Arena Setup Alternatives

We have current arena being used for this year’s game (Tower Takeover) and we are struggling to keep the White colored tape secure on the mat. Does anyone have any good alternatives for this tape? We have tried various types of tape in the past and struggle to remove it once the season is over.

Thanks for the suggestions and good luck to everyone this year!

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I use 3M brand electrical tape in the white color. When I lay the tape down, I cut it long and wrap the end down and under the floor tile. This keeps the tape on the field for the season.

Both Home Depot and Lowes carries the 3M tape.


Is the tape white colored? I’m trying my best to keep everything as close as identical to what my students will see at events (if possible)

Yep, comes in white. I updated my prior note to show that. It also comes in black, red, blue and green. I use the blue/red to mark towers and control cables.

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You’ll find if the room has big temperature swings, the tape lifts. We use the technique @Foster describes and generally its pretty good.

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What type of foam tiles are you using? Are they the ones from Vex? Before you apply the tape, the best way to prevent the tape from coming off is the vacuum the surface which you are applying the tape.

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We are using the genuine VEX Arena equipment for everything the the exception of the white tape. We typically air dust and vacuum all of the VEX foam tiles before installing the new field elements. I am just having so much difficulty keeping that white tape down. Last year used 3M 2600 series tape in place of what VEX provides. It holds up very well for the duration of the year however extremely difficult to completely remove. After a few years of use, most tiles have some pieces of tape that damages the tile if removed.

Just looking for alternatives.

Thanks everyone!


@HM_Engineering – The 2600 tape is their paper backed masking tape, the issue is the paper starts to decompose after a few months, making it super hard to peel off.

The 3M vinyl tape does not have that problem, I’ve been able to pull it off after a season. No matter what tape you use, you’ll see a shadow from all the dirt being ground into the tile around the pristine area of the tile.

I’ve been able to get the masking tape off with WD-40. (I had to only do a few inches). Spray WD-40 into a bowl, use a cotton swab to put it on the tape, let it soak in and then try to scrape it off with a soft plastic scraper.

Good luck!


You can tuck the tape underneath the tiles if you haven’t tried that.

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The tape is for indicating the protected zones, and the autonomous line. Putting the tape underneath would not allow it to be seen. That’s funny though.

Wait so your tape is literally rotting? That’s kinda nasty

Wait the tape should be some form of material which is not decomposable.

Can’t tell if your being sarcastic or not. What they are doing is wrapping the ends of the tape to the back side of the tiles to anchor it so it doesn’t peel up.


Masking tape, by design, is not for long term “sticky”. When you leave it out it starts to break down (the glue hardens, the paper breaks down in the air, etc.) not decompose. Painters tape, which has a less sticky adhesive will do the same thing if you leave it on a wall for 6 months. There is lots more to modern adhesives than protein colloid glue that are made with the collagen from skins, bones, tendons, and other tissues. Lots of chemical reactions with the outside.

In any case, white electrical tape is good, it will stick to the tiles. Folding the ends under capture them and doesn’t allow an errant robot pull the end up. Even so, robots that drag elements can catch the edges and pull it up.

Who knew you could get 14 posts on a thread about tape :roll_eyes: