Hello. Please sign in!

2019 California Standards for Accessible Design Guide (effective January 1, 2020 with July 1, 2021 amendments)

11B-302 Floor or ground surfaces

11B-302.1 General.

Floor and ground surfaces shall be stable, firm, and slip resistant and shall comply with 11B-302.


  1. Within animal containment areas, floor and ground surfaces shall not be required to be stable, firm, and slip resistant.
  2. Areas of sport activity shall not be required to comply with 11B-302.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-302.1 General. A stable surface is one that remains unchanged by contaminants or applied force, so that when the contaminant or force is removed, the surface returns to its original condition. A firm surface resists deformation by either indentations or particles moving on its surface. A slip-resistant surface provides sufficient frictional counterforce to the forces exerted in walking to permit safe ambulation. 

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-302.1 General. Outdoor walking surfaces are often constructed of concrete or asphalt. Where permeable surfaces such as compacted decomposed granite or similar material are part of the accessible route, stabilizing admixtures or binders can help to provide a firm, stable and slip-resistant surface. Such surfaces should be edged or otherwise contained to provide stability. The maintenance required to keep these surfaces firm and stable should be considered when selecting such materials.

Additional information regarding accessible exterior surfaces is available on the US Access Board website at http://www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/accessible-exterior-surfaces. ◼

11B-302.2 Carpet.

Carpet or carpet tile shall be securely attached and shall have a firm cushion, pad, or backing or no cushion or pad. Carpet or carpet tile shall have a level loop, textured loop, level cut pile, or level cut/uncut pile texture. Pile height shall be ½ inch (12.7 mm) maximum. Exposed edges of carpet shall be fastened to floor surfaces and shall have trim on the entire length of the exposed edge. Carpet edge trim shall comply with Section 11B-303.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-302.2 Carpet. Carpet and permanently affixed mats can significantly increase the amount of force (roll resistance) needed to propel a wheelchair over a surface. The firmer the carpeting and backing, the lower the roll resistance. A pile thickness up to 1/2 inch (13 mm) (measured to the backing, cushion, or pad) is allowed, although a lower pile provides easier wheelchair maneuvering. If a backing, cushion or pad is used, it must be firm. Preferably, carpet pad should not be used because the soft padding increases roll resistance. 

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-302.2 Carpet. The accessibility provisions of the California Building Code apply only to the design, alteration, and new construction of buildings and facilities, not to movable floor mats. However, if floor mats are built-in as part of new construction or alterations, and are part of an accessible route, they must comply with the accessibility provisions of this section and Section 11B-302.1 which requires firm, stable and slip-resistant surfaces along accessible routes.

However, in addition to circumstances in which the California Building Code applies to built-in floor mats, there may also be circumstances in which Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements apply to floor mats that are not built in. If movable floor mats impede access for people with disabilities, they may need to be moved or removed under Section 36.304 of the ADA Title III regulations. That section requires that a public accommodation remove barriers in existing facilities where removing them is "readily achievable," that is, easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. Even though the requirements of this chapter would not apply to the mats themselves, the ADA regulations can provide helpful guidance in ensuring that mats do not constitute barriers. ◼

Carpet is shown in cross section with a pile height of 1/2 inch maximum, measured from the backing.


11B-302.3 Openings.

Openings in floor or ground surfaces shall not allow passage of a sphere more than ½ inch (12.7 mm) diameter except as allowed in Sections 11B-407.4.3, 11B-409.4.3, 11B-410.4, 11B-810.5.3 and 11B-810.10. Elongated openings shall be placed so that the long dimension is perpendicular to the dominant direction of travel.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-302.3 Openings. Elongated openings, like those of most grates, must be oriented so that the long dimension is perpendicular to the dominant travel direction. In locations where there is no dominant flow pattern, openings should be limited to ½” in both dimensions. Where an accessible route is available to bypass openings completely, they can be oriented in any direction. ◼


Elongated openings, such as in a grating, are shown in plan view with openings 1/2 inch maximum in one dimension. The other dimension is longer (unspecified) and is perpendicular to the dominant direction of travel.



*You must sign in to view [MORE INFO...]