Category Archives: About Reflective Shapes

Estimating the Number of Reflective Dots or Shapes for Diamond Plate

How to Calculate the Number of Diamonds, Dots, Octagons, Overlays or Chevron Strips for Diamond Plate –

CLICK HERE To go to our online “Reflective Shape and Chevron Striping Calculator”.

The process of estimating how many reflective shapes to purchase to cover a given amount of diamond plate is a fairly simple process.  It involves measuring the size of the diamond plate area and then dividing the coverage per shape into the size.  The details for each of our reflective shapes is as follows –


Measuring your diamond plate is the first step you will take regardless of which shape you choose.  You are going to want to calculate the area of diamond plate in both square inches and square feet.  To calculate square inches of area just measure the width and height of your diamond plate in inches and then multiply those two numbers together.  For example, a 24 inch wide x 36 inch high area of diamond plate contains 864 square inches.  Now to convert the 864 inches into square feet you simply divide by 144.  864 divided by 144 equals 6 square feet.

To summarize, inches of height times inches of width gives you the total square inches of diamond plate that you have. Dividing by 144 changes this number to square feet.


Each 3/4″ shape fits into a 1 square inch area of diamond plate.  It takes 144 – 3/4″ shapes to cover one square foot of diamond plate.  (12″ x 12″ = 144″)  A sheet of 100 – 3/4″ shapes will treat 100 square inches of diamond plate.  To calculate how many 100 shape sheets (dots, rounded squares or octagons) you would need you simply divide 100 into the square inches of diamond plate that you have to cover.

For example, say you have a 36″ x 48″ area of diamond plate to cover.  That is 1728 square inches of diamond plate.  If you divide 100 into 1728 you get 17.28 so you would need to purchase 18 sheets of dots.  9 would be red and 9 would be fluorescent lime since you are doing two colors to make your chevron pattern.  The 3/4″ shapes currently run $10 per sheet so your cost would be $180 plus shipping.


Our diamond plate overlays cover a 4 square inch section of diamond plate each.  They come 1 square foot or 36 shapes to a sheet for $18.  Therefore each sheet covers 1 square foot.  To calculate how many sheets you need, simply measure the square footage of the area you want to cover.  That will be how many square feet of material you need.  To do two colors simply divide by 2.

For example, say you have a 36″ x 48″ area of diamond plate to cover.  That is 1728 square inches and if you divide by 144 you get 12 square feet.  Or just multiply 3 x 4 sf to get the 12.   12 sf x $18 = $216. This is a little more that you would spend on dots but you are going to get more coverage and your application time will be less.


Our chevron strips cover 6 square inches of diamond plate per strip.  The strips are sold by the square foot (24 strips).  To get the number of square feet you need you would simply measure your diamond plate in square feet and order that amount.

For example, a 36″ x 48″ area of diamond plate is 3 feet x 4 feet and when you multiply 3 x 4 you get 12 square feet.  You would need 12 square feet of strips to cover that amount of diamond plate.  Each square foot of strips is $18 so 12 x $18 = $216 plus shipping.  You would order 6 square feet of red and 6 square feet of fluorescent lime.

Our chevron strips come in 4 styles, A, B, C and D. This allows for the various spacings for different diamond plates.  Our sample pack contains all 4 types and you can test for a perfect fit.  


diamond plate reflective tabs

Our newest shape is our “Diamond Tabs” for making diamond plate reflective. Measuring for diamond tabs is the same as for our overlay or strips. Simple measure length times width of your area or areas and get a total square feet for your job. You need a sheet for every square foot you want to cover. Half red, and half lime. Diamond Tabs cover more of the flat area and are there for brighter and have a better overall appearance. Each square foot coverage sheet runs $20.


Video Overview of the different ways to make Diamond Plate Reflective

Online Store –

The video below is an overview of the five different methods for making diamond (tread) plate reflective.  3/4″ dots, 3/4″ rounded squares, octagons, overlays and chevron strips.  All have their advantages.

Dots, rounded squares and octagons work on almost all diamond plates.  Overlays work on the diamond plate in the video as well as similar diamond plate with slightly different spacing between diamonds.  Chevron strips are the quickest cleanest way to stripe diamond plate.  We carry 4 styles (A,B,C,D).  One of the 4 styles should be a perfect fit.  We recommend that you order our free reflective shape pack so that you can determine which shape is best for you.

Reflective Shape & Chevron Striping Calculator – Online

Reflective Shape and Chevron Striping Calculator – (online store)

To use this online calculator simply type in the height and width of each area you wish to apply reflective shapes to.  If you have more than one area do them one at a time and create a total.  When doing a chevron pattern 1/2 will be one color and 1/2 will be another color. There is a section at the bottom of the calculator where you can enter the results of each calculation. The calculator will create a total for you and also divide in half so you know how much of each color to purchase.  At the bottom of the calculator is an estimate for how many feet of 6″ striping you would need for any given area.  Also, if you want to purchase diamond tabs, the amount will be the same as the overlays or strips since it is sold by the square foot of coverage. ****To clear the calculator simple reload this page.****

You can order reflective shapes for diamond plate here.

(Note – to reset the calculator just reload the page.)

To download this spreadsheet to your computer just click on the “little green x icon” at the bottom right of the calculator.  This will let you use the sheet on your computer and print it.

To order a free diamond plate sample pack email us at


Orafol / Reflexite V98 Conformable Prismatic Reflective Sheeting

About Orafol / Reflexite V98 Conformable Prismatic Sheeting – (online store)

We use Orafol’s Reflexite V98 material for all of our reflective shapes.  We use this material because it is tough, bright and cuts very well with computer controlled plotters.  It is also made in one layer which means that it will not delaminate like other films.  This is a very important characteristic when it comes to longevity.  

Multi layer films like 3m and Avery are created by bonding two layers together.  The top layer contains the prisms that provide reflectivity and the bottom layer holds the adhesive.  The problem is that the two layers can be easily separated.  If you look at tractor trailer rigs you will notice that some will have the red and white tape where the top layer has been damaged or is delaminating.  What is left is just the bottom non reflective layer.

Orafol / Reflexite V98 tapes as well as their V92 and V82 DOT tapes are all made in a single layer.  This means that it is impossible for the tape to delaminate thus contributing to a much longer service life for the shapes.  The picture below shows how important this feature really is.v98 reflective versus 3m

Orafol/Reflexite V98 material is also conformable and repositionable.  Conformable means that the material will stretch a little to conform to uneven surfaces.  For dots this is not a major feature.  Conformability is achieved through the use of vinyl in the construction of the film.  

Repositionable means the dots can be applied and then pulled back up and applied again.  This is a nice feature to have for dots.  A special adhesive gives the tape this ability.

The image below shows more information on our V98 conformable material.

V98 graphic films


Our Reflective Shape Color Choices

Different Color Reflective Shapes Available – (online store)

We cut reflective shapes from Orafol / Reflexite V98 material.  We carry fluorescent lime, fluorescent orange, red, white and blue.  Fluorescent lime and red are the two most popular colors.  The pictures below show the different colors.

reflective dot colors


The image below shows the product in its retro reflective state.  Prisms within the film concentrate and direct light back to the light source.

blue firetruck reflective tape