The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a “trip hazard” as any vertical change of ¼ inch or more at any joint or crack. If you lay the turf on the ground without a transition edge, it will create a trip hazard. The ADA demands strict compliance, and trip hazards represent a legal liability to the synthetic turf contractor who ignores ADA specifications and requirements. ADA accessibility where synthetic turf is installed must allow for wheelchairs to glide easily on and off of the turf, and it must enable braces and other accessible equipment to be used. The ADA requires the top of synthetic grass backing to be installed no more than ½ inch below the walking surface.
Synthetic turf that is too thick, too cushioned, or too loose impairs accessibility, especially wheelchair maneuvering. Synthetic turf must be securely attached so that it does not shift or buckle against wheeled traffic.
Exposed edges must have trim on the entire length of the exposed edge and must be fastened to the floor to prevent curling or trip hazards. Trim transitions must meet specifications for changes in level, including requirements for beveled edges when the height exceeds ¼ inch. The maximum height is ½ inch unless you design wider transition materials.