FAQ

General Product Information for Form-A-Tread® Original & Glow®

What does Form-A-Tread adhere to?

All common building materials like concrete, masonry, wood, glass, ceramic tile, stone, fiberglass and metal. Form-A-Tread will also adhere to most rigid plastics but should be tested prior to application. Form-A-Tread will not adhere to polyethylene and polypropylene. For best results, ensure surface is clean, sound and dry before application.

What surface preparation do you recommend before applying Form-A-Tread?

Surfaces should be clean, dry and sound before applying Form-A-Tread to ensure long term adhesion, durability and effectiveness.

Concrete should be cleaned with a stiff wire brush to remove surface contaminants. Use a vacuum to remove the remaining concrete dust.

Grease or oil soaked porous surfaces like concrete should be thoroughly cleaned with a power washer to remove these contaminants.

Very dirty, grease or oil contaminated non-porous surfaces like metal, fiberglass and composite wood should be cleaned with a solvent based cleaner.

Water based degreased/cleaner can also be used but with caution. If water based cleaners are not completely rinsed off of the surface after use they can act as a barrier and prevent proper adhesion.

What is the best surface preparation steps to use before applying Form-A-Tread to very smooth marble, tile, aluminum or steel surfaces?

For longest term adhesion, proper surface preparation is important, especially on smooth surfaces.

Here are the steps we have found to give best results:

  • Remove old traction tape, adhesive residue and dirt
  • Wipe surface with Acetone and clean cloth
  • Use 30 to 40 grit sandpaper or flap wheel to roughen up / scratch surface where Form-A-Tread will be applied
  • Wipe surface again with Acetone and clean cloth
Is Form-A-Tread paintable?

Yes, sand surface lightly and clean for best paint adhesion.

Is Form-A-Tread® suitable for commercial applications?

Form-A-Tread® ’s 100% epoxy formula is extremely chemical, temperature and UV resistant so can withstand the demands of the commercial environment and for almost any commercial application to reduce slipping and tripping hazards. It is ideal for manufacturing plants, office buildings, theme parks, universities, stadiums, arenas, hospitals, senior living communities, restaurants and transportation centers such as airports and marine terminals and ports and rail stations.  Form-A-Tread® can also be used on steps, ladders, rungs and ramps in transportation vehicle like delivery vans, trucks, ships, tugboats, and train cars. 

Is Form-A-Tread® suitable for residential applications?

Form-A-Tread® adheres to any common building surface so is excellent on concrete, masonry, wood, and composite wood steps and ramps. Homeowners can improve safety and visibility on wood, metal and concrete basement steps.  Form-A-Tread® can also improve traction on exterior surfaces like composite wood decks, steps and ramps that can become slippery when wet.  Form-A-Tread® is nonporous so will not support the growth of slippery algae that is often found on outdoor wood and concrete steps in humid environments.  Form-A-Tread® ’s proprietary formula is solvent free, contains no isocyanates, is non-flammable, very low odor and contains NO VOC’s so is extremely safe, even for the residential customer.

Form-A-Tread® easy enough for homeowners to install without a contractor?

Yes, homeowners who have previously used chemical products like caulks, sealants or epoxy adhesives around the home should find the installation of Form-A-Tread® very doable. Cartridge preparation and material installation diagrams and written instructions appear on every cartridge label and we have “How-To” videos online. Form-A-Tread® ’s proprietary formula is solvent free, contains no isocyanates, is non-flammable, very low odor and contains NO VOC’s so is extremely safe, even for the residential customer.

What safety issues can Form-A-Tread help to address?

The surface of existing steps and ramps are often slippery. Some have built in treads or grooves but often they are worn and no longer effective. Form-A-Tread is a cost effective and extremely durable solution to significantly increase traction (Wet SCOF = 0.71 with Tread Grit HD applied to refusal) on existing stairs and ramps.

Slips and falls on existing steps, ladders and ramps are often caused by the inability to see the surface where one is stepping. Poor visibility and depth perception can happen if the steps are all the same color, the ramp or steps are not well lit or the steps or ramp is used by those with poor vision. To improve visibility and therefore safety on existing steps Form-A-Tread Safety Yellow is often applied to the first and last step and at the top and bottom of a ramps.

Form-A-Tread can be matched to any color which allow for further customization.

How does Form-A-Tread work?

EZ Form®, supplied with the kit, is used to mask off a 1″ wide tread. Form-A-Tread, a 100% epoxy is applied in the Form and is then spread to the level of the EZ Form, creating an approximate 1/32” thick tread. The EZ Form is removed within 30 minutes after application. Form-A-Tread is ready to receive traffic in 8 to 16 hours depending on temperature. Tread Grit HD (Heavy Duty), Tread Grit LD (Light Duty – skin friendly) and Tread Grit WS (Walnut Shell – natural appearance) can also be topically applied to the surface of Form-A-Tread immediately after spreading to provide an even more customized tread.

What exactly is Form-A-Tread?

Form-A-Tread is durable and economical “form in place” epoxy Kit used as a retrofit solution to increase safety on stairs, ramps, ladders, scaffolding, wet surfaces and anywhere increased safety, traction and visibility are needed. Form-A-Tread is often used as a retrofit solution on existing structures since it is easier and more economical to install when compared to bolt or glued on treads. Form-A-Tread is a 100% epoxy and is supplied as a complete installation kit (manual dispensing tool supplied separately) to include Cartridge, Mix Nozzles, Form Tape, Spreader and disposable safety gloves. The Form-A-Tread epoxy formula contains anti slip aggregate (no “shake before use” required), so unlike anti slip tape that only has the aggregate on the surface, as Form-A-Tread it wears, additional aggregate is exposed, providing years of safety, traction and visibility. Form-A-Tread is a 100% epoxy formula that contains special UV inhibitors so can be used indoors or out.

What safety issues does Form-A-Tread® address?

All Form-A-Tread® address the slipping and tripping hazards associated with walking and working surfaces—slips, trips and falls.

Steps, ramps and other walking/working surfaces are often slippery or steep.  Built-in treads or grooves can easily wear and no longer effective or can become tripping hazards themselves. Form-A-Tread® is a cost effective and extremely durable solution that significantly increases traction (Wet SCOF = 0.71 with Tread Grit HD® applied to refusal) on existing stairs and ramps.

Slips and falls on existing steps, ladders and ramps are often caused by the inability to see the surface where one is stepping.  Poor visibility and depth perception can happen if the steps are all the same color, the ramp or steps are not well lit or the steps or ramp is used by those with poor vision. To improve visibility and therefore safety on existing steps Form-A-Tread® Safety Yellow is often applied to the first and last step and at the top and bottom of a ramps.

Form-A-Tread® can be matched to any color which allows for further customization.

Installation Instructions and Tips

What surface preparation do you recommend before applying Form-A-Tread® Original & Glow®?
  • Epoxy Floors – sand with 40 to 50 grit sandpaper and then wipe with acetone and clean cloth to remove dirt, grease or oil
  • Painted Diamond Plate – brush with stiff metal wire brush and then vacuum or sweep off the removed paint. Wipe with acetone and clean cloth to remove dirt, grease or oil.
    We have found this Hyde brush to be very effective: https://hydestore.com/hyde-tools-46839-maxxgrip-pror-high-carbon-steel-9-wire-brush.html?___SID=U
  • Diamond Plate – brush with stiff metal wire brush and then vacuum or sweep off any rust or dirt. Wipe with acetone and clean cloth to remove dirt, grease or oil.

All Form-A-Tread® Products

  • Concrete – brush with stiff metal wire brush and then vacuum or sweep off any dust and dirt.
  • Except for epoxy floors, power washing can also be used instead of a wire brush. Power washing is more commonly used prior to installing Form-A-Tread® SL. Ensure that all soap / detergent is thoroughly rinsed from surface and that the surface is dry before application.
What can I do if Form-A-Tread® Original or Glow® are too difficult to dispense?

Condition cartridge by warming to at least 75°F (24°C) and use a hi-strength caulking gun with a 26:1 thrust ratio.

Can Form-A-Tread® be applied to a damp surface?

Yes, but adhesion strength may be reduced. There should not be any standing water prior to application.

Can Form-A-Tread® be applied to a sloping or vertical surface?

It has a thick, no drip consistency so can be applied to sloping surfaces. On vertical surfaces it can be applied up to 1/16” (3mm) thick.

Can Form-A-Tread be used for indoor and outdoor applications?

Yes, it has excellent UV resistance and holds up to weather extremes.

Durability

Can Form-A-Tread® withstand vehicle traffic?

Yes, Form-A-Tread® has excellent durability and abrasion resistance.

When can I walk or drive on Form-A-Tread® after application?

Wait at least 24 hours for full cure. In hot climates the time is reduced. In cold climates the time for full cure is extended. Always check before opening area to traffic.

Can Form-A-Tread® be used around pools and other areas exposed to moisture, chlorinated water and sunlight?

Yes, it has excellent chemical, moisture and UV resistance.

Temperature Considerations

For cold weather use, what is the minimum application temperature?

A minimum ambient temperature of 55°F (13°C) is recommended for best results; condition the cartridge to 75°F (24°C) for easiest dispensing and predictable curing (see Technical Data Sheets for each product). Form-A-Tread® can be used when ambient temperature is below 55°F (13°C) but the Working and Full Cure Times will be increased. To offset the effects of colder temperatures the cartridge can be warmed to above 75°F (24°C). Never warm cartridge to more than 100°F (38°C). NOTE: Increasing temperature of Form-A-Tread® will speed up cure rate (reduce Working Time). Do not apply Form-A-Tread® when ambient temperature is below 45°F (7°C).

For hot weather use, what is the maximum application temperature?

A maximum ambient temperature of 95°F (35°C) is recommended for best results. In direct sunlight surface temperature can be above 95°F (35°C) even if ambient temperature is below this level. Higher ambient and surface temperature will speed up cure rate (reduce Working Time). Do not apply Form-A-Tread® if ambient or surface temperature is above 95°F (35°C).

If ice forms over the surfaces where the Form-A-Tread® was applied, what is the best way to remove the ice without damaging Form-A-Tread®?

Apply a ice melt/rock salt product to melt ice and then use a plastic snow shovel to remove melted ice. A metal shovel will damage Form-A-Tread®.

What effect does temperature have on cartridges of Form-A-Tread® Original or Glow®?

Leaving cartridges outside on a 50°F day (minimum application temperature) the viscosity will almost double; warming the material before use and using a high-thrust or cordless dispensing gun will help. It will also cure much slower, about ½ as fast.

Leaving cartridges outside on a 95°day (maximum application temperature) the viscosity will be reduced by 50% so it will flow very quickly from the nozzle and will cure 2 to 3X faster.

Air and surface temperature are always a factor but it is helpful to keep the cartridges indoors at 75° – 80°F before use for most consistent and predictable results.  

Maintaining or Modifying Form-A-Tread® Installation

What is the best way to clean Form-A-Tread®?

Because Form-A-Tread® has excellent adhesion and chemical resistance, it can safely and easily be cleaned. Dirt, scuff marks and grime can be removed by using an industrial plastic scrub brush with stiff bristles and a mild, water-based degreaser like 409 or Simple Green. More stubborn stains can be removed with a diluted bleach solution or spot-cleaned with acetone.

I’ve noticed the Form-A-Tread® Original Black on my steps is turning white. Has the Form-A-Tread® gone bad and can this be removed?

The Form-A-Tread® is still good, but what you are seeing is probably epoxy blushing or efflorescence deposited onto the Form-A-Tread®. You can easily remove the blush and efflorescence from Form-A-Tread® by one of these methods:

  • A stiff-bristled plastic brush or abrasive pad.
  • Brush with a diluted mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Use warm soapy water and abrasive pad.
Can Form-A-Tread® be painted?

Form-A-Tread® is paintable with the following considerations:

  • For best adhesion of the paint the Form-A-Tread® should be clean and dry.  No need to clean newly installed Form-A-Tread®.  If Form-A-Tread® has already been in place it should be cleaned with a water based cleaner (similar to 409).  The cleaner/soap residue should also be rinsed off.  
  • Form-A-Tread® contains a non-slip additive. Painting over the Form-A-Tread® will cause the non slip additive to be less effective, depending on how much paint is used, since the paint will cover the sharp edges of the non-slip additive.
  • Form-A-Tread® can get a lot of abuse from heavy foot and vehicle traffic.  It is formulated to withstand heavy abuse, but the paint is not…the paint might eventually rub off of the Form-A-Tread® depending on the volume and severity of the traffic.
What is the best way to remove Form-A-Tread® Original or Glow®?

Before full cure, use a sharp metal scraper. After full cure (24 hours), use a hammer and chisel.

Contact Us

375 Morgan Street, Suite 1 – B, Phoenixville, PA 19460

Form-A-Tread Company, division of RGF Materials Company (LLC), is certified by the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB).

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