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I am ... very happy with your plans, the organization that you have put into it and I am extremely happy with the response I have gotten from you when I have encountered a problem.
It sure does save money. At the same time it allows me and others like me to experience making the cage for our animal (animals) that we care so much about. I think that when someone takes the time to sit down and make something like this for their animal it really shows how much they care for them and respect them.

With your plans you can also alter the cage to each and everyone's specifications, or needs. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I want to thank you again.

Robert Hansford


"This is going to make an 11 year old and his lizard Rex very happy".


Spent $108.00 at Lowes, another $65.00 at Home Depot buying things that Lowes didn't have..... Spending time with my son in a hardware store.... PRICELESS!"


"Overall, the best thing I have found from the cage designs... is that:
They work!!!!

They allow you to view and touch your Iguana from all sides, This is a must!

Once you have the material list you don't go back to the hardware store.

Just follow the instructions and it comes out perfect.

Your maintenance will be much easier.

Your iguana will thank you

Once again, you will have built something cool. "

Regards and best to all our Green Iguana friends, Lance and Joey Portwood Glidden, Texas ".


"Very well thought-out designs"



Reptile Cage Flooring

Mark Chapple

Using a heat mat and newspaper with other substrates can be very messy.

Snake and lizards like to hide under the newspaper and will defecate on the heat mat and on the base of the cage.

There are a number of ways around this.

One way is to use a vinyl floor covering material and create an insert that sits on top of the heat mat. This should be waterproofed using Silicone and sealed around the edges to prevent the reptiles from going underneath it.

You can purchase thin floor covering materials for a few dollars. Try to get the thinner material that will fold easily. If it is too thick it is difficult to work with. Also the material needs to be pliable and easily bent without breaking. Old linoleum will tend to snap. The newer, flexible vinyl materials work much more effectively.

The diagrams below should illustrate how you can do this.


You need a piece about 4" (100mm) longer and and 2" (100mm) wider than the internal measurements of the base of the cage.

Cut it as in the diagram above. You are trying to make a vinyl tray with sides. The sides will be siliconed to the cage walls and the tray will sit over the top of the heat mat.

The final 'tray' dimensions (see above) will need to be about 1/4" less in length and width of the cage base to fit properly. This will give you some room for error and also allows for the size of the vinyl folds.

A sharp Stanley knife or good pocket knife will cut the vinyl effectively.

Contact cement can be used to glue the sides to the folding piece. If you do use contact cement, follow the instructions fully and let the contact become 'tack free'.

It is always tempting to glue the pieces together before the cement has dried adequately but leaving it that extra bit of time will provide a better adhesion.

The diagram below illustrates how to assemble the tray.

Once the piece has been glued and is ready to put into the cage you can prepare the cage. If you are using a heat mat you can use double sided tape to hold the heat mat to the floor in the correct position.

You can also cut a small slit at the back of the completed tray. This will allow you to push the thermostats temperature probe through the base and onto the top of the heat mat.

This will give a reading of the temperature of the base of the cage. If the thermostats probe is underneath the flooring, along with the mat, you are measuring the temperature under the flooring and may not have a correct reading of the top of the vinyl, although the difference would only be minor.

If you are using heat lights then it does not matter, as long as the temperature is adequately monitored.

You can secure the probe to the base with clear Duct tape. This tape is strong and will make a good bond with the vinyl, making it last a lot longer and preventing dust and other materials reducing the adhesion of the tape.

When you place the tray into the cage you can silicone around the edges to prevent the reptile from getting under the tray.


The finished tray should sit snugly into the base of the cage, be waterproof, easily washed and wiped and provide an excellent base for the substrate to sit on.

It may be a bit slippery so choose the material carefully before you purchase it.



Mark Chapple is the Author of"How to Build Reptile Enclosures"
Find out how to build reptile cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.

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