference should be between:

Floors to walls
Ceiling to walls
Handrails to walls
Sanitary fittings to walls

Visual contrast between floors and walls is important in enabling visually impaired people to assess and gauge the size and shape of a room. It is important the greatest visual contrast occurs where the floor meets the wall (skirting) as this gives the most accurate visual indication of the extent of the room. Where provided, skirtings should contrast visually with the floor and be similar in colour and tone to wall surface.

The Equality Act details given above are intended as an outline guide only.

Bringing you the very latest, on-trend interior tiles at the most competitive prices. For trade and consumer.

Visit Our Factory Outlet

It’s a place where inspiration and creativity go hand in hand, where you can immerse yourself in surface coverings of every kind.

Visit Our Design Studio