Cheap Alternative Tiles


I am looking at creating a field (or half field) in my garage to aid in my team’s creation of a prototype this summer. I just cant drop hundreds of dollars on mats. In the past I have just bought a quarter field, and used that, but I would like to build a more complete robot this summer and test it on a floor.

Does anyone have suggestions about what floors are similar to vex, but not over like $120? Could even be like half a floor if it is cheaper.

BTW I know this thread has been created before, but nothing really came out of it last time.


If you are not concerned about the precise height, you can find the same type mats in 1/4 inch thickness for a fraction of the price. Walmart, Kmart, and other discount stores carry them. The only difference will be that the robot will be 1/4 inch lower to the ground. For this year, that would have made a little difference for setting up a hang or for pushing stars under the fence, but for most designs it would not have made much difference at all.

Wouldn’t the gap underneath the fence be the same size, as the fence sits on the tiles? Similarly, the height from the tiles to the top of the pole would be the same.

Not anymore. The fence does not set on the tiles. It sets on the rubber feet. The pole does sit on the tiles, but it would change the distance one needs to go for high hang as the robot is 1/4 inch lower to the ground from the fence perimeter. This year’s game, it would also make putting the fence up a bit tougher.

Not if you use the rubber feet.

This is my makeshift Starstruck field:

I got my tiles from Home Depot a really long time ago

Before borrowing a field, I always used tiles from Harbor Freight. They’re not the exact same and are thinner, but I’ve found them good enough. They’re usually about $10 per 4 pack, I think they might still be on sale for ~$7 right now.

Here’s a pic of my makeshift field:
We got our tiles from home depot

The fence (not field perimeter) technically rests on the tiles, but I think the brackets would make it float a bit over the foam. The brackets that hold up the fence can only be screwed in so far.

of course you restrict access to randoms such as myself!

The fence is supported by brackets and base plates. There could be sagging if all does not align.

Yeah, that was the gist of what I meant. Overall, it’s kind of weird but it should be fine.

We use tiles from Harbor Freight. As to concerns about their accuracy, I programmed a 44 point programming skills (without hang) on a field with these floor tiles, and a wooden perimeter and fence. Also at the time I wrote this program I had only one cube and 8 stars.

@lelder how??? you cant even score 44 points with 8 stars and a cube, its not mathematically possible

You have someone throw objects back after you throw them. My team did this the whole season for programming skills. We had three quarters of a field though so it wasn’t too bad

I had my dad throw me back scoring objects when I scored them. It was difficult to make work but we did it. Now we have a full field worth of objects so we don’t have to do that anymore.